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Tax Guide If You Are Leaving the UK to Live Abroad

Tax Guide If You Are Leaving the UK to Live Abroad


If you’re in the process of departing from the UK or have relocated within the past four tax years, there’s a high likelihood that you are eligible for a tax refund related to leaving the UK. Our free UK tax back calculator serves as a valuable tool, allowing you to estimate the potential amount of your UK tax refund. Navigate through HMRC’s system with ease by referring to our comprehensive leaving the UK tax back guide, designed to provide insights into the relevant considerations and steps applicable to your specific situation.

Who is Eligible for Claiming tax back?

Eligibility to claim a UK tax rebate is open to individuals who have been employed under PAYE and have departed from the UK within the last four tax years. To qualify, you must have earned sufficient income to be liable for income tax in the year for which you are making the refund claim. It’s crucial to bear in mind that while HMRC is committed to refunding eligible individuals, the onus is on you to submit a claim to retrieve the funds owed to you.

How you might be eligible to claim the UK tax back?

There are various reasons why you might be eligible for a leaving the UK tax refund, including:

  1. Personal Allowance: If you haven’t utilized the entire Personal Allowance in the tax year of your departure.
  2. Job Expenses: Numerous work-related expenses may not have been claimed before leaving, such as purchasing work equipment, maintaining your uniform, or being a member of a Trade Union.
  3. Tax Codes: If you had an incorrect tax code during any of the years covered by your claim.
  4. Non-Resident Status: Having non-resident status or being a non-resident landlord of property in the UK.
  5. Paying UK Tax on Pension Income: If you are paying UK tax on pension income from the UK.
  6. Employment in Another Country: If you remain a UK taxpayer but are employed in another country.

Our collection of free income tax guides is a valuable resource to deepen your understanding of the available tax relief options and navigate the complexities of tax regulations.

Timescales for claiming a leaving the UK tax refund

Understanding the timescales for claiming a leaving the UK tax refund is crucial, as adherence to the stipulated rules is imperative. Failing to claim what is rightfully owed before the deadline results in the forfeiture of any potential refund.

Individuals departing the UK have a window of four tax years to initiate a claim for a UK tax refund, beginning from the tax year in which they leave. It is essential to note that the tax office requires the submission of an official claim within this four-year timescale to facilitate the refund process for any overpaid income tax. Strict adherence to these timescales ensures that individuals can access the funds they are entitled to without the risk of losing out on any owed money.

Is leaving the UK tax back necessary if you have submitted the self-assessment tax return?

If you’re required to complete a self-assessment tax return in the UK, HMRC may request it for various reasons. In such cases, fulfilling your final tax return in the UK is essential to facilitate the potential refund of any overpaid tax. Form P85 is not necessary if you undergo the process of completing a tax return, as this document ensures HMRC has all the requisite information to process the refund for any overpaid income tax.

It’s crucial to note that a tax return can only be submitted after the conclusion of the current tax year, which occurs on the 5th of April each year. Consequently, if you leave the UK during a current tax year, you must wait until after the 5th of April to submit your tax return to HMRC. This timeline ensures the accurate and timely processing of your tax return, allowing for the potential refund of any excess income tax payments.

Amount of leaving UK tax back you can claim?

The amount of UK tax you can claim back has no upper limit. The potential refund is contingent on various factors, including the amount of tax you paid in the UK and other sources of income you may have had. The specific circumstances of your time in the UK play a crucial role in determining the extent of the reclaimable tax.

For individuals leaving the UK, it is common to be eligible for a repayment of income tax exclusively from the tax year in which they depart. In such cases, the entitlement typically revolves around the difference between the actual tax paid during that tax year and the hypothetical figure you would have paid if you had worked for the entire year. The personalised nature of these calculations underscores the importance of considering individual circumstances when determining the potential amount of UK tax that can be claimed back.

The process to claim the UK tax back

To initiate your leaving the UK tax back claim using the P85 form, it is essential to follow a few key steps and have the necessary forms in place:

  1. P85 Form: The P85 form is a vital document containing details such as your departure date from the UK, your residency status, and your employment situation abroad. You can conveniently complete and submit the P85 form online or send it by post to the tax office.
  2. UK Tax Return: If you are completing a UK tax return, the P85 form may not be required. Generally, if you are obligated to undertake a UK self-assessment tax return, HMRC may not typically request a P85.
  3. P45 Form: Your last UK employer will provide you with a P45 form upon leaving their employment. While having a P45 expedites the process, a claim is still possible without it, although it may take HMRC additional time to finalize.
  4. National Insurance Number: Your national insurance number, visible on payslips and tax forms like the P45, is a unique identifier. Although a claim is feasible without a national insurance number, alternative information must be available.

Whether you are on the brink of departure or have resettled in the past, navigating the claims process can be complex, especially when considering time differences. Fortunately, the P85 claim can typically be completed online, offering a swift and straightforward method. In cases where online submission is not feasible, postal submission remains an alternative option to ensure the completion of your leaving the UK tax-back claim.

Form P87 and leaving the UK tax refund

The P87 form comes into play when you need to claim tax back for employment expenses in the context of your leaving the UK tax refund. It is essential to note that the P87 should be completed separately from the P85 form. Once completed, the P87 can be submitted either online or by post directly to HMRC.

The processing of the P87 follows a distinct route from the P85 and may take varying timescales to complete, contingent upon the nature of the expenses outlined in your claim. Upon receipt of your P87, the tax office will meticulously review the details and, if necessary, pose any inquiries, typically in written form. This ensures a thorough assessment before calculating any potential overpayment of income tax related to employment expenses. The separate handling of the P87 underscores its specific role in facilitating claims for employment-related tax refunds within the leaving the UK context.

P800 form and how to get paid leaving the UK tax refund

Upon the calculation of any overpaid tax, the tax office will issue a P800 form, providing a detailed breakdown of how your refund has been calculated. This form will be sent to the address they have on record, and if you have a personal tax account, the breakdown should also be accessible within it.

When using the P85 form, you have the opportunity to indicate your preferred method of receiving the tax refund. Options include a bank transfer to a UK bank account or receiving a cheque.

In cases where you do not possess a personal UK bank account, you have the option to nominate someone else to receive the tax refund on your behalf. This flexibility ensures that individuals have choices tailored to their preferences and circumstances when it comes to receiving their UK tax refund.

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