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Tax If You Return to United Kingdom

This section explains the process for tax if you return to the UK after living abroad. Find out what you need to do after coming back to live in the United Kingdom.


: As a rule, you will get classed as a UK resident for tax if you come back to the UK after living overseas.

Thus, having UK residence status means you will pay UK tax on:

  • Sources of income and any gains realised in the United Kingdom.
  • Sources of foreign income and gains made. Exceptions apply if your permanent home ‘residence domicile‘ remains outside of the UK.
  • Note: Living abroad less than a full tax year (6th April to 5th April the next year) means you stayed UK resident. As a rule, this results in paying UK tax on any foreign income for the entire time spent abroad.

Things to do after Returning to the UK

Often, one of the first things to do is registering for Self Assessment. You will need it if you start working for yourself or you get other sources of income or gains from the UK or overseas.

Note: It is not necessary for employees who do not have any other untaxed income to report. Thus, you may not need to register for Self Assessment.

Returning to the UK within 5 Years

You could have liabilities to pay tax on certain income or gains made as a non-resident. This excludes wages, salary, or other income from employment.

It relates to special rules called ‘temporary non-residence‘ and may apply to you if both:

  • Your return to the UK is within five (5) years of moving abroad (or 5 full tax years if you left the UK before the 6th of April 2013).
  • You got classed as a UK resident in at least four (4) of the seven (7) tax years before moving abroad.

Read chapter 6 of ‘RDR3: Statutory Residence Test‘ for further guidance and information by HMRC on:

  • Temporary non-residence.
  • Paying Income Tax on sources of income and gains.
National Insurance if You Return to the UK

If your stay in the United Kingdom is not permanent you may not need to make National Insurance contributions. But, if you start working in the United Kingdom you will most likely begin paying National Insurance again.

You may not have paid NIC while you were living abroad. So, if you check the National Insurance record it will show how that might affect your State Pension.

Note: You can also trace a lost National Insurance number by way of the Government website. The International Pension Centre is the place to contact for moving a pension into the United Kingdom.

Liabilities for Tax if You Return to the UK after Living Abroad