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bigduckontax, Accountant
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I have been working overseas for almost 19 years, in various

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I have been working overseas for almost 19 years, in various locations around the world. My last tax return to the Inland Revenue was 1997. During the last 4 years I have been coming back to the UK for family reasons and to also review where I might retire to. I believe I have gone over my allowed days. I have been self employed all this time. I appreciate that I will have some tax to pay if I come back into the UK in the next tax year 2017/18, but because for tax reasons I will have been considered resident, will I also be libale to pay VAT? In the last three years I am over the VAT threshold. I am 67 years old.

Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

Firstly, when you quit these shores all those years ago did you complete a Form P85 and send it to the Inland Revenue as it was then? If you did not you should do so immediately, but now, of course, to HMRC. On receipt that Department will classify you as non resident from your original departure date. Once so classified you can spend up to 91 days in the UK in any one tax year without prejudicing your status. In theory the 91 days can be averaged out over a four year period, but the consensus of experts opinion on this site is never to exceed the magic 91.

If you are non resident in the UK you can forget about VAT until you finally return, when you should advise HMRC by letter, and then only need to register if your turnover in the UK any one year exceeds the 83K threshold. For the return year HMRC will split it into two portions, one non resident and the other resident.

I do hope that I have been able to set your mind at rest on this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Keith,Thanks for your quick reply. Yes I filled out the form to advise that I was going overseas. I can't remember the form number, but I gave my overseas address (which was Egypt at that time). This was in 1997 and from that time onwards I stopped receiving any tax forms to my then UK address. I consistently worked overseas from 1997 until 2011 without going over the 90/91 days. But as advised I have gone over these days since then for a variety of reasons, however not in all years as you can see from the table below. I have a feeling I will have to pay tax on all these years since I technically became resident (2011 -2012), but I’m not sure. All my work was carried out overseas. My concern is, as in the original question, would I have needed to have registered for VAT. If so this will be a problem as I never charged VAT and given I was working on donor aided projects they wouldn’t have paid it anyway!!Tax Year 2011 - 2012 Days in UK 185 T/O £50,274 Net (E) £38,374
Tax Year 2012 - 2013 Days in UK 183 T/O £74,662 Net (E) £37,912
Tax Year 2013 - 2014 Days in UK 63 T/O £117,429 Net (E) £61,279
Tax Year 2014 - 2015 Days in UK 124 T/O £104,882 Net (E) £48,332
Tax Year 2015 - 2016 Days in UK 233 T/O £94,893 Net (E) £59,793
Tax Year 2016 – 2017(E) Days in UK 28 T/O £112,627 Net (E) £49,911Can you provide any further advice?

Right Peter

11/12 in UK over 183 days so liable to UK taxation on your world wide income. Any overseas tax deducted will be allowed as a tax credit if that country has a Double Taxation Treaty with the UK.

12/13 Same but check dates carefully; it is the dates you leave not arrive which matter.

13/14 Not taxable.

14/15 Ditto

15/16 Taxable

16/17 As for 13/14

Your activities would have been zero rated exports anyway for VAT so although you should have registered there would be no tax to pay. You could, of course, have reclaimed any input tax charged.

I would suggest that you consult a trusted, local professional to fight your case on this if push ever comes to shove with HMRC. That Department clearly have you recorded as non resident for tax purpose.

bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for your support.

As far as HMRC is concerned for your time away I would be inclined to emulate Brer Fox, 'For he lay low and say nuffin!'