International students and UK tax - what you need to know
When you arrive in a new country to study, it can be difficult to understand what rules you need to follow, especially about areas that can seem complicated, such as tax. In this guide, you will find answers to some of the questions you might have about when you do and don’t have to pay tax in the UK, especially on money that you receive from outside the UK. This guide also tells you where you can find more information.
Most “international students” will be in the same situation as any other student in the UK and will not have significant tax problems. An “international student” is someone who has come to the UK to study and will be in the UK only for the period of their studies. We are assuming that such a student is not domiciled in the UK.
Most students in the UK do not work outside the UK and do not have sources of income or gains arising outside the UK. If this is your situation, we suggest that you refer to the HMRC website for students [http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/students] which explains the main issues for UK students. You can ignore the rest of this guidance.
Income or gains outside the UK
If you are a student who does have income or gains arising outside the UK you need to consider the source of those income and gains and the amounts involved.
The UK has entered into international agreements (called Double Taxation Agreements) with many countries in order to recognise international students and encourage them to come and study in the UK.
Such agreements recognise that students will require funds from outside the UK to support the costs of their studies while they are in the UK.
There are number of ways that students may get support:
In most circumstances this support will not be taxable in the UK and can be ignored.
But you may have your own income or gains, probably back in your home country, while you are in the UK as a student. This could be, for example, from working back home in the holidays / vacations, letting out a property, or from interest on a bank account.