Help With Decision Move HK from UK!

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    7

    Help With Decision Move HK from UK!

    Hi

    Been reading some of the threads and have to say think this site is great and is helping me decide whether to move to HK or not!

    My situation is I work as Senior Business Analyst / Project Manager for a top 3 bank in Front / Middle Office IT in UK. I've just completed a interviews elsewhere at another top 3 who are now putting together an offer and seem keen to get me on board. Questions I have are around cost of living etc.

    When asked re my salary I have stated my UK figures - the agent said this was in their budget but then I am hearing hints from the employer that HK salaries compared to UK for a similar position would be lower? If so is this correct or if I am specialised as per my experience can I still push for the same UK salary expectation or if not what sort of percentage difference would there be between UK vs. HK equivalent salaries?

    I have also heard taxation at the firm which will also mean including the rent as taxable is around 11% does this sound correct?

    The firm have a standard relocation package though I have only heard that this means cash to relocate so far - what other relocation package items should I be asking for / checking for?

    I have heard that living in Mid-Levels or centrally for a single person is around 1000 - 1400 gbp / (HKD$14,000 / 19600) for a flat per month can anyone advise and is there any extra taxes / costs I should be aware about?

    How much does it cost to live outside of renting e.g. would £1000 / HKD$14000 be enough to go out to eat a few times a week, a few beers etc!

    Is it worthwhile buying a car in HK e.g. are they cheaper, is parking a problem?

    Ok that's all I can think of for now - would really appreciate anyones advice as they are likely to come back with an offer next week so it will be crunch time!

    Thanks

    JD


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    121

    [hi,

    My hubby is from the UK. I can tell you more as it's hard for me to answer all the quesions here. if you have msn, add me : [email protected]


    QUOTE=jdawson]Hi

    Been reading some of the threads and have to say think this site is great and is helping me decide whether to move to HK or not!

    My situation is I work as Senior Business Analyst / Project Manager for a top 3 bank in Front / Middle Office IT in UK. I've just completed a interviews elsewhere at another top 3 who are now putting together an offer and seem keen to get me on board. Questions I have are around cost of living etc.

    When asked re my salary I have stated my UK figures - the agent said this was in their budget but then I am hearing hints from the employer that HK salaries compared to UK for a similar position would be lower? If so is this correct or if I am specialised as per my experience can I still push for the same UK salary expectation or if not what sort of percentage difference would there be between UK vs. HK equivalent salaries?

    I have also heard taxation at the firm which will also mean including the rent as taxable is around 11% does this sound correct?

    The firm have a standard relocation package though I have only heard that this means cash to relocate so far - what other relocation package items should I be asking for / checking for?

    I have heard that living in Mid-Levels or centrally for a single person is around 1000 - 1400 gbp / (HKD$14,000 / 19600) for a flat per month can anyone advise and is there any extra taxes / costs I should be aware about?

    How much does it cost to live outside of renting e.g. would £1000 / HKD$14000 be enough to go out to eat a few times a week, a few beers etc!

    Is it worthwhile buying a car in HK e.g. are they cheaper, is parking a problem?

    Ok that's all I can think of for now - would really appreciate anyones advice as they are likely to come back with an offer next week so it will be crunch time!

    Thanks

    JD[/QUOTE]


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    120

    Some answers in caps for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by jdawson:
    Hi

    Been reading some of the threads and have to say think this site is great and is helping me decide whether to move to HK or not!

    My situation is I work as Senior Business Analyst / Project Manager for a top 3 bank in Front / Middle Office IT in UK. I've just completed a interviews elsewhere at another top 3 who are now putting together an offer and seem keen to get me on board. Questions I have are around cost of living etc.

    When asked re my salary I have stated my UK figures - the agent said this was in their budget but then I am hearing hints from the employer that HK salaries compared to UK for a similar position would be lower? If so is this correct or if I am specialised as per my experience can I still push for the same UK salary expectation or if not what sort of percentage difference would there be between UK vs. HK equivalent salaries?

    THERE CAN BE A DIFFERENCE BUT THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. YOU NEED TO CALCULATE HOW MUCH YOU WILL BE EARNING IN HK AFTER TAX COMPARED WITH UK AFTER TAX TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE. IF THE ROLE IS A SPECIALISED ROLE AND THEIR IS NOT MUCH COMPETITION FROM OTHER CANDIDATES THEN PUSH AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE FOR YOUR UK SALARY.

    I have also heard taxation at the firm which will also mean including the rent as taxable is around 11% does this sound correct?

    RENT CAN BE MADE NON-TAXABLE...YOU CLAIM IT AS AN EXPENSE. THAT IS WHAT WE DO. 11% SOUNDS RIGHT ON YOUR SALARY.

    The firm have a standard relocation package though I have only heard that this means cash to relocate so far - what other relocation package items should I be asking for / checking for?

    SHIPPING AND FLIGHT COSTS IS STANDARD. YOU CAN ASK THEM TO GIVE YOU 1-2 BACK HOME PER YEAR. ALSO MAKE SURE THEY WILL SHIP YOUR GOODS BACK (UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES) AND WITHIN A REASONABLE TIMEFRAME I.E. IF YOU LEAVE IN LESS THAN 6 MONTHS YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO PAY BUT AFTER THAT THEY SHOULD PAY TO SHIP YOUR STUFF BACK HOME. GET 3 QUOTES FROM SHIPPING COMPANIES BEFORE YOU AGREE TO A FIGURE FROM YOUR FIRM.

