Transferring money from the UK to Canada has no restrictions. Canada has strong historical links to the UK and there are many reasons for to send money from the UK to Canada ranging from property purchases, expat and asset relocation, sending money to family, repatriating earnings, or paying for imports. At 608,000 in 2012 - of whom over a quarter are retired - Canada has the fifth largest UK expat population. Similarly, the UK is host to the third largest population of Canadians overseas, estimated at 82,000 in 2009. The UK is also Canada’s second biggest trading partner after the US, with the UK importing £5.8bn (C$10.5bn) of goods and services in 2013.
Whether you are considering a temporary work assignment or permanent move from the UK to Canada, there are various issues you need to consider. Many expatriates have regretted not organizing their tax and financial matters before leaving the UK. This is usually because they were unaware of the issues or because they failed to make use of some of the available opportunities to do so. The UK government’s rules and regulations for UK expatriates are complicated. As such, you would be well served to seek specialist tax and financial planning advice from an expert. Below are some of the areas you will need to cover:
First and foremost, you need to know how living in a foreign country affects your resident status within the UK. If you are going to Canada to work, specific rules from the UK govern whether you are still a resident or not. In the UK the tax year begins on the 6th of April and runs through the 5th of April of the following year. In Canada the tax year is the calendar year (January to December) so be careful to consider how this overlap may affect your plans.
Quebec in Canada has different rules to the rest of Canada, so take care to review these differences. If you are returning to Canada, you will need to consult with Canadian tax advisors to see what impact your return has.
If you are a property owner in the UK and you become a UK non-resident by moving to Canada, you may chose to rent your property out or leave it empty to use when you are back in the UK. Check whether you need to contact and consult with your mortgage lender, home insurer and your local authority if you are plan to rent your property or remain away from it for long periods of time. For example, you may still be responsible to pay local taxes. If you rent it out and earn an income from it, you will be able to transfer money to Canada.
If you move to Canada, your UK state pension is payable in Canada, but you will not be able to receive any annual increases in the level of this benefit once you are no longer resident in the UK. Therefore your pension level will stay at the rate prevailing at the date when you leave the UK. You will be able to send money from the UK to Canada on a regular basis, but getting the best exchange rate on these transfers becomes even more important if the amount in sterling does not rise.
As a foreign national, you can open a bank account in Canada provided you meet the basic requirements set out in the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations. You must present two specific pieces of identification, such as:
Once you have your account set up, it will be much easier to move from UK pounds to Canadian dollars for your day-to-day expenses, especially when you are first there are may not be receiving much income or have not had the chance to build up savings in Canada.
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