Income Tax Guide for Veterinary Locums
This income tax guide for veterinary locums will be useful to those working as a veterinary surgeon or locum veterinary nurse, whether you are a UK citizen or from abroad. It is important that you understand the difference between the terms 'employed' and 'self-employed' and that you conform to the guidelines set out by the Inland Revenue.

When You Pay UK Income Tax
First you have to determine whether or not you have to pay UK Income Tax. Whether you do so or not depends on your residential status:

a) If you are in the UK for 183 days or over then you are regarded as a resident for tax purposes. b) You are also due to pay tax if you have moved to the UK from abroad to stay for a period of 3 years to permanency. c) You are also due to pay UK income tax if you have been living in the UK for an average of 91 days or more in any one tax year - taken as an average over 4 consecutive years.

For example you will pay income tax if you have lived in the UK for 183 days in any one year, or a total of 364 days over 4 consecutive years. This applies to all forms of employment, not just veterinary locum work. In each of the above cases you are classed as a UK resident.

If it is clear that you intend living in the UK for at least 3 years, you will be taxed as a UK 'Ordinary Resident' from the date of your arrival in the UK. An 'ordinary resident' is one who is mainly domiciled within the UK.

This tax guide for veterinary locums assumes citizenship to be determined by birth, though there may be special circumstances that the Inland Revenue website may be able to clarify.

What You Are Taxed On
Resident and ordinarily resident veterinary locums will generally be taxed on ALL income earned for work carried out within the UK (not only locum veterinary work), and also on any UK investments or UK pensions.

If you are a UK resident, but are not an ordinary resident, you will be taxed on income from all work carried out in the UK, and also on any earnings brought into the UK for work carried out overseas. For example, if you are paid $10,000 US for work carried out in the USA, and $5,000 of that is paid into your UK bank account, you will be taxed in the UK for that $5,000 but not on the $5,000 paid into your bank account in the USA.

An ordinary resident would be taxed on all work carried out - in the UK or not.

If you are a non-resident, i.e. do not meet any of the above residency qualifications, you will be taxed on all work you carry out in the UK (not only as a veterinary locum), whether for a UK based veterinary practice or an overseas employer. You will not be taxed on income earned overseas and brought into the UK.

As with the above forms of resident, you will also be taxed on UK pensions and income from UK investments and rental income from UK properties. You will also be taxed on 90% of any Republic of Ireland pension (Unless you are a UK national receiving an Irish government pension).

There may be a special arrangement if you are receiving any other form of non-UK pension. Check with your local tax office or the Inland Revenue website.

More details on the tax liability in the UK for Residents and Non-residents are detailed in the tax guide IR20 available online. This is a good tax guide for veterinary locums and others working in the UK.

Income Tax allowances and Tax Returns
Residents and ordinary residents receive a personal tax-free income allowance, and only pay tax on income above that level. Current levels are available here:

Veterinary locums earning more than their personal allowance (currently £6,475 for a single man or woman) may have to fill in a personal tax return. Check with your practice manager or the veterinary surgery you are working for, and find out if you can pay your tax through the PAYE scheme. If not, then you will have to fill in your own tax return.

Entering UK During the Tax Year
If you enter the UK during a tax year as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse, either permanently or as a veterinary locum, you will pay income tax only for the part of the year remaining if you intend to stay for at least 2 years and if you were not an ordinary resident in the UK before your arrival.

Otherwise you will have to pay UK tax on your total income for the tax year, including that earned overseas before you arrived. However, the UK has an arrangement with some other countries to ensure that you don't pay tax on the same income twice. Even for countries that have no such arrangement with the UK, if may be possible to reclaim at least part of the tax applied in the UK on income that has already been taxed.

If you are a veterinary locum and are still unsure as to your tax liabilities, you are advised to either seek advice from a tax lawyer or to check out the government income tax website where most of your questions will be answered.


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