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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment: the legal framework

Self Assessment for non-residents: introduction

The legislation as it applies to non-residents, is subject to the principles of international taxation as set out in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention and UK Double Taxation Agreements where the non-resident’s home territory is a UK treaty partner. The principles are:

  • the territoriality principle: the source country has:

    • full taxing rights over a non-resident’s income from a trade, profession or vocation, or from property or an employment in that country
    • taxing rights over a non-resident’s interest, dividends and royalties (generally exercised by deduction of tax at source), subject to the application of any double tax treaty that may remove that taxing right either entirely or in part.

The legislation provides rules in the following areas.

* Agents and tenants to account for tax on UK property income of non-residents.
* The liabilities and obligations of UK representatives of non-residents.
* Persons not to be treated as UK representatives of non-residents.
* The limits of income tax chargeable on non-residents.

This chapter contains a summary of these rules. The tax liabilities of non-residents can be complex and taxpayers are advised to seek professional help if they are in any doubt as to how the rules apply to them.

The legislation also provides rules in the following two areas.

* The tax treatment of an individual in business following a change in residence status.
* Special rules for non-resident partners.