British Expats encouraged to check tax responsibilities

British citizens who are planning to move abroad or already live in a foreign country are being urged to ensure that they fully understand their tax responsibilities.

Writing for UK newspaper, The Telegraph, finance expert Paul Farrow has warned that British expatriates should fully research their tax liabilities. Any expat who return to the UK on a regular basis or intend to permanently return to the UK after a period of living abroad should be fully aware of the tax implications: “If you have income from a source in one country and are resident in another, you may be liable to pay tax in both countries under their tax laws,” he said.

Mr. Farrow explained that expatriates who spend more than 183 days a year in the UK or visit the country for an average of 91 days per year over a four-year rolling basis will be deemed as resident in the country and will be expected to contribute tax. Any expatriates who spend less than this period of time in the UK on an annual basis and live out of the country for over five years will be exempt from any cap ital gains tax.

Mr. Farrow pointed out that it isn’t just retirees who need to be aware of their tax obligations but younger people too should seek tax advice from a reputable country: “Moving overseas is a complicated business – particularly if you are buying a property too – and the country that you decide to make your base will have its own rules and regulations.

“That is why it makes sense to understand the implications and if necessary get expert help. Extreme care, for instance, must be taken before signing the dotted line on any property purchases,” he said.

For more information about your obligations as a UK citizen when living abroad please see the Meeting obligations at home section of our free Expat’s Manual. Here you will find more detailed information about the process for registering your tax status with the Inland Revenue and Customs department, together with full details of the types of tax you may be expected to continue to pay.

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