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Everything posted by GaryC

  1. German Pension advice from Ausland?

    I think Apel is correct about Berlin.  Our pensions are also dealt with by DRV Bund in Berlin, though we were based in Braunschweig while working in Germany.   If you send her Rentenversicherungsnummer and questions to they should forward it to the relevant department/section or whatever.  They are usually quite quick.  A friend of mine who had lost her Versicherungsnummer (indeed all paperwork relating to Germany - long story) found them very helpful and it took only a few months to gather the information they needed and for them to track down her number. She is now starting the application process with DWP...   As your friend worked in Germany before the end of the transition period she will almost certainly be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (I cannot see why she would not be but am erring on the side of caution, ho hum) and the EU rules on social security coordination (i.e. state pensions) continue to apply.  As Apel says, she should therefore get 2 state pensions.  One from DWP in the UK and one from DRV in Germany.    The UK pension is of course taxable in the UK but the German pension is taxable only in Germany and her tax office will be Neubrandenburg Rente-im-Ausland.  They offer an Amtsveranlagungs service meaning she would not need to submit a German tax return.  As she does not qualify for the Grundfreibetrag or other deductions it makes life a lot easier.     Under the EU rules each country is required to undertake 2 calculations of the pension payable.  The first is the pension the person would receive based solely on their qualifying years/payments in that country.  The second is how much the person would received if all EU/UK years had been completed in that country.  This is the "theoretical amount" and is then pro-rated based on the years actually paid in that country.  That country then pays the higher of those two amounts as your pension.   For the UK the only time the pro-rata calculation is the higher is when a person does not have the minimum 10 UK years to get a UK pension but has enough years in Germany to get past 10 years in total.  The EU rules then provide a UK pension based on the actual number of UK years, say 3, or 7, or whatever. So 3/35 x weekly max,, or 7/35 x weekly max and so on.   If your friend has gaps in her UK National Insurance contribution record for years from (I think) 2006/7 onwards then these can still be filled.  If she is employed the cost is about £825 per year but that investment is repaid in full if you claim your pension for just over 3 years (which we all hope we will!). She should check her NI record via her Personal Tax Account on GOV UK, then speak to DWP Future Pensions to confirm that paying one or more years will benefit her pension.  Then she contacts HMRC to arrange payment.  The deadline for paying years more than 6 years ago is 5 April 2023, so still some time left to get this sorted.  After that you can only pay up to 6 years in arrears.    For Germany it is more complex and the EU calculation can be significantly higher than the German-only one.  For me they were the same but for my wife the EU calculation was 20% higher.  I think it all depends on your employment v unemployment, education etc years.  It would be worth your friend asking for a Kontenklärung and to provide all information about her post 16, pre-working-in-Germany years to them.  Also inform them that she moved back to the UK in whichever year so that Germany will know to contact the UK to get her UK NI record.  She should then get a Rentenauskunft showing her projected German pension.  This should include the German-only calculation (innerstaatliche Berechnung) and the EU-wide one (zwischenstaatliche Berechnung).   Paying voluntary contributions in Germany is, in my opinion, not worth it as payback is nearly 20 years!   When she comes to claim her German pension it is done through DWP International using a form 901, which they send to you.     Germany has 3 versions of its pension.  The basic pension at 66+ if you have at least 5 years (German plus EU/UK).  The pension for long service at 63 but reduced by 0.3% for each month you take it early if you have 35 years and the pension for exceptionally long service and 64+ not reduced if you have 45 years.     Your friend's circumstances sound similar to mine and I opted for the 35-year version, reduced by 11.4%.  I would need to live at least 8 years to make the 45-year version more cost effective and to about 85 or something to make it worth waiting until I am 66+.  Given that both my parents failed to make the 8 years, gulp, my choice was pretty clear but which one to claim is of course personal choice.   When she claims she will not get an innerstaatliche Berechnung if claiming a pension where the UK years help make up the minimum 5, 35 or 45 years as it would be zero.    Hope this helps her move forward with both DWP and DRV.
  2. Under EU rules you will be entitled to a pension from each country in which you have contributed to the social security pension (EC 883/2004 if you are interested in the legislation).   When you reach state pension age in each country they will each perform 2 calculations and award you the higher of those as a pension: The amount of pension looking only at their country's qualifying years/amounts etc a theoretical amount assuming all years had been concluded in their country and then pro-rating that amount to their countries qualifying years You will apply for your pensions in the country of residence at that time and they liaise with all other relevant countries.   In Germany they will be interested, from a German rules perspective, in your post-17 activity and that may provide a higher amount under calculation 1.  Doing a Kontenklärung in Germany would be useful from that regard, even though the years in question will also feature in calculation 2.  Such overlaps are not double-counted but because of the way the German rules work it may still lead to a higher pension.   I would therefore contact DRV using using your Versicherungsnummer and they will pass it to Hessen or wherever your records will be held as an ex-pat and ask for a KontenKlärung taking into account your time in all other EU/UK countries.    Lithuania will perform the same calculations from their perspective but I know not how they treat post-17, non-working years, so I would contact them and ask for a similar process covering all countries.  They may not oblige (the UK just says wait and see) but worth asking.      
  3. Depositing foreign currency into a German account

