Tax on your UK income if you live abroad

5. If you're taxed twice

You may be taxed on your UK income by the country where you’re resident and by the UK.

You may not have to pay twice if the country you’re resident in has a ‘double-taxation agreement’ with the UK. Depending on the agreement, you can apply for either:

  • partial or full relief before you’ve been taxed
  • a refund after you’ve been taxed

Each double-taxation agreement sets out:

  • the country you pay tax in
  • the country you apply for relief in
  • how much tax relief you get

If the tax rates in the 2 countries are different, you’ll pay the higher rate of tax. The tax year may start on different days in different countries.

Double taxation agreements don’t apply to tax on gains from selling UK residential property.

What income you can claim for

You can claim for income including:

  • most pensions - most UK government (such as civil service) pensions are only taxed in the UK
  • wages and other pay (including self-employment)
  • bank interest
  • dividends - special rules apply, which HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) explain in section 10 of ‘Residence, Domicile and the Remittance Basis

How to claim tax relief

Check HMRC’s ‘Double-taxation digest’ for countries that have an agreement with the UK, and how income like pensions and interest is taxed.

You need to look at the relevant tax treaty for the rules on other types of income like wages and rent.

Fill in a claim form

Use the correct form depending on whether you’re resident in:

If you’re resident somewhere else, use HMRC’s standard claim form.

When you’ve filled in the form, send it to the tax authority in the country where you’re resident. They’ll confirm your eligibility and either send the form to HMRC or return it to you to send on (use the address on the form).

There’s a different form for individuals and companies claiming a refund on dividends paid by UK Real Estate Investment Trusts.

If you need help

For help claiming double-taxation relief, you can:

Capital Gains Tax

You only pay Capital Gains Tax if you make a gain on UK residential property. You don’t pay it on other UK assets, such as UK shares. You won’t usually need to make a claim for assets you don’t pay tax on - but you should check the relevant double taxation agreement.

If you return to the UK after being non-resident, you may have to pay tax on any assets you owned before you left the UK - even if you’ve paid tax on any gains in the country you moved to. You can usually claim double-taxation relief.

Dual residents

You can be resident in both the UK and another country (‘dual resident’). You’ll need to check the other country’s residence rules and when the tax year starts and ends.

HMRC has guidance for how to claim double-taxation relief if you’re a dual resident.