Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > United Kingdom > London
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-04-2009, 08:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 45,754 times
Reputation: 12

Advertisements

Hi All.

I'm new here and found this forum on search. Looks like a lot of knowledgeable people lurk here, so I am hoping for some help.

I think I am moving to London. I am a dual citizen (Mom's British), although we moved back to the States when I was a young girl. It's been 30 years since we've lived there. Anyway, I was there last week for an interview. I had a contact (purely professional) at my job here that works in our British office and a position opened. She suggested I come and interview for it, which I did. I got the offer today and it's 39,000 Pounds per year. I have a couple days to decide. In dollars, that's pretty much the equivalent of what I make here, although I live in a much cheaper place.

While I was out there, I also looked at a few places and the decision is down to two.

The first is 280 Pounds per week. That doesn't include council (which I'm not sure what is). It's a double room with a private bath. The second is 200 Pounds per week. Same thing re: council. It's a single room with no private bath. Both are relatively in the same area. I definitely liked the 280 one better. Both places are with flatmates, of course.

I didn't want to ask a lot of questions of them, because there were other people coming to see all the places I looked at, so I'm hoping people here can enlighten me.

1. They said they quote the rent weekly, but it's due monthly. So, is the rent (280x52)/12 or basically (280x50)/12? I say that because there are 26 weeks in a year, but here we are quoted and pay monthly, i.e. 280x4=monthly payment.

2. On 39k per year, what can I expect to have for spending money each month. I have no debt, but I'll have the basics like a cell phone and internet access. What other bills may I encounter?

3. How much are things like eating out and grocery shopping? I really didn't do a lot of that there. I was there 5 full days, but only ate out twice really and my colleague paid both times. Most of the time I was just worn out from walking around and seeing places, I would just grab digestives and go back to my hotel, or fast food.

I'd appreciate any help.

Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-05-2009, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Airstrip 1, Oceania
1,021 posts, read 2,913,221 times
Reputation: 1161
The monthly rent should be x52/12. It probably doesn't include utilities like gas and electricity but it might do so you need to check. Sounds like it doesn't include council tax which varies from area to area so you need to check that too. (Council tax pays for water, refuse collection etc) Your biggest additional expense is likely to be commuting to work - how far will that be ? Here's a link to calculate your take-home pay tax calculator - from workSMART.org.uk
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 04:45 AM
 
3,059 posts, read 8,316,453 times
Reputation: 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob-666 View Post
The monthly rent should be x52/12. It probably doesn't include utilities like gas and electricity but it might do so you need to check. Sounds like it doesn't include council tax which varies from area to area so you need to check that too. (Council tax pays for water, refuse collection etc) Your biggest additional expense is likely to be commuting to work - how far will that be ? Here's a link to calculate your take-home pay tax calculator - from workSMART.org.uk

Just butting in here out of curiosity - Bob do the people renting the flat in the UK have to pay the council tax? It isn't the owner of the building that pays the tax?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Airstrip 1, Oceania
1,021 posts, read 2,913,221 times
Reputation: 1161
"It isn't the owner of the building that pays the tax?" No ! It's the occupiers ! Probably why there were riots when it was introduced !! It's unofficially known as the Poll Tax after it's fourteenth century predecessor which also caused riots. See Wat Tyler and the Peasants Revolt
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 07:45 AM
 
Location: London, UK
79 posts, read 272,097 times
Reputation: 79
Default Take-home pay

Hi,

Assuming you are going to be treated as a normal UK taxpayer (i.e. not as an ex-pat) there are 4 taxes you need to be aware of, as follows:

1. Income Tax
2. National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
3. Council Tax
4. Value Added Tax (VAT)

The first two go up relative to your own salary & income, the third is a local property tax, the fourth is a national sales tax.

Income Tax & National Insurance Contributions (NICS)
UK tax law allows you a tax-free allowance before income tax takes effect. For current tax year (April 6th - April 5th), and assuming you are a single person with no dependents, this is GBP6,475.

