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Anyone moving to Ireland permanently should consider the effect that relocating will have on their pensions, cash assets and tax status, and ideally take professional advice well in advance of leaving the UK. Here are some key questions you should ask yourself, which highlight why financial planning is so important.

Have you thought about what you will do with any personal and/or company pensions, either in the UK or elsewhere abroad, when you move to Ireland?
As a non-resident, you will only be entitled to make contributions into an existing UK pension and get tax relief for a limited amount of time. Also, there might be more tax-friendly options for you, such as consolidating your pensions into a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or transferring your pensions into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme (QROPS). However, choosing whether a SIPP or QROPS is right for you can be a complicated process, so seek professional assistance.

Are you aware of where you are domiciled, what your domicile status means with regard to inheritance tax on your worldwide estate and how you could reduce tax on wealth passed to your heirs?
There is often uncertainty over what domiciled actually means, and expats often confuse their residency status with their domicile status. Speak to a professional tax consultant before arriving in Ireland to be clear about your status and to put in place measures to protect your estate from the tax man.

If you have Sterling based assets in the UK, including ISAs or large cash balances, what will you do with them when you move to Ireland?
In some cases, moving cash offshore, which could benefit you by freeing up UK tax allowances, could be an option. As a non-resident of the UK, typically you will no longer be able to contribute to any ISAs you have there. A financial planning specialist will be able to recommend how best to invest your savings as an expat.

If you will be splitting your time equally between the UK and Ireland, how might your tax status be affected by the new Statutory Residence Test?
New rules for determining someone’s residency in the UK, introduced in April 2013, will be clearer than exisiting regulation and less flexible in allowing someone to tread a thin line in terms of where they are classed as resident for tax purposes.

How will your new situation in Ireland affect your existing UK life assurance, if at all?
You should check with your insurance provider and if necessary, speak to a financial planning firm about other options.

When moving cash from the UK to your Irish bank account, did you know you could save money by using a currency exchange specialist?
Don’t just ask your UK bank to send money to Ireland for you – currency exchange specialists, such as Smart Currency Exchange, consistently offer exchange rates that are 2-4 per cent better than banks, so using one means you’ll make considerable savings. For more information, click here [LINK to ‘Currency’ page or straight to Smart’s website?]

If you’d like to be put in touch with an authorised financial advisory firm, who could advise you on any of the above and all other aspects of financial planning and taxation that come with a move to Ireland, email or call the Ireland Buying Guide 0207 898 0549.