UK tax guide by BDO
Introduction to the British tax system
The UK has a highly developed tax system with a well-resourced and technologically advanced tax authority. All UK taxpayers are required to assess their own tax liabilities (personally or using an adviser) and send returns electronically.
It is important to engage with HM Revenue & Customs in a cooperative way and meet all reporting deadlines to avoid formal tax investigations; these can be lengthy and expensive. The UK ranks in the top 10 most attractive countries for business investment with comparatively low tax rates and many tax breaks available to reduce the overall tax costs for overseas investors.
Advice for expatriate families
Families coming to live, work and invest in the UK should take expert advice on their tax position before coming to London. UK domiciled individuals pay UK tax on their worldwide income and gains. The UK’s specific rules for foreign domiciled individuals have changed (read more) but can still be advantageous – ensuring that assets and income outside the UK are not taxed here. Planning in advance can enable you to protect your family’s assets and limit the administrative burden while you live in the UK.
In the UK, most businesses are taxed separately from their owners but there are tax breaks on offer to both. Careful decisions on how to invest in the UK can make most of these and limit the long term tax liabilities on your business. Similarly, sensible structuring of the UK element of an international business before it is created can limit unnecessary tax costs (read more).