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Selling up with the fam

Selling up with the fam

Old Dec 1st 2021, 10:36 am
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Default Selling up with the fam

I'm thinking of selling up here in the UK and moving to Portugal. We are a young family of 3 & 6-year-old boys and I don't know where to look at moving in all honesty - Lisbon is high on the list of attractiveness. Obviously, we need schooling for the kids, things to do and we also want to integrate into the community and learn the language etc. happy with any form of advice and suggestions. luckily my job means I can work remote and fly into the UK once a month for a few days.
Also has anyone done it, I'm not retired just turned 40 so interested in anyone that's done it
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Old Dec 1st 2021, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

We don't have kids, but have both been working in PT for a few years, in tech jobs

Check whether your employer will allow you to do this, as it potentially makes life more complicated for them (you will be a tax resident in another country, which they cannot ignore from a payroll perspective, insurance can also be an issue). My wife's employer refused, despite the fact that she already worked 99% remote and they already had a local "branch" of the company which she could have transferred to!

We both ended up getting jobs with local employers (tech is booming in Lisbon especially, so it was fairly easy, much harder in some other professions). Upside is it really helps in integration, downside is that Portuguese salaries (even in tech) are a long way below UK salaries
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Old Dec 1st 2021, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

You probably have the whole tax and visa situation sorted so nothing stopping you if you are aware of all the other pitfalls. If you are selling up in Manchester and thinking of buying property in Lisbon again, that might be an issue unless you are very wealthy, or don't mind flats. I was speaking to a Portuguese friend recently and the house prices in Lisbon are eye-watering, although maybe you are looking at the province rather than the city direct?

Last edited by Moses2013; Dec 1st 2021 at 11:51 am.
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Old Dec 1st 2021, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
You probably have the whole tax and visa situation sorted so nothing stopping you if you are aware of all the other pitfalls. If you are selling up in Manchester and thinking of buying property in Lisbon again, that might be an issue unless you are very wealthy, or don't mind flats. I was speaking to a Portuguese friend recently and the house prices in Lisbon are eye-watering, although maybe you are looking at the province rather than the city direct?
we aren't set on Lisbon - really happy to look anywhere in all honestly. More from a schooling perspective. My role is going European in the next 12 months anyway so it doesn't matter where I am based.
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Old Dec 1st 2021, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by moonstaruk View Post
we aren't set on Lisbon - really happy to look anywhere in all honestly. More from a schooling perspective. My role is going European in the next 12 months anyway so it doesn't matter where I am based.
This is a universal issue for future expats. 3 and 6 are ideal ages for "foreign" children to settle in another country. They'd have no trouble learning the language (particularly the accent and Grammar!) at their Infants and Primary Schools, and you'd learn with them, at least at their level. They would make life-long friends if you stay put....
Start to learn Portuguese as from now (European, not Brazilian), it's not an easy language for a Brit to master, even if you know Spanish/French/Italian!
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Old Dec 1st 2021, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

The first thing you need to do is to research the visa situation to see if Portugal will accept you before you do anything else
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Old Dec 1st 2021, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by moonstaruk View Post
we aren't set on Lisbon - really happy to look anywhere in all honestly. More from a schooling perspective. My role is going European in the next 12 months anyway so it doesn't matter where I am based.
It does matter though, because your employer will need to pay social security contributions in whatever country you are resident (unless they ask for a specific exemption under "detached workers" rules, but those are very clearly and strictly limited to temporary secondments)

Not trying to put you off the idea (we are very glad that we moved), but you (and your employer) should do this research before you commit to anything. It's all doable, but it's not quite as simple as just "move somewhere else but keep applying UK rules to everything"
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by moonstaruk View Post
my job means I can work remote and fly into the UK once a month for a few days.
Also has anyone done it, I'm not retired just turned 40 so interested in anyone that's done it
I did fly back into the UK for work for up to 7-10 days at a time every month in the first few months, but tbh it wasn't ideal.

Soon you may find out that the inconvenience of flying to and from (and of the odd flight delay/cancelation), sleeping in hotels while in the UK, eating out, etc becomes all too much. Nowadays you have to add all those various, and sometimes unexpected, covid restrictions and changing entry requirements.

My spouse goes back to work in the UK for a week or so every couple of months. Whilst helpful for our budget, this is something we could do without.

Short answer - perhaps it is not too wise if you intend to rely on UK employment income only.

Otherwise - (Greater) Lisbon is overall a very good place to live.

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Old Dec 7th 2021, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by Alan PT View Post
It does matter though, because your employer will need to pay social security contributions in whatever country you are resident (unless they ask for a specific exemption under "detached workers" rules, but those are very clearly and strictly limited to temporary secondments)

Not trying to put you off the idea (we are very glad that we moved), but you (and your employer) should do this research before you commit to anything. It's all doable, but it's not quite as simple as just "move somewhere else but keep applying UK rules to everything"
Not necessarily. Although it is more of a matter for an accountant as potentially it involves not only tax and social security, but also residence, domicile, etc.

