When moving between the UK and Denmark, it is important to be aware of the differences that each jurisdiction imposes on areas of personal taxation. Failing to comply with the relevant procedures and local tax legislation could leave individuals with a series of penalties.

The table below highlights a list of arguably the most important areas of personal taxation that individuals should be aware of when moving between the UK and Denmark. Whilst both countries tax residents on their worldwide income, this is where similarities cease as from here on, the UK and Danish tax systems function differently in almost every way.

UK Tax System vs Danish Tax System:

UK Tax System Danish Tax System
Tax Year for individuals 6 April to 5 April 1 January to 31 December
Who is required to file a Tax Return In the UK, most individuals who are employed will pay tax on their income through payroll and are not required to file a Tax Return.

Tax Returns are required where:

  • Earnings are over £100,000 in a tax year
  • In receipt of non-UK sourced income
  • In receipt of property income
  • In receipt of taxable savings, investments and dividends
  • Claiming income tax reliefs
  • Need to pay capital gains tax
  • Self-employed or partnership income
  • Liable to high income child benefit charge
  • In receipt of taxable income which has not yet been taxed

In Denmark, most individuals who are employed and pay tax on their income through payroll are not required to file.
Tax Returns are required where:

  • In receipt of non-Danish source income
  • In receipt of property income
  • In receipt of some taxable savings, investments and dividends
  • Income from self-employment
Payroll System In the UK, HMRC operates a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system where tax is collected by the employer through every payslip. The employer then remits the tax withheld to the tax office (HMRC). In Denmark, if you are an employee, your tax is collected through every payslip and sent to the tax authorities. If you are not an employee, taxes are paid through monthly instalments by the individual.  
Tax Free Allowance UK residents (and in some instances non-residents) receive a tax-free personal allowance each year. In 2022-23, the tax-free personal allowance is £12,750. In certain circumstances this can be reduced or increased. The tax-free personal allowance in Denmark is DKK 46,600 for a full year.
Income Tax The UK operates progressive rates of income tax which include:
  • £0 to £12,570 (personal allowance) – 0%
  • £12,571 to £50,270 (Basic rate) – 20%
  • £50,271 to £150,000 (Higher rate) – 40%
  • Over £150,000 (Additional rate) – 45%
  • Denmark operates progressive rates of tax on personal income. The rates for 2022 are as follows:

    State tax:

    • Labour market (AM-bidrag)* 8%
    • Bottom tax rate 12.1%
    • Top tax rate 15% applies to income more than DKK 552,500 per year **

    Local tax rates:

    • Municipal tax rate (average) 24.983

    In Denmark there is however a tax ceiling, which is the maximum tax rate applicable to personal income. This ceiling is designed to ensure that the total income tax does not exceed 52.07% for personal income. Church tax and labour market contributions are not included in this tax ceiling.

    *Applicable on gross salary before tax
    **Pro rata

    Capital Gains Tax

    In the UK there is a Capital Gains Tax allowance of £12,300 per year (2022-23). After this your tax rate will depend on whether you’re a ‘Basic rate’ tax payer or ‘Higher rate’ tax payer:

    Basic Rate: 18% on residential property and 10% other chargeable assets

    Higher Rate: 28% on residential property and 20% other chargeable assets

    In Denmark, net positive capital gains income is taxed at 37% up to DKK 47,400 (DKK 94,800 for married couples) and 42% thereafter.
    Inheritance Tax In the UK, the standard Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000 (which can increase to £500,000 where the home is passed to children of the deceased). Where an estate is valued over £325,000 there is a 40% Inheritance Tax rate. In Denmark, there is no Inheritance Tax on the first DKK 312,500 (2022). The inheritance tax for deceased´s children and descendants, stepchildren and their descendants, parents or cohabitants during the last two years of one´s life is 15%, for others the inheritance Tax is 25%.
    Tax Return Deadline 31 January following the end of the tax year (31 October if filing a paper return) 1 May following the end of the tax year. If you have foreign income or are self-employed it is 1 July.
    Tax Payment Deadline 31 January following the end of the tax year. This is the same as the tax return deadline. 31 December in the tax year if you want to avoid interest/surcharges. If you pay after 31 December but before the deadline 1 July 2022, you will avoid the surcharges and only pay the day-to-day interest of 1.7% from the 1 January till the payment date.
    Assessable on Worldwide Income UK residents, for tax purposes are taxed on their worldwide income*. Danish residents, for tax purposes are taxed on their worldwide income.
    National Insurance/ ATP In the UK, both the employee and employer are required to pay national insurance contributions each month. The rates vary from 0% to 13.8%. National Insurance is also due on self-employed income. In Denmark, both the employee and the employer are required to pay labour market supplementary pension (ATP).
    The employee part is DKK 94.65 per month and the employer part is DKK 189.30

