You usually have to pay tax on your UK income even if you’re not a UK resident. Income includes things like:
- rental income
- savings interest
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.
You don’t normally pay tax when you sell an asset, apart from on UK residential property.
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.
When to report your income to HMRC
You usually have to send a Self Assessment tax return if:
- you rent out property in the UK
- you work for yourself in the UK
- you have a pension outside the UK and you were UK resident in one of the 5 previous tax years
- you have other untaxed income
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.
Get help from a professional (eg an accountant) if you need advice.