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Moving to UK, husband staying back


My company has given me an excellente offer (permanent UK job contract) to move to the UK but my husband loves his job here too and would like to stay back in Antwerpen Belgie. We agreed for me to make the move for atleast 1 year to max 2 years and he will stay back here since we own a house. My company will do the necessary formalities needed after Brexit for me stay back there after 3/2019. The fact that we are both Belgians citizens and we own the house, what would I need to do here to exit the Belgische systeme properly (mostly related to taxes, house deed, other legal formalities)?


If you intend on splitting up, divorce on Belgium before you move. It's administratively much simpler.

Aug 16, 2018 17:16

No divorce. Living very amicably sinds 25 years. :)

Aug 16, 2018 17:26

You are Belgian citizens and married so you will continue to jointly own the house and any savings accounts, etc.
You need to talk the situation through with a notaris and with the fisc, and, possibly eventually, an accountant.
When you personally move, you get a document from the gemeente to say that you are leaving Belgium and that will enable you to register with the Belgian authorities in the UK.

Aug 16, 2018 21:25

This is potentially a very complicated situation from a tax point of view and you should consider very carefully how you manage it. Your problem is that as you are married, both of you are potentially going to be considered as tax resident in two countries. You in Belgium as your spouse is in Belgium and visa versa.

In the U.K. for example, the tax authorities can ignore the usual 183 days residence test for your husband. see section 2.2 on page 6/7 here :

My advice to you would be to go and ask your local tax office for advice. And make an appointment with a good tax accountant (after you have been to see the tax office)

Joking apart, it may be that a Séparation de fait" ( ) is the best solution with regards to the Belgian authorities.

Also - there is no requirement for you to register with the "Belgian authorities" in the U.K. It is voluntary.

Aug 17, 2018 10:14

You will need to register with the Belgian authorities in the UK if you wish to renew your Belgian ID card when it expires as you will not be obtain to obtain a renewal from your existing commune even though your husband still lives there and you are a part-owner of the house. Unless you hold a passport from another country, you will continue to need your Belgian ID card (and possibly passport) as a travel document.

Aug 17, 2018 11:23

The more I think about this, the more I come to the conclusion that your best approach would be to remain a Belgian resident, registered as living with your husband in Belgium, presumably you intend to spend weekends with him anyway. You would obviously need a pied à terre in the UK to live in during the week so you would effectively become a weekly frontalier which isn't exactly an unusual situation. You would be taxed on your UK earnings in the UK (which the Belgian fisc would accept), be taxed on anything else in Belgium, and you would be entitled to use the UK health service. Post Brexit access to the health service in Belgium might prove a problem but if your employer is that keen on appointing you to a UK post presumably they are going to offer private health cover anyway.
One thing I wouldn't agree with is the suggestion that you go for a separation de fait, that would probably work at the moment but would probably cause considerable problems post-Brexit because you would no longer be considered as spouses.

Aug 17, 2018 16:31

Another organisation that you need to talk to is your mutual as you will need paperwork from them that should ensure an easy transfer into the British NHS system - assuming that you move job locations before Brexit happens.

Aug 18, 2018 10:16

Make sure that you are only on secondment and that you retain your Belgian employment rights and continuity of service. It's a lot cheaper to sack someone in the UK.

It would be better if you remained resident in BE and the company also covered your expenses for travel and accommodation in the UK.

Aug 18, 2018 16:56

Wow...The more I read about it, the more I get confused to take the offer or not. Thanks for your replies.

Also the no-deal Brexit which is looking more a possibility (from today's news) is making this decision more en more complicated.

I will try to make a sound decision next few days and thanks once again to your helpful inputs.

Aug 23, 2018 20:51

The more I think about it, the more I think that J has the answer. If your firm value you that much (and it is a good way to find out), they will agree to the secondment route especially as, because your husband wishes to stay here, you have a good reason for it

Aug 23, 2018 21:07