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Best Currency Exchange company

Purchasing Property Abroad? Save Thousands By Considering Your Currency Exchange

If you are buying a property abroad, the purchase price will usually be payable in a foreign currency, meaning that the money you will be using to fund the purchase will need to be converted into that currency when being transferred overseas. By treating this overseas payments in the same way as other single currency payments however you may be costing yourself hundreds if not thousands of pounds.

 

Make sure you don’t lose money on your currency exchange

The rate of the currency exchange can have a massive impact on foreign payments however it is often a forgotten aspect amidst all of the excitement of buying a property abroad.

When making payments overseas, such as the deposit for the property purchase or the balance of the purchase price due on completion, many people often just blindly entrust the transfer to their bank allowing them to convert their payment into the required currency without considering the exchange rate offered by the bank and the impact this could have on the overall costs of the property.

Making foreign transfers with poor exchange rates are one of the ways in which high street banks make enormous profits at the expense of their customers. The exchange rates offered by high street banks tend to be highly uncompetitive and may also be accompanied by huge commission charges just to transfer the money.

When you are transferring the amounts of money required to purchase a property, just a small difference in exchange rate can end up costing you significantly more than necessary, often thousands of pounds.

 

The best way to send money abroad/ receive money from abroad

It is highly advisable to make the transfer through a recommended currency specialist rather than making the transfer through the banks.

One of the reasons for this is that the exchange rates offered by foreign currency brokers are much more competitive than the rates of exchange offered by the banks, often by a considerable amount.

The services of a currency specialist is free and a can also save you further money when compared with the banks as, not only do they offer superior exchange rates, they don’t charge the excessive fees that the banks do just to transfer funds.

The reason that currency specialist companies are able do this is due to the volume of foreign transfers they make and the fact their sole aim as a business is to offer ‘bank beating’ exchange rates. Currency specialists can typically save around 3-5% of the transfer value when compared to the banks.

Foreign currency specialists can help in a number of additional ways too. For example they can arrange to set sterling budgets and rates for your transfer so you will know exactly how much will be transferred at a given time without leaving matters to the mercy of the fluctuations at the time of the transfer.

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Currency Specialists Vs High Street Banks

Example

You are buying a property in Spain for €200,000 but your funds are in GBP. So you will need to convert your GBP to pay the €200,000.

  High Street Bank Rate Currency Specialist Rate
Amount to be paid in € €200,000 @ €1.14/£1 €200,000 @ €1.17/£1
Total Cost in £ £175,438.60 £170,940.17

By using a bank instead of a currency specialist, your would have paid £4498.42* more for the property.

*Exchange rates are subject to change.

As shown by the example above, a small amount of research and planning can make a vast difference to the amounts actually paid for your overseas property.

Using a recommended foreign exchange specialist is not only cost effective but also very time efficient. You can set up an account and send a payment within minutes. It is simply a case of transferring funds to a this separate account where the money can be exchanged and the relevant currency forwarded on to the desired account.

It is however recommended to contact a currency specialist as soon as you know you will need to make or receive an overseas payment as a good currency specialist will also be able to advise you regarding the timing of the transfer to help you get the most from your money. A good currency specialist will also be happy just to give you some information about how they can help.

You should ensure you use a recommended currency specialist who is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

For details of a recommended and regulated currency specialist and to discuss how they can assist you, please get in touch with Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470339 or email us at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

 

Solicitors in Portugal, lawyers in Lisbon, lawyer algarve

Recommended Lawyers in Portugal

Do you need to instruct a lawyer in Portugal?

If you have a legal issue relating to Portuguese law you will usually need to instruct a lawyer in Portugal to assist.

Whether you need a Portuguese lawyer for a property purchase/sale in Portugal, a Portuguese inheritance matter or business transaction you will want to instruct the best lawyers in Portugal to assist you with your particular legal matter, but it can be hard to know who to choose.

Unless you have a recommendation for a reputable English-speaking Portuguese lawyer it can be difficult to know how to find a suitable lawyer in Portugal to assist you.

Fortunately, Worldwide Lawyers can help!

