Tax when retiring abroad or back in the UK

If you retire abroad and become non-resident in the UK, you might still have to pay UK tax. If you return to retire (or work) in the UK after living abroad as a non-resident, you'll need to let HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) know so that they can make sure you pay the right tax.

On this page:

Paying the right tax if you retire abroad

If you're retiring abroad you need to tell HMRC. They will work out:

  • your tax liability in the UK
  • whether you'll need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return
  • whether you are owed a tax refund

HMRC will send you form P85 to get any tax refund you're owed. You can also use the second link below to download the form. If you leave the country part-way through the tax year, this is taken into account.

Once you've retired abroad, even if you're classed as being 'non-resident' for tax in the UK, you'll still pay tax on most pensions you receive from the UK. However if you're living in a country that the UK has a ‘double taxation agreement’ with, you may be able to get these pensions without Income Tax being deducted. You may also be able to claim a refund of any tax which has already been deducted. You can find more information about making a claim in the third link below. 

Tax when leaving the UK

Go to form P85 Leaving the UK - getting your tax right

Making a claim under a double taxation agreement

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Paying tax if you retire in the UK after living abroad

If you return to retire or work in the UK after living or retiring abroad as a non-resident, you'll need to let HMRC know about your changed circumstances so that they can make sure you pay the right tax.

In advance of your return you should:

  • tell HMRC when you'll be coming back, and find out about your tax liability on returning to the UK
  • check with the country you are living in about any tax you may owe before you leave

You may also want to get in touch with The Pension Service regarding your pension and benefits and give them details of your:

  • return date
  • contact details abroad and in the UK

The UK tax you'll pay depends on whether you're 'resident', 'ordinarily resident' or 'domiciled' in the UK. The UK has double taxation agreements with many other countries to make sure that you don't pay tax twice on the same income or gain. If you return to the UK part way through the tax year this is taken into account. You can find out more details about all these issues by following the links below.

Making a claim under a double taxation agreement

Contact The Pension Service on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

Tax when returning to live in the UK

How 'residence' and 'domicile' affect your UK tax

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More useful links

Do you have to pay tax in retirement?

Filing a tax return if you live or work outside the UK

Residence

State Pension if you retire abroad on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

Contact HMRC

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