The short answer is YES. Your US based investment accounts can make up a large part of your overall net worth and investment portfolio, even if you don’t live there anymore or don’t intend to live there ever again.
If you are filing your UK taxes on the arising basis*, your worldwide income and gains are reportable to HMRC each year on your UK tax return therefore your US accounts not only matter from a standpoint of your overall financial plan but also from a tax perspective.
Perhaps you have a mix of retirement assets and after-tax assets in your US based portfolio – do you know how these are treated by the UK/US double tax treaty? It is important to understand the implications of UK taxes on your US assets and how the effect this may have on your new life in the UK.
Consider this list of questions to ask yourself as you are assessing your US based portfolio:
Considerations for your taxable accounts:
- What is your account comprised of? Mutual funds? Exchange Traded Fundss? Are these funds on HMRC’s list of Reporting Funds? (What are “Reporting Funds”?) **
- Does your existing US custodian know that you are a UK resident now? How might that impact your accessibility to this account?
- Are there existing embedded capital gains within this account that need further consideration?
- Do your investments in this account reflect US/UK tax efficiency AND diversification AND your financial goals?
- Can I continue to save money into this account?
Considerations for your retirement accounts:
- What type of retirement account(s) do I have? (401k, IRA, Roth IRA, 403b, SEP, SIMPLE IRA, etc)
- Am I still employed with the employer in which this retirement plan is held (if an employer sponsored plan)? If so, what are my options with my retirement plan – i.e. rollover, keep at existing plan sponsor, distribute in part or full etc.
- Am I currently drawing income from my retirement plan(s)? If so, how will this be treated as a UK tax resident?
- Does your existing custodian know that you are a UK resident now? How might that impact your accessibility to this account?
- Can I continue to save into this account?
Chances are you didn’t know the answers to most of these questions. Living a cross-border life can be complex and we recommend seeking professional help when it comes to efficiently planning for your US assets.
*Arising Basis: An individual on the arising basis of taxation will pay UK tax on their worldwide income and gains regardless of whether they bring the income or gains to the UK.
** A reporting offshore fund is required to report its income to HMRC and to its UK investors for each reporting period. If the offshore fund has elected into the HMRC reporting fund regime, realized gains will instead be subject to capital gains tax rates, currently at a maximum of 20%.
Tanager Wealth Management LLP is not authorised to, and does not, provide tax advice. US persons resident in the UK should consult a suitably qualified US/UK tax advisor.