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I'm liking the UK tax rates.

I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Old Jun 7th 2013, 6:37 am
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Default I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Earlier in the evening I was wondering how much a difference would be the tax rates in the UK compared to the United States, and was pleased to see the rate was not that different.I entered the salary 60K pounds.The tax rate seem to allow nearly 4500 in tax allowances right off the top.Then the taxable amount taken was only 13500,with an additional tax of 4500 taken for national health insurance.Leaving an amount of about 41k. That tax rate is not too much more than in the States.Might be about a $5K per year difference but in the uk your health insurance is paid for. Very good deal if you ask me. I can see why several Americans are making the move to France and the Uk.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 9:41 am
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Post Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by UkWinds5353 View Post
Earlier in the evening I was wondering how much a difference would be the tax rates in the UK compared to the United States, and was pleased to see the rate was not that different.I entered the salary 60K pounds.The tax rate seem to allow nearly 4500 in tax allowances right off the top.Then the taxable amount taken was only 13500,with an additional tax of 4500 taken for national health insurance.Leaving an amount of about 41k. That tax rate is not too much more than in the States.Might be about a $5K per year difference but in the uk your health insurance is paid for. Very good deal if you ask me. I can see why several Americans are making the move to France and the Uk.
Yes it's all 'swings and roundabouts'....some things in the US are cheaper eg. petrol, new cars - but others can be a lot more expensive.

When I lived in England we didn't have air-conditioning. I had no idea how very hot and humid it can be in the part of the US we moved to (New Jersey) during the Summer. It is pretty much impossible to sleep without air-con when it gets very hot (it can get to as high as 105F and still in the 80sF in the wee small hours - phew!!). Needless to say our electricity bills rocket during the Summer months, whereas my utility bills would drop in England during the Summer as I didn't have the heating on - and no air-con, just a fan on hot days.

As for US taxes there seem to be so many of them; even if you stay in an hotel and look at the itemised bill on check-out they often add on compulsory local city or/and State taxes.

Lots of little taxes added on to the phone/cable TV/internet bills and mobile phone bills.

My spouse worked in New York City so there are income taxes for New York and New Jersey to sort out, plus of course one pays Federal tax too.

Another huge shock for me when moving to the US is how high our housing tax to the local council is (to pay for the top-rated local school system, police, fire service, rubbish collection etc.) compared to the UK. Our bill is now a shade under $15,000 per year... You could be living in Mayfair or Belgravia and I'm sure be paying less in Council Tax than that...

On the other hand, in the US you can get deductions on your taxes for having a mortgage - but not for renting a property - deductions for dependent children etc. As far as I remember, the UK govt. scrapped mortgage tax relief - I think it was called MIRAS? in April 1988
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
.....

Another huge shock for me when moving to the US is how high our housing tax to the local council is (to pay for the top-rated local school system, police, fire service, rubbish collection etc.) compared to the UK. Our bill is now a shade under $15,000 per year... You could be living in Mayfair or Belgravia and I'm sure be paying less in Council Tax than that...

On the other hand, in the US you can get deductions on your taxes for having a mortgage - but not for renting a property - deductions for dependent children etc. As far as I remember, the UK govt. scrapped mortgage tax relief - I think it was called MIRAS? in April 1988
We have to pay a private contractor for trash pickup, not a huge expense but still several hundred a year. I think that's the norm in small town and rural America. Or you have to drive to the transfer station with your trash, and pay per pound. That's another expense folks in the UK don't have.

Health is the big one though. I was advised that, with Medicare, I should budget $6,000 in out of pocket health expenses per year. Obviously with working people, that varies enormously with individual plans etc.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by UkWinds5353 View Post
Earlier in the evening I was wondering how much a difference would be the tax rates in the UK compared to the United States, and was pleased to see the rate was not that different.I entered the salary 60K pounds.The tax rate seem to allow nearly 4500 in tax allowances right off the top.Then the taxable amount taken was only 13500,with an additional tax of 4500 taken for national health insurance.Leaving an amount of about 41k. That tax rate is not too much more than in the States.Might be about a $5K per year difference but in the uk your health insurance is paid for. Very good deal if you ask me. I can see why several Americans are making the move to France and the Uk.
It is very difficult to make a 1:1 comparison because there are so many deductions and offsets are permitted in the US. The amount chargeable to US federal income tax for Mrs P and me is less than 2/3 of our aggregate gross salaries. Deductions from Federal income tax calculations include interest on mortgages and secured loans, medical expenses (over a certain %), preschool & end of day childcare, and taxes paid to the state, among many other permissible deductions. Such deductions come "off the top" reducing or eliminating the higher taxes rates for us.

