How to File a UK Personal Tax Return if You Live in Ireland

How to File a UK Personal Tax Return if You Live in Ireland

Table of Contents

While there’s no doubt that filing a personal tax return from abroad can be tricky, every taxpayer is responsible for meeting all necessary requirements and deadlines. 

This is why understanding your tax obligations as a UK citizen living in Ireland is crucial for maintaining financial compliance and optimising your tax situation.

Hoping to get a head start?

Speaking directly with a tax professional is always advised, but in the meantime, our team is here to help you prepare for what’s ahead. 

Understanding Your Tax Obligations

Taxation can be complex when you live in one country and have financial ties to another. But again, it’s your responsibility as a taxpayer to understand your obligations.

To help, here are some of the basics you need to be aware of:

UK Tax Residency and Non-Residency

    Determining your residency status is one of the first steps in understanding your tax obligations. Your tax residency status affects the income you must report and pay tax on in the UK. 

    Generally, non-residents pay tax on UK-sourced income, whereas residents pay tax on worldwide income.

    Am I still a UK tax resident if I live abroad?

    • UK tax residency: You’re considered a UK tax resident if you spend 183 days or more in the UK in a tax year, if your only home is in the UK, or if you work full-time in the UK.
    • Non-residency: If you don’t meet the above criteria or spend between 16 and 183 days in the UK during a year, you’ll need to consider your broader circumstances to work out if you’re resident in the UK under the statutory residence test.
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    Tax Treaties and Double Taxation

      It is important to understand how tax treaties between countries can impact your tax obligations when living abroad. For example, while most people are considered tax residents in a country for a full tax year, the tax year can sometimes be split between two countries.

      Does Ireland have a double taxation agreement with the UK?

      The UK and Ireland have a double taxation agreement (DTA) to prevent the same income from being taxed twice. Understanding these agreements is important not only for compliance purposes but also to avoid paying more tax than necessary and take advantage of any available reliefs.

      In short, double taxation agreements may reduce your tax burden by allowing tax credits for taxes paid in one country against tax due in the other or even prevent taxation in one country.

      Tip: Check out one of our previous articles for more information on double taxation and dual residency in Ireland. 

      Filing a UK Tax Return whilst living in Ireland can be difficult to do by yourself. Save yourself time, money, and energy by working with an expert who can guide you.

      Request assistance from a UK Tax Specialist

      Filing Requirements

      Filing a UK tax return from abroad involves specific steps and requirements. And it’s not always easy to find the latest, most relevant information you need! 

      Luckily, we’re here to help.

      Step-by-Step Guide: Filing a UK Personal Tax Return from Ireland

      1. Prepare Your Documents

      Gather essential documents like P60s, P11Ds, P45s, payslips, business records, bank statements, dividend counterfoils, and pension contribution certificates. 

      Only submit additional documents if HMRC requests them.

      1. Choose Your Filing Method

      There are several ways to file a self-assessment tax return. Selecting the right one depends on your comfort level and the complexity of your financial situation.

      In general, we recommend that you:

      • Consult a tax professional: Given the complexities of filing a tax return from abroad, a tax professional can make non-resident filings as seamless and stress-free as possible.
      • Research commercial tax software: If you prefer to file your tax return yourself, it’s important to use software that handles non-resident tax returns and comes from a reliable provider.
      • Consider paper filing options: If you’re not digitally inclined, you can complete the SA100 tax return form and relevant supplementary pages on paper.
      • Mailing your return: If using the paper filing method to complete your tax return, post your completed tax return to the correct HMRC address, accounting for additional mailing time from abroad. Note that there’s an earlier filing deadline for paper submissions.
      1. Complete the Tax Return

      Filling out your tax return accurately is crucial. One of the biggest mistakes people make with tax returns is providing inaccurate information, leading to:

      • Potential Penalties
      • Delays in processing and missed deadlines
      • Audits
      • Overpayment/underpayment of taxes
      • Additional stress and filing overwhelm.