The OP may be self-employed in PT (and that means no social security contributions for the first 12 months of activity) and employed in the UK (or another country).

The UK employer will need to pay NI contributions on UK salary and that would be it, assuming that the (majority of the) work would be done for one week a month in the UK.

Last edited by SgtTroy; Dec 7th 2021 at 2:42 am.
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by SgtTroy View Post
assuming that the (majority of the) work would be done for one week a month in the UK.
But that's not the scenario he was describing, he said "work remote and fly into the UK once a month for a few days"

But you are right, there is a whole tangle of possibilities and you need a good accountant with an understanding of both UK and Portuguese law to explore them all. The main point here is that you really need to do that, not just expect you can move and keep everything the same

After exploring possibilities with professional advice, I decided that shutting down my UK contracting company and getting a job in PT was a much lower hassle option, but I was lucky to be in a field where that was relatively easy to do (albeit less lucrative)
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by Alan PT View Post
But that's not the scenario he was describing, he said "work remote and fly into the UK once a month for a few days"
True, although "work remote" most likely implies "away from office".

In the absence of established business premises in PT, working from home/remote working would be a somehow grey area for an employee of an UK company who resides in PT, works from home and additionally visits the company's UK office.

In such a case perhaps the only recognizable employer's establishment would be the employer company UK office, hence there might be an argument that whatever work is done at home is not as relevant as the work performed in the company's UK office.

I'm not saying this with a view of starting an argument, as I don't think either of us is an expert in taxation. The OP ideally should find both a good PT and a good UK accountant and proceed after hearing their opinions.
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Let's cut to the chase here....... how many times have we heard of people who think they can move to Portugal, but continue to earn from the UK without being liable for Portuguese taxation, hence having the best of both worlds?

Working "remotely" and online just makes this appear easier.... and encourages the idea of just keeping below the radar in both countries. Someone I know (and who is an EU citizen) has just had an uncomfortable experience with the IRS because he was continuing his work as a financial advisor in Holland, whilst living most of the time in Portugal.... and not declaring his situation to either tax authority. Suffice it to say that the Portuguese taxman had a fairly firm view of where any tax was due........
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Let's cut to the chase here....... how many times have we heard of people who think they can move to Portugal, but continue to earn from the UK without being liable for Portuguese taxation, hence having the best of both worlds?

Working "remotely" and online just makes this appear easier.... and encourages the idea of just keeping below the radar in both countries. Someone I know (and who is an EU citizen) has just had an uncomfortable experience with the IRS because he was continuing his work as a financial advisor in Holland, whilst living most of the time in Portugal.... and not declaring his situation to either tax authority. Suffice it to say that the Portuguese taxman had a fairly firm view of where any tax was due........

I don't think that there has been any suggestion throughout the discussion from anyone involved, that income should not be declared.

In reality there isn't much difference between UK and PT taxation and at the end of the day it may be all about paying a few percent extra in PT.
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by SgtTroy View Post
I don't think that there has been any suggestion throughout the discussion from anyone involved, that income should not be declared.

In reality there isn't much difference between UK and PT taxation and at the end of the day it may be all about paying a few percent extra in PT.
......But it's a case of "the devil you know", especially if people don't speak or understand Portuguese very well.

I'm not suggesting anyone is thinking of overtly defrauding the tax authorities, just that oftentimes the complexities of working abroad aren't considered beyond the "physical" (or virtual) ability to continue doing the same job and earning from the same source.
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Old Dec 7th 2021, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Selling up with the fam

Originally Posted by SgtTroy View Post
True, although "work remote" most likely implies "away from office".

In the absence of established business premises in PT, working from home/remote working would be a somehow grey area for an employee of an UK company who resides in PT, works from home and additionally visits the company's UK office.

In such a case perhaps the only recognizable employer's establishment would be the employer company UK office, hence there might be an argument that whatever work is done at home is not as relevant as the work performed in the company's UK office.

I'm not saying this with a view of starting an argument, as I don't think either of us is an expert in taxation. The OP ideally should find both a good PT and a good UK accountant and proceed after hearing their opinions.
Yes, I think we both understand just enough to have some feeling of how complicated it can get

The employer should also take advice, as they may be risking inadvertently creating an establishment in PT, which is a whole world of hassle for them. There's more options via contracting through your own company, but they get quite complicated, so I'll not try to add anything on that here for fear of misleading someone

Bottom line for OP and anyone else reading - DO get advice, DON'T just move expecting nothing to change (there are various horror stories of financas catching up with people years later and presenting them with massive tax bills)


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