A guide to moving to the UK

This guide summarises the key issues for wealthy individuals looking to relocate to the UK, including UK immigration and tax law and how to plan your move

04 December 2020

It is crucial for individuals and families looking to relocate to the UK to be well prepared if they are to take advantage of all of the benefits the UK has to offer.

This means thinking about both immigration and tax. Preparations should include arranging their affairs in the UK and overseas efficiently and in accordance with their family circumstances and needs.

Each individual will need tailored advice well in advance of moving to the UK so we have produced a guide to moving to the UK to summarise the important points for their planning. Also, please see our top 10 tips at the bottom of this page.

While the guide is intended to be a broad summary, to help ensure that important points are not missed in the planning process, it does cover the practicalities that need to be considered before relocating. It provides an overview of the UK visa options you may want to consider, details of residency status and the three tests that comprise the statutory residence test, a breakdown of the three types of domicile and the impact of a move to the UK, and an explanation of the remittance basis and the implications for inheritance tax. It also includes options for the logistics of relocating to the UK, such as timing, how to evaluate your current assets and gains, options for opening bank account and buying property in the UK, and estate planning. It also explains the overlaps between the UK’s immigration and tax systems, which are important to be understood. 

We have a particular specialism in advising high net worth individuals on complex issues and interactions between UK immigration and tax law. If you would like to discuss any of the areas covered by this guide please do not hesitate to get in touch with Suzanna Harvey, or any of the specialists named in the guide.

We hope you find this guide useful.

Our Top 10 tax tips: a guide to moving to the UK

  1. The UK has an odd tax year. It runs from 6 April to 5 April. Take tax advice well in advance – preferably before the previous 31 December.
  2. There are different immigration options. Check these carefully and make sure you have the right visa.
  3. Is there tax on leaving your previous country? Are there emigration formalities?
  4. You may need several bank accounts outside the UK. Liaise with your bank in good time.
  5. Do you have trusts, foundations or companies? These will need reviewing.
  6. Are you renting or buying a property? You need to consider funding and tax options.
  7. Review your business and employment arrangements.
  8. Arrange schools well in advance of September.
  9. Check your domicile and its implications – this is different to residence or immigration status.
  10. Have you previously been UK resident (including as a student)? There may be tax or other hangovers to consider.
If you would like to discuss your move to the UK further, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our tax team.

Key contact

Suzanna Harvey

Suzanna Harvey Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax
  • International Trusts

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