If you reside in the UK for tax reasons, you have to pay global rental profits to UK income tax. Contrary to this, if you are a non-resident of the UK, you do not have to pay UK income tax on international rental properties. However, you have to pay income tax for the rental possessions located in the UK. Our property tax advisors have explained everything you need to know about paying taxes on UK rental income.

Let’s discuss this with examples:

Example 1: David owns 15 rental properties in different countries of the world. If David is a UK resident, he has to pay income tax on all international properties, but if he is a non-resident of the UK, he will not pay any income tax on his rental properties.

Example 2 : Alex is a UK tenant; his income comes from all the rental properties in the UK. He does not have any other source of income. If Alex becomes a non-resident of the UK, he will continue to pay the same income tax as he was paying as a resident of the UK. He is not going to save a single penny through this act.

Example 3: Thomas is a UK resident and owns property in the UK and foreign countries. His UK properties give him a rental profit of £30,000 per year, and his foreign properties produce a rental profit of £20,000 per year. As Thomas is a UK resident, he will pay income tax on worldwide rental profits, that is, £50,000. If Thomas is a non-resident of the UK, he will pay income tax on his £30,000 UK rental income only.

Though a non-resident of the UK has to pay income tax on UK rental profits, it can be possible that you have to pay less tax than before. There are steps from which you can take this advantage. Before paying attention to tax planning, let’s talk about the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme that HRMC uses to collect tax from residents and mediators.

The Non-Resident Landlord Scheme 

Non-resident property owners get 20% tax deducted from their rental profit by their negotiators, and this tax is funded by HMRC quarterly. If no UK mediator is involved, the resident must deduct tax and pay directly to HRMC.

Residents have to fulfill the demands of the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme if the rent is £5,200 per year or £100 per week. This tax is paid directly to non-resident landlords outside the UK or to someone who is not a UK agent or in their UK bank account. If more than two people are residents under the lease, then the limit of £5,200 applies to both residents separately.

Whenever the non-resident completes their tax return, the tax paid to HRMC through the agent is subtracted from the landlord’s final tax bill. The additional can recover the additional tax.

Though this is the Non-resident Landlord Scheme, it relates to those landlords whose residence is outside the UK. You must be outside the UK for more than six months and have a usual place to live for this scheme.

A residential property

Rental Income Paid without Tax Deducted 

Non-residents can be a part of rental income paid gross with no tax deduction:

  • If the personal allowance covers anybody’s rental income, they are not expected to pay UK tax.
  • Their tax dealings must be up to date.
  • They have never faced any UK tax responsibilities before.

Property owners can receive their rent with no tax deduction by submitting the “NRL1” form.

HMRC work informs the tenant or letting agent that the landlord can accept rental income with no tax deduction. This does not conclude that rental income is tax-free. It is still compulsory that UK income tax be comprised of the landowner’s yearly tax return if it is still not completed.

A paid rental income may be eye-catching if the landowner anticipates his final tax bill to be less than the tax abstracted by the resident or letting agent.

Learn tips to avoid HMRC disputes here.

Person calculating taxes

Tenant Responsibilities & Letting Agent

Tenants and letting agents must pay 20% tax from Landowner’s rental income but can subtract different expenses that they have paid for, such as:

  • Electricity and gas
  • Accountancy bills and fees
  • Maintenance agreements
  • Repairs and works
  • Cleaning matters
  • Legal possession fees
  • Cost of rent collection
  • Different contents and buildings insurance
  • Advertisements are done for the hiring of new tenants
  • Council tax when the property is empty

The tenant and letting agent must deliver the Landowner a yearly certificate presenting the total tax they paid. For this, you need to fill out the NRL6 form from HMRC.

The non-resident landlords can set off the tax on the documents that shows their complete tax return against their tax bill. All other tenants and agents whose tax is deducted under this scheme must submit all information to HMRC.

Tenants and agents have to keep ample records for more than six years, including invoices as proof of expenses paid and rental income.

If a non-resident landowner pays a mediator to find tenants but does not handle rental income, that person is not responsible for operating the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme. Tenants are responsible for this scheme.

If the resident finder gathers the rent for some period to recover its fee, he will have to operate the scheme if:

  • The tax to be paid should be more than £100.
  • They should collect rent for three months.

Read More: How to Save Property Tax?

20% Tax versus Actual Tax 

The 20% tax deduction is different from your final tax by your letting agent or tenant for different reasons that may be:

  • If you have a considerable amount of rental income, you may be subject to higher-rate tax at 40% or 45%. (Different rates are being applied in Scotland and other countries).
  • You are permitted a personal allowance that shelters rental profits from tax, i.e., £12,500.
  • Tenants and Letting agents cannot subtract payments paid by the landlord.
  • Your additional property payments can be subtracted from your income.

Why Non-Residents May Pay Less Tax?

Though UK rental profits will be taxable even if you become a non-resident, you will probably have to pay less tax.


