What to do when you leave the UK

If you have decided to permanently leave the UK whether it be for work or retirement, there are certain matters that need to be finalised when you leave the country.

Benidorm from the skies

There are several entities that need to be informed of your intention to leave the UK, such as;

Your local council

Contact your local council office to inform them that you are leaving the UK.

Benefits office (if applicable)

If you are receiving any form of benefit it is important to contact the relevant benefits office to tell them that you are leaving the country.

You are entitled to claim certain benefits even if you live in Spain.  These benefits could include contribution based Job Seeker´s Allowance (for up to 3 months), winter fuel payments, child benefit (if you continue to pay National Insurance in the UK), maternity benefit, statutory sick pay (if you still work for a UK employer).

Check with your local tax office for details on your personal circumstances.


You can continue to claim your UK state pension while living on Spain. You need to contact the International Pension Centre and complete form IPC BR1.

Your State Pension can be paid into:

  • A bank in the country you’re living in
  • A bank or building society in the UK

You can use:

  • An account in your name
  • A joint account
  • Someone else’s account – if you have their permission

HM Revenue & Customs

You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you’re either:

  • Leaving the UK to live abroad permanently
  • Going to work abroad full-time for at least one full tax year

The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the next year.

You will need to complete either a form P85 or file a final self assessment tax return if you are self employed.

If you do not live in the UK you will not pay tax, unless you receive income in the UK (for instance rental income).

You can choose to continue to pay National Insurance Contributions in the UK.

This will be of benefit if you plan to return to the UK at any stage and it will also count towards your state pension.

After leaving the UK, you can usually still vote in UK elections. Your UK citizenship will not be affected if you move or retire abroad.

Currently, prior to Brexit, you have the right to live and work in any European Economic Area (EEA) country, if you’re a UK citizen.

GB Abogados can assist you with moving to Spain.

Our bi-lingual solicitors and accountants can provide advice and services for every stage of your relocation.

Please feel free to contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.

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