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How to know if you’re a UK tax resident and need to pay tax here

We've updated this guide on 15th February 2021

The usual case

If you are physically present in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year, you will be tax resident in the UK for that year.

You will have to pay:

  • Income Tax
  • National Insurance
  • and even other taxes, like Capital Gains Tax (if you sell property, shares, crypto etc.).

You will pay these for income and profits made in other countries as well – here is how to pay tax on your foreign income.

What if I am in the UK for under 183 days?

It is still possible for you to be resident in the UK. 

HMRC will automatically consider you a UK resident if:

  • you have a home in the UK, and you’re there for at least 30 days
  • you work full-time in the UK for 365 days (this test usually affects two or more tax years)

If you’re “in between” these situations, then HMRC will look at where your strongest ties (family, property, etc.) are.

What if I’ve paid tax on my foreign income already?

You still need to do a Self Assessment tax return and report it.

However, you can claim Foreign Tax Credit relief for the tax you’ve paid already.

What if I’m a foreign student?

You don’t need to worry about UK tax on your foreign income or gains, as long as you’re using them for basic things like food, rent, tuition fee, etc.

You may need to pay tax on your foreign income if you:

  • come from a country without a double-taxation agreement for students – here is the full list
  • or have income that you do not bring to the UK
  • or bring it to the UK and spend it on things other than living costs and course fees
  • or plan to stay in the UK permanently.

Also, if you work during your studies, you do not pay tax if your country has a double taxation agreement with the UK – but you might need to pay it in your home country.

What if I visit the UK often?

It doesn’t matter why or how long you’re visiting.

HMRC will usually look at the total number of days you spent in a tax year in the UK.

Can I be a dual resident?

Yes.

You can be a tax resident in more than one country at the same time.

What you need to do is look at the double taxation agreement between the two countries – here is the full list.

If your country has a double taxation agreement with the UK and both countries tax your income, then you can claim full or partial relief on UK tax on your UK income.

If your country does not have this agreement with the UK, then you can’t claim this relief, but you can get credit for the foreign tax you pay on your overseas income.

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