Tax if you leave the UK to live abroad

You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you’re either:

  • leaving the UK to live abroad permanently
  • going to work abroad full-time for at least one full tax year

The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the next year.

You do not need to tell HMRC if you’re leaving the UK for holidays or business trips.

Tell HMRC before you leave

Fill in form P85 and send it to HMRC. Include Parts 2 and 3 of your P45 form - get these from your employer (or Jobcentre Plus if you’ve been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance).

Send a Self Assessment tax return instead if you usually complete one, for example if you’re self-employed.

Send a P85 and a tax return if you’re going to be working full-time for a UK-based employer for at least one full tax year.

Sending your tax return

You cannot use HMRC’s online services to tell them you’re leaving the UK. Instead, you need to:

Complete the ‘residence’ section in your tax return (form SA109 if you’re sending it by post).

You’ll be charged a penalty if you do not meet the deadline - it’s earlier if you’re sending your return by post (31 October).

What happens next

If you’re non-resident, you do not pay UK tax on income or gains you get outside the UK. You may be non-resident the day after you leave the UK - this depends on your situation and how ‘split year treatment’ applies to you.

You need to let other people know if you’re moving or retiring abroad, for example your local council so you stop paying Council Tax.

If you’re owed a refund

HMRC will work out if you’re owed a refund for the tax year you’re leaving the UK.

If you have UK income

You may need to pay UK tax even if you’re non-resident, for example if you have income from renting a property in the UK.

The UK has ‘double taxation agreements’ with many countries to make sure you do not pay tax twice.

National Insurance

You might be able to pay National Insurance while you’re abroad if you’re planning to:

  • come back to the UK
  • claim the State Pension later

You cannot claim back any National Insurance you’ve paid in the UK if you leave the UK permanently. However, anything you’ve paid might count towards benefits in the country you’re moving to - if it’s one of the countries that have a social security agreement with the UK.

You might be able to claim UK benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance while you’re living in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Whether you can depends on the agreement between the UK and the country you’re moving to.

If your circumstances change

Contact HMRC if your circumstances change when you’re abroad - you move house or your marital status changes, for example. You’ll need your National Insurance number.

You also need to tell HMRC if you come back to live in the UK.

Visiting the UK

You can visit the UK without becoming resident again - depending on why you visit and how long you visit for.

If you work full-time abroad, you can usually visit the UK for up to 90 days - as long as you work no more than 30 of these days.

You might become a UK resident again if you start new activities in the UK after you’ve left, for example you get involved in a business or buy a new property.

Check your residence status if you’re not sure how your activities in the UK affect your status.