Foreign property: plan before you buy

By Victoria Thompson

If you are planning to purchase a foreign property, there are some important legal issues you should consider first, including how you will own the property, taxation and inheritance.

Ownership: Some people choose for the property to be owned by a trust structure or a company registered outside the UK. However, in some countries, the capital gains tax position is less attractive and there may be local annual charges to consider. In addition, foreign ownership may have immediate UK inheritance tax (IHT) disadvantages for a UK domiciled buyer.

Lifetime taxation: Consider whether there are any annual local or national taxes, as well as tax due on the purchase and sale…

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