When I arrived in the US my deductions from my salary in NY, including my health insurance, were substantially less than in London, and that was before the mortgage interest deduction and other "end of year" deductions.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 7th 2013 at 3:52 pm.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Deductions make a big difference in the US, but I've looked at my US and UK taxes in retirement and the UK wins bceuase my income won't be that big and the the UK has a more generous personal allowance than the US. Also UK has less expensive real estate taxes and obvioulsy health care. Also the UK has no state taxes to worrya about, but there is the 20% VAT.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Deductions make a big difference in the US, but I've looked at my US and UK taxes in retirement and the UK wins bceuase my income won't be that big and the the UK has a more generous personal allowance than the US. Also UK has less expensive real estate taxes and obvioulsy health care. Also the UK has no state taxes to worrya about, but there is the 20% VAT.
I think you might want to look at that again. A single retired person with $26K social security, $6K from a private pension, and $14K in qualified dividends or long term capital gains for a total annual income of $46K usually pays no US income tax (generally both federal and state). If there is no private pension but instead only qualified dividends or long term capital gains, then the figure is about $50K before taxes are paid. For a married couple, the figure is higher before tax is paid. As income rises above that amount, more of the social security benefits are taxed until a maximum of 85% is taxed.

The reason is that only a small portion of social security is taxable when income is low (only about $3,500 in the example above) and qualified dividends and long term capital gains are taxed at 0% if your marginal tax bracket is less than 25%. Figuring out how this is arrived at is really complicated since the taxable income when using a tax preparation application will indicate about $36,000 after the standard deduction and exclusion which normally is partially taxed at the 10% and 15% rate but as you look at the work sheets, you can finally see why there is no tax due. The basic reason is that their is only $3,500 taxable from social security plus the $6,000 from the private pension for a total taxable income of $9,500 but with the standard deduction plus exclusion, that exceeds the taxable income and with the marginal tax bracket below 25%, no tax is due on qualified dividends or long term capital gains.

How that will work if a person has both social security and a UK government pension and lives in the US or the UK since treaties sometimes require the resident country to tax those incomes as well as capital gains and qualified dividends and it would likely be really complicated to figure out which country would be most tax advantageous.

I suspect the best way to estimate your likely US taxes is to use a tax preparation application and plug in expected numbers and look at the results. However I don't know whether your UK government pension will get the same tax treatment as your US social security benefits or is taxable in the UK. You can then add or decrease long term capital gains or qualified dividends or other income to see how it affects taxes.

When Romney complained that 47% of American don't pay taxes, one of the main reasons is that many retirees don't pay income taxes due to the tax treatment of social security benefits, qualified dividends, and long term capital gains. Even retirees with a high net worth in the stock market primarily in high yield dividend stocks (almost all US stocks are eligible for qualified dividends and some foreign stocks) and/or high yielding preferred shares (most bank preferred shares) can pay little or no tax if handled properly.

Last edited by Michael; Jun 7th 2013 at 8:32 pm.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I think you might want to look at that again. A single retired person with $26K social security, $6K from a private pension, and $14K in qualified dividends or long term capital gains for a total annual income of $46K usually pays no US income tax (generally both federal and state). If there is no private pension but instead only qualified dividends or long term capital gains, then the figure is about $50K before taxes are paid. For a married couple, the figure is higher before tax is paid. As income rises above that amount, more of the social security benefits are taxed until a maximum of 85% is taxed.

The reason is that only a small portion of social security is taxable when income is low (only about $3,500 in the example above) and qualified dividends and long term capital gains are taxed at 0% if your marginal tax bracket is less than 25%. Figuring out how this is arrived at is really complicated since the taxable income when using a tax preparation application will indicate about $36,000 which normally is partially taxed at the 10% and 15% rate but as you look at the work sheets, you can finally see why there is no tax due. The basic reason is that their is only $3,500 taxable from social security plus the $6,000 from the private pension for a total taxable income of $9,500 but with the standard deduction plus exclusions, that exceeds the taxable income and with the marginal tax bracket below 25%, no tax is due.

How that will work if a person has both social security and a UK government pension and lives in the US or the UK since treaties sometimes require the resident country to tax those incomes as well as capital gains and qualified dividends and it would likely be really complicated to figure out which country would be most tax advantageous.

