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Tax on Foreign Income for Foreign Students

This section explains the taxation rules for foreign students who are studying in the UK. Check when you need to pay it and what happens if you start work in the United Kingdom.

IF YOU COME TO STUDY: As a rule, foreign students do not pay UK tax on foreign income or gains.

That is providing the money gets used for course fees or their living costs, such as:

  • Bills
  • Food
  • Rent
  • Study materials
  • Travel expenses

Note: Check to see if the country where your income comes from has a ‘double-taxation agreement‘ covering students.

HM Revenue and Customs can ask you to account for your living costs. They may do this if they go over £15,000 in a tax year (this excludes course fees). The tax year in the United Kingdom begins on the 6th of April and runs until the 5th of April in the following year.

When Foreign Students Start Paying UK Tax

You may need to pay UK tax on foreign income using the normal methods if:

  • You are from a country that does not have a double-taxation agreement for its students.
  • You have other income sources that you do not bring into the United Kingdom.
  • You bring funds into the UK and spend it on things other than your living costs and your course fees.
  • You plan to stay in the United Kingdom as your ‘domicile’ (permanent home).

Foreign Students Working in the UK

The double-taxation agreements determine whether you pay UK tax on your income. Thus, you may get taxed if you work in the United Kingdom while you are a student.

What if your home country does not have this type of agreement? In this case, you have to pay tax if you come to live in the UK and in the same way as others do who live here.


Tax on Foreign Income: Information explaining the rules of UK taxation on money earned abroad.
Residence Status and Tax: How your status as a resident affects your liabilities for UK taxation.
Non-domiciled Resident: Check the tax rules for a UK resident with a ‘domicile’ outside the UK.
Paying Tax on Foreign Income: Payment rules for a UK resident with foreign income or capital gains.
Taxed Twice: How the double-taxation agreement affects the tax you pay in the UK and abroad.

Tax on Foreign Income for Foreign Students while Studying in the United Kingdom