Tax if you leave the UK to live abroad

4 mins

Our experts at DSR Tax Refunds know how hard it is to find good, quality information about HMRC’s tax regulations that is easy to understand, and that’s why we have created these handy guides to tell you everything you need to know. Our aim is to make life easier for our clients and that is why we want to share our expertise with you. You can also call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust. Or you can check out our online calculator to see if you could be due a refund.
Do you still have to pay UK tax if you move abroad?
Whether you will still need to pay UK tax if you are moving abroad to live will depend on your particular circumstances. If you plan to move abroad, you need to inform HMRC. They will need to know if you plan to move abroad permanently or if you will be working full-time abroad for at least one full tax year (6th April to 5th April the following year).
If you are only leaving the UK for a holiday or a business trip, you don’t need to inform HMRC.
You may still be required to pay UK tax even though you are a non-resident, for example, if you have UK rental income. The UK has double-taxation agreements with a number of countries to prevent you having to pay tax twice on the same income.
What about National Insurance?
You might choose to continue your National Insurance contributions while you are abroad so that you can still claim state benefits, including your State Pension, if you decide to return to the UK in the future. You can’t claim back any National Insurance when you leave.
If the country you are moving to has a social security agreement with the UK, the National Insurance you have paid in the UK might count towards benefits in your new country. There are certain UK benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance that you can claim if you are looking for work in an EEA country.
What should you do before you leave?
There are certain forms you will need to send to HMRC before you move abroad. If you get a P45 from your employer or Jobcentre Plus (if you haven’t been in work), you need to send Parts 2 and 3 to HMRC along with form P85.If you usually send a Self Assessment tax return, you will need to make sure you complete and send one – this would be instead of sending forms P45 and P85.
If you are going to be working full-time for a UK-based employer for at least one full tax year, you need to send a P85 form and a Self Assessment tax return to HMRC before you leave the UK.
You will need to complete the ‘residence’ section of your Self Assessment tax return to inform HMRC that you are moving abroad.
You won’t be able to use the HMRC online service if you are informing them you are moving abroad. Instead you will need to either send a paper Self Assessment tax return by post or use commercial tax software to send your tax return to HMRC. Alternatively, you can use a tax professional to send your tax return for you.
What happens once you have informed HMRC?
If you are classed as a non-resident of the UK, you won’t have to pay any UK tax on any income or gains you make outside the UK. Depending on your situation, you may be classed as a non-resident from the day after you leave the UK. This is called ‘split-year treatment’, where the tax year is split into 2 parts – a UK resident part and a non-resident part.
If you are owed a tax refund, HMRC will calculate this for you.
If your circumstances change while you are abroad, you should inform HMRC. This may include changing your address or changes to your marital status. You will need your National Insurance number to hand when you inform HMRC.
If you decide to return to the UK to live you will need to inform HMRC.
Can you still visit the UK?
Yes, you will be allowed to visit the UK without becoming a resident again. This will depend on how long you are visiting the UK and why. If you are working abroad full-time, you can usually visit the UK for up to 90 days a year – as long as you aren’t working on more than 30 of these 90 days.
You might find yourself becoming a UK resident again if you start certain activities within the UK after you leave, such as starting a new business. If you’re not sure how your activities will change your residence status, you can check this on the HMRC website.
How can DSR Tax Refunds help?
Although we can’t help if you move abroad to live, we aim to make life as simple as possible for our clients and that includes giving you the information you need to make your taxes (and your life) simpler and less stressful.  Our team of experts at DSR Tax Refunds are always on hand to help our clients and our excellent standing with HMRC means that we can make sure you don’t fall foul of their regulations, while claiming your maximum tax rebate. We can even take care of all that paperwork and deal with HMRC on your behalf too. Call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.
This page was last updated on 26/10/2018.

Call our experts

Let’s get started on your tax rebate or self-assessment return