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UK, NHS Charging, updated guidance


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11 hours ago, polpott said:

If you are a British citizen and a British passport holder, its not open to interpretation, its down to your declaration, just tell anyone who asks (I have never been asked) that your return is permanent. The same day you arrive in the UK, you can register with a GP and avail yourself of the full benefits of the NHS. IME all you need is an address and two proofs of that address. I have always kept a postal address in the UK. I took 2 bank statements from 2 separate banks to my GP, no further questions asked.

That's exactly what I thought but I'm currently in the UK and having treatment and before you go for your appointment you have to fill in a questionnaire. This is mostly about your current medical condition and any prescription drugs you take etc..... but there was a question that asked have I been outside of the UK for more than one year. I presume if you answer yes it will trigger further investigations. I'm going to return every year and see my family plus pop in my GPs for a health check. As a retiree I'm perfectly entitled to be on permanent holiday.

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The British Government have update the guidance for NHS Charging in the UK, including that for British Expats who are visiting the UK, this guidance supersedes all previous guidance/instructions.  Mai

Many expats who worked in the UK all their lives and only moved overseas to retire to a pleasant climate will be paying thousands of pounds a year in income tax on their pension. It seems a bit unfair

the elderly are also the very people who have made the largest financial input to the NHS over their working lives  and therefore over the longest number of years.  It's a right not a privilege to be

6 hours ago, Jaggg88 said:

That's exactly what I thought but I'm currently in the UK and having treatment and before you go for your appointment you have to fill in a questionnaire. This is mostly about your current medical condition and any prescription drugs you take etc..... but there was a question that asked have I been outside of the UK for more than one year. I presume if you answer yes it will trigger further investigations. I'm going to return every year and see my family plus pop in my GPs for a health check. As a retiree I'm perfectly entitled to be on permanent holiday.

That's the tack I took 7 years ago when I first moved here. I visited my GP (and family) every year and get my repeat prescription every 8 weeks which my friend posts to me every 16 weeks. I use his address as my postal address for bank accounts, driving licence, state pension and any official communications. My friend is instructed to say that I'm away on holiday if any official calls round, which they have never done.

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On 10/16/2020 at 10:59 AM, stouricks said:

So I arrive at Heathrow after 10 years in Thailand with a bad disease (not Covid), and tell the Border man that I am here to stay. What criteria do I need to meet to be allowed in as a settled resident please?

why  tell  them  anything  at  all?

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40 minutes ago, bodga said:

why  tell  them  anything  at  all?

In all the years of travelling in and out of the UK I don't think I've ever spoken one word to UK immigration.

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20 hours ago, polpott said:

If you are a British citizen and a British passport holder, its not open to interpretation, its down to your declaration, just tell anyone who asks (I have never been asked) that your return is permanent. The same day you arrive in the UK, you can register with a GP and avail yourself of the full benefits of the NHS. IME all you need is an address and two proofs of that address. I have always kept a postal address in the UK. I took 2 bank statements from 2 separate banks to my GP, no further questions asked.

Quite, If I was in need of the NHS I would take the same approach. I have been here over 12 years and up until fairly recently had a GP. A few years back they came out with the policy that if you moved you could stay with the same practice so I changed my address to that of my son. I lived in a small village and always feared one day the pharmacy would call out the address and 2 people would stand up. Unfortunately the practice refused saying it was not an entitlement and the decision rested with the practice so currently without. I know I can re-register but I would need to be in the UK for over a month to do that so waiting for the opportunity.

The point was that the term "settled purposes" is open to interpretation but I fail to see how it can be defended. I would also think that there is a legal issue over being forced to pay for something that is not available so there should be greater clarification. On the government website, those that pay tax are described as UK residents, when is a resident not a resident, when it suits the government.

 

UK residents

You may have to pay UK tax on your State Pension if you live abroad but are classed as a UK resident for tax purposes. The amount you pay depends on your income.

https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad/tax-on-your-state-pension

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19 minutes ago, sandyf said:

Quite, If I was in need of the NHS I would take the same approach. I have been here over 12 years and up until fairly recently had a GP. A few years back they came out with the policy that if you moved you could stay with the same practice so I changed my address to that of my son. I lived in a small village and always feared one day the pharmacy would call out the address and 2 people would stand up. Unfortunately the practice refused saying it was not an entitlement and the decision rested with the practice so currently without. I know I can re-register but I would need to be in the UK for over a month to do that so waiting for the opportunity.

