If you leave the UK for a short period of time, such as for a short business trip or for a holiday, you don’t need to notify HMRC. If you plan on leaving permanently, or for a full tax year or more, then HMRC need to know. How you tell them depends on whether you are registered for Self Assessment (and need to submit a tax return for the year that you leave), or not.
Why do I need to tell HMRC that I’m leaving the UK?
Leaving the UK for a tax year or longer can have implications on how you pay tax on your earnings. Keeping HMRC in the loop enables them to work out if you’re still classed as resident for tax, as well as calculating whether you still owe tax, or are owed a refund.
Even if you leave the UK, you may still be classed as a tax resident. There are several factors which determine residency status, including:
the number of days spent in the UK if you return after leaving
the reason for any visits to the UK
the reason for going abroad
whether you have any family or other connections to the UK
Tax residency is important, because this determines where and how you pay tax, and can help avoid paying tax twice on the same income. If you’re relocating to live overseas but still earn income from the UK, notifying HMRC that you are leaving helps ensure that you pay the correct amount of tax, and to the right tax authority.
Payment of tax
If you are leaving the UK partway through a tax year, you may only be charged tax on the income you had during the time you were in the UK. By completing the form P85, HMRC will decide your residency status, which will affect the tax you pay. To avoid being taxed twice on income, the double taxation agreement allows you to pay tax on income earned in the UK, here, while income from abroad will be taxed overseas.
If you are moving abroad and don’t intend to spend many days in the UK, you will only be charged income tax on any income from the UK. All income from abroad will be taxed overseas. Once you decide to return to the UK, you must inform the other country so that you can check that you have paid sufficient tax on income there.
How do I notify HMRC that I’m leaving the UK?
You can notify HMRC that you’re leaving the UK by submitting a P85 form to them. You won’t need to submit the form if you normally complete a Self Assessment tax return.
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