David is a UK tenant and earns up to £55,000 and rental profits of £20,000. As a taxpayer, David pays 40% tax on his rental profits,which is £8,000. He got a job abroad, settled there, and became a non-UK resident. His foreign salary is not related to UK tax. Only his UK rental profits are UK income now. The first £12,500 of 2020/21 is tax-free or is covered by personal tax allowance. The £2,500 is taxed at 20%: £500. The tax on his rental income has decreased from £8,000 to £500. This is the effective tax rate,which is just 3%.

Before David became a non-resident, his basic-rate band and personal allowance were consumed by his salary. But now, as he is a non-resident, this can be against his rental profit.

Renting Out Home 

Suppose you want to rent out your home anytime in your life if you move overseas. The rental profit you’ll be getting will be taxable, but some of this might end up tax-free, which is possible because of income tax personal allowance.


  • Warner got a job offer in China and moved there with his spouse. The couple decided to rent out their UK house for £3000 per month. This family does not have any other source of income from the UK.
  • John and Abram are British residents and are permitted a UK personal allowance of £12,500. Their allowances fully cover the annual rent of £25,000. In this matter, there is no UK tax to be paid.

Although their rental income is £25,000, their tax on rental profit will be less if the expenses are tax-deductible. The expenses do not affect the consequences as the couple’s rental income is covered by personal allowances.

Splitting Rental Income – Couples

Couples choose optimal ownership split for their properties to minimise the income tax. This split is possible after you become a non-resident.


Den and his wife Olivia live in Manchester. Den earns a salary of £50,000. His wife Olivia does not work but manages the couple’s property and earns a rental income of £40,000 per year. The couple kept all properties in the name of Olivia to save themselves from income tax. If they split rental income equally and adequately, then Den would have to pay £20000, that is 40% of £50,000, whereas Olivia would pay £8,000,which is 20% of £40,000. They saved a total of £8,000 in tax.

A couple is discussing splitting their rental income

Mortgage Issues

If you are willing to rent out your home in the UK after becoming a non-resident of the UK, you must need your lender’s permission. You may be charged a fine or some time limit, or you could be subject to a higher interest rate if you did not ask for permission. Borrowers also need to notify lenders of their new addresses.

Tax Relief on Mortgage Interest 

For many years, the government limited the financial costs paid by landowners (including non-resident landowners) and tax relief on interest to those who own residential properties.

Residential landowners get 20% tax relief deducted from their final tax bill. These rules do not apply to commercial properties or properties belonging to any company. It may be possible that tax change will have no or less impact on non-resident landlords.


William is a UK inhabitant enjoying a salary of £50,000. His rental income is £50,000, and property expenses are up to £5,000, so his taxable rental profit is £45,000. He pays £15,000 in mortgage interest, which is not deductible. William is a higher-rate taxpayer and pays 40% tax on the £45,000, which is – £18,000 from his rental profit. He also gets a tax discount of 20% of his interest,which is £9,000. On his rental income, he pays a sum of £9,000. This £9,000; could be fully deductible, as it was in the past.

The main point is that William would have paid the same tax even if his mortgage interest was tax-deductible, as it was a decade ago. In simpler words, he is not affected by the restriction of mortgage tax relief. He pays 20% tax on his rental income, but at the same time, he receives a 20% tax reduction.

Overseas Lenders

If you deal on a mortgage with an overseas lender on UK property, the interest will depend upon the UK withholding tax if interest comes from a UK source. The withholding tax may be applied for an exemption if there is any double tax agreement between the UK and the place where the lender is raised. This is full of complexity, but your advisor can guide you best in this.

Overseas Tax Implications

Rental income will be taxed in the country you will shift. Though every country has different rules, the tax you will pay in the UK will be used as a credit against your overseas tax bill. It is quite possible to move to any country with no income tax or any country taxing foreign income.

If you plan to shift to any country where tax is lower than the UK, you still have to pay other overseas taxes if the UK tax bill is small (i.e., personal allowance covers rental income).

If the rental income you are getting is taxed overseas, you do splitting or any tax planning to lessen your UK tax bill. It is important to value both the overseas and UK tax implications of any tax reduction planning you are thinking of for such intentions.

Red homes

Non-Resident Companies

The government imposed a 2% surcharge on UK residential properties in Northern Ireland and England by non-resident companies, individuals, partnerships, and trusts from 1 April 2021. This surcharge is a 3% surcharge that is valid on purchases of residential property owned by companies and landowners.

Extra charges are added to the regular stamp duty and land tax rates. So from 1 April 2021, a non-resident individual who buys land in Northern Ireland or England is subjected to extra charges. They will pay tax as follow:

  • Up to £125,000 — 5%
  • £125,000 to £250,000 — 7%
  • £250,000 to £925,000 — 10%
  • £925,000 to £1.5m — 15%
  • Over £1.5m —— 17%

The statutory residence test for extra charge on non-residence is not determined. Persons who live in the UK for more than 183 days become UK residents during a continuous period of any year which starts 364 days before the property transaction and finishes 365 days after it.

Tax consultant in London

If you have more questions regarding rental income or property tax, you can take help from our leading tax advisors in London. IBISS & CO has extensive experience in the UK and international tax, and we work alongside our clients to help them meet their legal and financial obligations. Contact us for a free 15-minute tax accountant consultation.

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