We use cookies on this site to ensure the most desirable user experience. By continuing to browse this website you are giving implied consent. Find out more.

UK tax return for a spouse visa holder

Contents | Show more +

I like living in two countries, although it can be a hassle at times. One of the problems is dealing with all the nuances of the law, which of course differs from country to country. That's why I decided to turn to Imperial & Legal when accounting for my taxes in the UK - they pointed out my mistakes and took the paperwork into their own hands. I am glad that I chose this company out of many offers!

Paola, 46 years old
Specialist from Brazil
Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Paola and James are an international couple. She’s originally from Brazil. And he is Irish, but now living in London. They share a common sphere of activity – they both work as engineers in the oil industry.

In the early 2000s, Brazil began developing a new offshore field off the coast of Santos. British specialists, including James, were involved in its exploration. It was there that he met his future wife.

At first they only talked about general work-related topics, but gradually it became clear that their interests and worldviews also coincided in many respects. And it also became clear that they were very easy and comfortable with each other. And although both of them were already old and had previous marriages, their feelings flared up as in their youth and they ended up getting married.

They themselves were not particularly concerned with such conventions, but living in two countries obliged them to formalise their relationship to facilitate movement. Paola obtained a spousal visa for the UK, and James made a similar visa for Brazil.

Initially, the couple spent most of their time in São Paulo. But when the contract of the geological exploration firm where James worked with the Brazilian company Petrobras came to an end, he was recalled back to the British office.

Paola did not want to leave her job and hang on to her husband’s neck. She was used to earning well and being financially independent. So she moved to another position that allowed her to work on a rotational basis. She would spend three weeks at the Lula drilling station and then return to England for four weeks. Although the hours of flying and jetlag were tiring, she liked it because it gave her the chance to keep up with the routine and not get bored with each other.

Imperial & Legal was approached by the couple a year after their relocation to London. They were concerned about the correct way of making their tax payments so that the British authorities would not have any claims against Paola. Our accountants gave them detailed advice and helped them to complete all the necessary paperwork.

Our Clients

Paola is a 46 year old Brazilian national. Married to a British national and holds a UK spousal visa. James is 52 years old, her husband.

The Challenge

Prepare a tax return for a married couple.

The Solution

In general, income generated by wages earned abroad does not fall within remittance and must be declared in full in the UK. But since Paola was a non-domicile for England, she was entitled to benefit from the remit regime. That is, to pay in the United Kingdom only taxes on income received in the country, as well as on the money brought to Foggy Albion from abroad. She was still taxed in Brazil on all her overseas assets and income.

But it turned out that although Paola received her salary in her home country, she spent very little of it there and took most of it with her to the UK, where the cost of living is much higher and therefore more money is needed. Consequently, there was no point in remittance, as most of the tax would still be paid at UK rates.

However, Paola also had an investment portfolio, from which she received dividends. But after careful thought and calculation, she decided to sign it over to her mother. On the one hand, it reduced the tax burden. On the other hand, it brought her parents a small passive income.

Imperial & Legal specialists made a tax return for a woman, taking into account her worldwide income. As everything went well, we discussed a long-term co-operation and now our accountants prepare tax documents for this client on an annual basis.

Paola prepared and filed her tax return in England in one month

19 September
Applying to Imperial & Legal
+3 days
Assessment of the current situation and analysis of the client's situation
+3 days
Signing of the service agreement
+2 weeks
Collection of all necessary documents and preparation of a draft tax return
+1 week
Coordination and preparation of final tax return
17 October
Tax return filed


English law offers different tax regimes for immigrants. And sometimes it can be very favourable to use remittance if you earn and spend money all over the world and only bring a small part of it back to Britain for running costs. This is often used by businessmen and investors who have a complex income structure that includes income from outside the UK.

But if all your money ends up in English accounts in one way or another – whether you transfer it from abroad or earn it in the UK – then there is no point in using this regime.

Imperial & Legal specialists will tell you about all this in detail. They will analyse your specific situation and advise you on how you can optimise your tax payments to avoid paying extra money.

We can also help you prepare tax returns and other accounting documents. Contact us to answer all your questions about the UK and make your life in this country pleasant and comfortable.

Tired of getting general advice?

We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.