Tax on foreign income

7. If you come to study in the UK

Foreign students usually don’t pay UK tax on foreign income or gains, as long as they’re used for course fees or living costs like:

  • food
  • rent
  • bills
  • study materials

Check that the country your income’s from has a ‘double-taxation agreement’ that covers students.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may ask you to account for your living costs if they’re more than £15,000 in a tax year (excluding course fees). The tax year is from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

When you need to pay tax

You may need to pay tax on your foreign income in the normal way if you:

  • are from a country without a double-taxation agreement for students
  • have other income that you don’t bring to the UK
  • bring it to the UK and spend it on things other than living costs and course fees
  • plan to stay in the UK as your permanent home (‘domicile’)

If you work in the UK

Some double-taxation agreements mean you don’t pay UK tax on your income if you work while you’re a student.

If your country doesn’t have an agreement like this, you have to pay tax in the same way as others who come to live in the UK.