Emigrants, worried about BREXIT, rush to return taxes from UK

Reuters / Scanpix

Žydrūnas Janušauskas, the CEO of the tax refund company “RT Tax” states that this year there is an exceptionally high interest in tax refunds from the United Kingdom: “We have many queries, people are interested if it will be possible to recover taxes under the same conditions in the future. Returning emigrants also submit documents for tax refunds more intensively than in previous years. To say that people are frightened would be too daring. But we really feel worry or anxiety from the returning emigrants,” RT Tax wrote in a press release.

However, there are more questions than answers about the procedure after Brexit comes into force. So far, UK tax authority does not provide information on changes in the tax refund process. “Unfortunately, we cannot confirm nor deny that after 29 March it will be impossible to recover taxes. We do not have such information. Nevertheless, we urge people who have been working in UK for the last 5 years to start a tax refund before Brexit comes into force. There is high probability that there will be no significant changes. However, as there is no guarantee, it is better to handle all formalities on time.” – says Ž. Janušauskas.

Under the current legislation, the tax year in the United Kingdom starts on April 6th. Lithuanian citizens, who have worked in UK and came back to Lithuania, can recover taxes for the last 5 years, so this year it is possible to apply for a refund for the period from 2014 onwards. It is estimated that an average of € 860 in overpaid income tax returns per person. Different procedure applies to the self-employed persons, who must submit tax declarations each year by 31st of January. Ž. Janušauskas states: “Self-employed persons must fill in tax declarations without exceptions – even if they are registered as “Self-employed” but have not worked in UK. Failure to complete all formalities on time will result in penalties for delays, starting from £ 100 per month.” There is no information if the tax laws will change for self-employed persons after Brexit comes into force.

There are currently around 200,000 Lithuanians living in the United Kingdom. Citizens who are watching Brexit news have few options for the future – to come back to Lithuania, to emigrate to richer countries of the European Union or to stay in the country and consider of getting the passport of UK.

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