A non-resident is someone who works in the UK but only temporarily. This means that their primary tax residence is not in the UK. They only pay tax on their UK earnings, not money earned from abroad.
The tax rules for residents and non-residents are very different, so if you work in the UK temporarily, then it’s important that you determine your tax residency status whilst staying here. If you no longer live in the UK, you still might be required to file a Self Assessment tax return with HMRC, even if you’re a non-resident.
The main criteria for being considered a non-resident include:
If you’re still unsure what your UK tax residence status is, then it’s a good idea to read more on HMRC’s Statutory Residence Test. This is the way that HMRC determines whether or not someone is classed as a tax resident in the UK. Understanding your tax residency status is very important, as getting it wrong can lead to unexpected penalties and tax bills.
If you’re classed as a non-resident, you still might need to complete a Self Assessment tax return if you have a UK source of income even if you owe no tax. The times where you might have to do this are:
If you were just employed in the UK for a short time, you don’t need to do anything about a tax return – your employer will have already handled your UK taxes via PAYE.
In the UK, you must keep your tax records for at least six years from the end of the relevant tax year. Accounting software can help you to digitally store your records without taking up space in your office!