Important Things Non-Resident UK People Should Know When Paying Tax

If you are a non-resident, then it can cost you a lot to pay tax in the UK. Tax rules pertaining to non-residents are complicated and can change as well. There are several factors that can have an impact on your tax status. Before filing tax return, it is important to understand which of those factors apply to you.

What are the tax rules for non-resident UK individuals?

As per the UK tax laws, it states that even if the person is no longer a resident in the country, they still need to file their return with the HMRC. Not performing this task in accordance to the laws, may cause you financial penalties.

What is residence status?

A non-resident UK individual needs to pay only that much tax amount that he is entitled to pay the income he receives from any source in the UK. Personal circumstances can play an important role in determining the residence status of an individual.

Being categorized as a non-resident for tax motives, a portion of your income that includes rental income and government pensions will be taxable in the UK. Non-resident landlords can register for a non-resident landlord’s scheme. They need to complete the UK tax return by declaring annual rental income that they have received each year.

Double taxation agreement for non-residents

There are several countries that have enacted double taxation agreements for non-residents in UK. By this method, they ensure that:

  • the same gains or income are not taxed, in more than 1 country, or,
  • applicable tax is charged at a lower rate

People who are resident of a place where the UK has enforced a “double taxation agreement” can claim partial or full relief from this tax on specific sources of income like pension.

Is it needed to submit a tax return?

If you are a non-resident UK taxpayer, then you would need to submit a “Self-Assessment” tax return. You may not be able to perform this task via free online system by HMRC. In that scenario, you need to use commercial software to submit a tax return online.

If you are new to filing tax returns, then you may also take help of specialized tax professionals. They will help you by providing you the right form to be used for filing tax returns for the last 4 tax years. Besides filing tax returns, their other services include non-UK resident tax refund etc.

What is the method to tell HMRC about your residency status?

Non-resident UK individuals who don’t require to complete a “Self-Assessment” tax return would need a “P85 leaving the UK form”. This form will include all the essential information that HMRC will require to calculate non-residency tax position of an individual.


Understanding the laws pertaining to tax is important at the time of filing for a return in a particular country. This can save you from penalties and anxieties. Being a UK non-resident, this guide will be very useful in understanding the different aspects of the UK tax.

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