      To avoid these issues, we recommend focusing on the following areas during the tax filing process:

      • Personal details: Ensure your personal information—including name, date of birth, address, and marital status—is correct. 
      • Income reporting: Declare all UK and foreign income, using supplementary pages if necessary.
      • Tax deductions and reliefs: Claim applicable reliefs and deduct allowable expenses. 
      • Treaty considerations: Apply relevant elements of the DTA to avoid double taxation.

      Note: Applicable tax reliefs and deductions will depend on your unique circumstances. It’s always advisable to consult with a tax professional.

      1. Review and Declare Foreign Income and Benefits

      As part of your UK tax return, it’s vital to make sure to claim any applicable foreign tax credits to avoid being taxed twice on the same income.

      It’s worth consulting with a tax expert as early as possible.

      1. Sign and Date the Tax Return

      Before signing and dating, review each page of your UK tax return in full to ensure complete accuracy at the time of signing.

      Then:

      • For paper returns: Physically sign and date the form. An unsigned paper return will be rejected by HMRC.
      • For digital returns: Electronically approve the return through your chosen commercial filing software, or the tax professional submitting on your behalf.
      1. Submit Your Tax Return

      It’s vital to consider UK tax deadlines before submitting your tax return. When this article was published, the last UK tax year started on 6 April 2023 and ended on 5 April 2024.

      As part of this tax return, here are the dates you need to be aware of:

      • Paper filing: The deadline is October 31, 2024. Always mail your return well in advance to avoid missing the deadline.
      • Online filing: The deadline is January 31, 2025. If you wish HMRC to use your tax code to collect any underpaid tax through your wages or pension, you should file by December 30, 2024.

      Note: When submitting your tax return online, be sure to use approved commercial software that complies with HMRC requirements. Ensure all data is complete and accurate before final submission. For more details on additional conditions regarding HMRC tax returns, see GOV.UK.

      1. Pay Your Tax Due

      If you live in Ireland but are filing a UK tax return, UK deadlines for submission and payment still apply to you. 

      • Deadline for payment of tax owed: Pay by January 31, 2025.
      • Payments on Account (PoAs):
      • For some taxpayers, Payments on Account are mandatory and may not be avoided. These are advance payments towards your next tax year’s bill based on your current year’s tax liability.
      • You must typically make two Payments on Account each year: one by January 31 (the same day as your balancing payment for the previous tax year) and another by July 31.
      • Consider whether you have grounds to reduce your Payments on Account.  You can apply to reduce them through your tax return.
      • Payment methods: Use bank transfer, direct debit, or other approved methods.

      Note: Setting up a budget payment plan might be beneficial if you want to spread the cost of your next year’s tax over several months.

      8. Check for Penalties and Avoid Common Mistakes

      It’s crucial to adhere to deadlines and ensure accuracy to avoid penalties. However, if you notice a mistake post-submission, you can amend your tax return within the allowed period. 

      Generally, you have up to 12 months from 31 January (following the end of the tax year to which the tax return relates) to make the amendments.

      You’ll usually pay a penalty if you’re late, but you can appeal this if you have a valid reason for missing the deadline.

      Filing a UK Tax Return whilst living in Ireland can be difficult to do by yourself. Save yourself time, money, and energy by working with an expert who can guide you.

      Request assistance from a UK Tax Specialist

      Income and Deductions

      A cartoon image of a woman spending money

      With the right information and an optimisation strategy (guided by a professional!), you can make filing a UK tax return much less stressful. 

      Here’s what you need to know:

      1. Foreign Income Reporting

      Correctly reporting foreign income ensures compliance and avoids double taxation.

      How do I declare foreign income on my tax return in the UK?

      To declare foreign income on your tax return in the UK, include all relevant details on the supplementary pages provided by HMRC – specifically the “foreign supplementary pages” (SA106). 

      This involves:

      • Listing all types of foreign income, such as employment earnings, rental income, dividends, and interest
      • Converting the income into British pounds using the exchange rate on the date you received the income or at HMRC’s approved rates
      • Providing information on any foreign taxes paid, which may qualify for foreign tax credit relief
      • Ensuring that any applicable double taxation treaties are considered to avoid being taxed twice on the same income

      What is considered UK income?

