Opportunities for Australian Expats in the UK
In light of recent modifications to superannuation contribution caps, withholding tax regulations, and the nullification of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) 50% concession on Australian property for Foreign Investors, it’s hardly surprising that Australian expatriates are exploring diverse alternatives to accumulate and safeguard their wealth while domiciled overseas.
Fortunately, transitioning into an Australian expatriate status can unlock a plethora of tax-advantageous investment avenues. One such avenue that warrants special attention is the investment vehicle known as Investment Bonds – of which are offered by highly established and respected financial services organisations.
Investment Bonds – Could Offer a Very Tax Efficient Structure Upon Return to Australia
An Investment Bond, in essence, is a highly tax-effective structure. These Offshore Investment Bonds can assist Australian expats in mitigating tax liabilities, should they decide to repatriate in the near or distant future. It is akin to Superannuation or unit trusts in that an investment bond is a structure that operates under its own distinct set of rules.
To illustrate, let’s consider a scenario:
Stephen, an Australian expat, resides in London and makes the decision to allocate £500,000 into an offshore Investment Bond, which comprises an AUD Hedged Managed Fund. Six years later, upon his return to Australia, Stephen opts to transfer his existing managed fund into a more conservative Australian blue-chip fund. Ordinarily, a fund switch of this nature or a change in ownership of such units would instigate a personal CGT obligation. However, switching between investment funds within an investment bond does not incur a personal CGT liability.
No Tax After Ten Years in Aus
Moreover, ten years post the initiation of an investment bond, all proceeds are typically available without any added tax liability in Australia. This suggests that Stephen might have the option to draw down or surrender his policy four years post his return to Australia, without incurring a tax liability on the growth of his investment.
Intriguingly, there is no constraint on the amount Stephen can invest in an Investment Bond, which is a stark contrast to Superannuation. Also, Stephen’s funds may be accessible at any given point in time.
Investment bonds are rapidly gaining recognition as a highly tax-efficient structure for Australians residing in London (as well as other UK residents and expats). However, as with all investments, it is of paramount importance that you consult with a professional advisor prior to making any investment decisions. This will ensure that your financial decisions align with your personal financial goals and circumstances. All investments carry risk and past performance for any investment cannot be used as a guide to the future.
If you’re an Australian expat, living in the UK, contact AES today to understand more about how an Investment Bond could potentially help you to achieve your investment objectives, in the most tax effecient maner possible