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Do I have to submit a UK tax return?

I am British but I no longer live in the UK and I'm not sure if I have to complete a UK tax return. HMRC haven't sent me a letter, but how can I tell if I should be submitting a UK tax return?

Do I have to submit a UK tax return?

Not all expats are required to submit a UK Self Assessment tax return, however HMRC will not necessarily send you a letter even if you are required to. If you are required to submit a tax return and you fail to do so, you will be charged a penalty and potentially interest on any unpaid tax.

While submitting a tax return does not necessarily mean that you owe tax in the UK, it is important that a return is filed if you are obliged to complete one to avoid any late filing penalties and fines.

Submitting a tax return will ensure you claim any appropriate reliefs you are entitled to i.e. tax treaty relief if there is a double tax agreement in place, which will help you avoid double taxation.

Six key criteria that will help you determine whether you need to submit a tax return

  • Are you considered a tax resident of the UK?
  • Do/did you receive any untaxed income from sources in the UK (eg. rental income from a UK property)?
  • Do you have income from abroad that you need to pay tax on?
  • Are you a director of a UK registered company?
  • Was your UK taxable income over £100,000?
  • Have you sold a UK property, shares or something else that you need to pay capital gains tax on?

If you answered yes to any of the above criteria, you will probably have to submit a tax return in the UK regardless of whether you are British or a foreign national.

If you are unsure about the answer to any of the above questions, it is possible that you will be required to submit a tax return and you should seek guidance on whether you need to submit a tax return.

For more information about each criteria, please read our article How to tell if you have to submit a UK tax return >

Request a free consultation and establish if you need to submit a tax return

If you are unsure about whether you need to submit a tax return, you should always seek advice from a qualified professional to avoid potential fines.

At Experts for Expats we provide an introductory service to qualified tax consultants who will offer a free, 15-minute consultation during which they will be able to establish whether you need to submit a tax return.

If it is determined that you need to complete and submit a tax return they will also be able to provide you with a fee quotation for their services and you will be free to decide whether to proceed with them or not.

To request your free tax consultation, simply complete the form and we will select the most suitable consultant from our network who will contact you and arrange a suitable time for you to talk directly.

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If you need clarification about whether you need to submit a UK tax return, enter your details below and we will ask a tax consultant to arrange a free consultation with you


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Last updated: 14 August 2018

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If you need clarification about whether you need to submit a UK tax return, enter your details below and we will ask a tax consultant to arrange a free consultation with you