Moving back to UK after Brexit

44 posts in this topic

Hi all, I will be moving back to UK as soon as I can.

I have so many questions my head is spinning, I'll try to stick to a few points here.

As I am selling everything possible, I now have lots of cash which I'd like to put into my German Bank account.

1. I don't usually have much in it, but I'll be paying several 1000s in, is this a problem? Only have Kaufvertrag for my car as some sort of proof of where the money comes from.

2. Eventually I'll close the account transferring maybe 20,000 back to UK. I need to open a Bank Account online first for that, any recommendations?

3. My partner (soon to be ex, as she's not coming with) has another 15,000 to transfer to my not yet existing UK account. Given that I don't pay tax in UK because I don't have anything, will that be taxable? What sort of official interest will be raised.(See point 2 as well)

I do hope you can help, I'm super stressed out.

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1. If you are moving and selling things it should not be a huge problem, but the more you can prove with adverts, kaufvertrag etc the better. 

 

2. Opening a bank account in UK right now will need a UK address and you to be resident there. The best I can suggest is using somewhere like Transferwise who will give you a UK sort code and account number, then when you are in UK you can choose a bank account with a high street bank. Personally I would leave the money where it is, open a Transferwise or similar account, and only put the minimum needed into it so that you have the money where it is very safe. That way you can access it in GBP in UK, you will have a UK sort code and account, and can also transfer money to UK at better rates than a bank would offer. 

 

3. Depends on too many things like where is it from, why is it for you.

 

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1 hour ago, SusieT said:

 

2. Opening a bank account in UK right now will need a UK address and you to be resident there. The best I can suggest is using somewhere like Transferwise who will give you a UK sort code and account number, then when you are in UK you can choose a bank account with a high street bank. Personally I would leave the money where it is, open a Transferwise or similar account, and only put the minimum needed into it so that you have the money where it is very safe. That way you can access it in GBP in UK, you will have a UK sort code and account, and can also transfer money to UK at better rates than a bank would offer. 

 

So I should close my German Bank account and move the money into e.g. Transferwise? I don't think I'll be able to access my DE konto from England, it has an app that sends a code to confirm what I'm doing. Sorry if for some people this is obvious, but it's not to me.

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42 minutes ago, Patsyface said:

So I should close my German Bank account and move the money into e.g. Transferwise? I don't think I'll be able to access my DE konto from England, it has an app that sends a code to confirm what I'm doing. Sorry if for some people this is obvious, but it's not to me.

 

I suggest you keep your German bank account, it will probably be useful after you moved. Although your German bank will probably charge a (very small) monthly fee. And I expect you will be able to access it from outside Germany, people do this all the time. The App doing what you say is not an obstacle.

Don't be shy to ask "obvious" things, this is what this forum is for.

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Re point 2, you might want to look at Starling Bank.  You get a £ account and a € account (separate account numbers) and they are at least as competitive as Transferwise and the likes but, you then have your UK account that you could keep for all purposes or as a temporary measure as it is just a current account.  Transfers between £ and € cost 0.4% and use Mastercard rates which are about as good as you get as a retail customer.  You also have a Mastercard debit card that can be linked to either account depending one where you use it - £ today € tomorrow and so on.  You can open a joint account when each of you has their own sole account.  Not sure whether you need a UK address to open as everything is online, so have a look.  The advantage is that the money can stay in the Euro account until it is needed of the exchange rate is favourable.  Transferwise doesn't offer that flexibility.

 

Do you want to close your German bank account?  Might it be useful at any point in the future, e.g. when you reach pension age or if you plan to spend time back in Germany with German bank cards etc?  We have recently open a German account for that purpose, having closed our accounts when we left just after Noah boarded his boat!  

 

You will of course need to close out your German tax position for year in which you move.