    If you were in London, I would point you at a high-street foreign exchange firm that I used a lot (Thomas Exchange Foreign Currency London) when I worked in London.  Their rates are far better than the banks, though not quite as good as Wise etc but you can exchange cash for cash in large and very large amounts.  All legit and compliant with the relevant regulations.  Surely there must be something similar in Germany?
  4. Letter arrived today and looks as though it should be fine.  Shows personal details, amount paid, date paid, the year to which it relates and the number of weeks purchased.  It is relevant to German tax year 2022, so we'll see whether it does the job in about 12 months...
  5. Update on what proof you can get from HMRC that you paid voluntary NIC.    I just got off the phone to them having requested proof of payment for 2019/20.  They said they will send a letter confirming dates, amounts and year concerned.  I was expecting all sorts of "what's that for", "we don't normally do that" type comments but it was quick and easy, as if they get asked every day.
  6. Pension - Erklaeren meines Versicherungskonto

    No, not quite right.  Your UK years will count towards your German pension and your German years will count towards your UK pension.  You will get 2 pensions: 1 from Germany; 1 from the UK.  That is the case if you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.  If you are not then there are very similar rules but they may be reviewed I think after about 15 years.   In the UK the only impact of the German years is to help you get past the minimum 10 years required to qualify for a UK new State Pension.   In Germany the rules work slightly differently because the German system is earnings-related, whereas the UK system looks only at qualifying years.  The Germans therefore do the full EU comparison - the higher of what you would get looking only at the German years and what you would get by applying the German rules to all years and pro-rating a pension based on your German years - which can increase your pension.   You claim your pension in your country of residence and they liaise with the other country   
  7. That will be a general reference to Accounts Office Shipley or Cumbernauld depending on which one deals with your tax payments generally.
  8. Who knows.  It will probably just say "HMRC NICO", which we now stands for National Insurance Contributions Office" but the FA will just see a payment to HMRC.   
  9. Interesting.  Class 2 may of course be slightly different that Class 3 NIC as it is or at least can be, paid via the self assessment system.  Keep us informed
  10. Carlyle, can I ask what you plan on providing as proof?  While you can show that a payment has gone to HMRC from your bank, you don't get a receipt as such saying "Paid NIC on 'date'".  I asked the NIC team last week how to get proof of payment and they simply pointed me at a printout of the NI record showing the year is "full".  I am not sure either would be sufficient for the FA?  When my wife paid voluntary contributions in 2019 relating to 2017/18 her NI record simply shows "Year full" and "You have contributions from voluntary 52 weeks" but no dates of payment or amount...
  11. pension craziness - 42yr

    Probably correct but just one of the options available.  Have a look at  Personal pensions: How you can take your pension - GOV.UK (  in case that adds anything useful/helpful
  12. pension craziness - 42yr

