Monday, 20 October 2008

Life & Taxes

Well, no, no pictures again today. I've been doing something MUCH more fun! Completing my UK tax return. See, in spite of the fact that my income is from the US and it is the fire department and police department and the local utility companies that protect and service my houses, the UK feels entitled to collect tax off that income. So entitled that they collected back taxes, penalties and interest when I discussed investment opportunities with an account a couple of years ago and discovered that I should have been paying tax all along. Ouch.

I'm thinking I may actually get a refund this year, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm always interested in understanding the relative tax brackets in each country. I'm sure I've over simplified it, but I gather that 10 percent tax bracket in the

US: up to $7,825
UK: up to £2,230

The next bracket is :

US: $7,825 - $31,850 (15%)
UK: £2,230 - £32,370 (22%)

US: $31,850 - $77,100 (25%)
UK: £32,370+ (40%)

US: $77,100 - $160,850 (28%)
$160,850 - $349,700 (33%)
$349,700+ (35%)

I had a lot of reasons for leaving full time employment that had to do with the job and the employer, but I have to admit that realising I would be paying 40% of any interest or rental income from the US to the UK government was another motivation to downshift. On the other hand, I could afford to downshift in part because I didn't need to worry about having health insurance...

I think you take a foreign country as you find it and so I'll not rant about the high taxes here. I did know the taxes were higher before I came across. On the other hand, I've had a much wider life experience for having lived in another country that makes the rest of the world so accessible...after taxes, of course.


joanne said...

Have you gotten the tax rebates the last two years? But you had to fill relatively on time.

Shelley said...

Ha! You do know me, don't you... Actually, I have filed all my taxes on time for quite a while now. I did get my 'economic stimulus' check this year, posted to me in the UK, which surprised me. Guess we did a reasonable share of contributing to the economy when we were all there in June/July...