Do you intend on returning to the UK at some point in the near or distant future? If so, it is never too early to start planning your finances around such a move. Taxation considerations alone can be a minefield of confusion and constant change. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Expat Gurus:

Should I sell any assets I have overseas before returning?

Ideally yes. If you leave this until you are back in the UK, you may have to pay capital gains tax on any profit made.

If you are unable to do so or live in a country where capital gains tax is higher than in the UK there are additional options available to minimise the tax you will pay. If this is the case, we advise speaking to one of our Gurus.

Will I be eligible for a state pension?

If you were born on or after 6 April 1951 (for men) or 6 April 1953 (for women) you'll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any state pension. You are however able to make voluntary contributions whilst abroad in order to qualify.

If you worked in the European Economic Area you may be able to use this time abroad to make up the qualifying years. You will also only need to claim pension with the last country you lived in if this is the case. If you worked and lived outside of the EEA you will need to claim your pension from each country separately.

What taxes will I need to pay upon my return?

This question can only really be answered on a case by case basis. A large part of your tax liability will be determined by your residence and domicile status. Depending on your circumstances you may not necessarily need to register as a full UK residence which eliminates the taxes you need to pay on overseas income.

If you would like advice on the best option for you and your situation, please get in touch to speak to one of our chartered financial planners.

Should I transfer any pensions I have back to the UK?

As a Brit, your pension is likely to be in a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) which makes the transferring easier upon your return. You will need to inform the QROPS provider of your return to the UK as it may have to report payments to the HRMC.

Regardless of the type of pension you have you will most likely be liable to tax on your return if you are already drawing an income from your pension pot.

Will I be taxed on bringing funds into the UK?

If you're UK domiciled but have not registered as a UK residence you won't have to pay any UK income tax on any funds that you're transferring. If you have been an expat for less than 5 years or are unsure of your current residence and domicile status, we suggest you speak to an expert.

What is the best method for transferring funds to the UK?

You will need a UK bank account before receiving funds from abroad. It is often cheaper to use an international currency exchange firm rather than your bank for transferring large sums of money however. We can help advise on the best and most cost effective currency exchange firms to use.

Will my last will and testament still be valid after I move?

If your will was written abroad it may still be considered valid back in the UK, in accordance with The Wills Act 1963. If you have assets overseas or you have additional assets since the will was written it is worth consulting an expert and getting a review of your will.

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