    And don't forget that if it is an annuity, you can shop around and buy the annuity from anywhere.
  13. girokonto abroad and German tax

    I see.  didn't think of that, not least because my head didn't reach the notion that there would be 400k€ in the mother's account.  Not impossible of course, or there could have been 39xk€ of gifts elsewhere and yk€ in the account but if it's anything like my current account, ho hum...     Or would every deposit into the account - pension or wages - be treated as 50% gifted to the son?
  14. girokonto abroad and German tax

    Surely all you are doing is making the account into a joint account. In that case, any income arising from the account (interest) would be taxable to 50% on you and 50% on her but her pension or other sources of income deposited into the account would be taxable on her.  When the evil day comes and she passes away, then there will be a joint asset to deal with in her estate.  Or am I missing the point?  
  15. Tax on UK pension

    Yes, so far as you are talking about the UK state pension and not a government service (civil service, teachers, local authority etc) employment-related pension. 
  16. Tax on UK pension

    You only need to return the UK pension for the Progressionsvorbehalt as the pension is taxable only in the UK, not in Germany.  DWP in the UK is correct that they do not provide statements, and if they did they would probably be for April to April to coincide with the UK tax year.  This annoys a lot of people in the UK because the pension is taxable on your entitlement, i.e. how many weekly payments you were entitled to receive in the tax year even though you are paid 4-weekly in arrears, and people get confused (as do many advisers) and are not sure what to put on their tax return.   If the FA wants proof I can think of two ways to provide it.  One would be the form  002 - Bescheinigung außerhalb EU / EWR - Englisch 2018 (, though HMRC take at least 6 months to respond to that at the moment, meaning you cannot send it to the FA until October or so.  The other way would be to do what we have started doing and that is an unprompted self-assessment return to HMRC.  It will show UK state pension £X less personal allowance (probably more than £X) and no tax due, assuming you have no other UK income.  Once HMRC has responded to submission of your tax return you can print the tax statement (income less personal allowance = £0 tax) and send that to the FA if they ask for proof.  
  17. Transfer of UK pension fund with Standard Life

    Perhaps but would that be a tax-free pay-out or a taxable sum?  Surely, if they won't pay it as a pension then it would fall t be taxed as a lumpsum pay-out.  Not my area of expertise but there are quite penal tax rates of 55% or something if you just withdraw money from a pension scheme.      Edit - After a bit of reading on GOV.UK, it seems that if you are at retirement age and take a lump sum, the UK position is 25% tax free and 75% taxed in the year it is taken as income alongside any other UK taxable income for that year.  So, 0% on the first £12,570, 20% on the next £37,700, 40% on the next £99,730, with the clawback of your personal allowance once total income exceeds £100,000 and the 45% on anything above £150,000.     This may be helpful (or old news)  Personal pensions: How you can take your pension - GOV.UK (   The 55% is "reserved" for those who receive unauthourised payments but the whole thing is a minefield...
  18. Transfer of UK pension fund with Standard Life

    One for Paul or a.n.other but the issues about not selling you an annuity and/or not providing advice if you are a non-UK-residents beg a rather interesting question.  What happens to your pension savings at maturity if nobody will sell you an annuity, or, presumably any other method of accessing those savings?  You cannot just take the cash and run, otherwise HMRC would be after you to claw back the tax benefits enjoyed over your working life, so what would Std Life do with your money? And it is your money!
  19. Tax payable on sale of UK Property

    HMRC will risk assess any tax return it receives and open enquiries, or what they prefer to call a "compliance check" these days, based on that risk assessment, or as a randomly chosen case.    Valuation is not my area of expertise but thinking about our 2 bed flat, it has probably increased by about 10% since 2015 and if anything it is in an area that has not seen significant growth, so I tend to agree with emkay that in most areas growth of £10k on a £200k+ property may appear unrealistic...  
  20. Tax payable on sale of UK Property

