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 do not normally pay tax when you sell an asset, apart from on UK property or land.
When tax is not due or is already deducted
Non-residents do not 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 HM Revenue and Customs (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 do not 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 cannot use HMRC’s online services to tell them about your income if you’re non-resident. Instead, you must do one of the following:
- fill in a Self Assessment tax return and an SA109 form and send by post
- use commercial Self Assessment software that supports SA109 reporting (this may appear as a ‘residence, remittance basis etc’ section)
- get a tax professional to report your UK income for you
You’ll be fined if you miss the deadline - it’s earlier if you’re sending your return by post (31 October).
If you have overpaid
Apply for a refund if you think you’ve paid too much tax. This might happen if tax is deducted automatically (for example by your bank) but your total UK income is below your Personal Allowance.
HMRC will usually send refunds by cheque. If you want HMRC to send a refund straight to your bank account, include your bank account number and sort code on your tax return. You need to include this information each time you complete a tax return.
Get help from a professional (like an accountant) if you need advice.