Employment overseas

If you have been sent to work overseas by your current UK employer, or you are taking up a new employment with an overseas employer outside the UK, you will need to determine whether you will continue to be liable to pay UK tax. If you can demonstrate that you are non-UK resident for UK tax purposes your employment income for work performed overseas will not usually be liable to UK tax.

Under the third automatic overseas test, you will be regarded as non-UK resident where:

-you work full-time overseas over a tax year, without any significant breaks from overseas work, and

-you spend fewer than 91 days in the UK in the tax year

-the number of days in the tax year on which you work for more than three hours in the UK is less than 31.

In the tax year of your departure, we can advise you of the split year tax rules and detail what records you should maintain. We can also help you to complete form P85 to notify HM Revenue and Customs of your departure from the UK where this is appropriate.

UK tax refund

A tax refund will often arise where an employee leaves the UK part way through a UK tax year and breaks UK residence. We can help reclaim any amount owed to you.

Social Security (national insurance)

It is probable that you will have to pay social security contributions on your employment income, whether in the UK, or overseas in the country where you are working. Factors that can affect where contributions are payable include, the country where you are working, the period you intend to work outside the UK and whether you are sent on a temporary assignment with your existing UK employer or take up a new employment overseas.

Depending upon your circumstances, it may be possible for you to remain within the UK national insurance system and avoid paying overseas social security in the country where you are working, either using EU legislation or a reciprocal agreement that the UK has with the country where you are working.

Where EU rules or a reciprocal agreement do not apply, consideration can be given to paying voluntary UK national insurance contributions to ensure an entitlement to a state retirement pension and certain other UK social security benefits are not compromised.

Letting your UK property

If you let your UK property whilst you are working abroad, any resulting profit may be subject to UK tax. Profit is calculated by deducting allowable expenses from gross rents.

Special rules apply where rent is paid to landlords who are abroad for six months or more. In this situation, either your tenant (where rent is more than £100 per week) or your letting agent is legally obliged to:

- withhold basic rate tax from the rent payable to you; and

- pay it over to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on a quarterly basis.

This is because it is not easy for HMRC to pursue a tax debt from a landlord living on the other side of the world.

UK tax planning point: we can help you obtain authorisation from HMRC to receive your rent gross without the cash flow disadvantage of a tax withholding. Please contact us for details.

We can also assist you to prepare letting accounts and ensure you claim all legitimate expenses to help reduce your letting profit.

UK personal allowance

You will be entitled to continue to claim a UK personal allowance in tax years throughout which you are regarded as non-UK resident for UK tax purposes provided you qualify under one of a number of categories including the following:

a) you are a British national.

b) you are an EEA national.

c) you are a Commonwealth citizen (up until 5 April 2010).