Tax guide for individuals coming to the UK

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Summary: If you’re moving to the UK, you’ll need to know about the UK’s tax regime which is likely different from that in your home country. For those unfamiliar with UK taxation, this guide covers some of the basic things you need to know and outlines a few points that you should consider in advance, so that the British weather is the only thing that catches you by surprise.

The UK has a beneficial tax regime for foreign domiciled individuals who come to the UK to take up residence.

If you become UK resident but remain non-UK domiciled you can avoid UK tax on your foreign income and foreign gains by electing to be taxed on the “remittance basis”. You will only pay UK tax on your foreign income and gains if they are brought to, or used or enjoyed in, the UK. If you claim the remittance basis of taxation it is not necessary for you to declare your worldwide income and gains to the UK Revenue (HMRC).

Before becoming resident in the UK, you should take UK tax planning advice and organise your investments and accounts so that you can access funds to cover your UK living expenses with a minimum tax cost.

UK residency rules

For UK tax years from 6 April 2013

You will be UK resident if:

  • your only home, or if you have more than one home all of your homes, are in the UK, and you visit that home (or one of those homes) on 30 or more days in the tax year;
  • you spend 183 days or more in the UK in the tax year; or
  • you work full time in the UK.

The ‘UK ties’ which count are:

  • family – if your immediate family (spouse/civil partner and/or minor children) are resident in the UK;
  • accommodation – if you have accommodation available to you in the UK. The accommodation does not have to be owned by you. If you spend one night in accommodation, which is available to you for at least 91 days during the tax year, that will count;
  • substantive work in the UK – if you work in the UK on 40 or more days in the tax year. You will be treated as working in the UK on a day if you do more than three hours’ work in the UK on that day;
  • UK presence in previous years – if you spent more than 90 days in the UK in either of the two previous tax years.

Read our full guide for individuals coming to the UK.

Download the tax guide >

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