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bigduckontax
bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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I am a UK citizen (born in the UK of a British father) but

Customer Question

I am a UK citizen (born in the UK of a British father) but have been living overseas continuously since 1983.
I work for an international organization in Austria so my salary is tax free in Austria, but I do file and pay Austrian tax on my worldwide unearned income. All of my work is done solely in Austria and I don’t have any other sources of income e.g. rental property. I visit the UK once a year for pleasure.
I do have a brokerage account in the UK which is a mixture of interest, dividends and capital gains from stocks, funds and these are almost all paid gross, apart from some REITs that have a small amount of income tax deducted (not worth troubling with as it’s a small amount and I offset it against my Austrian taxes anyway).
I have never filed a tax return in the UK and it’s always been my understanding that as a non-resident I am under no obligation to do so. My question is: is this understanding correct?
Many thanks
Chris
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Hello Chris, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.
Firstly, when you quit our shores in 1983 did you submit an Form P85 to the Inland Revenue as it was then; it's HMRC now? If you did not then you should do so immediately. Fortunately there is no time limit on this form and it can be found on the web and filed on line. On receipt of the form HMRC will make you non resident from the tax year following the date of departure and furthermore split the departure year into to portions, one resident, the other non resident. In 83 this was an extra statutory concession, it is now part of the tax system. Submission of this form takes a lot of steam out of the system.
Provided you do not exceed 91 days in the UK in any one tax year you will continue to be classed as non resident. In theory if your visits in some years exceed the 91 days then they can be averaged out over four years. However the general consensus of experts on this site is never to exceed the magic 91.
In the circumstances set out in your question, as you have no or minimal income generated in the UK, you are not required to make a self assessment tax return here. If however you have say a property rented out then that would have to be declared and, indeed, if the net income exceeds 2.5K you must make a return also. As an UK citizen you are, of course, entitled to the normal personal allowance of tax free income, 10.6K this year, 10K last as well as an Annual Exempt Amount of 11.1K [11K last year] against any capital gains made.
I do hope I have been able to set your mind at rest on this matter
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, ***** *****;t think I submitted a P85, but will do so now. I recall submitting some type of form to my bank claiming non-residency so that I could be paid interest gross.

Just to clarify when you write:
"If however you have say a property rented out then that would have to be declared and, indeed, if the net income exceeds 2.5K you must make a return also.

What does the 2.5k apply to. I have no rental property and don't do any type of work in the UK, but I do have a brokerage account which is a mixture of corporate bonds, and mutual funds. This generates currently about 25k a year which I declare and pay tax to Austria. Do I have any obligation to the UK on this?

Many thanks

Chris

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
That sounds like a Form E85 for interest to be paid gross Chris; confusing, isn't it!
Right, I just put in the UK property rental bit because so many ex pats live overseas, but still have houses here. However, you do not. That just leaves the income from your brokerage account. If that exceeds 2.5K then you must make an UK self assessment tax declaration. Your capital gains are declared on the same form, the SA100. If your income is low though HMRC may well tell you not to declare in the future. Even HMRC do not want to have to process returns which yield no revenue; it's an exercise in financial futility.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks, ***** ***** be able to assist me in the preparation of this return, as a tax adviser?

Chris

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Well I can Chris, but do you really need assistance? The SA100 is relatively simple to complete, particularly the short version, providing you remember that you only have to fill in those boxes which apply to us and leave the rest blank. If your investment income does not exceed 2.5K you do not need to declare at all unless HMRC require you to make a return, then you must.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the excellent service. If it's possible to contact you directly without breaking some justask rules? I'd like to have you check over what I am doing.

I've applied to get my NI number (not idea what it is), then I can register for SA. I do have £25,000 in UK investment income and I don't know if I should should do a SA for previous years when I never filed. I have paid Austrian tax so presumably I can offset this against any UK tax that is due.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
That is your National Insurance Number; to use an old expression it is used for stamping your card. I think you will find getting one a real palaver. I have only had to do it once for a friend and had a real battle to obtain one even though the applicant, as an immigrant, had just obtained a job in the NHS.
You will have to make your peace with HMRC for all those years you have not filed. However, if you have included the income in your Austrian tax return it will have been taxed there leaving little pickings for HMRC as the Double Taxation Convention would preclude them getting any revenue.
It would break Just Answer protocol to operate outside the JA envelope.
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Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your support.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
And the generous bonus.

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