Hong Kong citizens moving to the UK
There is a great saying: “You do not know, what you do not know”. This is particularly relevant to people that wish to move from Hong Kong to the UK
We are running a live Q&A session with professional / expert panel members to help people from Hong Kong move to the UK with confidence and comfort.
What guidance will be provided to Hong Kongers?
We will be able to provide you with some guidance around
– Relocation services and support
– Other legal matters
– Financial matters from investments, insurance and mortgages
– Tax matters
– Schools, jobs and relocation
Who are the panel members?
Please join me and the other panel members listed below
– Simon Misiewicz from Optimise Accountants
Previous episodes of the HK2UK event
Frequently asked questions from the HK2UK live seminars:
Q: Is it easy to get a VISA in the United Kingdom?
A: Life is always easier or more complicated than we first think. Getting a VISA in the United Kingdom has been made more accessible since 2020, and the work that Boris Johnson has done with British National Overseas (BNO). A lifeline has been made to help Hong Kongers move from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom.
A VISA application is still required.
Q: Where should I live in the United Kingdom if I were to leave Hong Kong.
A: Where you live in the UK very much depends on the individuals family. It is worth considering the key elements of life, which includes: schools, travel links, communities, work and lifestyle. Most people reading this will have different needs and wants. As such, it is always worth speaking with other Hong Kongers that have moved to the United Kingdom, who have similar life interests, to see where they moved and the reasons for the chosen location.
Q: I have a will and other legal documents in Hong Kong. Are they valid in the UK?
A: Albeit many Hong Kong laws are based mainly on the United Kingdom, it is always having new documents created in the UK. New documents to be created may cover: a will to say where assets will be allocated upon death, a power of attorney to say who has the responsibility to manage your legal/financial affairs in the event of incapacitation.
Q: Who do I speak with to get a home in the United Kingdom?
A: The UK operate a system where properties to be sold are made available on websites such as Right Move and Zoopla. You will be given the details of estate agents to speak with to discuss a property viewing and discuss prices?
Q: Can I get a mortgage as a Hong Konger in the UK?
A: There are two types of mortgages that we need to consider. A residential mortgage covers that of your home in the UK. The second type of mortgage is a buy to let mortgage on any investment properties you choose to own.
Mortgage brokers will help you identify the right financial product for you. You can apply for residential mortgages through your bank, but you may not always get the best interest rate than you might be working with a mortgage broker.
A buy to let mortgage may be a little trickier for you to obtain. This is because you may not have a financial track record in the UK, known as a credit rating. Banks need to know your credit rating to understand the risk profile of lending you money. This is another tricky area, and working with a mortgage broker will help as they can guide you through the credit rating system and how you can improve yours over time.
You also need to be mindful that the rate of mortgage interest charged will depend on your location. If you live outside the United Kingdom and remain in Hong Kong, the rates of interest will be significantly more than if you were to live in the UK.
Q: I am moving to the UK. Do I need to think about paying tax to HMRC?
A: The UK tax system charges taxes on money earned in the United Kingdom. The type of earnings may cover employment, self-employment and investments. Typically, UK employers deduct tax at source, meaning that you receive your money after tax. This is not going to be any different to Hong Kong. You might get a nasty surprise by the amount of tax deducted from your wages as HMRC charge significantly more tax than the Hong Kong counterpart, The Inland Revenue Department.
Any money that is not taxed at source, such as investments or self-employed, may require you to submit tax returns to HMRC. Please note that the tax year starts from 6th April to the following 5th April. Tax returns and tax payments need to be concluded the following 31st January. The Inland Revenue Department in Hong Kong uses different dates to HMRC. The tax year in Hong Kong starts 1st April and ends 31st March the following year.
Q: Do I need to pay UK tax on my worldwide income?
A: There is a system called the remittance basis. This is a complex area, and you ought to reach out to an international tax specialist to help you in this areas before you make any decision.
If you are a tax resident, you can decide to pay UK tax on your UK income or worldwide income. Choosing to be taxed on just UK income means that you lose your UK tax-free personal allowance. You need to calculate the tax savings of only declaring worldwide income to just UK income against the loss of your UK personal allowance (tax-free money allowance).
If you use the remittance basis, then the tax you pay will be on UK income alone, but you will also suffer a UK tax charge on any money that you remit to the UK
After so many years, there is also a hefty remittance basis charge that would render most people from using the remittance basis.
Q: When am I a tax resident in the UK?
A: You are automatically a tax resident in the United Kingdom if you have lived in the UK for more than 183 days. Is it that simple? No, you may have financial/economic ties to the UK or have lived/worked in the United Kingdom previously. This means that the 183 days do not always apply, and the number of days to become a UK tax resident is significantly reduced.
This is a very tricky area, and you need to get international tax advice on this subject before you move from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom.
Q: Do I need to pay taxes in Hong Kong for money earned in the United Kingdom?
Q: Typically, the Inland Revenue Department in Hong Kong does not charge tax on the UK earned income. In fact, it is fair to say that there is no or very little tax payable on foreign earned income outside of Hong Kong