Filing an Expat Tax Return

Even if you’re a British expat living in Hong Kong, you may still need to complete a UK Tax Return. Some of the situations in which this might be the case are if you’re a director of a UK company, rent out your UK home or make a capital gain by selling a property or asset in the UK.  It can be difficult to understand whether you’re required to complete a Tax Return each year if you’re an expat, so it is usually sensible to speak to a specialist adviser who can look at your individual situation.

What are the 2021 deadlines for expats around the world?

There are a number of key dates which it’s important to be aware of if you are living overseas and need to complete a UK Tax Return.  These are:

31 July 2021 – deadline for paying the second instalment of tax due for 2020/21

5 October 2021 – deadline for notifying HMRC of the requirement to file a 2021 Tax Return

31 October 2021 – deadline for submitting a paper version of a 2021 Tax Return

31 January 2022 – deadline for submitting a Tax Return online and paying the balance of tax due for 2020/21 (plus making the first payment on account for 2021/22)

What documents are required to file my expat Tax Return?

When filing a Tax Return you will need to make sure you can supply some key pieces of information. Our recommended checklist includes:

  • Details of any visits you’ve made to the UK during the year including specific dates of arrival and departure
  • Full details of your date of arrival/departure if you are moving to or leaving the UK, along with the reasons for the move
  • Details of UK income sources including investment income, rental income, UK earnings and pensions, Gift Aid donations and/or pension contributions to a UK scheme

How do I file for an extension?

Unlike the US, the UK doesn’t generally offer any extension to the usual 31 January filing deadline for Tax Returns. The only exception is when there are extreme circumstances, perhaps due to a serious illness which means that you aren’t able to cope with pulling together the required information needed to file the Tax Return. If you are in a situation which means you may miss the submission date, we are able to act on your behalf and speak with HMRC to negotiate an extension to the normal deadline.

What forms are required to file expat taxes?

A standard set of forms are needed to complete the filing of any Tax Return. These are a standard personal Tax Return (form SA100) plus supplementary pages including land and property pages (SA105) and Non-Residence pages (SA109).

How will I be notified my documents have been received?

When your Tax Return has been filed online, HMRC will send an immediate confirmation to acknowledge its receipt. If you have sent your Tax Return using the paper filing system, HMRC won’t send a confirmation, but may issue a tax calculation based upon the paper form to confirm the tax you need to pay.

In our experience, paper filed Tax Returns can take up to nine months to be processed so online filing is far more efficient. However, it’s worth noting that if you are managing your own Tax Return you won’t be able to file it digitally as HMRC’s software doesn’t currently allow the non-resident supplementary pages to be sent using the system.

We use compatible tax software which allows for online filing of all elements of the forms, to ensure that our clients don’t have to wait unnecessarily for their Tax Return to be processed.

We have been helping expats with all aspects of tax planning for more than 120 years. Please get in touch with your nearest office to discuss filing an expat Tax Return or any other tax query.

Would you like to find out more?

We are here to help with your tax planning requirements. For more information, whatever your circumstances, please contact us today.