Tax if you come to live in the UK

You have to pay tax on your income if you come to live in the UK. Income includes:

  • wages
  • benefits
  • your pension
  • savings interest

You’ll pay Income Tax on income above your Personal Allowance.

You will not have to pay UK tax if you only make short business trips here, for example, a training course or meeting.

How to pay

If you’re employed your employer will deduct Income Tax from your wages.

You’ll have to send a Self Assessment tax return if you work for yourself or you have other UK income.

You may also have to send a tax return if you:

You may have to pay tax on UK income or gains made while you were abroad if you’ve lived in the UK before.

National Insurance

You’ll usually pay National Insurance if you work in the UK. How you pay depends on whether you’re employed or self-employed.

You’ll need to prove you can work in the UK to your employer.

Apply for a National Insurance number if you want to work or claim benefits in the UK, including the State Pension.

When you do not need to pay

You do not need to pay National Insurance or get a number if you have either:

Check with the social security authority in your country how to apply for the document or certificate.

If you cannot get a certificate or document to prove you pay social security in another country

You usually will not need to pay National Insurance for the first 52 weeks you’re in the UK if both the following apply:

  • you are sent by an employer in your home country to work in the UK temporarily
  • you come from a country that is not in the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, or a country that does not have a social security agreement with the UK

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the social security authority in your country if you’re not sure if you should be paying National Insurance in the UK.

If you’re also taxed abroad

You may be taxed twice on the same income or gains unless the country you’ve come from has a double-taxation agreement with the UK.

If you’ve paid too much UK tax

Claim tax relief or a tax refund owed if you’re only working in the UK for a short time and plan to leave.

Apply to claim back tax if you’re a foreign national assigned to the UK and you think you’ve paid too much.