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TonyTax
TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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I haven't filed my taxes in about 10 years as I have lived

Customer Question

Hi, I haven't filed my taxes in about 10 years as I have lived abroad and was none-the-wiser. I would like to clean up my records now that I'm wiser and would like some advice. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Hi.

Can you give me some more detail please.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, of course.

I had left UK to work in China end 2006. And have only been back to UK since then for 2 short visits (2 weeks).

From memory, I had PAYE as I had tried to set up freelance business. I think I had paid some fines in 2008 on one of my visits.

I have property in UK that has brought in rental at 335GBP per month (though with some breaks during some empty months). That rent has stayed the same in all this time.

I would like to get my records up to date and pay any fines. It would be useful to know what I may owe and get a plan of action.

Thank you.

Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.

In China, are you working for a local employer or a UK based employer? Can you elaborate on the freelance business? Is there a mortgage on the property that is let in the UK? Is a letting agent involved? Did you complete a P85 when you left the UK? Did you register with HMRC as a non-resident landlord? Were you in the self-assessment system before you left the UK?
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Are you still living and working in China?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No. I left 2 years ago. Though my employment contract is still with the company in China

Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Where are you living now? If in the UK, is anybody operating PAYE on your earnings?

Can you elaborate on the freelance business you mentioned? Is there a mortgage on the property that is let in the UK? Is a letting agent involved? Did you complete a P85 when you left the UK? Did you register with HMRC as a non-resident landlord? Were you in the self-assessment system before you left the UK?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I thought I had answered this before but it must not have been posted through.

I have been in Canada for past 2 years.

Not sure what you need on freelance business. I had ended it, ended the ltd.

A letting agent has been involved since I had left. I believe I had completed a form with the agent as a non-resident landlord.

I don't believe I completed a P85

I think I in self-assessment program/online system but lost all access details.

Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.

Thanks.

Leave this with me while I draft my answer. It will take a while so please bear with me.

Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

It seems to me that you really don't have any major problems. If you are registered as a non-resident landlord, your agent will be reporting the rents to HMRC. I'm assuming that no tax is deducted from the rent by the agent as it is so low and well below the personal allowance which is currently £10,600.

You are entitled to the personal allowance (at least for the time being) if you fit the criteria here. HMRC may periodically ask you to complete a UK tax return so you should ensure that they have an address that you can be contacted at (the agent for example) so you will be aware if they do try to contact you.

If the personal allowance was withdrawn for non-residents in the future which is a possibility, then you would almost certainly have tax to pay in the UK on your annual rental profit if there was one.

If you want some peace of mind as to your situation as far as HMRC are concerned, then you will have to contact HMRC by calling the number here. Ask them if there are any outstanding issues such as tax returns which need to be addressed. If you don';t have your UTR tax reference, your NI number should allow HMRC to trace your file. Your letting agent should have a non-resident landlord reference for you.

You might ask your letting agent if HMRC have contacted them to locate your whereabouts but confidentiality issues may prevent them from doing that. Certainly, if you had an accountant or tax adviser in the UK, HMRC would contact them if there were things that needed to be done.

As I said at the start, I don't see any major issues given that your rental income is low but it would be worth calling HMRC to find out for sure.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your professional perspective and sorry for late response. Would I still have to pay penalty for not having filed?

Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Possibly.

HMRC are trying to move away from late filing penalties and towards tax geared penalties so that if no tax is due, there may be no penalty. Penalties can be appealed.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

It's been a few days since I answered your question. Is there anything you need further clarification on?

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