Leave or stay is now the UK expat dilemma

Leave or stay is now the UK expat dilemma

Leave or stay is now the UK expat dilemma

The question of the decade for a huge number of Britons is whether they should move to Europe whilst Brexit is still being negotiated or wait till it’s finalised.

For many British citizens whose dreams have been focused on a move to another EU country, the referendum hasn’t resulted in their deciding to stay on the UK no matter what. On the contrary, statistics show an increased number heading for the door in spite of uncertainty rather than enduring a post-Brexit nightmare back at home. Real estate purchases in popular expat hubs are booming, but the question is still relevant – shall we stay or shall we go?

According to the experts, the timing of relocation will depend on individual circumstances such as age, personal preferences within the family and finances in general rather than just tax and financial planning. For retirees in particular, it’s possible to live more cheaply as regards food and utilities than in the UK, even if you’re limited by the UK state pension and profits from selling your British property.
Even considering the effects of Brexit given the present state of the negotiations is likely to be a waste of time, but for those with funds and a recently purchased property it’s unlikely the chosen host country would refuse permission to stay.

As regards taxes, each individual EU member state has its own domestic tax policies and laws, although some work on a bilateral basis as regards double tax treaties with other states. These statutes won’t change after the UK leaves the EU as its leaving will have no effect on foreign tax laws. For expats, taxes are likely to depend on sources of income and whether you’re working or in retirement once you’ve arrived.

Some countries have tax laws which may seem strange to Brits, with France’s second layer of taxes referred to as ‘social charges’ and levied at between 7.5 and 15 per cent, thus adding to the average expat’s tax burden. France also has a wealth tax, but it’s unlikely to apply to most UK expats. Either way, it’s not the best idea to choose an expat destination solely for its tax advantages, especially in the present circumstances. The general opinion seems to be a move at present may leave expats in more favourable positions than if they waited until Brexit is a done deal. Being in-country when reality dawns on the UK is preferable to begging to be let in ahead of the rush.

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