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Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the US

Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the US

Old Jul 20th 2020, 3:34 pm
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Default Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the US

Currently completely hypothetical, but I need information in case it comes up in my job search. I believe in being prepared and knowledge is power.

I haven't been resident in the UK for a very long time. I have an NI but no bank account there or anything else much. Can I take a job from a UK organization on a remote basis while I'm still in the US and have no UK address? Can they pay into a US bank or do I need some sort of online bank? Other? Or just forget the whole idea?

I would have to deal with the tax issues separately I imagine, and no idea what that would look like, but step one is "is it even possible?"
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

A British company can contract for personal services with anyone, anywhere in the world (subject to givernment sanctions) with no visa or NI number required, but the "employee" will need to pay local income and payroll taxes, social charges, etc. as per where they are located while working i.e. they wouldn't be on the UK payroll, paying NI (hence why no NI # is required. )

Short answer: to work for a British employer while you are located in the US, you would need to be an independent contractor with self-employed status in the US, unless the British employer has a US, state-specific payroll they can put you on. You would then invoice your employer for your pay, grossed up to include the employers NI that would be paid if you were in the UK, so you can pay the higher self-employed SS contributions in the US.

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Old Jul 20th 2020, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
A British company can contract with anyone, anywhere in the world (subject to givernment sanctions) with no visa or NI number required, but the "employee" will need to pay local income and payroll taxes, social charges, etc.

Short answer: you would need to be an independent contractor with self-employed status in the US, unless the British employer has a US, state-specific payroll they can put you on.
So they can deposit into a US bank? No UK banking base needed? As long as I'm a business and not a person?

Just making sure.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Oh, and a banking question.

Can you trade US stocks if a resident in the UK?

The things I don't know.....
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
So they can deposit into a US bank? No UK banking base needed? As long as I'm a business and not a person?

Just making sure.
Well that's more a practical matter for the employer, but there is nothing to stop a UK employer sending a wire to any bank in the world, again, sanctions permitting.

BTW I edited and expanded my original reply above.
Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Oh, and a banking question.

Can you trade US stocks if a resident in the UK?

The things I don't know.....
Through a US broker? AFAIK, yes, well maybe*. .... Through a UK broker, not only "no", but "hé11 no!!!". ..... UK brokers are not SEC compliant, there no UK broker is able to trade a stock on a US stock exchange - it would put them under the purview of the SEC, and in practice there is no way for a UK broker to become SEC compliant.

* It somewhat depends on the broker in question, and UK and EU rules are supposed to enforce local rules, as the SEC does in the US, so it depends on how savvy your US broker is.

As per the advice to people heading the opposite direction, unless you plan to hold the stocks for the very long term, it would generally be better to divest stocks before you set off across the Atlantic, because tax, regulations, and practical matters may make them onerous to keep and selling them later may be difficult and/or expensive.

BTW that was a stockbroker question, not banking,

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Old Jul 20th 2020, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Well that's more a practical matter for the employer, but there is nothing to stop a UK employer sending a wire to any bank in the world, again, sanctions permitting.

BTW I edited and expanded my original reply above.

Through a US broker? AFAIK, yes, well maybe*. .... Through a UK broker, not only "no", but "hé11 no!!!". ..... UK brokers are not SEC compliant, there no UK broker is able to trade a stock on a US stock exchange - it would put them under the purview of the SEC, and in practice there is no way for a UK broker to become SEC compliant.

* It somewhat depends on the broker in question, and UK and EU rules are supposed to enforce local rules, as the SEC does in the US, so it depends on how savvy your US broker is.

As per the advice to people heading the opposite direction, unless you plan to hold the stocks for the very long term, it would generally be better to divest stocks before you set off across the Atlantic, because tax, regulations, and practical matters may make them onerous to keep and selling them later may be difficult and/or expensive.

BTW that was a stockbroker question, not banking,

There are many, many things I don't know about stocks and brokerage and banks, etc.

In the US, it seems that many people trade themselves without a broker. Some seem to have brokerage accounts. Does anyone know or care where they actually live?

B, and perhaps more importantly, where the hell does one go for comprehensive guidance and advice on this and all tax/finance matters relating the a US/UK existence. Because my bank certainly doesn't seem to know, even though it's a major international commercial bank.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
There are many, many things I don't know about stocks and brokerage and banks, etc.

In the US, it seems that many people trade themselves without a broker. Some seem to have brokerage accounts. Does anyone know or care where they actually live? ....
You can't trade stocks without some sort of relationship with some sort of stock broker. The broker may not call themselves "a broker", or the account "a brokerage account", or your bank might "front" for their embeded broker (the disclosure about them being a stockbroker, member of the NYSE, and governed by SEC rules should be disclosed in the small print somewhere, along with a similar disclosure, if your broker is owned by a bank, that investments through the broker are not covered by FDIC deposit insurance), but however it's deressed up you cannot buy and sell stocks (except by direct transfer, which is pretty rare, and the recipient would still need to register the transfer with the stock exchange through a broker - just like giving someone a check, which they would need to deposit at a bank, or sell the check to someone who has a bank account e.g. cash the check at a check-casher) other than through a stock exchange with the aid of a stockbroker.

