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Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Old Jan 10th 2024, 12:14 pm
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Default Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Hi all,

I am a UK citizen living in Canada. I hope to move back to the UK next year. Is there anything I need to do when I arrive in the UK or before I move?

I own a flat in the UK and still have a bank account.

I don't own property in Canada but I have about 10,000 ina tax free savings account and my Canadian work pension. Do I need to pay any taxes upon moving back to the UK? Do I need to alert HMRC that I'm moving back? anything else I need to know or which would be handy to do before I move?
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Old Jan 10th 2024, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Originally Posted by Anylurk
Hi all,

I am a UK citizen living in Canada. I hope to move back to the UK next year. Is there anything I need to do when I arrive in the UK or before I move?

I own a flat in the UK and still have a bank account.

I don't own property in Canada but I have about 10,000 ina tax free savings account and my Canadian work pension. Do I need to pay any taxes upon moving back to the UK? Do I need to alert HMRC that I'm moving back? anything else I need to know or which would be handy to do before I move?

You won't owe any taxes when you move back to the UK, but you will be liable for taxes from the day you arrive and become resident. Having a foreign pension means that you will need to file a self assessment return each year once you start receiving payments from that pension. When we moved back from the USA we were in a similar position except we didn't own a place here so had to rent somewhere while we bought a house. We didn't inform HMRC that we were coming back, but did inform our bank of our UK address and a few weeks afterwards we did register with HMRC for self assessment through their website. (We were receiving foreign pensions, dividends etc).

I'm not familiar with the tax treaty between the UK Canada so don't know if your Canadian tax free savings account will also be tax free in the UK. The UK also has a tax free savings account called an ISA into which you can put £20,000 per year, no time limits on withdrawals so you may consider cashing out that Canadian account immediately before you return and on return to the UK put it into an ISA. There is no tax on moving money from Canada to the UK.

On return I would immediately register with a GP and also register to vote.

Last edited by durham_lad; Jan 10th 2024 at 12:58 pm.
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Old Jan 10th 2024, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Thank you, this was really helpful. I'm a bit of a way off retirement age so I assume any foreign pensions can just sit abroad until I start to drawn down on them when I retire and that I don't need to report them?

I forgot I would have to register to vote thanks for the reminder!
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Old Jan 10th 2024, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Originally Posted by Anylurk
Thank you, this was really helpful. I'm a bit of a way off retirement age so I assume any foreign pensions can just sit abroad until I start to drawn down on them when I retire and that I don't need to report them?

I forgot I would have to register to vote thanks for the reminder!
Exactly, no need to even report the existence of foreign pension funds until you start to take distributions. If you move your $10k of savings to the UK and have no foreign income then you won’t have to register for self assessment either. This is the position our son is in. He moved back from the USA in 2017 and moved all his taxable money over so that he has no income from the USA but he does have a private pension fund in the USA plus eventually he will start drawing his US State pension. He got a job here and pays taxes to HMRC through PAYE, without specifically contacting HMRC. (He had to apply for a National Insurance number through the DWP which he then gave to his new employer). I expect you already have a NI number.

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Old Jan 11th 2024, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Canada to UK - checklist of things I need to do?

Originally Posted by Anylurk
Thank you, this was really helpful. I'm a bit of a way off retirement age so I assume any foreign pensions can just sit abroad until I start to drawn down on them when I retire and that I don't need to report them?

I forgot I would have to register to vote thanks for the reminder!
Thinking ahead to your pensions, you might consider the strategy I used to effectively transfer my overseas (US) pension to a UK pension. I preferred not to have to deal with the vagaries of exchange rates in retirement, to have to deal with an overseas provider (TIAA-CREF, in this instance), and to have assets outside the UK. Also, at the time the USD/GBP exchange rate was historically pretty decent in the favour of USD.

When I became eligible to start withdrawing from TIAA-CREF at age 55 (though I was still working here in the UK), I withdrew almost all of my TIAA-CREF holdings over 3 tax years. I declared the income to HMRC, and used it to live on - so it effectively took the place of my salary. At the same time, I paid large amounts of my salary into AVCs at work and into a SIPP that I opened.

At the end of the 3 years, I essentially had almost no US occupational pension, and the equivalent amount was held in UK pensions. At the time it was a bit of a headache to figure out, and there were complications, but I am now really glad I made the effort.
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