Visiting the UK from Overseas: Expert Guide To Getting Your Tax Back
Are you one of the thousands people from all around the world who move to work in the UK?
Do you know that if you decide to leave Britain you may be entitled to reclaim some of the UK tax you have paid?
Whether you are visiting from as far away as Australia or you simply hopped onto a ferry from Ireland, if you have been a UK taxpayer then all of HMRC regulations apply to you. This doesn’t just concerning paying your taxes, but also reclaiming an array of legitimate tax reliefs.
As this can be a complex area for people moving in and out of the UK, we asked the experts at Tax Rebate Services for some helpful advice . . .
If you have left or are leaving the UK, there are three main reasons why you might be able to make a UK tax rebate claim;
- Business expenses claims
- Tax free personal allowance usage
- Non-resident landlord status
HMRC’s regulations are vast and complicated as they attempt to capture every possible variable of any given financial circumstance. But these are the main three areas where foreign nationals often lose out when they leave Britain. They are worth examining in more detail.
Business Expenses Claims
The Tax Office acknowledges that some taxpayers shell out their own money for work related items by allowing people to reclaim the tax they have spent.
Some of the most common business expenses that are successfully reclaimed by taxpayers from other countries are;
- Using your own vehicle to travel between different work locations.
Unfortunately this does not include a daily commute from your home to a permanent workplace. But it does mean things like attending meetings, visiting clients at their homes and going between two different construction sites.
- Working from home.
This is less straightforward than some of the other rules and it must be deemed a requirement of your job, not a personal preference.
- Buying tools and safety equipment for work.
- Subscriptions to professional bodies and some Trade Union fees.
Some Trade Unions and professional bodies have an agreement with HMRC that allows their members to claim the tax back on their costs. e.g. NUT.
- Purchasing and cleaning work uniforms or protective clothing.
If there are no laundry facilities provided by your employer, then you can claim back the tax for the cost of washing your work clothes.
Tax Free Personal Allowance
The Tax Free Personal Allowance is the amount of money you are allowed to earn without paying any income tax. Once you start earning over this amount, you start paying the appropriate rate of tax.
If you leave the UK during the tax year and you have not used your entire personal allowance amount, then you can reclaim the tax you have paid.
Non-Resident Landlord Status
Many people who have bought property in Britain don’t want to sell just because they are moving to another country. Sometimes you retain the property as an investment, and you may want to leave your options open about returning to the UK.
You must declare any income from property in the UK, even if you don’t live in it and you are not making a profit. This doesn’t just mean that you are correctly following the rules, but that you could benefit from them!
If the rental income you earn is less than your Personal Tax Free Allowance, then you could be entitled to a tax rebate. It is also possible to offset some of the maintenance and purchase costs of property ownership through the Self-Assessment tax return process.
I wish I’d known all of this a few years ago!
If you are reading this after a move away from Britain – don’t worry! You don’t have to be living in the UK to make a claim and your initial submission can be backdated by four years.
Making any kind of tax rebate claim does not affect your status in any way and has no bearing on whether you return to work on the UK in the future. You need your P45 or a “statement of earnings” from your employer and any work-related receipts as evidence.
Your taxes contribute to the UK economy while you work here and HMRC want to repay any tax you are legitimately owed. But this is not an automatic procedure, so you need to assist them by making an official claim.