Look to start planning in the UK tax year before the move (if possible). There are often significant tax savings you can make, but which rely on steps being taken before the end of the preceding tax year.
Getting back into the UK tax system
Whether you are moving back for a temporary period, or returning permanently, becoming a UK resident must be planned for in order to limit your tax exposure and protect your wealth.
If you are returning to the UK permanently, the date on which you set foot onto British shores, having diminished your links overseas, is when the taxman assumes you are back in the UK tax system. It is often possible to secure a favourable position in the year of return, as you receive a less than a normal year's income but a full year's allowances, reliefs and lower tax rate bands.
On your return, you must establish contact with HM Revenue and Customs in order to advise them of your change of residence status, claim any allowances and arrange entry into the Self Assessment system, if appropriate.
Deciding what to do with a pension
If your pension fund is based outside the UK then, from the date of your return, 90% will be chargeable to UK tax (whether it is remitted or not). If the pension arises from a UK fund, tax will be charged on the whole amount - even though the service to which it relates may have been wholly overseas.
For cash held in overseas deposits, careful planning is needed to ensure that any interest paid after your UK return, but accrued whilst you were overseas, is not liable to UK tax.
The rules surrounding capital gains tax and property are more complicated than people often appreciate. While you may only have one property in the UK, this does not automatically mean it is your 'main residence' for tax purposes. It is a matter of reviewing when the property was purchased, your periods of occupation and time living in any other property, including foreign property. This is an area that always warrants careful review.
Real tax advantages can follow if you are domiciled outside of the UK, either by origin or choice. Specialist advice should be taken regarding your position here.
Visa paperwork Whether you're relocating to the UK or just visiting, it's important that you find out in advance whether you need a visa.
Expat mortgages and everything to do with buying a UK property might sound complicated, but there’s plenty of help out there for you.
You can access the UK's National Health Service (NHS) in a range of ways. Here is an overview of the main services available to help you get the treatment you need.
Just moved to the UK? You'll need a bank account to effectively manage your money while you're here. Cliff Govender explains the UK banking system, including facilities that may come in handy down the line.