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
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  • I'm sorry to confirm that those who need to complete the non-resident pages cannot use HMRC software, see www.hmrc.gov.uk/.../software.htm
    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.

Children
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