 

There is no UK tax to worry about in terms of the money you will be taking with you as it is not income or capital gains that would be subject to tax in the UK, assuming it is all done and dusted and in the bank before you move to the UK.  Once you (and the money) are in the UK you become tax resident like anyone else living in the UK and pay income tax on income (wages, self-employed profit, bank interest, income from property and so on) and capital gains tax if you sell property, shares and the like.  You should contact HMRC when you arrive and get settled to get yourself on their radar (assuming you have not started an employment with someone by then as they will deduct tax etc but other than that nothing in particular to worry about.  You must notify HMRC of new sources of income (self-employment, property letting and the like) and may or may not be required to submit a tax return - the UK system is Self Assessment in which you must notify HMRC of new sources, complete a return if required by notice to do and self-assess how much tax you have to pay.  You then pay that tax and HMRC can raise questions within a specific time period (usually 12 months).  All a bit different than the German system. The personal tax allowance from April is £12750, below which no tax will be payable.  You can also earn up to £1,000 in untaxed bank interest on top of that (about £150,000 of savings at today's interest rates)  without having to pay tax on that interest and, if you are on a low income you may get the Starting Rate of Income Tax of 0% on a further £5,000.  I suggest having a read of the HMRC pages on GOV.UK might be helpful. e.g.

 

Tax if you return to the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Returning to the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Once here I would suggest setting up your Personal Tax Account  Personal tax account: sign in or set up - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).  All still a little embryonic but gives access to state pension forecast,  NI record and some tax info.

 

Good luck

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Thanks for the advice, GaryC a very extensive reply thank you, it seems more complicated than I thought.

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3 hours ago, Patsyface said:

So I should close my German Bank account and move the money into e.g. Transferwise? I don't think I'll be able to access my DE konto from England, it has an app that sends a code to confirm what I'm doing. Sorry if for some people this is obvious, but it's not to me.

No, I was suggesting that you leave the money in your German bank where it is very safe. Then open a transferwise account and use that to hold a small amount of sterling, so that you can pay for things until you can open a UK bank account. 
GaryC has given a very good answer, but Starling Bank require you to have a UK address before you can open an account with them

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24 minutes ago, SusieT said:

No, I was suggesting that you leave the money in your German bank where it is very safe. Then open a transferwise account and use that to hold a small amount of sterling, so that you can pay for things until you can open a UK bank account. 
GaryC has given a very good answer, but Starling Bank require you to have a UK address before you can open an account with them

I wasn't aware of that.  Just had a chat with Starling and they said you do need a UK address to open the account. I guess that may still work if you use your parents as a temporary address.

 

Re keeping the German account, I opened a comDirect account, which is free to keep running, from the UK having not lived in Germany for 30 years.  Had to do a proof of ID at the post office in Germany as part of the process but otherwise no problem at all. They seem perfectly content for me to continue running the account post-Brexit, so should be an option here too... 

 

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55 minutes ago, GaryC said:

Re keeping the German account, I opened a comDirect account, which is free to keep running

 

Sorry, but you will pay fees from May 2021 if you don't get at least 700€/month of income into that comdirect account: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://www.nordbayern.de/wirtschaft/kaum-noch-gratis-girokonten-auch-comdirect-erhebt-jetzt-gebuhren-1.10843383

 

More and more banks are cutting formerly free services: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://finanz-szene.de/banking/vom-versuch-das-kostenlose-girokonto-zu-bepreisen/

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WOW!  Hadn't picked up on that one, so thanks.  And, unless you pay in 700€ pm the charge is 4.90€ or the best part of 60€ per year.  Time to look elsewhere, thinks I.

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21 hours ago, Gambatte said:

 

I suggest you keep your German bank account, it will probably be useful after you moved. Although your German bank will probably charge a (very small) monthly fee. And I expect you will be able to access it from outside Germany, people do this all the time. The App doing what you say is not an obstacle.

Don't be shy to ask "obvious" things, this is what this forum is for.

If I keep a German Bank account, do I have to declare it in England?

Will the Volksbank allow me to keep it open?

Will the handy app VR-SecureGo work in England?

Can I top up my aldi talk prepay from England?

Oh God,oh god

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Do not worry!

These things appear always scarier than they are in reality. 

And these are questions you better ask them directly.

 

1 hour ago, Patsyface said:

If I keep a German Bank account, do I have to declare it in England?

I think not.

 

1 hour ago, Patsyface said:

Will the Volksbank allow me to keep it open?

Probably yes. Just if you don't have a regular monthly income coming into it they might charge you a monthly fee, like 5eur. Just like DB did for me, just it took them 5yr to realize I was no longer using the account. And if you do keep it open, you can always close it at any time later just by sending them a letter.

 

1 hour ago, Patsyface said:

Will the handy app VR-SecureGo work in England?

Probably yes.

