Tax Glossary


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Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

Non-residents in the UK are individuals whose primary tax residence is outside the UK. They are required to pay tax only on their UK-based income and not on any foreign earnings. The tax treatment for non-residents differs significantly from that of residents, emphasising the importance of determining your tax residency status during your stay.

Determining Non-Resident Status

You are likely considered a non-resident if you meet either of the following criteria:

  • You spend less than 183 days in the UK during the tax year, which runs from April 6th to April 5th the following year.
  • You own a home in the UK that isn’t your sole residence, and you've lived in it for less than 90 days during the last tax year.

For those unsure about their tax residency status, the HMRC’s Statutory Residence Test provides clear guidelines. Accurately determining your status is crucial to avoid unexpected tax implications.

Tax Obligations for Non-Residents

Non-residents may still need to file a Self Assessment tax return for any UK source of income, even if no tax is due. This could be necessary if you:

  • Sold property or assets in the UK at a profit (excluding shares),
  • Received rental income from UK property,
  • Operated as a self-employed individual within the UK.

For those employed in the UK on a short-term basis, there's typically no need for further action, as your employer handles your taxes through the PAYE system.

Understanding your obligations as a non-resident is vital to ensure compliance with UK tax laws and to avoid potential penalties.

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