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There’s so much to think about when you move abroad. From making last minute arrangements, to packing up and waving goodbye to friends, it can be as stressful as it is exciting.

The last thing you’re likely to think about when making your big move is your tax situation in the UK, but you need to let HMRC know you’re leaving, not least so you can claim a rebate on any tax that has been overpaid.

Do I need to tell HMRC if I leave the UK?

How do I tell HMRC that I’m leaving the UK?

What if I leave the UK part way through the tax year?

What happens to my tax status if I return to the UK for a visit?

Can I claim any tax relief if I leave the UK?

This depends on how long you’ll be away. You don’t have to do anything if you’re only popping on holiday for two weeks, but you’ll need to tell HMRC if you’re:

Why do I need to tell HMRC that I’m leaving the UK?

Leaving the UK for a tax year or longer can affect 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:

Tax residency is important because it 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.

The process for this depends on whether you normally send a Self Assessment tax return to HMRC or not.

You might need to send both if you’re starting a new full-time job abroad for a UK-based employer and expect it to last for a minimum of one tax year.

This helps HMRC calculate how much tax you should pay, and in which country you need to pay it. If you haven’t lived in the UK for 3 years or more, you will generally be considered as ‘not resident and not ordinarily resident’.

It’s a very good idea to check if there’s a double taxation agreement in place between the two countries if you will be a tax resident in both. You’ll only need to pay tax in one country rather than both if there is one in place – another reason why it’s so crucial to notify HMRC!

You’ll normally only need to pay tax on the income you received during the time you were in the UK. HMRC will use your completed P85 Form or tax return to work out whether or not you’re owed a refund, or if you need to pay more.

I’m due a tax rebate from HMRC. When can I claim it back?

You can apply for a tax refund as soon as you stop working in the UK, although it might complicate things if you need to return for work before the start of a new tax year.

If you are planning to claim a tax rebate while you’re on an extended holiday or taking a gap year, make sure you stay in your new country for at least one full tax year. You won’t be eligible to claim your UK tax back otherwise.

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You can return to the UK for visits, although your tax residence status depends on why you visit and how long you’re in the country.

You’ll normally be able to visit the UK for up to 90 days in a tax year, as long as no more then 30 of these are spent working.

If you decide to come back to the UK permanently, you’ll need to tell the other country’s tax authority to make sure you’ve paid enough tax there. The last thing you want is to end up in any tax-related hot water in either country.

There are actually quite a few things you can claim tax relief for. This is why it’s well worth getting everything right, so you don’t end up paying more tax than you need to. You can commonly claim tax relief for:

Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses. Call 020 3355 4047 to chat to the team, and get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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