Temporary BTL when overseas

Temporary BTL when overseas - how to get a refund of tax withheld by agent

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Elderly lady (an enquiry) was overseas from Dec 2022 to Dec 2023. Now back in the UK for good. 

During this period she let her flat out through an estate agent who paid her the rent net of 20% NRL. The net rental income involved (gross less EA costs) is just under 12k so under the personal allowance.

She has no other income and now that she's back in the UK, no income at all (she has a pile of cash in the bank) so there are no annual SAs involved.

She asked the estate agent to refund the withheld tax, they asked her to speak to HMRC which she did and she couldn't make head or tail of what they recommended and has asked me if I can sort it out. I don't know if she misunderstood it but as per what she said, the agent said that the money is still with them and they haven't sent it through to HMRC.

I'm not going to take it on as I don't do a lot of property related work and the amounts involved aren't worth the fee that I would have to charge her. I told her she should just call HMRC and im sure they can sort it it out.

But I'd still be interested in knowing if anyone knows how HMRC will handle this and if there are any informal tips I could give her verbally without going down the SA route.

Replies (4)

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By David Ex
10th Jan 2024 10:38

Appears to be quarterly reporting with a 30 day deadline so why has tax for the earlier periods not been paid to HMRC?


If the prospect “has a pile of cash” and the amounts warrant it, seems appointing someone is likely the best option. Also needs as IFA if the cash isn’t generating income.

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By rmillaree
10th Jan 2024 10:54

you can register for tax not to be deducted so that is best bet

i know very little but i did find our recently that hmrc direct gov (sketchy) guidance is that if you want to be eligible for personal allowance if non resident it needs to be claimed via r43 each tax year. this is direct gov advise though so that may not match legislation.

So my added question is if rental income is below level at which tax return needed (say profit below 2.5k) - and individual is non resident with no other income taxed in uk and tax has not been deducted at source are hmrc correct that r43 must be submitted ? or could they take the viewpoint that as no tax was owed why should they do anything ? ie is the r43 really mandatory as hmrc suggest it is ?

looks like there is a 4 year time limit so at least it looks like hmrc arent ott on

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By ann domonkos
10th Jan 2024 11:28

That will involve 2 tax returns as she is across 22/23 and 23/24,she should have completed form NRLI and then they could have paid it gross ,this basis normally requires that you complete a tax return.

Registering to receive your UK rental income gross does not mean that the income is exempt from UK tax – it means that you can receive the rents in full in return for agreeing to settle the tax liability yourself.

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By Wanderer
10th Jan 2024 11:45

Seriously doubt if calls to HMRC will result in a refund.

Easiest (probably now only) way is to file the SA returns.

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