    I have heard that living in Mid-Levels or centrally for a single person is around 1000 - 1400 gbp / (HKD$14,000 / 19600) for a flat per month can anyone advise and is there any extra taxes / costs I should be aware about?

    YOU CAN GET A CHEAPER PLACE THAN 14K PER MONTH BUT IF THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY THEN COOL. 10K IS POSSIBLE IN MID-LEVELS. LOWER ELSEWHERE. YOU WILL NEED TO PAY 50% OF ONE MONTHS RENT TO THE AGENT WHEN YOU FIND A PLACE SO PERHAPS ADD THAT INTO THE PACKAGE YOU WANT.

    How much does it cost to live outside of renting e.g. would £1000 / HKD$14000 be enough to go out to eat a few times a week, a few beers etc!

    YES FOR SURE.

    Is it worthwhile buying a car in HK e.g. are they cheaper, is parking a problem?

    NO - YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED ONE. TRANSPORT AND CABS ARE GREAT AND VERY CHEAP. PARKING AND DRIVING CAN BE A REAL PAIN. ESP. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE LIVING IN MID-LEVELS.

    Ok that's all I can think of for now - would really appreciate anyones advice as they are likely to come back with an offer next week so it will be crunch time!

    Thanks

    JD

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7

    Thanks for advice!

    Hi ct1 and chillifontain

    Thanks for the responses and advice! Really appreciated

    I'm waiting to hear back from the agent re salary and they are taking me on as a local hire with some kind of relocation as I stated which is why I wanted to know what to look for.

    From what I know I am the only candidate and they need someone with specialised experience like myself that would does not exist in HK so I should use this as my bargaining tool.

    Rent will not be part of the package from what I know so I think this comes out of my salary, I have factored this into my calculations till I hear different.

    I've read various places to live e.g mid levels, kennedy town and some with luxury facilities like pools etc? Basically I am budgeting for HKD$14000 to HKD$19600 per month and want to be near i.e. walking or transport to Connaught Road Central HK so where would you suggest and are there any sites you would recommend so that I can get a feel for sizes of properties etc?

    Thanks again!

    JD

    Last edited by jdawson; 01-05-2006 at 08:12 PM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by jdawson:

    any sites you would recommend so that I can get a feel for sizes of properties etc?

    Thanks again!

    JD
    Try www.hongkonghomes.com for research purposes but I would recommend against using them to find your property. PM me for more details if you like.

    Once you arrive, check out the different areas and then go to local agents within the area...spend lots of time looking and be very pushy about what you want/like/don't like. The agents will show you worst of the places within your budget first...the ones they can't get rid off but keep at them to show you better properties in your budget. You should be able to get something pretty decent for your budget.

    By the way, try to negotiate a one-off allowance of around $25-30k for the first month - to cover a decent serviced apartment whilst you look for permanent place to live.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
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    2,218

    Local agents, i.e. near the building you want, will probably be able to get you a much better deal than a website or a building property. Once you are settled on a building go around the neighborhood and see what the agents might have. Some will speak English, some will speak enough, some will not, but they generally want to help you so it is worth a shot.

    and DEFINITELY--one month in a serviced apartment to get the lay of the land.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Hong Kong
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    Quote Originally Posted by ct1:
    RENT CAN BE MADE NON-TAXABLE...YOU CLAIM IT AS AN EXPENSE. THAT IS WHAT WE DO.
    I'd be very interested to hear what the HK tax man thinks of that... As I understand it, if you are here as a resident (i.e. you have an Employment Visa) rather than just short term on business (I can't remember if the breakpoint for tax purposes is 90 or 180 days) then if your company provides your accommodation for you then it is taxable. It doesn't matter whether you get the money through your pay cheque, or through expenses, or through the company paying the rent directly to the landlord - it should still be taxable.

    If you have a scheme that is approved by the HK Inland Revenue that enables you to be here long term with the company paying your rent and you not being liable for tax on it then many many people here would be delighted to hear more details.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    sai wan ho
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    If your rent is paid as an allowance (there are various bits of paper you need to prove this, it's all detailed on the Govt tax site) then it is basically tax free. You do pay some tax on it but the rate is so low as not to be noticable.


  9. #9

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    Jun 2005
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    Hong Kong
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    Links please?

    As previously discussed in these forums at length, the normal situation is that the accommodation provided by your employer has a taxable value of 10% of your salary. Whether this is significant or not depends on how much your salary is. And whether the "tax" on the housing allowance is significant as a percentage depends on the releative size of your housing allowance and base salary.

    For salaries above the threshold at which you pay flat-rate tax then yoru company providing your accommodation will, all other things being equal, increase your tax bill by 10%.

    Last edited by PDLM; 02-05-2006 at 02:43 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    120

    Don't know how it works but that's the deal. As DavidHK said you just have to provide the company with the right paperwork and voila. Tax-free rent.


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