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Ask James – UK Inheritance Tax when you live in Thailand

Q. I have lived in Thailand for the last fifteen years of my life and am married to a Thai lady. I don’t believe I am caught for UK inheritance tax, but would welcome your thoughts.

A. Residency and domicile from a UK perspective are two different aspects. Being a non UK resident and resident overseas for a considerable amount of time does not automatically make you a non UK domicile so as a UK national you will be subject to UK IHT at 40% on your world-wide assets less your nil rate band of GBP325, 000. It is possible to change your domicile but this is based on case law and quite difficult to do but generally involves severing any links with the UK and is based on intention-where is your intention to retire and base the center of your economic interests. So holding UK assets, like bank accounts or houses etc does not generally work.

Please also remember that under the 2013 Budget terms, a non domiciled spouse can now receive GBP352, 000 free of UK IHT, rather than GBP55, 000. The increase is in respect of transfers made after 6.04/2013

James Kan Murphy, ASCI
Wealth Manager 
deVere Group
If you have a question for James please email editor@samuitimes.com

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