When you undertake a contract of employment in the UK, you will be subject to deductions of income tax and National Insurance under the PAYE regulations, irrespective of the fact that you are not originally from the UK.
When you first arrived in the UK, you should have completed form P86, which should then have been filed with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), to notify them of your arrival. When leaving the UK a similar form, P85, should have been completed and filed. These forms are important and help HMRC to determine your liability to tax in the UK.
The UK tax year runs from 6th April one year to 5th April next and HMRC will need to work out your liability to UK income tax on your earnings for the period you were in the UK, which may fall into more than one tax year. As you are a commonwealth citizen you are entitled to claim the normal UK personal tax allowance, which is £6,035 for 2008/09 and £6,475 for 2009/10.
If the relevant forms were not filed with HMRC, then it is unlikely that your employer would have been operating the correct PAYE code on your earnings and you may have overpaid tax. If this is the case, you will be entitled to a refund.
By Jo Nockels
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