I suspect the best way to estimate your likely taxes is to use a tax preparation application and plug in expected numbers and look at the results. However I don't know whether you UK government pension will get the same tax treatment as your US social security benefits or is taxable in the UK. You can then add or decrease long term capital gains or qualified dividends or other income to see how it affects taxes.
You can arrange things with dividends and capital gains in lots of nice ways. The general case though for someone with income that is fairly low the UK is better becuase of the larger personal allowance before the tax starts. Of course in my situation as a dual US/UK citizen, if I was resident in the UK for taxes it would all be moot as I'd pay the greater of the tax in the two countries anyway. But the zero cost to me of the NHS would be a big positive compared with the $6k annual minimum cost I'd have for health care in the US. Also my current $6k annual real estate taxes would probably go down to less than $2k.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You can arrange things with dividends and capital gains in lots of nice ways. The general case though for someone with income that is fairly low the UK is better becuase of the larger personal allowance before the tax starts. Of course in my situation as a dual US/UK citizen, if I was resident in the UK for taxes it would all be moot as I'd pay the greater of the tax in the two countries anyway. But the zero cost to me of the NHS would be a big positive compared with the $6k annual minimum cost I'd have for health care in the US. Also my current $6k annual real estate taxes would probably go down to less than $2k.
You have the $93,000 earned income exclusion and the US tax treatment of qualified dividends and long term capital gains so US taxes shouldn't normally enter into the picture if living in the UK other than filing a return.

Although social security quotes $6,000 as an estimate, in my opinion that is more likely to be the high estimate and instead of the minimum estimate. The reason I say that is that Medicare covers 100% of hospitalization after about $1,000 deductible, and 80% of outpatient care but no drugs. Someone could go with the basic coverage and take their chances and it would normally be unusual to rack up more than $5,000 per year in co-pays, deductibles, and drugs (the vast majority are generic and cost less than $10 per month per prescription). The greatest risk is that Medicare doesn't cover nursing home care but normally does cover 100% of hospice care in the home (medical staff may come daily and/or as needed but a care taker is not paid by Medicare).

If a person wants to be safe that the cost will be extremely unlikely to exceed $6,000 per year, there is "Supplemental" insurance and prescription drug plans available where the government pays 75% of the cost of drugs. If you want full coverage including nursing home care, brand name drugs are covered, and even illnesses while on vacation in a foreign country, the following is an estimated maximum cost if a person shops wisely since drug and supplemental plans are administered privately and some companies try to get as much as possible. There are only a limited number of different supplemental plans (defined by the government) so generally you can shop based on case since a specific plan has the same coverage from all companies. The prescription drug plans are more complex to figure out since companies defines the coverage making it more difficult to determine value for your money.

Medicare Part B premium (outpatient care) - $100 per month
Prescription drug plan - $100 per month for the very best
Supplemental - $300 per month for the very best plan

My youngest brother has a very bad heart condition (twice in the ICU for a couple of weeks), needed rehabilitation therapy, was disabled prior to retirement, was placed on Medicare prior to the retirement age, uses a couple of expensive drugs, and purchased those plans for less than the price indicated above.

Last edited by Michael; Jun 7th 2013 at 10:26 pm.
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Old Jun 7th 2013, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
You have the $93,000 earned income exclusion and the US tax treatment of qualified dividends and long term capital gains so US taxes shouldn't normally enter into the picture if living in the UK other than filing a return.

Although social security quotes $6,000 as an estimate, in my opinion that is more likely to be the high estimate and instead of the minimum estimate. The reason I say that is that Medicare covers 100% of hospitalization after about $1,000 deductible, and 80% of outpatient care but no drugs. Someone could go with the basic coverage and take their chances and it would normally be unusual to rack up more than $5,000 per year in co-pays, deductibles, and drugs (the vast majority are generic and cost less than $10 per month per prescription). The greatest risk is that Medicare doesn't cover nursing home care but normally does cover 100% of hospice care in the home (medical staff may come daily and/or as needed but a care taker is not paid by Medicare).

If a person wants to be safe that the cost will be extremely unlikely to exceed $6,000 per year, there is "Supplemental" insurance and prescription drug plans available where the government pays 75% of the cost of drugs. If you want full coverage including nursing home care, brand name drugs are covered, and even illnesses while on vacation in a foreign country, the following is an estimated maximum cost if a person shops wisely since drug and supplemental plans are administered privately and some companies try to get as much as possible. There are only a limited number of different supplemental plans (defined by the government) so generally you can shop based on case since a specific plan has the same coverage from all companies. The prescription drug plans are more complex to figure out since companies defines the coverage making it more difficult to determine value for your money.

Medicare Part B premium (outpatient care) - $100 per month
Prescription drug plan - $100 per month for the very best
Supplemental - $300 per month for the very best plan

My youngest brother has a very bad heart condition (twice in the ICU for a couple of weeks), needed rehabilitation therapy, was disabled prior to retirement, was placed on Medicare prior to the retirement age, uses a couple of expensive drugs, and purchased those plans for less than the price indicated above.
I have a lot of years before I get to 65 so the $6k I'm quoting for health care is the cost I'd have to pay through the MA Connector.