The point was that the term "settled purposes" is open to interpretation but I fail to see how it can be defended. I would also think that there is a legal issue over being forced to pay for something that is not available so there should be greater clarification. On the government website, those that pay tax are described as UK residents, when is a resident not a resident, when it suits the government.

 

UK residents

You may have to pay UK tax on your State Pension if you live abroad but are classed as a UK resident for tax purposes. The amount you pay depends on your income.

https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad/tax-on-your-state-pension

 

Being resident for Tax Purposes is not the same as being Ordinarily Resident which is what (free) access to NHS is based upon but almost nobody pays tax on their State Pension as it's not enough to take you over your personal allowance (I say almost nobody because in some circumstances it's possible to have no Personal Allowance in the UK so you could end up paying tax on your State Pension but this would result in greater tax savings elsewhere unless you've got your maths wrong). 

 

 

So unless you're paying AVCs then you're not being forced to "Pay for something that is not available", of course if you are paying AVCs (like me) then you are "Paying for something that is not available" 😞 - But I take this as part of the trade-off of paying £154 pa (Class 2) for something that will get me an extra (approx) £252 pa (£170 x 52 / 35) for every year that I live beyond 67 + the other tax benefits that being non-resident (for tax purposes) brings. 

 

  

 

 

 

Edited by Mike Teavee
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30 minutes ago, Mike Teavee said:

 

Being resident for Tax Purposes is not the same as being Ordinarily Resident which is what (free) access to NHS is based upon but almost nobody pays tax on their State Pension as it's not enough to take you over your personal allowance (I say almost nobody because in some circumstances it's possible to have no Personal Allowance in the UK so you could end up paying tax on your State Pension but this would result in greater tax savings elsewhere unless you've got your maths wrong). 

 

 

So unless you're paying AVCs then you're not being forced to "Pay for something that is not available", of course if you are paying AVCs (like me) then you are "Paying for something that is not available" 😞 - But I take this as part of the trade-off of paying £154 pa (Class 2) for something that will get me an extra (approx) £252 pa (£170 x 52 / 35) for every year that I live beyond 67 + the other tax benefits that being non-resident (for tax purposes) brings. 

 

  

 

 

 

That is incorrect, the state pension is taxable it is just that the DWP do not collect tax.

If your state pension is your only income and over the personal allowance you must pay directly to HMRC. Normally collected through other income.

Through my income tax I fund about 12% of my own frozen state pension and contribute significantly to the NHS.

A resident should be a resident irrespective of the adjectives.

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Just now, sandyf said:

That is incorrect, the state pension is taxable it is just that the DWP do not collect tax.

If your state pension is your only income and over the personal allowance you must pay directly to HMRC. Normally collected through other income.

Through my income tax I fund about 12% of my own frozen state pension and contribute significantly to the NHS.

A resident should be a resident irrespective of the adjectives.

Your post is a little confusing ... 

  1. How does somebody get a state pension of maximum £170 pw that takes them over the £12,500 pa or so Personal Allowance? 
  2. How would somebody doing so pay the HMRC out of other income when their State Pension is their only income?

 

 

Technically you are correct, the State Pension is taxed at 0% but I didn't want to get into technicalities so easier to say it's not taxed... It is always put 1st into your income column & is unlikely to ever take you over your PA so for all intents & purposes it isn't taxed.

 

 

Unless you're still working for a UK firm, are an ex-UK civil servant (including forces), have numerous UK properties that your renting out or have a 8 figure sum in a UK bank account then you shouldn't be paying any additional tax over any withheld at source (e.g. UK Dividends)... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, polpott said:

... get my repeat prescription every 8 weeks which my friend posts to me every 16 weeks.

Do your meds ever get stopped by Customs?

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3 minutes ago, Mike Teavee said:

Technically you are correct, the State Pension is taxed at 0% but I didn't want to get into technicalities so easier to say it's not taxed... It is always put 1st into your income column & is unlikely to ever take you over your PA so for all intents & purposes it isn't taxed.

