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Athletes moving back to Europe with US wealth

Athletes moving back to Europe with US wealth

Are you part of the growing number of professional athletes returning to Europe with US wealth? It’s more and more common that European athletes like you get the chance to live the dream of playing professionally in the United-States, while frequently receiving the top salaries in their sport. But often there is a moment when they decide to return to Europe and start the next chapter of their life. In addition to the moving logistics and the cultural readjustment, there are important financial considerations to be aware of when bringing your US wealth and assets back to Europe, in order to navigate the complex tax landscape and the multitude of financial restrictions.

Understanding U.S. Tax Residency

The most important detail for athletes returning to Europe from the United States is whether they are considered a ¨U.S. person¨, and consequently a U.S. tax resident. You are considered a U.S. person if you are an American citizen, Green Card holder, or several other visa cases as well. It’s important to note that all U.S. persons must file taxes with the IRS each year, no matter where they live in the world, in addition to the tax authority of their country of residency. It is worth double-checking your status as it will have a big impact on your financial options.

Crossing-over your American banking and investments to Europe

One important decision is whether you will keep an address in the United-States. This might be easy if you have a secondary home or property in the U.S., but can be more tricky and toeing the legal line if you decide to use a family member or friend’s address. This decision could expose you to the risk of some unexpected headaches with your bank and your taxes.

  • U.S. Bank Accounts: Many U.S. banks will accept a foreign address if you only have simple checking and savings accounts. The biggest inconvenience will be declaring your foreign bank accounts to your home country taxes, or potential spotty postal correspondence when expecting new ATM cards or bank statements. We also recommend double-checking the foreign ATM and exchange fees, as well as online banking access if you plan to use those accounts while in Europe.
  • Investments, Retirements, and Insurance Products: These accounts tend to be the most complicated when living outside of the United States, as most require a U.S. address. Moreover, certain products are not allowed outside of the United-States such as mutual funds, while other products are not allowed due to European or local country regulations. It’s important to work with a cross-border finance professional at Harrison Brook to know what and how to invest your money correctly in order to avoid making expensive investment mistakes.
  • Credit Cards: U.S. credit card applications are not allowed without a U.S. address. Some banks such as American Express will issue a card, but it will simply be a debit card connected to a European bank account. The only solution is to find a European bank that will provide a credit card, but this can vary between different European countries. If you already have a U.S. credit card, it should be possible to keep it, but it depends on the bank.

Building a dream team of cross-border professionals

While playing professionally in the United States, you might be used to having a team around you consisting of a financial advisor, tax advisor, and agent. It is important to plan your exit from the United States and build a new team of professionals that will be able to handle all the new cross-border issues you will be facing. As international financial advisors, we build a tax-efficient investment strategy by working hand in hand with tax advisors that are licensed in your returning country and can do your US taxes as well. Additionally, it is useful to include an attorney specializing in immigration and cross-border estate planning to navigate international inheritance laws. Proactive planning with the right team will ensure a smooth transition and continued financial security.

Call-up Harrison Brook USA as your new financial teammate

The transition back to Europe requires planning, hard work, and careful financial planning. Harrison Brook has done the legwork to find partners and solutions that are adapted to U.S. persons living overseas and can equip pro athletes with the knowledge needed for a smooth homecoming back to Europe. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a meeting with one of our cross-border advisers.

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