Worldwide Lawyers can put you in touch with a recommended English-speaking lawyer in Portugal who will provide you with a no-obligation quote. Contact us on 01244 470 339 or email us at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

We have provided some guidance below to point you in the right direction when choosing a Portuguese lawyer. You can of course just contact Worldwide Lawyers for details of a recommended English-speaking lawyer in Portugal!

All of Worldwide Lawyers’ recommended Portuguese lawyers satisfy the following criteria. Before instructing any lawyer in Portugal, you should check that there are:

  • Registered: You should check that your Portuguese lawyer is registered with the Portuguese law society. Ask for their registration number and ensure that you check this.
  • Experienced: Not all lawyers in Portugal do the same type of legal work. You will therefore need to ensure that your Portuguese lawyer has the relevant experience to assist you with your legal matter.
  • English-speaking: Your lawyer in Portugal should be fluent in both English and Portuguese so that you will be able to understand the advice you are paying for.
  • Recommended: Ideally it would be good to have personal recommendation from someone who has used the Portuguese lawyer before and can recommend their services. Worldwide Lawyers obtain feedback from other people who have previously instructed our recommended lawyers in Portugal to get their feedback and recommendations.
  • Independent: It is extremely important to make sure that your Portuguese lawyer is not in any way connected to the seller, estate agent or property developer (if dealing with a property transaction) or any other parties in your case. So steer clear from recommendations from estate agents, developers, sellers or the party on the other side of your transaction!

If you need advice in relation to Portuguese law, Worldwide Lawyers can put you in touch with a recommended English-speaking Portuguese lawyer who has the relevant experience to assist you.

We can put you in touch with a Turkish lawyer who can assist with any of the following areas of law:

If you need a lawyer in Portugal, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01244 470 339 or email us at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk 

Our friendly and experienced team will be able to discuss your requirements with you and, if required, put you in touch with a suitable Portuguese law firm to provide you with a no-obligation quote for their services.

Our lawyers can assist all over Portugal including Lisbon, Algarve, Madeira, Porto Santo, Central Portugal, Porto (Oporto)….

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Portugal Non Habitual resident tax

Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident Tax Program – Eliminate Your Income Tax Liability

If you are considering buying a property or spending some time abroad, Portugal may be able to offer you more than just its stunning scenery, culture and weather.

Becoming a tax resident in Portugal can also eliminate your income tax bill on income received from your home country. That’s TAX FREE income in both Portugal AND in your home country.

Sounds too good to be true? Well Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime can provide just that.

The NHR is a tax program which was set up by the Portuguese government in 2009 in order to incentivise foreign nationals and their families to come to Portugal by making it attractive from a tax perspective to become tax resident in Portugal.

So how does the Non-Habitual Resident Scheme work and who can apply?

The main requirements to qualify for the NHR scheme are:

      1. You must become a Portuguese tax resident; and
      2. You must not have been tax resident in Portugal in the 5 years before you apply for your NHR status; and
      3. You must have the right to live in Portugal (EU/EEA citizens have the right to live in Portugal. For Non-EU/EEA citizens NHR is usually combined with the Golden Visa).

How do you become tax resident of Portugal?

You are considered to be tax resident in Portugal if:

        • You have been in Portugal for more than 183 days in the tax year, which runs from 1st January to 31st December; or
        • You have been in Portugal for less than 183 days, but have a permanent home in Portugal.

What are the benefits of the Portuguese Non-Habitual Resident Scheme and can I really pay zero income tax?

The benefits of the NHR are:

a) It exempts foreign-source income (i.e income that arises outside of Portugal) from being liable to income tax.

This includes:

        • Pension income
        • Income from investments (including dividends and interest)
        • Rental income
        • Employment income
        • Royalties

For most people, this is the biggest draw of the scheme as it provides many with the opportunity to reduce the tax paid on their income to zero.

For many people looking to take advantage of the NHR scheme the majority of their income will come from a source in their home country. For most people this income will not be taxed in either Portugal or their home country so will be totally tax free!

 

        b) A special rate of 20% tax is applied to any employment and self-employment income derived in Portugal from a “high value added activity”.

