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Do expats pay UK tax?

When someone leaves or moves to the UK and becomes an expat, do they have to pay UK tax?

Do expats pay UK tax?

If someone moves to the UK and becomes a tax resident, in virtually all cases, they are required to pay tax on their worldwide income as well as income and capital gains generated from offshore or other countries (eg. holiday lets, international investments).

If a British person decides to move abroad and ultimately becomes a non-resident for tax purposes, while they will not be subject to UK tax on their worldwide income, they will still be liable to declare and pay UK tax on any income or capital gains that arise from the UK.

For expats, this will normally be in the guise of income from work, rental income from UK properties, pension income or income from other investments.

Expats are, however, still able to use their personal allowance even when they leave the UK which means that while they will be required to submit a Self-Assessment Tax Return, they will only be required to pay tax on UK income earned over £11,850 (as per tax year 2018/19) and £12,500 (from 2019/20).

Other UK taxes that British expats and non-UK residents have to pay include:

  • Capital gains tax generated from the sale of UK properties (other than your primary residence) and other UK investments;
  • UK stamp duty if you buy a property in the UK;
  • Inheritance tax, even if you die abroad.

This article has been created as a simple answer to the question “do expats pay UK tax?”. For a more detailed explanation of what UK taxes expats have to pay, please read our detailed article, Expat Tax Advice.

You should never make decisions about your tax affairs without seeking professional advice, so you must not use this article as a basis for making decision. If you would like a free, introductory consultation with someone who can answer your general questions or help you with your tax matters, please enter your details using the form.

Last updated: 24 July 2020 at 13:12