Need to know: VAT in the UAE, what it means for individuals

We have known about the introduction of VAT on 1st January 2018 since early 2016 but the official guidance and final rules have not long been issued. There seems to be a fair amount of misunderstanding as to how it will work, and who and what, will be affected so this article, is an overview of some of the facts.

Businesses should be taking professional advice on the topic, so I won’t be going into detail in here, as this article is designed as an overview for individuals only.

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UK Autumn Budget 2017 – the facts for expats

This is the first Autumn Budget after it was announced that the main one would be issued towards the end of each year. This time there is little that directly affects expats and much of the focus was on the UK housing market with a surprise announcement about Stamp Duty.

This article is a brief overview of some of the main points with particular reference to any changes that have relevance to those living outside of the UK.

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Can you afford to have a serious illness? The facts for the UAE.

The sad and somewhat worrying fact is that anyone can suffer from a serious illness at any time. It doesn’t matter how healthy you feel, and serious illness does not discriminate by gender, age, nationality or income.

Have you considered how you are your family would manage if you were seriously ill, or if your partner became ill and unable to work for an extended period? Not happy thoughts but ones that need to be addressed.

The statistics for serious illnesses in the UAE are significant, even for a relatively young population, when compared to countries with large numbers of retired residents.

Your medical insurance should cover the cost of treatment but it won’t replace an income. That’s where critical illness cover comes in. This is a plan that will pay out a cash lump sum in the event that the policyholder is diagnosed with a serious illness and this insurance is both important and worthwhile.

Consider the statistics for the UAE:

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How to focus on your financial priorities

Many of us muddle through our financial lives, not focusing on what matters the most, so this article is designed to help you sort out your financial priorities.

You have probably thought that there are some issues you need to address but it is common to be stuck in limbo, not quite sure what to tackle first, or a to have a vague to-do list but are unsure where to start.

I am often asked what are the most important topics to focus on so this is a guide to what you may need to look at if you haven’t reviewed your personal finances before, or haven’t done so for some time. What should you do now and what is most important?

All too frequently I see people who have been sold long-term savings plans without having been given the right advice to address more immediate issues. The most important consideration is to focus on what could go wrong tomorrow and then to take steps to protect you and your family. This doesn’t have to be expensive but this is what proper, ethical, financial planning is all about.

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News: RL360 to acquire Friends Provident International

Following some months of speculation it has been announced that IFGL, which owns RL360°,  will acquire FPIL (Friends Provident International Limited)  from the Aviva Group, subject to regulatory approval.

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Need to know: New to Dubai? Important financial information

This is not a complete guide to setting up in Dubai but one that gives an overview of many of the financial, and some of the legal, issues of which new residents need to be aware.

Your ability to live in the UAE is linked to employment and it is impossible to rent a property (apart from on a short-term basis) without a residency visa and accompanying identity card. These will be provided by your employer or as part of the package when you set up a trade licence if you wish to have your own business. You also need these to buy a car, get a UAE driving licence, get medical insurance or get an alcohol licence – a legal requirement for residents if you want to buy alcohol anywhere and or keep alcohol in your home. Co-habiting is illegal.

The rules can vary between emirates, although the main legal issues are correct for all, but this guide is mainly for Dubai residents.

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Need to know: Taxes on UK property

I have previously written about the various taxes that relate to the ownership of property in the UK but this article brings all the information together in one handy guide. This is written for the benefit of expats.

There are various taxes that apply with in relation to the ownership of UK property and an overview of each of the main ones is set out below.

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