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Expats 'should ask for help'

Whether starting a new job, setting up a business or retiring, those moving abroad should seek out expert advice, according to an international finance specialist.

Writing in the Bangkok Post, Andrew Wood, of financial consultancy Barclay Spencer, said that while the quality of expatriate advisors may vary, professional expertise will help create a seamless transition into life abroad.

Employers may sponsor their staff’s work permits or residence visas but not necessarily offer help setting up an offshore account or with pension planning.

Expatriate entrepreneurs will need more detailed tax planning advice, as well as that on staffing and accounting practices, he noted.

While those no longer working may think they have less to worry about, a number of areas still require attention, suggested Mr Wood.

"Some professional legal advice would have been wise at the start but often this is overlooked and the cheapest way becomes a false economy.

"Then there are the insurance issues and ongoing immigration requirements," he added.

A further article by Mr Wood reminds expats to distinguish between the terms domicile and residence – the former being a person’s home in a legal sense and the latter referring to a temporary home.

The difference, he advised, could be important in establishing whether tax should be paid to both the country of residence and the host nation.

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