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I am working as a postdoc in UK, resigning job and returning home.

In that case can I claim any tax back?

I paid pension contributions. How to claim that back?

What else I need to take care of before I leave?

  • Returning home to where? – Joe Jul 25 '16 at 20:02
  • Home - no in UK or EU – user570593 Jul 25 '16 at 20:34
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    Which country specifically might matter, due to tax treaties being on an individual basis. – Joe Jul 25 '16 at 20:34
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In general you should be entitled to a refund of some income tax because UK income tax is levied on an annual basis but calculated monthly assuming you'll keep the same pay for the rest of the tax year. Tax years start in April, so you'll have received about 4 months pay and be able to apply the entire annual personal allowance to it. It's possible that tax treaties or other rules about residence could complicate this, but I don't think so in this case.

You might have to wait till the end of the tax year to claim this back (at which point it would be clear that you didn't have any more UK income), but there is form P50 to claim a repayment in the middle of the year. It doesn't explicitly list your circumstances, but you could try filling it in (making sure to be truthful).

For your pension, this will depend a lot on how long you've been a member and the rules of the scheme you're in. In general most UK academics are in the defined benefit USS scheme, which is actually quite valuable. If you've been here for a few years, I'd recommend keeping your pension there and just waiting till you reach retirement age to claim it. Otherwise you might be able to transfer it to an overseas scheme. Getting a refund of your own contributions might be possible if you've been here only a short time, but then you'll lose out on the benefit of all the contributions your employer made on your behalf, which would typically be twice as much again.

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