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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Basic principles: off-payroll working: international tax issues

Where a worker falls within the off-payroll intermediaries legislation and is internationally mobile or they are being engaged using overseas companies then;

  • the worker has to be a person who is within the UK charge to tax and liable for NICs and
  • there are special rules if the fee-payer is situated outside the UK.


The worker has to be a person who is within the UK charge to tax and liable for Class 1 NICS

Where the worker is within the scope of UK tax and NICS on their income under the off-payroll intermediaries legislation then the international tax and NICS rules should be applied as if the worker were an employee.  


Worker in the UK

  • A worker carrying on duties in the UK for an end client will normally fall within scope of the UK charge to tax and be within the off-payroll intermediaries legislation.  There are some exceptions for non-UK residents visiting the UK briefly;
  • Class 1 NICS should be deducted unless the worker coming to the UK can present;
    • Portable document A1, E101 or E102 proving they pay social security contributions in another European Economic Area country.
    • A certificate from a country that has a bilateral agreement on social security with the UK.


Worker outside the UK

  • A UK resident who works abroad for a public authority will normally be within the scope of the off-payroll intermediaries legislation. Whether they are in scope depends upon how long they will be abroad. See the following guidance for further information;
  • Workers who work outside the UK for a public authority and who are not UK residents are outside the off-payroll intermediaries legislation.


  • Normally under the off-payroll intermediaries legislation the obligation to deduct PAYE / NICS rests with the fee-payer. If that fee-payer is outside the UK then the obligation falls upon the next body in the contractual chain that is in the UK. The fee-payer must then deduct PAYE / NICS from the fee it pays.


Agency / Employment business outside the UK

  • If all bodies in the contractual chain above the intermediary, are outside the UK and only the public authority is in the UK then it must deduct the PAYE / NICS from the fee if pays the overseas body for the services of the worker.


The geographical location of the worker’s intermediary (inside or outside of the UK) is not relevant for the purposes of these provisions.