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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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I have been out of the UK years - with no UK

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Hello. I have been out of the UK for 15 years - with no UK income. I have a property and have regulalry paid my council tax.
I rented my property for the past 3 years, and the agents deducted tax. I only realized recently that I should have done a tax return in any case - but I have not in the past decade as my personal allowance was never reached.
How do I get back on track? What would be your advice - get an expert to help me or go straight to inland revenue?
Hi. I'll take a look at this and get back to you in a short while.
You must be registered with HMRC under the non-resident landlord scheme as the letting agent has deducted tax and I assume paid it over to HMRC. Normally, when you register with HMRC under the NRL scheme, they will issue you with a Unique Tax Reference (UTR). You can apply to not have tax deducted at source if you conside that you won't make a rental profit or that any profit will be covered by your personal allowance. HMRC may periodically issue a tax return to you to complete but you should certainly complete one if you have tax to pay. As you appear to have suffered a tax deduction but your rental profit is not sufficient to incur a tax liability, you should complete a tax return for each tax year as soon as possible to avoid running out of time. You have four years from the end of the tax year to claim a tax repayment. You can read about the NRL scheme here and here. Contact your letting agent to find out if they have a note of your UTR. Failing that, call the tax office on the number here. They won't tell you the UTR over the phone but they will inform you in writing. Tell them you wish to claim back tax deducted from your rents for the last three years and that you need to complete tax returns to do that. There is information on your tax obligations here. I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - Actually, I'm not worried about getting money back - I dont know how to approach the system - i havent paid a return since 2005. Am definitely late on the 2015 one - 'though even there, I may have nothing to pay. I earned 40K in rent, I paid 8K in agency fees, 7K in service charges, 3K in maintenance - the agent took 8K for taxes, and my wife an I should have a p[ersonal allowance of 11K each. So, we have earned less than the 22K that yields zero taxation.
But how do I approach the sustem? Should I go through an accountant or should I adventure in calling IRS myself? Whats your advice?
There is only really a problem if you owe tax. HMRC only want people to complete tax returns if it is necessary. As I said in my answer, HMRC may issue a tax return to a landlord occasionally especially if, at the outset, they were told there was unlikely to be any tax liability or the expenses would exceed the rental income. If I were you, I'd contact the tax office to find out if you were issued with a UTR which should have been the case if you were properly registered with the NRL scheme. If you have a UTR, ask HMRC if you need to be completing tax returns even though you have no tax to pay. I suspect they will want you to complete one or more covering the period of the letting. If you don't have a UTR, ask them if you can get registered quickly or whether you should complete a form SA1. Your letting agent should know if you are registered with the NRL scheme. An alternative, as you suggest, is to appoint an accountant to do all the above for you. Given that you live abroad, that would make sense and save you the hassle of dealing with HMRC yourself.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok - great, thank you.
Thanks and good luck.