Tax on foreign income
UK residence and tax
Your UK residence status affects whether you need to pay tax in the UK on your foreign income.
Non-residents only pay tax on their UK income - they do not pay UK tax on their foreign income.
Residents normally pay UK tax on all their income, whether it’s from the UK or abroad. But there are special rules for UK residents whose permanent home (‘domicile’) is abroad.
Work out your residence status
Whether you’re UK resident usually depends on how many days you spend in the UK in the tax year (6 April to 5 April the following year).
You’ll only be resident in the UK if both of the following apply:
- you meet one or more of the automatic UK tests or the sufficient ties test
- you do not meet any of the automatic overseas tests
Otherwise, you’ll be non-resident in the UK for tax purposes.
You may be resident under the automatic UK tests if:
- you spent 183 or more days in the UK in the tax year
- your only home was in the UK for 91 days or more in a row - and you visited or stayed in it for at least 30 days of the tax year
- you worked full-time in the UK for any period of 365 days and at least one day of that period was in the tax year you’re checking
You may also be resident under the sufficient ties test if you spent a number of days in the UK and you have additional ties to the UK, like work or family.
You’re usually non-resident if either:
- you spent fewer than 16 days in the UK (or 46 days if you have not been a UK resident for the 3 previous tax years)
- you worked abroad full-time (averaging at least 35 hours a week), and spent fewer than 91 days in the UK, of which no more than 30 were spent working
Get help working out your residence status
If you’re still unsure about your status, you can use the residence status checker. This will give you an indication of whether you were a UK resident in any tax year from 6 April 2016.
You may be asked for the following information about the year you’re checking:
- how many days you spent living and working in the UK and abroad
- roughly how many hours a week you worked
- family you have in the UK
- details of your home in the UK
Other ways to get help
You can also:
- read HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) guidance on the Statutory Residence Test
- get professional tax help
Your residence status when you move
When you move in or out of the UK, the tax year is usually split into 2 - a non-resident part and a resident part. This means you only pay UK tax on foreign income based on the time you were living here.
This is called ‘split-year treatment’.
You will not get split-year treatment if you live abroad for less than a full tax year before returning to the UK. You also need to meet other conditions.
To find out if you qualify and see which split-year treatment ‘case’ you’ll need to mention on your Self Assessment tax return, you can:
If your situation changes
Your status can change from one tax year to the next. Check your status if your situation changes, for example:
- you spend more or less time in the UK
- you buy or sell a home in the UK
- you change your job
- your family moves in or out of the UK, or you get married, separate or have children
Residence and capital gains
You work out your residence status for capital gains (for example, when you sell shares or a second home) the same way as you do for income.
UK residents have to pay tax on their UK and foreign gains. Non-residents have to pay tax on income, but usually only pay Capital Gains Tax either:
- on UK property or land
- if they return to the UK
Residence before April 2013
There were different rules for working out your residence status before 6 April 2013.