This is includes:

Actors, Architects, Auditors, Dentists, Doctors, Engineers, Investors, Musicians, Professors, Psychologists and Technicians (this list is non exhaustive and specific advice will need to be obtained with regard to your specific circumstances).

 

          c) Capital gains tax advantages, this will depend on the type of asset. (Before becoming a non-habitual resident of Portugal, tax advice should be taken by anyone who anticipates significant capital gains).

 

            d) Other benefits include:

Having successfully applied for the scheme, NHRs will have access to all the benefits of an ordinary Portuguese tax resident including healthcare.

Why does the Non-Habitual Resident Scheme mean that you pay no income tax?

Ok… ready for the science bit?

According to the Non-Habitual Resident regime, as long as the source country of your income has the power to tax your income (regardless of whether or not they actually do or not), either under a double taxation agreement with Portugal (Portugal has agreements with 71 countries) or under the OECD model tax convention, and the income is not deemed to be Portugal-sourced income, Portugal will not tax your foreign-sourced income.

The double taxation treaties grant the source country the option of taxing income paid to residents of the other country, although many countries do not exercise this option in their own tax laws.

The UK for example have a double taxation treaty that works in this way. This means that in practice most types of income will attract zero income tax both in Portugal and in the UK for those with non-habitual resident status.

How do you apply for the Non-Habitual Resident Scheme and become a non-habitual resident of Portugal?

Obtaining non-habitual resident status is not automatic just because you satisfy the criteria. You need to actually make an application for Non- Habitual Resident Status to the Portuguese tax authorities.

Most people instruct a lawyer with experience of making these applications to assist with this. For details of an English-speaking lawyer who can assist with your application for Non-Habitual Resident tax status, contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. 

You may apply for your NHR status when you have become a Portuguese tax resident or before 31st March of the following tax year.

Once granted, your Non-Habitual Resident Status is valid for a period of 10 years.

Once you have the Non-Habitual Resident status there is no obligation that you visit or live in Portugal for any length of time to maintain your resident status there.

Other information about the Non-Habitual Residents Scheme:

                    • Although you must be a resident in order to apply for the NHR, you do not have to live in Portugal for any particular period of time after obtaining your NHR status.
                    • Portugal began the program to encourage economy growth after the global financial crisis, the scheme has provided a boost to the Portuguese economy and has a good chance of being available for a few years. However, it may be not available forever. If you would like to take advantage of the the scheme, do not delay taking action and seeking advice.
                    • The term non-habitual can lead to confusion. As this regime is valid for 10 years the Portuguese tax authorities used the term “non-habitual”. Contrary to the suggestion in the name, you are required to have your tax residency, and be “habitually resident” in Portugal.
                    • You do not have to own a property in Portugal to qualify. Renting a property is sufficient.
                    • You can backdate your registration as a NHR in Portugal to the date on which you became tax resident in Portugal, BUT the deadline for making the NHR application is 31st March of the tax year after you became tax resident in Portugal.
                    • Do not delay making your NHR application, you do not want to find that you have missed the deadline and the opportunity to qualify for NHR status. This can lead to you potentially paying more income tax if you end up being liable for Portuguese income tax under the general tax rates.

I want to take advantage of the Non-Habitual Resident Tax regime and want to find out more- what should I do?

It is recommend that you take proper tax advice in order to make sure all your circumstances are taken into account. For further information and to find out if you are eligible for the non-habitual resident tax status in Portugal, contact Worldwide Lawyers today on 01244 470 339 or email info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

We can put you in you with a recommended Portuguese lawyer specialising in applications for the Non-Habitual Resident Status who can advise you of whether you will be eligible and the process for making the application.

Buying Property in Portugal?

If you are thinking of moving to Portugal you should definitely seek advice as to whether the NHR scheme could apply to you – you do not want to find out you could have had the benefit of this but have missed the deadline! Contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 399 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk for further details about the NHR scheme and also how to but property in Portugal safely and efficiently.

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European Union, Brexit, Property purchases in Spain, Property purchases in Portugal

What Brexit means for British property purchasers in Europe

Following the announcement of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, there has been much uncertainty about what this means for Brits looking to buy property in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France or elsewhere in Europe.

