How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask bigduckontax Your Own Question
bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4763
Type Your Tax Question Here...
bigduckontax is online now

I have moved from Canada after 10 years back to England. I

This answer was rated:

I have moved from Canada after 10 years back to England. I have a small pension that is going into a Canadian Bank Account.
I would like to declare this as I am no longer being taxed on it in Canada.
Last years pension total was $7000 (About £3800).
I have a relatively small UK income which varies as I work about 4 months of the year as a computer consultant.
How do I declare this I cannot get a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Is an online Self Assessment the way to go?
Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.
Yes Self Assessment is the correct route. You should advise your local HMRC office of your arrival and they will split your arrival year into two portions, one resident and the other non resident. They will also arrange for you to self assess as your income exceeds 2.5K pa which makes the procedure mandatory.
Having said that, if your income is small, in your case it is well below the Personal Allowance of 10.6K, HMRC may well tell you not to bother with self assessment in future. Even HMRC do not want to waste time processing returns which yield no revenue. It is an exercise in financial futility.
I do hope I have shown you a way forward with your tax affairs, even though you are not actually liable to any UK tax, at present.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK Keith,

the concept of "local HMRC office" was not on my mind (I've been spending a lot of time waiting for HMRC on the phone).

(1)Is contacting a "local HMRC office" easier than the general help line?

(2)I did complete a Canadian tax return for 2012-2013 because I earned only a small income in England (Even smaller than 2013-2014 and 2014-2015). I was paying Canadian Tax on the pension until recently (Witholding tax they call it). Is there any more detailed advice you can give me?

(3)The Canadian pension is only going into a Canadian bank account, does that affect anything?

Regards Charles

Do not ever, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, consider communication with HMRC officials by telephone. In verbal communication there is always the possibility of someone getting hold of the wrong end of the stick if they can even find the stick at all. In your situation it is guaranteed to go wrong, a complete wobbler in fact! Always use the written word then you have a record of what has been exchanged. So write to your local HMRC office; don't forget to tell them you have returned to the UK.
Any tax payable to Canada would be allowed as a tax credit against any UK liability on the same income stream. That is how the Double taxation Convention works.
Where your Canadian pension is going is irrelevant save that any interest earned on the account must be declared along with any other income.
I am pretty sure that once the chips are down HMRC will tell you that you need not make annual self assessments in future providing your circumstances do not change substantially (ie when you win the Lottery jackpot)!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the common sense.

And finally

(1)I'm in ME10 5TP (Sittingbourne) is my local Tax office Anchorage House High Street, Chatham?

(2)So i'll send a letter by snail mail is best.

How do you recommend I lay it out?

(3)Clarify "once the chips are down HMRC will tell you that you need not make annual self assessments in future providing your circumstances do not change substantially" what did you mean "once the chips are down"?

Thanks Keith, i'll rate after this


You can find the relevant address from:
I suspect that you will find that Chatham address the relevant one.
By 'once the chips are down' is a colloquial expression in this instance for 'once the other side knows exactly what the situation is.'
I would advise that you tell them that:
You have arrived in the UK to take up permanent residence
You think you need so self assess
Tell them your anticipated income, gives them a chance to tell you not to bother.
It would be helpful if you could quote you NI number if you have one, left over from the last time you were resident.
bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your support, Charles.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just a quickie FYI

You can't write to your local tax office anymore. There's just one address and that's:




That is the PAYE Office who issue tax codes. I have a tax office elsewhere though and I do write to them, as indeed as I do to the BX9 address if they get my code number wrong as they have consistently for the last 20 years (this year they got it right for once).
Thank you for the hint though. The whole HMRC system went into melt down once they attempted to functionalise their activities some years ago after amalgamation of HM Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue. It has not recovered yet!