Moving to America

Moving to America can result in big tax savings for a British high rate taxpayer, as the US top tax bracket is lower than the UK top tax bracket.

If you move to the USA, you will be subject to Federal, State, and possibly City income taxes. If you own your own property, you will be subject to Real Estate Tax imposed by the city your house is in, even if you let it out to others. There are some states that are widely touted as having no income taxes, but these are of course made up with taxation elsewhere, such as higher sales taxes or real estate taxes. If you sell your UK home after you move, the US often taxes that sale so we may recommend you sell before you go.

If you leave the UK for a minimum of three full UK tax years, you may no longer be domiciled for UK inheritance tax purposes, and could pass on your entire estate UK-tax free. If you leave the UK for a minimum of five full UK tax years, you should not owe UK capital gains tax on any UK assets you sold during your absence from the UK.

The amount of information to process can be very confusing. We help you to understand your tax position. An hour’s worth of personal consultation is included in your annual fee. This can be taken through short emails and calls throughout the year, or all at once in an annual meeting. Advice beyond the annual hour will be charged out at our hourly rates.

Some areas you may wish to discuss include estate and inheritance tax issues and other long-range tax planning opportunities. You may wish to review your pension planning options to take advantage of the US/UK tax treaty. If your employment includes a significant stakehold in a company, we can provide advice to help you choose the most tax-efficient remuneration scheme, along with any additional compliance needs that may be generated by your decision.

There are many different kinds of immigration visas to the US. If you do not intend to spend the remainder of your days in the USA, you should consider some of the many options besides obtaining a greencard, as greencard holders are liable for US taxation on their worldwide income even after they return to their home country.

For general US immigration inquiries, we recommend the firm of Visas 4 America. Please be sure to tell them you found them on our website. We can make specific attorney recommendations upon your call.

If you need foreign currency exchanged in order to make your purchase, you should try to get the lowest rate possible. For the many banks and exchange services that charge no commission, they obviously make their money someplace else. That place is the “spread”, the difference between the “buy” price and the “sell” price on currency. If your bank or currency exchange service has a spread greater than .5%, we recommend you shop around for the lowest price. We would be happy to give you some recommendations for companies with low fees.

Alternatively, you may wish to consider using a bank that has charges clients the Interbank rates (fractional or nil spread with zero commission). We will advise on appropriate banks for your circumstances.

We recommend you seek expert advice for your UK tax preparation. If you are pleased with your current UK accountant, we would be happy to liaise with them regarding any questions that they may have. Should you feel the need to switch providers, we work in conjunction with partner UK tax firms that specialize in clients moving abroad. Please let us know if you would like for us to provide you with a quote for UK tax work.