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Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Old Nov 12th 2020, 7:27 pm
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Question Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Hi - I'm transferring within my company from the UK to KSA, I'll technically resign from the UK and join as part of the KSA headcount. I've already worked in Riyadh for almost 15 months and used to travel back every 2 weeks for the weekend at home in the UK. This transfer has been ongoing process for almost a year which was compounded by the pandemic but the formalities around the visa etc are now almost complete. I've now begun to seriously plan out the move and logistics and have a couple of questions which I'm hoping to get some advice on, but it would be useful to provide a view of my package for context.

Salary (per annum) - Salary: 400,000 + Housing: 103,500 and Transport: 43,200 which is a total of: 546,700. In addition to this I will get education contribution of: 30,000 (per child) and 17,500 airfare (whole family) and one-off relocation amount of 120,000. Bonuses are obviously dependent on other factors but a conservative estimate is 72,000.There will be c.4 months that I would need to pay tax in the UK if I move in Jan 2021 and intention is to be tax-free beyond that, I've already discussed the criterion with my accountant. My net pay in the UK is £4,500 per month with typically a £12,000 bonus (after tax), so on paper my base salary (salary+housing+transport) would potentially double my monthly pay from April 2021 onwards.
  1. Education - I have four children; 12, 11, 10 and 7 months of which the elder two are being home schooled in the UK and supported with tuition. Is this common in Saudi, I'm thinking as it'll be a new environment for them I should place them in a school for socializing but as others have observed the school fees for BISR are rather steep and would take a chunk out of my package even with a 30,000 contribution per child, I'll be looking at 125,000 per year,
  2. Housing - I'm keen not to be in a compound but rather more central to the city centre with most of the amenities as close as possible. The nature of my work means my work office will vary so on each new project I will need to travel within Riyadh and potentially to Jeddah too. I've found some useful information on Compounds but if anyone has any local contacts or websites for non-compound apartments or villas that would be useful. The plan is for my family to join me in September 2021.
Key drivers for the move are; increase income, enable the kids to have a more international experience and climb up the corporate ladder a little quicker with the way things are in the UK right now.

Any guidance would be appreciated, thank you in advance.
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Old Nov 12th 2020, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh ? Pricey but not a compound. I visited years ago but memories are faded !
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Old Nov 13th 2020, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Sounds like you have thought of everything. Including the tax issues.

Remember the exit plan. The more time you spend in Ksa, the less employable and relevant you are in the U.K.

do think about annual holidays etc. You have a lot of kids to fly back and forth - and the 12 year old is going to hate you. Make sure they are kept busy and put into after school programs

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Old Nov 13th 2020, 5:29 am
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Exit plan - yes. Often people are so excited at the prospect of all that boodle, they forget that basic question, "What do i do after this ?" As Millhouse says, time spent in KSA does not enhance your CV. I resolved that issue personally by accepting that KSA was my final posting before hanging up my professional hat and taking my boots off.
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Old Nov 13th 2020, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Are you clear about your current UK tax residency status and what needs to be done to be confirmed non-resident for UK tax purposes? It might be a good idea to get professional advice. The quickest route is to work full time overseas for a full tax year whilst limiting your days working or visiting the UK. From what you've posted it's not clear whether your first full tax year working overseas will be the current one (2020/21) or the next one starting 5th April 2021. It's also possible to split the year you leave and also the year you return, subject to a conditions. Best to be up to speed on all of this, it can be costly if you get it wrong...
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Old Nov 13th 2020, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Hi Johnny -

Yes, you're correct, I will be subject to split tax if I move to KSA before April next year, but from my understanding the tax will be based on the amount I earn in KSA for 4 months (Jan to April 2021), then I cannot visit the UK for more than 13 days/nights between April 2021 to April 2022 which would allow me to avoid paying any tax in the UK.

I've checked this with an accountant but I am speaking to another family accountant to double check that this still means my family (wife not working) can move between KSA and UK freely without this restriction.

Thank you for the pointer.
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Old Nov 14th 2020, 4:51 am
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Have a look at the Third Automatic Overseas Test in HMRCs RDR3 guide. Could you pass this test in the current tax year, because if you can then potentially you'd have no UK tax liability from the day you left the UK and started working in Riyadh 15 months ago. Only days you were physically present in the UK at midnight count (not holidays in Spain etc.). Here's an extract:

2.3 Third automatic overseas test

You’ll be non-UK resident for the tax year if you work full-time overseas over the tax year and:
  • you spend fewer than 91 days in the UK in the tax year
  • the number of days on which you work for more than 3 hours in the UK is less than 31
  • there is no significant break from your overseas work
A significant break is when at least 31 days go by and not one of those days is a day where you:
  • work for more than 3 hours overseas
  • would have worked for more than 3 hours overseas, but you did not do so because you were on annual leave, sick leave or parenting leave
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Old Nov 14th 2020, 5:03 am
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Have you discounted the option of leaving your family in the UK whilst you head to Riyadh to work? You can still have a lot of time together throughout the year, either in the UK, Dubai or wherever. A lot of expats choose to do this in the Middle East. You could negotiate a better package without family status, and would have minimal expenses, and could shovel loads of tax-free cash back home every month to clear the mortgage, put the kids through private school, retire early etc.
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Old Nov 14th 2020, 8:39 am
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Have the children visit you in Saudi ?
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Old Nov 15th 2020, 10:26 am
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Have the children visit you in Saudi ?
Why not?
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Old Nov 15th 2020, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Originally Posted by flares View Post
Why not?
Indeed. My kids will be visiting for 2 months in their long school holidays next year and then again in October for 1 month.
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Old Nov 15th 2020, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
Indeed. My kids will be visiting for 2 months in their long school holidays next year and then again in October for 1 month.
Too right, Florida can go **** itself.
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Old Nov 15th 2020, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Saudi from the UK for Work with Family

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Too right, Florida can go **** itself.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...21855.html?amp


Yeah, f*** Florida.
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