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When you moved to the Middle East did you send a Form P85 to your tax office?
You are correct in your assumption, but that only works after a P85 action. You should submit a P85 at once advising of your original departure date from the UK. Fortunately, there is no time limit on its submission, it is available on the web and can be filed on line. On receipt HMRC will classify you as non resident. On return to the UK advise your tax office by letter and you will be classified as resident for the tax year following your date of return and the returning tax year will be split into two halves, one non resident, the other resident. The money earned whilst a non resident is outside the scope of UK taxation.
You most certainly do otherwise some twerp in HMRC will try to tax you on your Middle East earnings.
I would advise you to complete and submit it as soon an possible. It could avoid endless trouble with the tax authorities.
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