      UK income tax applies to employment income, self-employment earnings, rental income, dividends, and interest from UK sources.

      Note: Regarding UK Capital Gains Tax (CGT), complex rules can apply — whether you’re a UK resident or a non-resident taxpayer. For more information, book a consultation with tax experts.

      1. Personal Allowances and Reliefs

      Non-residents may still be eligible for personal allowances, reducing their tax liability. Eligibility will depend on various factors, including nationality and type of income.

      1. Specific Tax Reliefs

      Claiming specific reliefs like marriage allowance, blind person’s allowance, or charity gifts can significantly reduce your tax liability. But again, it’s advised to speak to a tax specialist about your unique circumstances.

      Special Considerations for Expats

      Expats often require professional assistance to understand and ensure compliance with everything from pension income taxation to specific reporting requirements for foreign income and gains.

      Common questions expats seek answers to include:

      Do I pay tax on UK income if I live abroad?

      Yes, UK rental or investment income is subject to UK tax. However, potential reliefs (usually under the DTA) may apply to prevent double taxation.

      Can I be employed in the UK and live in Ireland?

      Yes, but it’s vital to understand how cross-border employment income is taxed. Employment income earned in the UK while living in Ireland may be taxable in the UK, but again, this will depend on your unique circumstances.

      How is my UK pension income taxed while I live in Ireland? 

      UK pension income is typically taxable in the UK, but under the UK-Ireland DTA, it may also be taxed in Ireland. Understanding the tax credit provisions of the DTA can help prevent double taxation.

      What are the implications of owning property in the UK as an expat?

      Income from UK property is subject to UK tax, and you must report this on your UK tax return. Understanding the rules around expenses, allowable deductions, and how any foreign tax paid can be credited is essential.

      Do I need to report UK dividends if I live in Ireland?

      Yes, dividends from UK companies must be reported on your UK tax return. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to declare them in Ireland and claim any applicable tax credits.

      How does Brexit affect my tax situation as an expat?

      Brexit has introduced new rules and complexities for UK expats. It’s important to stay updated on how regulation changes may impact your tax obligations and reliefs between the UK and EU countries like Ireland.

      Additional Complexities and Common Questions

      When living in Ireland but filing a tax return in the UK, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the process. 

      As a leading tax compliance and advisory service, some of the most frequently asked questions we receive are as follows:

      What is the penalty for not declaring income in the UK?

      Failing to declare income can result in penalties, interest on unpaid tax, and potential legal action. Ensure compliance to avoid these consequences.

      Can I work in Ireland and pay UK tax?

      Yes, but you must understand how your work arrangement affects your tax liabilities in both countries.

      If I return to the UK from Ireland, do I need to inform HMRC?

      If your living situation changes, you must notify HMRC to ensure correct tax treatment.

      How do I determine my tax residency status?

      Determining tax residency involves understanding the Statutory Residence Test (SRT). This test considers factors like the number of days spent in the UK and your ties to the country, like family and work.

      What expenses can I claim as a non-resident?

      Non-residents may be able to claim certain expenses that directly relate to earning UK income, like business travel or professional fees. Speak with a tax expert to understand which expenses are allowable to optimise your tax return.

      Targeted Information You Need — Straight from the Experts

      Understanding and correctly managing your UK tax obligations while living in Ireland is essential for compliance and financial optimisation. 

      Following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can ensure your tax returns are accurately filed.

      As leading tax advisors with international experience, we’re here to optimise your taxes and give you complete peace of mind.

      Filing a UK Tax Return whilst living in Ireland can be difficult to do by yourself. Save yourself time, money, and energy by working with an expert who can guide you.

      Request assistance from a UK Tax Specialist

      DISCLAIMER: The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal, financial, investment and taxation advice should be sought before acting or refraining from acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice. Expats Taxes accept no liability whatsoever for any action taken based on the information in this article or any of the articles in our blog series. Expat Taxes Limited does not provide financial planning, investment, or mortgage advice, and this article is provided only for general information. We are not authorised/licensed to provide financial advice and this article should not be considered to constitute advice of this type in any respect.

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