Quick guide to offshore investments and QROPS

Many QROPS pension investors and ex pats are new to offshore finance, so here’s the QROPS.net quick guide to investing overseas.

What does offshore mean?

Investing offshore is when a UK resident or ex pat invests money with financial providers who are based outside the UK – and that includes places like the Isle of Man or Channel Islands.

Is offshore investing legal?

Yes. You can invest your money with offshore banks, insurance companies and other financial providers – but you must declare any earnings worldwide on your UK tax return while you are tax resident in the UK.

If you do not pay tax in the UK, then you should follow the tax laws of the country where you live.

Who can invest offshore?

Any adult. Choosing the best financial centre depends on your domicile and where you are resident for tax.

In simple terms, your domicile is your country of birth or your father’s country of birth. Where you are resident for tax depends on where you live permanently.

If you live in the UK for more than six months, you are probably UK resident for tax.

Why should someone invest offshore?

This depends on each individual’s personal financial circumstances. In general, many offshore investments defer tax by delaying the trigger date until profits or other benefits are taken.

Is a QROPS an offshore investment?

Yes. A QROPS is a pension specifically for UK ex pats or international workers with UK pension rights who live permanently overseas.

How can I find an international financial adviser?

Many firms offer offshore investment advice and tax planning on the same basis as a UK independent financial adviser. The market is more complicated because you have to consider how cross-border tax rules might affect your finances.

A firm like QROPS.net have a specialist team of regulated and highly experienced pension’s adviser.

Who regulates offshore financial centres?

They are self-regulating. Most financial centres have a regulatory body that is equivalent to the UK’s Financial Services Authority. Some centres have a better reputation for safeguarding your money than others – that’s why former British protectorates are so popular with offshore investors.

Those with the highest reputations – especially for QROPS pensions – are the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, New Zealand and Malta.