The short answer to this is ‘yes’.
It is a question I get asked regularly and whilst the answer to this question is yes, the answer to ‘Should I keep them?’ would be different as ISA’s and Premium Bonds (in fact the majority of NS&I products) are more hassle than they are worth when you leave the UK.
Around two-years-ago, I met with a potential client who had been living in Spain for over six years. While living in the UK they had a financial adviser who had rightly maximised their annual ISA allowance meaning they were able to invest their savings tax-free, and in addition to this they also had a modest amount of Premium Bonds.
The first thing I pointed out to the client is that NS&I (National Savings and Investments), are a state-owned savings bank in the UK and whilst you can keep these products open should you move overseas, you cannot pay into them and they no longer offer any tax benefits. This means that a £25 premium bond win or a 0.5% annual gain would mean a costly trip to your Spanish accountant to declare the gains. To make matters worse, the Premium Bond prize pot has recently been reduced to a paltry 1.25% of the total holdings, with each £1 invested having a 30,000 to 1 chance of winning that minimum prize of £25.
Over the last two years she received just 0.5% from her ISA and two £25 prizes, all of which she had to declare to the Spanish tax authorities. She also had to put them on her overseas asset declaration, the Modelo 720. Her accountancy fees during that period were over six times her gains. Since the introduction of Common Reporting Standards, risking not declaring these gains is out of the question, as these would’ve been automatically reported to the Spanish tax authorities.
During that meeting two-years-ago I had recommended to that potential client that we set up an investment plan designed for Spanish residents – this one happened to be offered by The Prudential, a company very well known among British expats, although this is just one of several options available.
Over the last two years the plan I recommended, which would’ve blended two funds, the Prufund Cautious and Growth, would’ve returned over 10% after ALL fees. This is a good return and results such as this will vary, but as these are fully compliant and legally recognised products for Spanish residents, her accountancy bill would’ve been zero.
Do you hold bonds, ISAs or investment plans designed for UK residents but live in Spain? To find out about more suitable options, please call me today to book a free consultation on 693 107 044 or email [email protected].