 

1 hour ago, Patsyface said:

Can I top up my aldi talk prepay from England?

Dunno. But why bother? 

 

1 hour ago, Patsyface said:

Oh God,oh god

Calm! No need to worry. I know these things can intimidate you, but really no reason for it.

 

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34 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

  Can I top up my aldi talk prepay from England?

Dunno. But why bother? 

 

 

 

 

Because the  handy app VR-SecureGo  is linked to my aldi talk phone number?

 

Thanks for your help. I'm overwhelmed with how much I have to do and don't know how.

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You won't have to declare the bank account in the UK. 

 

The App should work, though updates could be a problem.  I use the comDirect App on my UK phone and all was fine until a new version came along and because I had set-up a payment option in Google it will not allow me to load the German App. I spoke to Google and absent that payment option it would work (at least via VPN or while in Germany) but as I have the payment option set, they have given me instructions on how to do that next time we are in Germany.  So potentially a bit cumbersome but not impossible.  And, web-based online banking should be fine.  As the account will not be your everyday account having to do from home on the PC/MAc or whatever is not the end of the world.

 

If you can top-up your Aldi phone online then that should still work OK but I guess you would only want that phone for banking (using wifi while at home?) and travel?  You should be able to link a UK number to the banking app anyway...

 

When we did it way back in 1988 there were no mobile phones, computers etc and everything was on paper at the branch, Amt or whatever - good luck 

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16 minutes ago, Patsyface said:

Because the  handy app VR-SecureGo  is linked to my aldi talk phone number?

 

Thanks for your help. I'm overwhelmed with how much I have to do and don't know how.

Then top up your Aldi phone with plenty of € before you leave, set it to wi-fi only so that you are not using a lot of data, and you will have plenty until you are set up and everything is transferred.  Things really are simple if you switch off panic mode :D 
Keep a book where you can write a list on pages 1 - 3, with things to do in Germany one end and turn it upside down and have things to do in UK at the other end. Then add and cross off things as you think of them or as you do them. If you think in straight lines rather than ever decreasing circles it will all be a lot clearer. 

Something like for germany, sell stuff here, give notice in time if you are renting, take meter readings when you leave, get cleaner in so its all sparkly when you go. 
Tell finanzeamt you are going, deregister at geminde, set up post forwarding. Close any insurances, gyms subscriptions in writing and signed for letters (keep copy of letter and sendungsnummer just in case).
 

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13 minutes ago, SusieT said:

Then top up your Aldi phone with plenty of € before you leave, set it to wi-fi only so that you are not using a lot of data, and you will have plenty until you are set up and everything is transferred.  Things really are simple if you switch off panic mode :D 
Keep a book where you can write a list on pages 1 - 3, with things to do in Germany one end and turn it upside down and have things to do in UK at the other end. Then add and cross off things as you think of them or as you do them. If you think in straight lines rather than ever decreasing circles it will all be a lot clearer. 

Something like for germany, sell stuff here, give notice in time if you are renting, take meter readings when you leave, get cleaner in so its all sparkly when you go. 
Tell finanzeamt you are going, deregister at geminde, set up post forwarding. Close any insurances, gyms subscriptions in writing and signed for letters (keep copy of letter and sendungsnummer just in case).
 

excellent advice

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On 2/22/2021, 12:05:47, Patsyface said:

I don't usually have much in it, but I'll be paying several 1000s in, is this a problem? Only have Kaufvertrag for my car as some sort of proof of where the money comes from.

 

I´ve never had to explain to a German bank where money I was receiving was coming from. Not even 6 digit amounts from property sales or inheritance.

 

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3 minutes ago, jeba said:

I´ve never had to explain to a German bank where money I was receiving was coming from. Not even 6 digit amounts from property sales or inheritance.

I suspect the OP intended having to explain to the FA, not to the Bank.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gambatte said:

I suspect the OP intended having to explain to the FA, not to the Bank.

 

 

Finanzamt, Yes, although it's money from selling my own belongings, and how would they know?

If I keep all the emails from kleinanzeigen, that should show where the money's come from? Selling car and motorbike, I'll have the kaufvertrag.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

 

I´ve never had to explain to a German bank where money I was receiving was coming from. Not even 6 digit amounts from property sales or inheritance.

 

 

But have you had to explain to the Finanzamt?

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