Change of country of residence/ increase % tax on trade with funds transfer

If I move from the UK to Spain and become a resident of Spain (and pay tax in Spain) do I need to close my account with FreeTrade?

Is there a way to transfer a stock from FreeTrade to an equivalent trading app in Spain, without first selling it and incurring capital gains?

Please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that I’d pay an additional on the overall trade 7% tax if I do this.

Here’s my working:

To make it simple I expect a 10x overall and that it’s at 5x now (so 2x to go) and a 20% capital gains rate.

Initial investment: £100
Current value: £500
After sale £400 is taxable so -£80 leaving £420 to transfer to the other trading app.

If all goes to plan then this new investment will x2 to a value of £840.
When I sell this £420 will be taxable so - £84 leaving £756

With this approach I’d pay 27% tax overall on the profit from this trade.

If however if I’d been able to stay at FreeTrade and sold at the end I’d only pay 20% tax.

Any feedback appreciated.


Edit (17/11/23):
It seems FreeTrade and other brokers use something called the ‘Automate Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS)’.

Some more info here: Transferring to other providers | Freetrade
Notably “If you want to transfer to another provider, you shouldn’t need to contact us. Your new provider will likely get in touch with us on your behalf.”

Note: I like FreeTrade as an app. When it finally gets registered in Spain i’ll probably use it again.

edit 2: 17/11/23
Not so easy:

  1. If you tell FreeTrade that you’re in the process of moving (to a country they are no active in) and ask for advice - you get given one month to withdraw all of your funds and close your account.
  2. According to the link i provided above stock transfers can take up to six weeks.
  3. The person advising me at tastytrade - a broker registered with the “Automate Customer Account Transfer Service (ACAT)”, FreeTrade is not registered with ‘ACAT’.

Speak to Hargreaves Lansdown and see what the score is if you transferred the shares to them . Pretty sure their GIA account can be used by UK residents moving abroad ( anything in an ISA will need to be sold ) .

I assume even if you subsequently then wanted to transfer into a Spanish app they’d be easier to deal with than Freetrade.


Hi, I am in a similar situation. Have you found a way to transfer the shares to Spain? What equivalent app can be used in Spain? Sharing your findings would be much appreciated.

1 Like

I found
It’s based in the US but they operate in both the UK and Spain.
Apparently they can both use something called DTC (Depository Trust Company) to transfer shares of US companies.

It’s not exactly going quickly or smoothly.
The shares I was transferring were taken out of my Freetrade account at the beginning of December and are still not in my tastytrade account.

I’ve been in email conversations with Freetrade (via the app and via email) and with tastytrade via email - and they say they’re also talking to each other.


  1. Get told ‘we’ve transferred the funds’
  2. I wait 4 working days
  3. I contact both Freetrade and tastytrade and ask what went wrong.
  4. Get told that the transfer failed/was returned.
    cycle has repeated four times so far.

Quite stressful and a bit annoying so far. I’ll update when this gets sorted.d

Update: 5th March 2024

Shares have finally been transferred to tastytrade.
Took ~ 4 months & a lot of emails back and fourth with both Freetrade and tastytrade.

As I understand it; brokerage firms cannot sell your shares if you expressly state that you do not wish them to do so & the rails exist for them to transfer shares to a new broker if you need or wish to transfer without cashing out (and incurring capital gains costs).
Best of luck to anyone else wishing to do this. Hopefully it’s less of a headache for you.
Be polite & persistent, know your rights, document everything.