Some of my income would be from dividends and capital gains, but a lot would be from a 457 plan so fully taxable as income in the US and UK.
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Old Jun 8th 2013, 12:06 am
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I have a lot of years before I get to 65 so the $6k I'm quoting for health care is the cost I'd have to pay through the MA Connector.

Some of my income would be from dividends and capital gains, but a lot would be from a 457 plan so fully taxable as income in the US and UK.
Ah, I assumed you were referring to retirement age. The "MA Connector" should be gone next year and then it should be the "Affordable Care Act".
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Old Jun 8th 2013, 12:50 am
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

I only pay 2% effective tax in the USA due to tax refunds credits etc... and my company pays 100% for the best health insurance blue cross offers. I believe i'll be paying about 24% in the UK. So I wont be better off at all, but at least i'll have eastenders to look forward to...
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Old Jun 8th 2013, 12:51 am
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Ah, I assumed you were referring to retirement age. The "MA Connector" should be gone next year and then it should be the "Affordable Care Act".
The MA connector will have to make some adjustments for ACA, but will stay in place as the place to buy health insurance. In fact MA's system is far more developed than ACA and the state has moved on to cost containment as premium increases are limited to the growth in the MA economy and doctor's are increasingly not being paid on a fee for service basis.
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Old Jun 8th 2013, 2:05 am
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by nun View Post
The MA connector will have to make some adjustments for ACA, but will stay in place as the place to buy health insurance. In fact MA's system is far more developed than ACA and the state has moved on to cost containment as premium increases are limited to the growth in the MA economy and doctor's are increasingly not being paid on a fee for service basis.
Obama was in California today praising how far along the California exchanges are. However California will make money on the exchanges since it already was insuring people through MediCal with higher incomes and without children then mandated by Medicaid and was only getting 50% of the cost from the federal government. Now the federal government will pick 100% of the tab exceeding the old mandate for 3 years and will slowly be reduced to 70%. Although California has always had a problem balancing it's budget, this year there will be a surplus of $1.5 billion and next year there should be a surplus of up to $7.5 billion due to ACA, less subsidies to hospitals that had defaults on medical bills, and elimination of their subsidized high risk pool.

I suspect there will be quite a few northern states that will make money off of ACA and probably why the bible belt states don't like it. The civil war continues. The MA Connector was already heavily subsidized by the federal government (I think about 70%) but ACA is supposed to provide better coverage at a lower cost to consumers with the federal government picking up all the subsidies for 3 years so I'm not sure how much MA will make off of ACA. Even the bible belt states should make money since they should no longer have to provide large subsidies to county hospitals (not sure if they pay subsidies to private hospitals but the state of Texas currently spends about $10 billion for health care and the counties even more to support county hospitals which typically have about a 90% default rate).

Kentucky has decided to opt out of the expansion of Medicaid (can't opt out of the other part) and instead is offering a lottery for medical care for about 1,000 poor families out of about 70,000 that would have been eligible for the expanded Medicaid. Texas wants the federal government to give them the money with strings attached. I wonder how many of those 16 states that opted out of Medicaid expansion will cave in before January. The number was originally higher with most of the republican controlled states saying they would opt out but most of the northern states caved in quickly. I suspect at least Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will opt in even though they show as already opted out and a significant number of those leaning to opting out will opt in since the population in most of those states favor ACA and the republicans don't want to commit political suicide (but they have done crazier things so no one knows for sure).

I suspect that most Brits think American politics is crazy and they are right.
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Last edited by Michael; Jun 8th 2013 at 3:25 am.
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Old Jun 8th 2013, 2:19 am
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Default Re: I'm liking the UK tax rates.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Obama was in California today praising how far along the California exchanges are. However California will make money on the exchanges since it already was insuring people through MediCal with higher incomes and without children then mandated by Medicaid and was only getting 50% of the cost from the federal government. Now the federal government will pick 100% of the tab exceeding the old mandate for 3 years and will slowly be reduced to 70%. Although California has always had a problem balancing it's budget, this year there will be a surplus of $1.5 billion and next year there should be a surplus of up to $7.5 billion due to ACA, less subsidies to hospitals that had defaults on medical bills, and elimination of their subsidized high risk pool.

I suspect there will be quite a few northern states that will make money off of ACA and probably why the bible belt states don't like it. The civil war continues. The MA Connector was already heavily subsidized by the federal government so I'm not sure how much MA will make off of ACA.
Maybe Commonwealth Care will change as Medicaid expands and there might be some more Federal subsidies, but the MA pool won't change as 98% of residents have insurance and all but the smallest employers already must offer insurance so most plans on the Connector won't change that musch

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