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When is the tax deadline for expats?

  • 3 min read
  • Last updated 26 Sep 2022

Do you live abroad and want to know the tax deadline for expats? Do you have an income source coming from the UK?

If you answered yes to both these questions then it’s likely you’re one of many expats who has to file and pay UK tax to HMRC. 

Expat tax life

When you live abroad, it can be pretty easy to lose track of time and forget about your tax obligations back in the UK…especially if your expat life involves sipping on cocktails by the beach 👀

(We’re kidding – you work hard and your life abroad isn’t back-to-back cocktails and soirees, right?)

One key date that many expats forget about is the deadline to file your Self Assessment tax return – 31st January.

We’ll explain everything you need to know about filing below…let’s dive in!

I live abroad, will I still pay UK tax?

Probably.

It all depends on whether you still have a source of income that comes from the UK. Sources could include:

If you receive money from any of the above, then it’s likely that you’ll have to report your income to HMRC and then pay Income Tax on it. 

However, you’ll be pleased to hear that most expats don’t usually have to pay Capital Gains Tax or Inheritance Tax  – as long as they you’re not still a UK resident.

Double Taxation Agreement - Taxscouts

Are there any allowances?

Yes! 

  1. Personal Allowance: this is the amount of tax-free income that everyone in the UK is entitled to receive each year – the current amount for this tax year is £12,570. So even if you live abroad, you’ll only pay tax on your UK income above that threshold. But! There are some exceptions to this rule if you earn more…
  2. Double Taxation Agreement: OK, not strictly an allowance, but if the country you now live in has a Double Taxation Agreement with the UK, you can claim tax relief in the UK so you don’t end up getting taxed twice

I’m an expat, how do I report my income to HMRC?

You report your UK income to HMRC through an annual tax return. This also means you’ll need to register for Self Assessment

UK residents usually do this through HMRC’s online services, but as an expat, you won’t have access to this. Instead, your taxes have to be filed either by:

  • Using a certain type of HMRC-certified online software
  • Filling out two paper forms (SA109 and SA100) and submitting them by post
  • Using a qualified accountant or an online tax service (like TaxScouts!)

Whatever method you choose, just remember that you must declare all of your untaxed income and give details of any allowances, expenses, and other deductions.

When is the tax deadline for expats?

So, how long do you have to sort your taxes? 

The tax deadline for expats depends on the method you choose to complete your return. If you file your tax return:

  • By post: the deadline is 31st October each year for paper tax returns. Remember to account for postage time! 
  • Via an accountant/tax service: the deadline is 31st January the year after the tax year you’re paying for. So, if you are paying tax for your 2021/2022 tax return, this should be done before the 31st of January 2023.
  • Using HRMC-certified accounting software: The deadline is also 31st January. 

What happens if I miss the deadline?

Then you might be fined. No joke!

If you submit your tax return late or make a late payment, then the minimum you’ll be fined is £100. If you file your return late as well as make a late payment, then you’ll pay at least £200 – and this keeps increasing if your payments are 3 months+ late.

HMRC can also apply interest on top of these fines – so make sure you don’t miss the tax deadline if you’re an expat!

Are you an expat who needs tax advice?

Struggling to wrap your head around life as an expat and UK tax? We get it, it can all sound pretty confusing – especially if you’re living abroad – but it doesn’t have to be complicated at all! 
If you have a tax-based problem, get in touch with us for some simple, one-off tax advice from our accredited accountants. Learn more here.

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