US tax accountant: Tax for US citizens working in UK on Tier 2 visa

TAX for US citizens working in uk on tier 2 visa

If you work in the UK in a skilled profession (i.e. investment banking) and are in the country under a Tier 2 Visa, you still must pay taxes just like any other UK citizen. 

As someone working in the UK, you owe two basic kinds of taxes: income tax and national health insurance tax.  Income tax is paid at either a 20%, 40%, or 45% rate based on your level of income.  For national insurance, you will only pay tax on 2% on your income if you earn more than £3750 per month.  Both of these taxes should be withheld from compensation and detailed on payslips from your employer. 

When the tax year is over (5 April) you must file a UK tax return in order to take advantage of all the possible deductions and allowances.  Talk to a tax accountant or visit the HMRC website to see if you qualify for any of these.  Finally, if you are a US citizen, you must report your UK income on your US return and take a credit for the amount of UK tax paid to avoid being taxed twice. 

The big difference between visa holders and normal UK citizens is that those in the UK under a visa must pay a healthcare surcharge (called the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge or IHS).  This fee should be paid when you apply for your visa.  It costs £200 per year you intend to remain in the UK.  In most cases, the visa holder will have paid this fee when they applied for the visa.  If so, that means they have an IHS number and now may begin using their national health insurance. 

To summarize, Tier 2 Visa holders are treated just like most other UK taxpayers in similar professions.