As per Tax if you leave the UK to live abroad:

You cannot use HMRC’s online services to tell them you’re leaving the UK. Instead, you need to:

  • send your tax return by post
  • use commercial software
  • get help from a professional, such as an accountant

I'm confused, because I found another document that claims that I actually can do this online: Get your Income Tax right if you're leaving the UK .

Claim tax relief or a tax refund if you've left the UK by using the online form service or P85 postal form.

And then it points to this interactive guide.

Which one is it? Can I let them know I left the UK online, or do I need to fill the form, print it and send it via international post?

1 Answer 1


I contacted HMRC about this issue and here's what they said:

The guidance stating ‘You cannot use HMRC’s online services to tell them you’re leaving the UK’ relates to filing a self assessment tax return. If you are within self assessment, you would use this method for notifying us about leaving the UK rather than by sending a P85 form. HMRC’s online service does not support the residency section which is required to be included in these circumstances, therefore you would need to use commercial software or send the return by post.

The wording could be improved on gov.uk.

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