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12-month posting to the USA.

12-month posting to the USA.

Old Jan 22nd 2011, 7:06 pm
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Default 12-month posting to the USA.

Hi,
I'm a PhD student moving to Mn, USA for twelve months, starting in April and taking my Wife and (by then) two kids with me.
I should be getting an F1 or J1 visa so I'm not yet too worried about being let in- Looking forward to taking the whole family down to the Embassy in London though...

My main worries at the moment are money related;

Can anyone offer any advice about how to get my salary from the UK to the USA without losing big chunks of it in ForEx charges? Given that I'm employed by a University they won't be offering me a glamorous relocation package to cover that sort of thing.

When I come back to the UK will I end up having to pay VAT on anything of value we bring back? (Like a new computer, on which to write up my thesis)

I don't think there should be other tax implications as I'll continue to be employed and paid in the UK but perhaps I'm being naive?

Its a really exciting career prospect and should be great fun for the family but its taking ages to get things sorted and is suddenly looming. I'm afraid I had a bit of a meltdown today stressing about the details so any advice gratefully received!

O
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by od6600 View Post
Hi,
I'm a PhD student moving to Mn, USA for twelve months, starting in April and taking my Wife and (by then) two kids with me.
I should be getting an F1 or J1 visa so I'm not yet too worried about being let in- Looking forward to taking the whole family down to the Embassy in London though...

My main worries at the moment are money related;

Can anyone offer any advice about how to get my salary from the UK to the USA without losing big chunks of it in ForEx charges? Given that I'm employed by a University they won't be offering me a glamorous relocation package to cover that sort of thing.

When I come back to the UK will I end up having to pay VAT on anything of value we bring back? (Like a new computer, on which to write up my thesis)

I don't think there should be other tax implications as I'll continue to be employed and paid in the UK but perhaps I'm being naive?

Its a really exciting career prospect and should be great fun for the family but its taking ages to get things sorted and is suddenly looming. I'm afraid I had a bit of a meltdown today stressing about the details so any advice gratefully received!

O

Re: transferring money, you can't go far wrong with XE.com - run a search (Advanced Search, top right) for xe.com in this forum and you'll see all the info you need.

No tax on bringing anything back, except for new items purchased within, I think, 6 months of your return - but unless you are bringing back a dozen laptops, I think there are ways to avoid this.

Sounds like an adventure and hey, it's only 12 months. I'm sure you will have a blast, good luck!
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

just bear in mind that electronics out there might not run here without adaptors - so you might want to buy the item in the country they will be used the most for their whole lifetime.

im sure i read on here someone had a credit card that had zero fees to use abroad (might have been abbey national but my memory is not what it was). If you can get one of those - then potentially you could just pay your rent/bills over here with that credit card and then pay the credit card in the uk and you might be able to avoid bringing over a big chunk of it.
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by od6600 View Post
I don't think there should be other tax implications as I'll continue to be employed and paid in the UK but perhaps I'm being naive?
O
Yes your tax changes. Ours got very complex and KPMG have to be involved with working it out for us. Like you, paid in the UK, but working in US. Hopefully your university can advise.
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Yes your tax changes. Ours got very complex because KPMG have to be involved with working it out for us. Like you, paid in the UK, but working in US. Hopefully your university can advise.
There, I fixed it for you!
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
just bear in mind that electronics out there might not run here without adaptors - so you might want to buy the item in the country they will be used the most for their whole lifetime.
Most computers (and certainly nearly all laptops) are now dual voltage, needing only a plug converter in the opposite country. However, possibly of more concern to you would be that US and UK keyboards have a slightly different layout, which if you're having to write dissertations and such could drive you mad. As I recall the @ and " symbols are switched, and there's no AltGr key on US keyboards which you may or may not use. I think a couple of other punctuation marks are swapped too, but I can't remember now.
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

I see one very glaring omission in your post.

Where is the discussion about healthcare in the US?????

You are bringing two children to the US. You need US healthcare insurance.
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Most computers (and certainly nearly all laptops) are now dual voltage, needing only a plug converter in the opposite country. However, possibly of more concern to you would be that US and UK keyboards have a slightly different layout, which if you're having to write dissertations and such could drive you mad. As I recall the @ and " symbols are switched, and there's no AltGr key on US keyboards which you may or may not use. I think a couple of other punctuation marks are swapped too, but I can't remember now.
Yeah, it's a pain in the arse if you're used to using short cuts and they're different...but for general typing, it's only really emails that'll get bent out of shape for a while.

Warranty will be the big issue, most in the US aren't global, except I think Mac's....and warranties are shit in general over here anyway, but only really more of a concern for laptops than desktops. Plenty of desktop PSU's also aren't dual voltage unless you get your own semi decent ones, unlike in the UK when even the bottom of the barrel ones are dual voltage.

Anyway, visa is the main hassle. Don't really know how the F1 works when doing a PhD, but generally it doesn't allow more than 20 hours a week of on campus work. Don't know if the spouse is allowed to work or not either.
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 12:03 am
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I see one very glaring omission in your post.

Where is the discussion about healthcare in the US?????

You are bringing two children to the US. You need US healthcare insurance.
Yes - very important - and if he has to purchase his own, it's not going to be cheap!!!!!!
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 12:31 am
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by Derrygal View Post
Yes - very important - and if he has to purchase his own, it's not going to be cheap!!!!!!
well it might not be to bad as a student...get a policy off the uni...might be a bit pricey adding the other half and kids to it though...but with kids, will definitely want more than barebones coverage, especially when moving to a ice palace hole that he's moving to...
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 2:32 am
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
im sure i read on here someone had a credit card that had zero fees to use abroad (might have been abbey national but my memory is not what it was). If you can get one of those - then potentially you could just pay your rent/bills over here with that credit card and then pay the credit card in the uk and you might be able to avoid bringing over a big chunk of it.
We just used a UK credit card when we were over on a J1, even with the charges it didn't seem too bad.
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 4:15 am
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by dbj1000 View Post
There, I fixed it for you!
i would 100% agree with that. our employer used kmpg for us and boy they were a PITA!
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I see one very glaring omission in your post.

Where is the discussion about healthcare in the US?????

You are bringing two children to the US. You need US healthcare insurance.
Rete; point taken!
Should be getting insurance at staff-rates but waiting on definite confirmation; no insurance would be an absolute deal breaker.

I find the details of healthcare insurance a little baffling but I think it looks like $250 pcm for the four of us which I think is pretty good value?
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Yes your tax changes. Ours got very complex and KPMG have to be involved with working it out for us. Like you, paid in the UK, but working in US. Hopefully your university can advise.
Thats interesting/disturbing... Sadly the University is not going to get any more involved than letting me go. The rest is up to us.
Anyone know a good accountant who charges a little less than I imagine KPMG do? Or where to start investigating?
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: 12-month posting to the USA.

Originally Posted by od6600 View Post

I find the details of healthcare insurance a little baffling but I think it looks like $250 pcm for the four of us which I think is pretty good value?
Depends what the details are...could be great, could be rubbish. If the deductible is $10K before they pay up, it won't do much good if you can't afford it and one of you trips and breaks an arm in the snow. If there isn't a deductible, it's great. Check on cost of co-pays and all the other details to see what you can live with and are comfortable with.
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