The Portugal Prime Minister, António Costa, has however seemingly set the tone in an interview following today’s announcement. He said that it “is a sad day for Europe”, but confirmed his belief that the strong alliance between Portugal and the UK will “carry on.”

The Portuguese Prime Minister went on to say that 
“We have the oldest alliance in the world with the United Kingdom and it will carry on long after what will be the departure of the UK from the European Union”.

He also provided assurances that Portugal “will do everything to ensure all the rights of the British citizens who live, visit or invest in Portugal.”

This sentiment echoes Portugal’s commitment in recent times to encourage foreign investment in to Portugal with the introduction of the Golden Visa and the attractive Non Habitual Residents tax regime.

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, also spoke out today to confirm that with regard to UK citizens in Spain: “The rights to move freely, to work, pay taxes and get pensions, to invest, vote, or being elected in the local elections of the place where they live will not be affected at least during the next two years”.

Both the words of the Spanish and Portuguese Prime Ministers have provided some reassurance and an indication that European countries such as Spain, Italy, and Portugal will not wish to turn their back on the valuable economic benefit that property investors from the UK provide to these european countries with regard to both house purchases and tourism.

If you are looking to buy property in Spain or Portugal or anywhere else in Europe, please contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk to discuss how we can assist you.

Property Purchase (WWL) (landscape)

villa with swimming pool

Buying Property Abroad in 2016

Its that time of year again.. The New Year. Time therefore to reflect on what has happened over the last 12 months in the overseas property market and to share predictions for the next…

The upward trend of British people buying property overseas continued in force in 2015. Spain remained a popular choice for British buyers-  in fact it is reported that there has been a 26% rise in Brits buying in Spain over the last 12 months! Hotspots included property purchases in Barcelona, Costa Brava and purchases in Mallorca which is reported to have seen a 25% increase in property sales in 2015.

Notaires in France reported a slight increase in the number of property purchases in France as well as stable property prices in 2015, showing increased confidence in the French property market.

Attractive property prices and predictions of price increases over the next 5 years lured many Brits to buy property in Portugal in 2015, with purchases of property in Lisbon and the Algarve remaining popular.

A healthy UK housing market, the increased strength of the pound against the weakened Euro following the Greek crisis of the summer, together with new UK pension rules allowing retirees to draw cash lump sums from their pension pots all provided Sterling spending power and were some of the stepping stones for Brits achieving their overseas property dream in 2015.

So what’s in store for 2016? Will 2016 be  good year to buy property abroad? Slow economic growth in many of the most popular European countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy helps to keep overseas property prices low for the time being and therefore attractive to Brits looking to invest in Europe.

Turkey’s announcement of its plans for a Golden Visa in Turkey is hoped to follow the footsteps of Cyprus, Spain and Portugal and continue the increased interest in foreigners buying property in Turkey, which was reported to have grown by 19% from January to September in 2015, compared to same period the year before.

With the “Brexit” referendum concerning whether Britain will exit the EU looming, a delicate Eurozone and a refugee crisis which shows no sign of being resolved any time soon is likely to cause economic jitters for some. The resulting uncertainty can bring with it delayed buying decisions and often adverse effects on the european housing markets, especially in regions which heavily rely on investment from the UK.

Interest rates show no sign of substantially increasing into 2016 however, either in Britain or in the Eurozone. This coupled with domestic deflation in some of the more popular european countries, means that Brits are expected to continue to see their budget’s stretch despite the rocky start to the strength of the Pound in 2016.

2016 is therefore already looking to be a good year for many more Brits hoping to take the plunge and purchase the overseas property that they have been dreaming of.

 

If you are thinking of buying a property in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal , Turkey (or anywhere else for that matter!) make sure you get good, independent advice from a recommended lawyer from the outset.  

To get in touch with a recommended, independent English-Speaking Lawyer to help make the buying process as smooth and as hassle-free as possible, contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470339 at info@worldwidelawyers or via our contact form

 

Property Purchase (WWL) (landscape)