    An estate agent will give a view based on their knowledge of the market and some may tweak it depending on what you say you want it for - 2015 MV, IHT, actual sale etc.  I have certainly seen that when asking such folk for values.  A professional valuation may ultimately be done by an estate agent or chartered surveyor but will be based on more in-depth work.     HMRC cannot actually impose their decision.  In the UK you are required to self-assess your tax, i.e. you get the values/amounts etc., enter them on your return and calculate the tax due.  If HMRC then has a window within which it can open an enquiry.  At the end the enquiry it will issue a closure notice and, if you disagree with whatever HMRC puts in that notice, you have the right to appeal and take the matter to the tax tribunal.
  21. Transfer of UK pension fund with Standard Life

    OK, I sort of get that because the EU passporting of financial instruments was ditched by the UK as part of its excuse for Brexit negotiations.  This means that financial institutions have a lot more hoops to jump through to continue trading in the EU.    But, as Paul@CRCIE says, if they will not offer an annuity when the time comes to draw your pension, there are plenty of other firms in the market and the advice as I understand it is to shop around and not to simply take the annuity offered by the firm with whom you have made your pension savings.     I think taking advice from a pensions expert at an early stage to plan what to do when the time comes would be money well spent...
  22. Tax payable on sale of UK Property

    Market Value, or perhaps better expressed as the unrestricted open market value is an estimate by someone with appropriate skills and available information of the amount a willing unconnected purchaser would offer to a willing unconnected vendor on a particular day.  Or, to put it another way, it is an estimate of what you would realistically achieve on that day if said buyer and seller did the deal.  It is used all over the place from tax to selling businesses as a going concern, to valuing shares in unlisted companies.   In the context of this thread, HMRC may accept a value provided by an estate agent or an average of values provided by a number of agents but if push comes to shove they, or, ultimately a tribunal if the parties cannot agree, would required a professional valuation on your part.
  23. Tax payable on sale of UK Property

    Good point.  As you said earlier, keep the property for at least 10 years if possible, even if that "costs" money in the UK.   Would I be right in saying that if a person is earning, say 40k in Germany and sells a UK house they owned for 9 years and 364 days for a gain of 30k € under German rules, but less than £12k under UK rules, then while there is no UK CGT, Progression would hit them with over 3,000€ in Germany? If so, delaying the sale, even if it "cost" £1,000 by way of extra costs, lost income or capital loss would still be worth it...
  24. Tax payable on sale of UK Property

    Out of interest, was that a professional valuation, or an estate agent giving a view?  It's just that in most areas prices have risen since 2015.  The media hype would suggest they have risen massively in every area but that is not the case.  We have a property and have kept an eye on prices as and when similar ones in the same complex come on the market.  While nothing like the increases pronounced in the media, we have seen a steady rise in value - maybe 10% since 2015.     That said, even if there is an increase in value, £12,300 of any gain is covered by the annual allowance for each person, so if it is a joint asset, £24,600... 
  25. Tax payable on sale of UK Property

    In my view the gain is "subject to tax", i.e. "effectively taxed" as it is not exempt from UK CGT.  HMRC allows 3 ways to ascertain the gain when you dispose of UK property as a non-resident and you are allowed to use the one that results in the lowest chargeable gain.  All other CGT rules then apply in terms of allowable deductions in calculating the gain and your annual allowance.  If that ends up in nil tax payable, then that is not because the gain was exempt but because, when applying the UK rules, there was no tax due. That is pretty much demonstrated by Panda's example above.   I had a quick look at the tax case Panda mentioned and it is quite complex and specific to its facts in relation to an investment fund.  If I understand it correctly, it was not a question of whether a capital gain was taxable or exempt but whether the amount in question was a capital gain at all, or an amount subject to what is described as clawback taxation (not a term I am aware of).  As such, it makes sense that the court found that the CG article did not exempt the amount from German tax.   I cannot think of any circumstance in which a gain on the sale of immovable UK property would be exempt from CGT, though I have been involved in tax for long enough to "never say never"...