Making the Move Abroad

From our base in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells, we not only support our largely local client base, we also enjoy working with clients based further afield and also some who live overseas. Currently, around 5.5 million people from Britain live overseas, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), with these people spread throughout 158 countries.

According to the comparison site Finder, moving ‘down under’ to Australia or New Zealand is the most popular migration destination, with 33% of Brits living abroad doing so in these two countries. Home to 28% of Brits that have moved abroad, the US and Canada make up the second most popular destinations. Lastly, countries within the EU account for 25.8% of UK migrants. The overwhelming majority of British people living in Europe do so in Spain, France and Germany.

People move for a variety of reasons including work opportunities, a better lifestyle/weather, for adventure or to join family or friends.

If you move abroad, this doesn’t automatically mean that you stop paying tax in the UK. Your tax obligations will depend on your residency status; the UK has specific rules to determine residency status, including factors like the number of days spent in the UK and your ties to the country.

If you are living abroad, the taxes you pay will depend on your residency status and establishing this is crucial for tax purposes. The chances are, however, that you’ll still be required to fill-out a tax return in the UK, particularly if you still have an income tied to the UK in some way and that includes income from renting out your UK property. At Lewis & Co, we can help you to complete your tax return.

If you remain a UK tax resident, you will generally be liable to pay UK income tax on your worldwide income. However, if you become non-resident, you may only have to pay UK tax on certain types of UK-sourced income. The UK has tax treaties with many countries to prevent double taxation. These agreements usually determine which country has the primary right to tax specific types of income, and mechanisms (such as tax credits or exemptions) to mitigate double taxation.

Moving away from the UK will also not necessarily mean you are exempt from paying other taxes, such as Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Inheritance Tax. CGT may apply when you sell assets such as property or investments. If you become non-resident, the UK may still tax capital gains on certain UK assets. Also, Inheritance Tax can still apply to your worldwide assets if you are a UK domiciled individual.

Here at Lewis & Co, we can assist you if you need general tax planning, if you are a Director of a UK Limited Company or you own assets here in the UK, helping you with initial advice and future planning, all the way through to annual reviews and year end reporting.

If you are looking to move abroad – either for work or your lifestyle – then do get in touch with us on 01892 513515 if you’d like us to continue looking after your tax affairs in the UK.