Tax facts for British expats

Saturday, 30th June, 2012 by Anthony Strachan

While celebrities, such as Jimmy Carr, might employ clever accountants to help them – often controversially – save millions in tax, Brits moving abroad could be losing large amounts of money unnecessarily simply due to poor financial planning and being unaware of tax considerations.


In some cases, expats may even be due reimbursements from HMRC without realising!

To ensure British people benefit financially as much as possible, information provider The Overseas Guides Company (OGC) recommends consulting a financial/tax planning firm before making the move overseas. To highlight how important this is, OGC has listed its ten key considerations a financial advisor could advise on:

  1. If you are leaving the UK but leaving behind a let property, there are UK tax implications to consider.

  2. It is important to notify HMRC about a departure from the UK, not only as a formality but because it could result in a tax rebate.

  3. There are UK state pension benefits to continuing National Insurance Contributions when you move abroad.

  4. UK life assurance or savings policies should be reviewed well before leaving the UK, in order to determine their relevance to a new situation.

  5. Non-residents of the UK can (normally) no longer contribute to ISAs.

  6. Non-residents of the UK can only pay a limited amount for a limited period into an existing UK pension and get tax relief.

  7. Advice should be taken about accumulated pension rights in the UK.

  8. Be aware of large cash balances held in the UK – moving cash deposits offshore to free up UK tax allowances could be an option.

  9. At the point of leaving the UK, individuals should be aware of their residence status and the implications of the forthcoming Statutory Residence Test.

  10. British people may need to complete a UK tax return even after leaving the UK. Note, there are now significant penalties for late submission.

Contact The Overseas Guides Company to be put in touch with a recommended financial advisory firm. For more information about moving abroad, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s free ‘Emigration Guide’ by clicking here.

On a final note, if you are about to emigrate make sure you use a currency exchange specialist, such as Smart Currency Exchange, to transfer your pounds into your new local currency. Smart consistently offers better exchange rates than banks, saving you money, as well as a more efficient service. For more information on this, visit the Currency zone or download their free guide by clicking here.

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