Would-be British expats rejecting financial advice before they leave

Published:  21 Dec at 6 PM
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Financial advice on how to plan for expatriation is being rejected by three-quarters of those planning to leave the UK.

According to a YouGov survey commissioned by a leading financial advice firm, only 27 per cent of respondents had taken financial advice before planning to leave the UK on a permanent basis. When asked why they’d made the decision not to get advice on their pensions, tax liabilities and other financial matters, 50 per cent of those surveyed cited the high cost of employing a financial advisor and 30 per cent believed they would not need one.

It’s also possible that a good number of Britons looking to retire overseas have been put off seeking financial advice by the increasing number of scandals and scams regularly reported in the financial press. Another reason may be the complications of pension transfers as outlined regularly by Britain’s financial watchdog. However, one concern when leaving the UK on a permanent basis is that of becoming legally non-domiciled as well as being non-resident.

Tax residency in the UK normally depends on whether an individual has the intent to live abroad indefinitely, and has cut all ties with the UK as a result. This is a common law principle, undefined by legislation, and can affect whether or not inheritance taxes are levied after death. As there is no exact definition of non-domicile, the UK taxman only determines it after the death of an individual, considering their pattern of living and whether returning to the UK at some time was intended.
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