I presume that you are talking about the on-line accounts, many of which seem to say little about them actually being a stockbroker, and which you get no advice, they just buy and sell based on your instructions.
.... B, and perhaps more importantly, where the hell does one go for comprehensive guidance and advice on this and all tax/finance matters relating the a US/UK existence. Because my bank certainly doesn't seem to know, even though it's a major international commercial bank.
There really isn't a good repository of advice these days - most Americans just assume that everything works the American way, and in the UK brokers, and increasingly banks, just flat-out refuse to deal with anyone living in, or connected to, the US. And IME the local branch of even the largest international banks is staffed by employees who are no better informed than those at Podunk Community Bank.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 20th 2020 at 6:49 pm.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

As to UK residents trading US stocks in the USA then it is possible depending on the broker. My brokerage is Vanguard and before moving from the USA to UK I confirmed with them that this was possible. I retained a US bank account linked to my Vanguard account (I had to switch banks before I left to one that supported overseas customers) plus a US telephone number as Vanguard uses 2FA so that from time to time they need to send a verification code to a US phone. The number I have doesn’t do text which is fine, when a code needs to be sent a robotic voice speaks the code. I mostly use the Vanguard app on my iPad when making trades etc.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
As to UK residents trading US stocks in the USA then it is possible depending on the broker. My brokerage is Vanguard and before moving from the USA to UK I confirmed with them that this was possible. I retained a US bank account linked to my Vanguard account (I had to switch banks before I left to one that supported overseas customers) plus a US telephone number as Vanguard uses 2FA so that from time to time they need to send a verification code to a US phone. The number I have doesn’t do text which is fine, when a code needs to be sent a robotic voice speaks the code. I mostly use the Vanguard app on my iPad when making trades etc.
Would you be so kind as to share the bank you were able to find that supported overseas customers? Good to know that Vanguard can be used as that is who I have my brokerage with. I was unaware that you could still buy stocks once you moved though, is this the same ETF's too do you know? I'd planned on not being able to buy any more mutual funds (to be converted into ETF before I leave) from some of the advise I'd read but I'd not looked too hard into it. So essentially it's as if you've never left from Vanguard's trading perspective? Good to know.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
Would you be so kind as to share the bank you were able to find that supported overseas customers? Good to know that Vanguard can be used as that is who I have my brokerage with. I was unaware that you could still buy stocks once you moved though, is this the same ETF's too do you know? I'd planned on not being able to buy any more mutual funds (to be converted into ETF before I leave) from some of the advise I'd read but I'd not looked too hard into it. So essentially it's as if you've never left from Vanguard's trading perspective? Good to know.
I opened an HSBC US account as I already had a UK HSBC account but I know that there are other options including Barclays.

I converted my mutual funds to ETFs before I moved and it is ETF shares that I trade in my taxable account. I also trade mutual funds in my IRA as there is no UK tax implications until distributions are made.

You probably know this but all of Vanguard ETF funds are recognized by HMRC so you have the favorable HMRC tax treatment of dividends and cap gains.

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Old Jul 20th 2020, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
I opened an HSBC US account as I already had a UK HSBC account but I know that there are other options including Barclays.

I converted my mutual funds to ETFs before I moved and it is ETF shares that I trade in my taxable account. I also trade mutual funds in my IRA as there is no UK tax implications until distributions are made.

You probably know this but all of Vanguard ETF funds are recognized by HMRC so you have the favorable HMRC tax treatment of dividends and cap gains.
Do you know if it is possible to continue to hold (and trade)individual stocks in a US brokerage account while resident in UK or is it only the ETFs on the HMRC list that are treated favourably?
Thanks
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Russet View Post
Do you know if it is possible to continue to hold (and trade)individual stocks in a US brokerage account while resident in UK or is it only the ETFs on the HMRC list that are treated favourably?
Thanks
No problem with individual stocks as far as I know.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Russet View Post
Do you know if it is possible to continue to hold (and trade)individual stocks in a US brokerage account while resident in UK or is it only the ETFs on the HMRC list that are treated favourably?
Thanks
In theory it should not be possible, for the mirror image of the reason that a broker in the UK can't have a US resident as a client - UK/EU rules on investor protection and investment advice should keep US investment advisors from having clients in the UK.

In practice I suspect that some brokers in the US are unaware of this, though it is also in theory possible if the US broker has a UK office, to route the account through the UK office, and there is no bar on shares issued in the US being held by investors in the UK, whereas shares issues in the UK are not compliant with SEC rules and cannot be sold to residents of the US.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Currently completely hypothetical, but I need information in case it comes up in my job search. I believe in being prepared and knowledge is power.

I haven't been resident in the UK for a very long time. I have an NI but no bank account there or anything else much. Can I take a job from a UK organization on a remote basis while I'm still in the US and have no UK address? Can they pay into a US bank or do I need some sort of online bank? Other? Or just forget the whole idea?

I would have to deal with the tax issues separately I imagine, and no idea what that would look like, but step one is "is it even possible?"
I haven't actually done this, but you can set up a virtual address in the UK via Mailboxes etc. Depending on the service you buy, they can forward your post to you and you can have a physical address in the UK.

With HSBC Expat, you can open up a Stirling account from abroad (although the eligibility criteria may make this option inaccessible).


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Old Jul 24th 2020, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: Probable stupid question re remote work for a UK organization while in the U

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
I haven't actually done this, but you can set up a virtual address in the UK via Mailboxes etc. Depending on the service you buy, they can forward your post to you and you can have a physical address in the UK.

With HSBC Expat, you can open up a Stirling account from abroad (although the eligibility criteria may make this option inaccessible).

Yes, those HSBC account criteria are too steep for me.

Does anyone know if a UK employer can pay a payroll check to a British citizen (me) who is still resident in the US and is also a US citizen into a Transferwise borderless account? Obviously money can be paid into such an account, but can an employer do that in the regular way, with UK payroll deductions presumably, that I would then have to deal with on the US end at tax filing time? Would I still have to set up as a self-employed business to do this? I have looked on the Transferwise site but their answers aren't specific enough on this question at all.

I don't yet know if this will come up, but I like getting information so that I have some idea of what may be feasible. It would only be for a temporary bridge period that would allow for Covid to subside a bit and give me time to move, etc.
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