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Repatriation : Moving Back to the UK

- Updated: 04/12/2012
Repatriation : Moving Back to the UK

It is a rarely spoken truth that a high number of those moving overseas to start a new life, will move back to the UK due to Legal, Financial or Personal reasons after a given period of time. Not everybody is suited to the Ex-Pat lifestyle and it is certainly wise to be aware of the Legal & Financial Implications involved in any repatriation back to the UK incase you should find yourself being in this situation at any point.

If you simply think you can get on a plane and arrive back in the UK and pick up where you left off, you will be mistaken – just look in the News at the turn of events over the last 12 Months, and if you have been overseas even longer you may find the economic situation in the UK has changed beyond all recognition.

Tax, benefits, pensions and National Insurance

  • Inform HM Revenue & Customs dates of your return, and find about your tax liability on returning to the UK
  • Check with the Hacienda in Spain about any tax you may owe before you leave
  • For National Insurance contributions, contact the HM Revenue & Customs National Insurance Contributions Office (ask for International Services)
  • Get in touch with the Department for Work and Pensions regarding your pension and benefits, giving them details of your return move and your contact details abroad (and in the UK )


  • Register with a GP and a dentist in the UK
  • Notify any private medical insurance and travel insurance companies that you have policies with
  • Inform your GP, Dentist etc... in Spain you are leaving, and request your records be sent to your GP etc... in the UK

Your home

  • Contact the local council in the area you want to move to - its council tax department and the electoral registration unit will need to know when you will be returning to the UK and your UK address
  • Notify your utility companies inSpain that you are moving and give them a forwarding address, so they can send you final bills and information on any outstanding payments or refunds; you will also need to set up accounts for utility services once you have found a property in the UK
  • Tell your Spanish bank that you are moving
  • Have your mail forwarded

Your children

  • Notify the school authorities that you are leaving Spain
  • Before returning to the UK, contact the relevant local education authority regarding available school places

Comment on this Article

Gibbo : Tax implications where ? : UK or Spain ?
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 30th Sep 2013
Hola We live in the Canary islands and want to move back to the UK in April 2014.. We have 4 apartments we rent on a long let contracts. As a non resident in spain would anyone know Based on 16,000€ per annum gross .. wot would be our tax liability ? or is it better to close them down :/ thx
Gibbo - Mon 30th Sep 2013
Good info here.Some stuff I hadn't already seen on another advice site. Good clear simple necessary advice.
Tcsk - Wed 2th Feb 2011
This is quite a good article. Many ex pats returning home are shocked, particularly those who have been away for a decade or so.
Jonte - Sat 11th Dec 2010
Did you ever make the move back to the UK John? We were how smooth the transition was, if you had...?
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 23rd Nov 2010
Very helpful, as we are considering returning to the UK. We will visit again when we have decided, in the mean time nany thanks!
John Lane - Mon 5th Jul 2010
There is no mail forwarding service in Spain, Re under the spanish medical service in the spanish system. I think you would be very lucky to get your records transferrred across to uk - and then could your GP in the uk read them ?
Linda Barnett - Mon 26th Apr 2010