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-   -   Spouse is taking 18 month assignment in UK my company has Flexible Work Assignment (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/britain-expat-forum-expats-living-uk/7716-spouse-taking-18-month-assignment-uk-my-company-has-flexible-work-assignment.html)

jdw 22nd July 2008 12:14 PM

Spouse is taking 18 month assignment in UK my company has Flexible Work Assignment
We are both USA citizens and have never worked outside of USA before.

My spouse has been given a 18 month assignment to work in UK and then to return back to USA.

I of course would like to go along and have asked my company if I could continue to do my job but remotely out of our rental home in the UK.

My company has a Flexible Work Assignment (FWA) program where I would be allowed to continue to do my current USA job but from a remote location via internet, email, and cell phone.

Is this type of remote working possible in UK for a USA citizen? If so would the UK expect me to pay UK taxes during the 18 months?

Bevdeforges 22nd July 2008 03:32 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

Technically, you need to refer to what sort of visa your spouse is going to be getting - and thus what sort of visa (or dependent's visa) you'll be moving over on. Most dependents' visas do not allow the "trailing spouse" to work. Period.

Now, that said, you would hardly be the first to do telecommuting while on a non-work visa. It's not actually legal, but I do know people who have gotten away with it.

In theory, you should actually pay UK taxes on the money you earn while overseas and then use the "overseas earned income exclusion" to exclude it from your US taxes. But those I know who have done this take the position that they are doing so to continue their US withholdings (Social Security, health insurance, IRA, etc.) and so continue to pay their US taxes on the money earned. It could raise "warning flags" on your US taxes (i.e. to signal an audit) if your spouse is using the exclusion while you aren't.

But, if your spouse is going over on a company assignment, he may be getting tax assistance -at least to the extent of someone to prepare his tax returns on both sides (you'll still have to file US taxes while you're over there). It might be worthwhile to discuss this idea ahead of time with the tax adviser the company will be using, as there are a number of complications, ranging from the difference in the tax year in the UK to whether or not you will be considered "resident" and/or "domiciled" there during part or all of that 18 months.

jdw 22nd July 2008 05:33 PM

Points Based visa System
Thanks for discussion on spouse work rules and visas in general.

I recently saw something on the ukvisas.gov.uk web page that there is a Points Based System Tier 1, General Migrant (INF 21):

"The Points Based System (PBS) is a new system for managing migration for those wishing to enter the UK for work or study."

This indicates it can be used for "work or study" and I can demonstrate over 75 points -- but I have no clue if this type of migration visa would be of any use to my specific situation.

Does "migration" mean that someone is attempting to gain a UK citizenship or is it just another type of work visa recently offered?

marcusb 6th October 2008 10:57 AM

Spouses CAN work in UK if their spouse has a work permit (Tier 2) or Highly Skilled Worker (Tier 1) visa. Its been this way for a long time now. And you dont have to be married, just show a relationship akin to marriage (2 years of demonstrable co-habitation)

Basically you are under the same migration controls as your spouse, except his Work Permit is tied to his employer and you aren't tied to any one employer. So you are better off! Of course if his visa runs out or his employment is terminated then your visa is cancelled as well.

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