Returning To The UK?

Expats returning to the UK after living abroad face a major life change, particularly when returning from a low tax or tax-free jurisdiction. In many cases, moving to the Middle East is easier than returning to the UK, hard as that may be to believe if you can remember your early days there! Once you’ve made the decision to go back, there’s a great deal to think about, plan and be prepared for.

Below is a checklist of items to be considered before repatriating to the UK to give you some insight into the practical, tax and financial matters of a relocation back to Britain.

1) SIPPs, ROPS (formerly QROPS), HMRC reporting, tax on income from your Pensions

2) Repatriating money: tax rates for expats, temporary non-residents, UK non-domiciled individuals

3) Foreign exchange: exchange houses v banks, exchange rates, hedging

4) Income tax: tax liability for expats, tax bands, personal allowance, HMRC Starter Checklist, self-assessment and tax returns

5) National Insurance Contributions: voluntary contributions, contribution gaps, state pension

6) Disposal of assets: time frames for liability for capital gains tax (CGT)

7) Inheritance tax (IHT): assets of deceased expats / UK domiciled individuals, IHT threshold or nil rate band (NRB), IHT exempt gifting, annual exemptions, transfers between UK domiciled spouses and civil partners, unused portions of exemptions

8) Renting property: credit checks & reference requirements, tenancy laws, deposits & advance payment, pets

9) Buying property: conveyancing, anti-money laundering compliance / proof of funds, deposits, mortgages & lenders, credit score v credit check, measures to reduce hurdles

10) Council tax, electoral register

11) Insurance: home insurance, Life Insurance, boiler breakdown insurance, medical insurance, car insurance, and the like.

12) Importing personal effects: ways to ship, use of an international freight forwarder, non-permissible items, customs clearance, import paperwork, importing vehicles, VAT

13) Importing pets: documentation, quarantine, treatment / wellbeing, accepting airports

14) Accessing the NHS: initial emergency care, registering with a GP surgery, residency based access, NHS Choices, interim prescriptions, collecting S1 (EEAA countries) or international records, finding a dentist, private dental and/or medical insurance

I can send you a more in-depth guide for each topic if you request

Many returning expats experience a reverse culture shock. Proper and comprehensive financial planning can alleviate anxiety and ease your re-settlement, as well as simplify your tax situation – as much as is possible! Although HMRC has detailed guidance associated with the various items above, there are dozens of guides to go through. Planning for repatriation is best done as far in advance as possible and with an experienced and qualified Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). I am here to help you ensure you make the most of any advantages you have before repatriating.

Please get in touch and I can arrange an initial review of your circumstances


0044 7836 654322