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A taxpayer is a person or business who pays taxes to the government.

To be a taxpayer, you usually need to be a tax resident of a country. In the UK, if you live here for more than 183 days in a year, you’re a tax resident and therefore a taxpayer. However, sometimes you can be a taxpayer even if you’re not a tax resident – it really depends on the Double Taxation Agreements between UK and your home country.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can pay tax in three ways:

  • deducted “at source”: for example, your employer will deduct your Income Tax and National Insurance through PAYE (“Pay As You Earn”) and then send these to HMRC
  • calculated and paid by yourself: for example, if you’re self-employed you need to file a Self Assessment tax return, calculate your taxable profit (earnings minus expenses and allowances), and then pay tax on it (usually in one go, although if you’re also employed you can ask HMRC to deduct this additional tax from your salary – a little every month)
  • or a flat tax (for example, council tax)

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