Title: Planning to move to the UK
Date: Tuesday June 14th
Time: 1pm HKT (Chinese) and 5pm HKT (English)
Speakers: Winnie Cheuk and Peter Fenyves
In 2020 the UK Government changed the rights attached to the British National (Overseas) status in Hong Kong. The new BNP Visa permits Hong Kong citizens with BNO status to come to the UK with their close family members for five years. After five years of residence in the UK, they will be entitled to apply for settlement – termed ‘indefinite leave to remain’ – and after one further year of residence to apply for British citizenship.
BNO Visa holders are able to work or study freely in the UK, including applying for higher education courses. Although they will not generally be entitled to claim benefits, they will be able to use the UK National Health Service (NHS).
Any BNO citizens in Hong Kong who are looking to relocate or invest in the UK will need to ensure they have a clear understanding of the UK tax system and should make pre-arrival tax planning a priority. UK income tax rates of up to 45% are generally much higher than those in Hong Kong, while the UK also levies tax on capital gains and inheritance.
There is a high possibility that a BNO Visa holder would be considered non-UK domiciled and this puts you in a favourable position of using an Excluded Property Trust (EPT) as part of your pre-arrival asset structuring. The principal purpose of an EPT is to act as a permanent shelter from UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) because assets settled into an EPT will never again be exposed to UK IHT, even if the settlor becomes UK domiciled or deemed domiciled.