1. Overview

You usually have to pay tax on your UK income even if you’re not a UK resident. Income includes things like:

  • pension
  • rental income
  • savings interest
  • wages

You pay Income Tax on income above your tax-free limit (‘Personal Allowance’), if you’re eligible for it, eg you have a British passport.

The country where you live might tax you on your UK income. If it has a ‘double-taxation agreement’ with the UK, you can claim tax relief in the UK to avoid being taxed twice.

When tax isn’t due or is already deducted

Non-residents don’t usually pay UK tax on:

  • the State Pension
  • interest from UK government securities (‘gilts’)

If you live abroad and are employed in the UK, your tax is calculated automatically on the days you work in the UK.

Tax on your savings interest is deducted by your bank or building society unless you give them form R105.

When to report your income to HMRC

You usually have to send a Self Assessment tax return if:

You don’t need to report your income to HMRC if you’ve already claimed tax relief under a ‘double-taxation agreement’.

Sending a Self Assessment tax return

You can’t use HMRC’s online services to tell them about your income if you’re non-resident. Instead, you need to:

Fill in the ‘residence’ section (form SA109 if you’re sending it by post) to tell HMRC you’re non-resident. Fill in any sections relating to your type of income.

You’ll be fined if you miss the deadline - it’s earlier if you’re sending your return by post (31 October).

If you’ve overpaid

Apply for a refund if you think you’ve paid too much tax. This might happen if tax is deducted automatically (eg by your bank) but your total UK income is below your Personal Allowance.

Send form R43 to HMRC, or claim the refund in your Self Assessment tax return if you’re already doing one.

Get help from a professional (eg an accountant) if you need advice.