International Tax Return and Tax Rebates

United Kingdom: Claiming A Tax Rebate If You Have Worked Or Studied In The UK

Thousands of people every year go to the UK to study or work.  Many of these travel on a temporary basis – either on a short term visa or to complete a university course - before returning home.

If you have worked or studied in the UK, you may well have paid some income tax whilst you were there.  So, when you return home you may be eligible for a tax rebate.  Our guide explains when you may be eligible for a tax refund and how to claim one.

Working in the UK whilst studying:

The UK is a popular choice for overseas students.  On average, every year, there are over 47,800 overseas students accepted to UK universities with over a thousand of these coming from the USA.

Many American students will work whilst they are in the UK in order to help fund the cost of their education and living expenses or to gain work experience.  If you do work in the UK while studying, you will normally pay UK tax and National Insurance in the same way as a UK resident.

However, you may be entitled to reclaim tax that you have paid when you leave.  If you have earned below the UK’s annual ‘personal allowance’ you may well be due a rebate. 

Working in the UK:

When you head to the UK to work, you will normally pay income tax on any UK earnings.  However, the amount of tax that you pay will be determined by whether you are ‘resident’, ‘ordinarily resident’ or both.

  • You are ‘resident’ if you are in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year or if you go to live in the UK permanently or to remain for three years or more
  • You are ‘ordinarily resident’ if you are resident in the UK year after year or if it is clear that you intend to stay for at least three years

If you are ‘resident’ but not ‘ordinarily resident’ you will pay tax on all your UK income as well as on the income from any work done abroad that you take into the UK.

If you are both ‘resident’ and ‘ordinarily resident’, you will pay Income Tax on all your income from work that you do in the UK as well as income from UK pensions and UK investments.

If you are not classed as ‘resident’, you will still pay tax on your income from any work you do in the UK.

Claiming a tax rebate:

When you leave the UK – either as your work assignment is over or you have finished your studies - you must tell the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  Your UK Tax Office will give you form P85 'Leaving the United Kingdom' to complete and this will determine if you are owed a tax refund.  HMRC will also work out whether you will become ‘non-resident’.

Your tax refund will normally be paid directly into your bank account or you may receive a cheque for any tax rebate that you are due.

 TaxFix has helped many people from the US claim a tax rebate from HM Revenue & Customs. If you think you may be due a tax rebate or need assistance with your UK tax return, don’t hesitate to contact them.