Non-resident pages for self-assessment tax returns

I am currently overseas on secondment and trying to complete my tax return obligations in the UK for a year in which we were non-resident for the whole tax year.  We have small amounts of interest and rental income (but overall a loss) which I have included in the return.  However, I'm struggling on HMRC's self assessment system to understand how I show my non-resident status.  I believe its the SA109 form but am I correct in understanding that its not possible to use this form in their system and therefore you can't submit your return without a tax agent or access to commercial software?  To force you to use an agent just to get a simple tick box form into your return seems at odds with simplification and helping people to do their own returns.  Can anybody tell me whether I can submit the form myself or do I have no choice but to pay someone just to get this form?  Thanks
  • I'm sorry to confirm that those who need to complete the non-resident pages cannot use HMRC software, see
    You say 'we' have rental income which implies you need to submit two tax returns. At this stage I think you have three options:
    1. Submit signed returns on paper to reach HMRC by 31 January 2013 at latest and pay the £100 late filing penalty for paper returns; or
    2. Buy commercial software to submit your returns online (check the software includes the non-residence pages); or
    3. Find someone who has commercial software who will file from that for you (accountants can file online for you even if you have not appointed them as your agent) or perhaps a friend has use of suitable software?

    It's interesting that you have raised this issue because, following a similar problem a friend's sister had, I was considering asking ICAEW to lobby for non residence pages to be available as part of HMRC's free software.  I do think this is a extremely unhelpful for those who are non-resident and probably therefore live abroad and would find sending a paper return unreliable and inconvenient. I suggest that you write to HMRC - headed 'Complaint' and point this out and that HMRC should make it possible for these people to file online.

  • PS  I wonder if a fourth option could be used as a work-around: complete the non-residence pages on paper, scan them and attach them as a pdf to the return which you have completed online (I think the free HMRC product allows attachments) or alternatively in the 'additional information' section of the online return state that you wanted to submit the residence pages but they were not available, then list out the box numbers that you would have completed and what would have been put in them.  I can't guarantee that this approach is acceptable to HMRC but it doesn't seem unreasonable in the circumstances.
  • Hi Angela

    Thanks for your advice - it does seem perverse that they're supposed to be encouraging everyone to file online and yet are making it very difficult for some groups.  I can only think they've had problems (or lack of funds) integrating all the pages into their system.  I will try complaining and I also added comments in the feedback form after you submit.  In the end I decided to fill in the form, scan it in and attach it so I at least made the deadline while declaring everything we needed to declare!

    Also ironically I work for a big 4 firm who assist me with my overseas tax return but not the UK ones, which is even more frustrating!

  • Thank you for your comments which we have used to make a representation to HMRC suggesting that their software should be updated to allow non-residents to use it. We will let you know if there are any developments.
  • If you are submitting returns for yourself and immediate family and are not charging fees as a professional accountant or tax advisor you can use the TaxCalc Personal 6 product which allows submission of up to 6 Personal Tax Returns (SA100) and all the supplementary pages including self-employment, foreign, land and property, capital gains and non-residence.  The cost is a very reasonable £25.59 and it is far easier to use than the bare HMRC paper Return, having all the checks and balances and tax calculations built in to the software.  However, HMRC should definitely make it possible to submit all their Returns online free of charge.