 

Effectively it is taxed. Its subtracted from your personal allowance. As I receive a generous company pension, I paid considerably more tax the day I started to receive my state pension. Effectively, the whole of my state pension is taxed at 20%.

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3 minutes ago, Bogbrush said:

Do your meds ever get stopped by Customs?

The box is clearly marked "prescription medication". I'm careful not to put anything else in it except for a small amount of personal mail. Never been opened by customs and always arrives within a week. It even includes needles and syringes.

 

 

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1 minute ago, polpott said:

Effectively it is taxed. Its subtracted from your personal allowance. As I receive a generous company pension, I paid considerably more tax the day I started to receive my state pension. Effectively, the whole of my state pension is taxed at 20%.

No it's not the same.. You can't choose which of your income is taxed at what rate or you could just as easily say it's taxed at 50% because your other income takes you over the Higher Rate Tax threshold.... Your State Pension goes 1st into the Income Column, if that's all you have or the rest of your income (excluding Dividends & interest from Bank Accounts) is < approx £3,500 then you're taxed at zero% on it. 

 

But, we've touched on this in other threads, as a Non-UK resident for Tax Purposes you don't have to pay tax on your Company Pension but it's up to you to weigh up the pros & cons of whether being a UK resident is more important to you than not paying tax on your private pension.  

 

 

 

What will be interesting is how/whether Brexit impacts the current status quo, I'm thinking they'll keep reciprocal health benefits for 2-3 years & then look to clamp down on non-resident access to the NHS, at which time it will impact everybody not just EU.  

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Mike Teavee said:

Your post is a little confusing ... 

  1. How does somebody get a state pension of maximum £170 pw that takes them over the £12,500 pa or so Personal Allowance? 
  2. How would somebody doing so pay the HMRC out of other income when their State Pension is their only income?

Technically you are correct, the State Pension is taxed at 0% but I didn't want to get into technicalities so easier to say it's not taxed... It is always put 1st into your income column & is unlikely to ever take you over your PA so for all intents & purposes it isn't taxed.

 

Unless you're still working for a UK firm, are an ex-UK civil servant (including forces), have numerous UK properties that your renting out or have a 8 figure sum in a UK bank account then you shouldn't be paying any additional tax over any withheld at source (e.g. UK Dividends)... 

What part of "my own frozen state pension" did you find difficult.

You are wrong on several counts, you have distorted what I said, it was two separate sentences, the second meant that normally pensioners would pay their tax liability via other income, usually another pension.

The state pension is certainly not taxed at 0%, the implication of that would be there is no tax liability, but the liability does not disappear because of the personal allowance.

In my case the state pension is added to a small private pension and the allowance is deducted from the combined total, with all the tax(about 22%) being taken from the private pension.

You need to adjust your thinking, the allowance is applied to total income not just part of it.

I don't know where you get this from "a state pension of maximum £170 pw", if my pension wasn't frozen it would over £220 pw.

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1 minute ago, sandyf said:

What part of "my own frozen state pension" did you find difficult.

You are wrong on several counts, you have distorted what I said, it was two separate sentences, the second meant that normally pensioners would pay their tax liability via other income, usually another pension.

The state pension is certainly not taxed at 0%, the implication of that would be there is no tax liability, but the liability does not disappear because of the personal allowance.

In my case the state pension is added to a small private pension and the allowance is deducted from the combined total, with all the tax(about 22%) being taken from the private pension.

You need to adjust your thinking, the allowance is applied to total income not just part of it.

I don't know where you get this from "a state pension of maximum £170 pw", if my pension wasn't frozen it would over £220 pw.

I have 44 years+ of NI contributions and have recently started recieving it. £170p.w. How come you would get £220?

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34 minutes ago, polpott said:

I have 44 years+ of NI contributions and have recently started recieving it. £170p.w. How come you would get £220?

I have 49 years and one incomplete year of NI, not that it means anything.

I got my state pension in 2012 under the old system where the pension was in 2 parts, basic plus additional which varied with how much you had earned over your working life.

I never contracted out, but those that did will have a separate private pension that was partially paid for from their NI contributions. They would in fact be receiving a lot more from their NI than I am. There is little dispute the new system screwed people into the ground.

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