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Title says it all, can I as an immigrant have access to a personal allowance in the UK? As I understood, it's a set value of income that is not taxable. Is this for everyone or for citizens only?

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/incometax/personal-allow.htm#3 states:

You can't claim the Personal Allowance if you are non-UK domiciled and claim the special 'remittance' basis of tax - whereby you only pay tax on income you bring into the UK. If you think this applies to you, please contact the HMRC tax enquiry helpline for non-UK residents.

But I have asked a friend who lives in the UK about this, and he says it's for citizens only... I can't find any documentation that confirms that though.

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The quote refers to citizens only, because if you're non citizen and non-UK domiciled - then the UK tax laws are irrelevant to you since the UK has no jurisdiction over you. You're taxed either by the country you're citizen of or the country you're resident of (or both).

Most countries (with the notable exception of the USA) do not tax their citizens that are not their residents, unless certain specific conditions are met (in this case - the UK taxes its non-resident citizens for the amounts brought into the UK).

Since you live and work in the UK, you're likely to be taxed as resident of the country, and the entitlement is not limited to citizens.

  • This is what confuses me, my "abroad" is experience is rather limited (I'm Portuguese and working and living in the UK), so should my income be declared in Portugal (my citizenship country) or in the UK? (where I currently reside). – Joao Ferreira Aug 15 '13 at 22:24
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    You should check the Portuguese laws on that, I cannot really tell. In the UK - probably. – littleadv Aug 15 '13 at 22:25
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    Re: "The quote is for citizens only" ... Might you mean residents? I'm confused because you are answering who the quote applies to, but haven't directly answered whether immigrants are entitled to the personal allowance, which is the title question. – Chris W. Rea Aug 16 '13 at 0:04
  • The quote is for citizens, not the entitlement. That's what I meant. – littleadv Aug 16 '13 at 0:20
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Non-resident individuals who may claim personal allowances under the provisions of Double Taxation Agreements

Non-resident individuals who satisfy one of the conditions below are entitled to United Kingdom Personal Allowances :

an individual who is an EEA national of

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal inc. Madeira & The Azores, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom

Personal allowance is for everybody earning a salary in UK, whether citizen or not. If you are taxed in UK, the personal allowance is for you too.

From the same page

If you already pay tax through your job or pension, or if you complete a Self Assessment tax return, you should receive a Personal Allowance automatically. If for any reason you are not receiving a Personal Allowance and you think you should be, please contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and they can check your entitlement with you.

  • Edited the formatting a bit, why are you using HTML tags? And your quote talks about non- residents, the OP is seemingly a resident. – littleadv Aug 16 '13 at 9:00
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Imagine you are British, you live in Monaco, make a million pound there, and bring £50,000 into the UK. That's just 5% of your income. If you arrange your taxes in the right way, you pay UK tax on the £50,000 only, not on the remaining £950,000. Obviously you don't get the £10,000 Personal Allowance. The personal allowance is for people with very low income.

If you live permanently in the UK, then your citizenship doesn't make a difference. You pay the same as a UK citizen; there may be some difference in your first tax year when you have income abroad and in the UK.

What you found is a specific law for UK citizens (not residents) living abroad and will never apply to any immigrant, because immigrants are neither UK citizens nor living abroad :-)

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