HMRC Self Assessment

I am going round in circles. Someone out there must be in a similar situation.

Until 20/21 I had been spending enough time in the UK to enable me to file a normal UK resident online self assessment, but now I find myself a UK non-resident (happily). I got through to the HMRC helpline yesterday but they knew less than I did.

My only income is from renting out a UK property. I do not work here in France. Which additional HMRC forms do I have to fill in? Will I still get my personal tax allowance? I start to fill in SA109 and it sends me off on abstract routes which seems to bear no relevance to my situation.

My only certainty is that I am now late in submitting my tax return and will be fined.


Is there a particular reason why you want to stay part of the UK tax system? If you became tax resident in France (which technically you are if you spend more than 183 days here) then things become considerably easier in many ways. Your tax code in the UK would become zero and you would then get the allowances under the French system. Depending on your circumstances (income level, marital situation etc) that may be a better or worse financial option for you.

However, when you spoke to the HMRC helpline, did they put you through to what they call a “technician”? These are the people who actually know the system outside of the normal scenarios.

The other thing you could do is talk to a tax advisor in the UK as they have access to all the forms that normal punters don’t. However, this is a shark pool as many people claim to be experts and aren’t and they charge a lot.

My other suggestion is to rock up at the tax people in your department and ask for advice/help. In my department (50) they have a person who is their expert on Brits and he is incredibly helpful.


Bryan has said he is renting a UK property. He has no choice, he has to make a UK declaration. We have the same and are resident in France, in the French tax system, we still fill in UK tax forms.


I understand that, Sue - I was just wondering whether @Bryan was trying to stay in the UK system completely and not in the French one!

I have had, in the past, to fill in tax declarations in both countries but the primary one was the one I was resident in. Does that work differently for you?

You fill the relevant boxes in SA100, SA105 and SA109….

Send them off - you can’t do this online any more. And wait.

And yes you should still get the personal allowance, and normally it is applied automatically if you tick box 16 on form SA109 and you are n the system. If not you have to claim it, with this form


Thank you for your response Angela. I think I have to declare my UK income in the UK, I think. Also it seems fair that I pay UK tax on money made in the UK. My husband is French and deals with the French side of things; I just give him my UK tax return. Perhaps we should look at all possibilities for next year.

The HMRC helpline didn’t even know that I could no longer submit my return online. Maybe if I’d persisted they may have offered me a technician.

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Thank you Jane. The R43 form is new one on my list but actually looks quite straightforward. Again, thank you, this is very useful.


Oh and include a letter explaining that you hadn’t realised you couldn’t file online so are deeply sorry for missing deadline and they will probably let you off the fine. Mind you, they are so slow at dealing with paper returns they may not even notice. I sent mine in mid-April (yes I’m a bit anal about taxes…) and it has yet to be processed.

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We submitted tax returns online this year. We had to register as non-resident landlords and were given a UTR (unique tax reference). We already had Government Gateway accounts and used them to do the returns. I have two pensions (gov and local auth) and have been told to do a return every year but OH has one private pension and has been told he won’t have to. We are no longer landlords as we have sold the property so will have to wait and see what happens next year. Tried to do CGT return Monday at Guingamp but was told to leave it until next year’s return in May.

Strange, we’ve been unable to submit online for a few years now. Do yiu use commercial software? As that seems the only way to do it accordimg to HMRC

When you cannot file online

You cannot file a Self Assessment tax return online:

  • for a partnership
  • for a [trust]) or [estate]
  • if you lived abroad as a non-resident
  • to report multiple chargeable gains
  • if you get income from a trust, you’re a Lloyd’s underwriter or a religious minister

You must use commercial software or download other forms instead.

Thanks for that Jane. It looks as if it was because we only moved here last December which meant we were in the UK for the majority of the 20-21 tax year. So paper for us (or just me) next year. I hope they don’t post the forms as we’ve just waited a month for OHs CGT return (online wouldn’t work). It appears to have come via the Netherlands!

I’ve successfully managed to submit mine online for the past 7 years as I was considered to still have UK residency because there was a family home there and I was visiting regularly, but all that changed last year so I am now considered a permanent French resident. As such I believe I now have to submit paper copies and extra forms. It’s a real pain because my tax contributions are exactly the same either way. Once I’ve managed it for the first time it should be easier next year. Thank you for your comment.

We’re sent paper returns every year, the only way to do on-line returns is as Jane said by buying special software, given that there will never be any tax to pay I don’t see why we should have to do that.

You cannot file a Self Assessment tax return online:

  • if you lived abroad as a non-resident

Not quoting Jane. Why not just continue to claim UK tax resident - or reclaim? check the HMRC UK tax resident flowchart (I (think I’ve) posted this before but can’t remember what it’s called at the mo). Also posters say it’s fairly impossible not to qualify for UK tax residence - and will they ever check?

Speaking as a frontalier of course, not one who has never set foot on plague island for 20 years… :slight_smile:

ah here it is…

resident in UK last three years and spend more than 16 days in UK this tax year - you are tax resident!

Why in heaven’s name would one want to remain a UK tax resident if settled in France?

Where’s the benefit?

After all it’s pretty simple to declare for tax on anything that has to be declared. And if you live here you absolutely have to make a tax declaration with all your income, so nothing changes there.

Well I don’t! And you have to declare how many days you spend in UK every year, so there is a rudimentary check.

Well one reason might be to retain any tax advantages of contributing to a UK penaion? Also does it make any difference that the personal allowance is so much higher.

I still get UK personal allowance, but can’t remember what we did re pensions as I think OH carried on paying into his for a while.

Also continuing to pay UK tax or at least do a return or keep any pensions there might also support your claim to be domiciled in UK even if currently tax resident and/or resident in France…which does seem to matter when it comes to inheritance you might leave.

Though I know hardly anything about this…I hope someone here does! I’m expecting to be taxed in both UK and France as a crossborder worker, not really seeing the point of trying not to be