Foreign Teachers Working In The UK

Self Assessment Online For Foreign Teachers Working In The UK

For an overseas trained teacher in the UK, worrying about the tax details might not be a primary concern. But because failure to file your tax return can mean paying for fines, you should make it one of your priorities.

For your convenience, you can always register for self assessment, which is stress-free compared to other options. However, this is only applicable if you qualify. Ideally, anyone who earns income that is not taxed from the source can apply for a self assessment. But there are other reasons that must be looked into:

  • You work as a Company Director in the school you are assigned in
  • You are eligible to claim “allowable” employment expenses of more than £2,500
  • You earn a total income of more than £100,000 annually

There are plenty of other criteria that matters, depending on the profession.

How do I register for self assessment?

The first thing you must do is to register with HMRC to let them know that you need to submit a tax return. You can do this through phone, post or online, whichever is more comfortable to you. Before you register, you must be ready with your National Insurance number and personal or business details.

Your registration enables you to get an online account with HMRC, also known as Government Gateway, where you will send your tax return. Once you are registered, you will then get a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number, which is essential when submitting your tax returns.

When is the self assessment deadline?

You must already be registered by 5 October following the tax year when you want to submit a return. For instance, if you started working freelance in October 2014, you must submit a self assessment for the 6 April 2014 to 5 April 2015 tax year by 5 October 2015. This way, you will be able to pay taxes by 31 January 2016.

It is important that you follow the schedule to avoid problems and fines. If you miss the filing date for tax return, which is 31 October, you will miss the payment deadline as well. Since your UTR will be sent by post, it is important that you register for self assessment on time.

What will I gain if I file early?

Aside from the fact that you would not incur penalties when you miss the deadline, there are advantages to filing self assessment early, particularly on a financial perspective.

For one, you get to keep most of your money since you do not pay any fines. Considering that penalties can total up to £1,600, even if you do not have untaxed income to report, you should register without delay.

For another, you get to enjoy all your UK tax refund, if there is any. Without the fines and penalties, the money is all yours to enjoy.

Moreover, knowing well in advance how much money you owe HMRC will enable you to budget your income effectively, so you can allocate funds for tax. Do not be one those people who do everything at the last minute, including finding money to settle their dues. With enough funds in your pocket, paying taxes would not hurt as much.

Based on the information above, can you say that filing a self-assessment is easy? If you still find it complicated or you find yourself scratching your head at some point, spare yourself the stress and feel free to chat to out helpful tax agents.


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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