UK job - stay in CH (work remote) or move to UK?

My better partner has been offered a great job in the UK. At this stage it seems he could do the job remotely from Switzerland, where we are naturalized and pretty settled with a (hefty) mortgage. Our longterm goal is to stay and retire in Switzerland but we're about 10 years away from that stage...

On the other hand, we wouldn't mind being based in the UK for a few years and are looking for guidance on whether we should avoid UK residency and also understand better the dom vs non-dom implications.

Does anyone have a similar experience or a recommended accountant to help us in this journey?

As well as Swiss are you also UK nationals, I assume not as you mention UK residency?

He is, yes. Not me (but EU).

Need to check if his salary would be enough for you to be able to join him. The figure required is going up some time in 2024.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-67794032

Non-dom status doesn’t help if you are earning your money in the UK.

I can't see any benefit to you going to the UK - he'll be classed as a UK taxpayer as soon as he works 30 days in the UK per annum in a UK office and then paying UK tax.

If he works remotely will he be paid in CHF or GBP? If the latter you need to consider exchange rates given that the GBP/CHF rate has gone from 1.25 or so to below 1.10 CHF in the 4 years I've been working in Switzerland.

The UK is no longer in the EU, so freedom-of-movement no longer applies, and there will be a whole series of hoops you will need to jump through in order to both reside in the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/pa…nt%20residence

As Medea has already stated, this includes the minimum your partner needs to earn in order to allow you to live in the UK for an extended period.

The system is designed to be hostile so even if you meet all the requirements, you might find yourselves spending money on legal assistance to get your application through.

Also check out this website as a useful resource on such topics:

https://www.forum.ukcen.com/

Given the volatile nature of Sterling, are you sure that your partner’s earnings will be sufficient to cover living expenses whilst in the UK plus your costs in Switzerland e.g. mortgage payments you mentioned in the first post?

Cheers,
Nick

Thanks for the advice, and yes, we are worried about the tax situation. It's a great job opportunity... kind of one of those that rarely comes around so evaluating it very carefully. His pay will be in GBP so yes, taxed in the UK. We've explored whether he could be treated as a consultant but not looking promising so would be considered an employee in the UK.

Indeed this is what we are looking into... to make sure we wouldn't be out of pocket. Super complicated to figure out ourselves so really appreciate the links.

Anyone have a tax advisor with UK and Switzerland experience?

If you feel comfortable enough with renting out your current place that should cover your mortgage.

As one of our incomes is from the UK we did experience the income going down due to GBP losing value vs CHF, a trend likely to continue in my opinion.

We usually spend a month a year in the UK. We used to find UK for groceries, restaurants, clothes, etc. 30-50% cheaper. This year it was more like 10-20%...

Inflation is having quite of an effect imo.

You know what your finances cover and where you prefer to live... Maybe you can tell us more about from where your dilemma stems?

Career advancement opportunities?

Cost of living?

Administrative burden?

Social life?

Food?

etc.

The main goal would be career advancement – an opportunity not easy to find here... with a long-term upside of strengthening his professional network with the objective that this helps with consulting opportunities in the later stages of his career. And to be clear, long-term we want to live/retire in Switzerland. For me, it's easier (I think) because I work for myself and have my own consulting business (registered in Switz.)

So... we are seeking to evaluate our options, e.g. either

(1) temporarily (3-5yrs) moving to the UK, or

(2) staying in Switzerland with him commuting back and forth

What we understand is that the repercussions of these options, and whether to embrace or avoid UK residency especially if his new job forces him into a UK employment contract. We are quite pragmatic in the sense that on the one hand we wouldn't mind a little adventure for a few years being based in the UK, but not if it really hurts. And yes, if we opt for option 1, then we would rent out our house...

Really appreciate the thread and the replies!!

My husband commutes part of the year only. Zh-london direct flights and private transportation arranged. Still rather tiring and it is a challenge to fit in all the meetings as you are not in the UK for all the possible appointments or social events,especially as Fridays and weekends are in Switzerland. We also have small kids which makes it extra challenging.

Has any of you commuted in a similar manner before?

Living in the UK vs here - there are also other threads. We haven't made up our minds yet but issues with medical system in the UK were an important factor. Social life and restaurants are way better in the UK. Grocery quality, buildings quality and weather better here.

Grocery quality better here than the UK? How....?

Supermarket fresh fruit and veg is way better in UK supermarkets. The NHS is probably the big thing that would stop me returning to the UK.

It seems opinions differ. There are things that are better and more variety in the UK but I find it difficult to find good fruit or flour for example in the UK.I can find better meat to my liking though.

I never knew about this 30 day per annum rule. So if I am employed in Switzerland by a Swiss Company but spend a total of more than 30 days working in London per year, I would have to pay UK tax? Even though I would spend only 1 week in London per visit?

That is certainly the rule... if you are a UK citizen who normally lives and works abroad, by working in UK for 30 days you would be potentially liable to UK tax. However, there are some exceptions.

Kind regards

Ian

A day is taken to be a working day if more than 3 hours are spent working. We found this document very useful in explaining the rules. I don’t think they’ve changed recently. https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/…-flowchart.pdf

Not since we moved to Switzerland in 2001, but for the latter half of 2000 I had a contract working on-site near London Victoria while our home base was in Edinburgh. The money was good for market at the time and the project was an interesting one.

The downside was the weekly commute in either direction (I flew) and living out of a suitcase which ended up affecting my physical (and I daresay to an extent mental) health - especially being apart for most of the week from MrsNickAtBasel.

I also did a daily commute from Kleinbasel to Zurich Flurstrasse from 2005 thru 2010 which wore me out in the end, and once NickAtBaselJnr came along it was no problem to up sticks and move to Zurich - though we did like Basel a lot.

As I get older, I find time to myself and with family to be a far more valuable commodity than money or even career advancement and appreciate that my commute to the office of my employer is 10mins.

There would need to a significant financial benefit and/or improvement to employment conditions if I was to give that up and have to do some long commute.

Cheers,

Nick

I commute and have been doing that for years now for the above reasons. In the town where I lived there are very few jobs in my area and those not well paid and not interesting.

But I cannot imagine doing that with small kids. However, some jobs don ́t have that luxury (military, working on the rigs) but that is something you choose.