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I am an Australian-born UK citizen by descent, through my mother. I will be moving to the UK in March but working for an Australian company for at least six months.

The uk gov website says that I am automatically resident, I am assuming for tax purposes, after either living in a place for 91 days or remaining inside the country for 183.

There are a few things I am confused about:

  1. Does this apply to citizens like myself?
  2. What does this mean for getting a driving license?
  3. Am I automatically a resident under some other classification?
  4. Most importantly: I know Aus/UK have a double tax treaty but I can't interpret the legal speak. After the 91 days do I get taxed by both governments? Will I have to wait until the end of the tax year to get a refund? Or do I only start paying taxes to the UK?

Also, do I simply submit another Australian tax declaration form at the 91/183 days to declare myself as 'not a resident for tax purposes' ?

1 Answer 1

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The answer was rather complicated and required the expertise of an accountant specializing in expat tax. I would advise everyone in my position to do the same.

These are the answers:

  1. Kind of... based on the fact that I intended to stay in the UK for more than two years and I had no significant commercial or business ties to Australia (except my job and family). I was automatically a resident on arrival to the UK. AFAIK, this is officially recorded retrospectively at the end of the tax year, but is in actual effect immediately upon arrival.

  2. Unsure, I sent off for my license and attached the requisite documentation and legislation prepped by my accountant. However there may have been delays due to covid, as I received my license shortly after the UK opened up which happened to coincide with the aforementioned 90 day time frame for residency.

  3. Yes, see above. This is complicated and should be advised upon before any assumptions are made.

  4. It depends on the "source" of your income. Source is defined as where the work itself is performed. I still work for the Australian office, however the source of my income is in the UK because I work here physically. This means that I pay tax to the UK govt ONLY and I was removed from the payroll system. No income tax is withheld for payment to the ATO by my work.

IMPORTANT: my workplace accountant removed me from the requisite tax with-holdings, however did not fully remove me from the payroll system. This is because domestic accountants aren't trained in this area and will not listen to outside advice for some reason. As a result, the ATO only sees unpaid taxes and have thus issues a hefty tax bill which will need to be challenged (24 month time frame just btw). My employer will also need to resubmit tax statements for every month since I left, at the expense of my employer. I tried to warn them but they didn't listen. Make sure you defend yourself and make this quite plain else they find you liable (which you absolutely are not under any circumstances liable)

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