Returning expats- plan your finances

Returning Home

A lot of focus is placed on what aspects of financial planning people should concentrate on when they are in the process of moving abroad, but what about people who have already moved abroad and are thinking of moving back?

Finance experts have warned returning expats that planning beforehand is absolutely vital, or else the returnees could find a lot of difficult work waiting for them back at home.

In fact, it has been suggested that the financial planning involved with a move back home should be began up to a year before the move itself. It’s been advised that you think about how long you will be living in the UK and how you expect to fund your expected lifestyle. Living costs may be vastly different from where you currently live, and how you remember them. Tax will also have to be considered, as a returnee you may fall under the watchful glare of HMRC again– planning is key here and with careful planning you may indeed be able to achieve low rates of tax on income and healthy gains.

For instance, some UK taxes can be avoided if you are not of British descent or if you are "non-domiciled". This method can enable you to shield non-UK income and from tax.

You may also look into closing any non-UK deposit and savings accounts you may have so that you have no taxable interest to pay upon your return.

Selling off assets that have seen significant rises could create a beneficial crystallising of your gains while you are still away from the UK tax area. If you have a UK property you could find a sizeable capital gains tax (CGT) bill arriving if you sell the property after your return. Therefore, if you are not planning on living in this property when you return, then it would be wise to sell it prior to returning.

Whenever tackling important financial issues, it’s always recommended to discuss your situation with an IFA. For more information on expatriate financial planning contact Chase Belgrave.