Reblogging this financial bad news from ExpatsBlog.com, for the benefit of our many readers who are from the United Kingdom. Uruguay’s largest contingent of English-speaking expats most likely are from USA, but UK is right up there near the top. Usually the bad financial news, in terms of home-country-induced major inconvenience, is hitting the US folks. FATCA, FBAR, and being fired as a customer from every bank in Uruguay except for BROU. Along with some reports of US-based banks closing accounts for US citizens who moved here. (Fortunately has not happened to us, but we do have a US address too.)
This time it’s you Brits who are suffering. Well, along with the Scots, at least till the referendum, the Welsh, and the Irish in Northern Ireland, who have moved here or elsewhere. Barclays is closing your credit cards:
So sorry folks. This is categorically unfair, just as are the draconian US rules. Uruguay Expat Life, in our editorial voice here and at our various social networks, does not typically discuss much about politics and does not usually take specific positions, though site owners Mark Mercer and Lisa Mercer certainly do at our individual social networks and blogs (where either or both of us might well have more to say on this and related issues in the near future, so follow us!) But we are offended by the hassles that expats from the Anglophone countries are increasingly facing due to fading empires thinking they own their citizens worldwide (US is included in that fading empire description and indeed is more of one than the already mostly-faded UK one, despite never having admitted to having an empire. FATCA. FBAR. 800+ global military bases, and those are the ones we know about publicly. Sure, not an empire.) We sincerely sympathize with our cousins from “across the pond” about the business and government interference, inference of wrongdoing just from being outside the “homeland”, and day-to-day hassle this creates.
Not to mention you UK citizens now apparently have more tax confusion about tax residency then ever before, with the new-in-2013 Statutory Residence Test. (Link goes to another good article at ExpatsBlog.com). Honestly, the wacky 330-day with other complications US IRS test for foreign income exclusion sounds simpler than this. Bona Fide Resident of the foreign country for a full US tax year (which many tax advisers say means “you have a Uruguay cédula” but we are not tax advisers so do not rely on that!) or 330 days outside of the US, whether in one or more tax years as long as in 12 consecutive months. End of story. Well, we did have that little revolution against you that started with shots fired in Concord and Lexington many Aprils ago, because we didn’t like your tax policy. It’s a rare day either Lisa or I stick up for the IRS/US way of doing it, but the UK Statutory Residence Test seems ludicrously over-complicated.
Are any of you being affected by either of these two UK moves, the SRT and Barclays? Please let us know right here in the comments section below, or share your thoughts on any of our social networks or at the Uruguay Expat Life Online Community – we’d love to hear your thoughts. A rousing discussion is often healthy when it comes to politics and money! So please share and discuss!