The calculation of income tax on a gross salary of GBP39,000 is as follows:

Gross salary 39,000
Less allowance 6,475
Salary subject to income tax (39,000 - 6,475) = 32,525
Income tax @ 22% of 32,525 = 7,155.50
Total annual deduction = 7,155.50

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are in fact just another income tax, albeit for historical reasons called something else and calculated on a different basis, as follows:

Gross salary 39,000
Less allowance 6,475
Salary subject to NICS (39,000 - 6,475) = 32,525
Weekly pay for NICS purposes (32,525 / 52) = 625.48
NICable weekly pay (625.48 - 95.00) = 530.48
NICs @ 11% of 530.48 = 58.35
Total annual deduction (58.35 x 52) = 3,034.35

The combined total deduction from your salary will therefore be 10,189.85, leaving you 28,810.15 per annum = 2,400.85 per month.

For more details, see HM Revenue & Customs: Rates and Allowances - Income Tax and HM Revenue & Customs: Rates and Allowances - National Insurance Contributions


Council Tax
This is a property tax payable by the owner and based on a nominal valuation of the property on April 1, 1991. The impact on a renter (Brit: "tenant") is that the landlord usually passes the tax on so if there are 3 of you sharing the house, you will be paying 1/3 each.

In London, the amount of the tax in each band is set by the local authority so I can't work out exactly how much you'll pay, but it will be in the region of GBP1,800 per annum = £150 per month for the property overall.

Value Added Tax (VAT)
The VAT rate is currently 15%, but as a consumer everything you buy already includes VAT in the sticker price. However, in certain cases, if you buy something to export to the US, you can somtimes reclaim the 15%.

Rents
Be aware that the convention in the UK is to quote rents as either "pw" (weekly) or "pcm" (per calendar month). To convert between them, multiply pw by 52/12 (4.3333 for the digital age...) to get pcm. So GBP300 pw is GBP1300pcm. So, the place you like at GBP280.00 pw is going to cost you GBP1213.33 per month, plus your share of the Council Tax (? GBP50 per month), plus utilities - don't forget you will have to contribute to electicity, gas (not the kind you put in a car !!!), telephone and perhaps cable and broadband.

Transport
Check out the official Transport for London website to get prices on period passes for travel: Adult Travelcard | Transport for London (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/seasontickets/4805.aspx - broken link)
but I guess you'll be paying about GBP100.00 per month.

If you have any further questions, let me know !

N
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 12:19 PM
 
3 posts, read 45,754 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks all. nfj63, so more questions:

1. How is an ex-pat treated differently? I have lived and worked in the US almost all my life, but have UK citizenship. What's the difference?

2. Interesting on the taxes. 2,400GPB remaining per month doesn't sound like a lot - have some student loans. If I remember correctly things that cost $1 here cost 1GPB there. Right?

Is this a very low salary for London standards? If not, how do people survive there? Do Londoners have a problem with credit card debt?

Appreciate all the help. Still deciding...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 01:22 PM
 
Location: London, UK
79 posts, read 272,097 times
Reputation: 79
Well, taxation law is something you really should take professional advice on as it's a horribly complicated subject, but in any case, I think that on a salary of GBP39k, it wouldn't be worth your while to buy that sort of advice for the paltry savings you might make.

As for being a liveable salary in London ? Well, it rather depends on how you want to live ! If you think you'll be in a swish condo with doorman and city views, stay home ! If you're more realistic and are prepared to live in a faintly shabby apartment in an unfashionable neighborhood, with a fairly long commute to work, then by all means book your plane ticket !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 01:32 PM
 
Location: London, UK
79 posts, read 272,097 times
Reputation: 79
To eat out, count on GBP5 for a Big Mac meal, GBP10 for a main course in a pub, perhaps GBP15 for a meal in a decent chain restaurant, then after that the sky's the limit !

As for grocery prices, have a look at Sainsbury's to get a sense of how much things cost.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-05-2009, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Airstrip 1, Oceania
1,021 posts, read 2,913,221 times
Reputation: 1161
popgirl, as a UK citizen you will be taxed like any other UK citizen. As you are also a US citizen you will still have to file a US tax return every year but you likely won't owe them anything as the US and UK have a No-double-taxation agreement. It might be worth employing a dual-qualified tax consultant the first time you have to do this. In subsequent years you can probably work it out yourself based on his example.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2009, 09:51 AM
 
3 posts, read 45,754 times
Reputation: 12
Thank you everyone for your help. I've been doing some research and see that GBP39K is above the average salary in London. Someone on a discussion board said that should be liveable. My question is - do a lot of Londoners have credit card debt? I'm just unsure if it's realistic to live there on this wage and pay that high of rent. Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > United Kingdom > London

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top