    *Assessable on worldwide income (UK) – Individuals resident of the UK with non-domicile status can opt to claim remittance basis and not be taxed on their overseas income as long as it is not remitted to the UK.

    The UK and Danish Tax Systems: An Overall Comparison

    Determining which country has the more competitive tax system is relatively straightforward.

    Whether your income is subject to income tax or capital gains tax, it is evident from the table above, that the UK offers greater tax-free allowances and lower rates of tax. For example, the UK offers a capital gain allowance of £12,300 with a top rate of tax at 28% (residential property), whereas Denmark has no allowance and a 14% higher tax rate standing at 42%.

    As tax systems in the UK and Denmark are extremely different, it requires in-depth analysis to understand how each system operates and the implications which might then present for an individual on a case-by-case basis.

    Contact us

    If you require any advice or assistance with UK or Danish personal tax, we are here to help. Simply send us an email at the address below or fill in our contact form for a no-charge fact finding call. After such call, we are usually able to send a fee quote for services.

    Denmark: John Munch, Tax Manager, Sheltons Accountants (Copenhagen), J.Munch@SheltonsGroup.com

    United Kingdom: Ned Shelton, Director, Sheltons Accountants UK (London), N.Shelton@SheltonsGroup.com

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    Are you moving to Denmark and renting out your UK property? If so, you will be classified as a ‘non-resident landlord’ by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

    Below we have covered some of the popular UK and Danish tax issues and questions that arise when becoming a non-resident landlord in Denmark.

    How do I stop my estate agent or tenant from deducting UK tax at source?

    If you have been determined as a non-resident landlord of the UK, your letting agent or tenant will deduct basic rate tax (20%) from your rent. Once the tax year is complete, your estate agent or tenant will provide you with a certificate certifying how much tax they have deducted in the relevant tax year.

    As a landlord, cash flow is important, therefore it’s likely you would prefer to receive your rent in full and pay any tax due through your UK self-assessment tax return.

    The way in which you can receive your rent in full, prior to any taxation, is to file a non-resident landlord form (NRL1). Once the form has been approved, HMRC will inform your letting agent or tenant to stop deducting tax from your rent. From there on, you will receive your rent in full without UK taxation. Any tax deducted earlier in the year will be refunded on your next rental statement.

    However, it is worth noting that HMRC will only approve your NRL1 application if your taxes are up to date. For example, you have no outstanding tax or tax returns due.

    What expenses can I claim on my UK property income?

    If this is your first experience of being a landlord, you may be unsure about what expenses are tax deductible. HMRC iterate that for an expense to be allowable for tax purposes, it should be incurred wholly and exclusively as a result of renting out your property. Typical expenses include buildings insurance, estate agent fees and utility bills (only if not reimbursed by tenants).

    In some instances, what you assume are revenue expenses may in fact be ‘capital expenses’ for example, improving or upgrading something that was existing. Capital expenses are not allowable and cannot be claimed against rental income, however you might be able to set them against capital gains tax if you sell the property in the future. You should seek professional advice if you’re unsure on the tax treatment of your property expense.

    Since April 2020, you have no longer been able to deduct any mortgage expenses from taxable rental income. Instead, mortgage interest is used as a tax reducer, where you receive a tax credit based on 20% of mortgage interest payments. For example, if you make mortgage interest payments of £5,000 per year, you will receive a tax credit of £1,000 to deduct from the liability incurred on your property income.

    Will I be taxed on my UK rental income in Denmark?

    If you’re classified as a tax resident in Denmark, you will need to declare your worldwide income to skat (HMRC equivalent in Denmark). Therefore, as long as you are resident of Denmark, you will need to declare your UK rental income on your Danish tax return.

    Where you have paid tax in the UK on your UK property income, you may be entitled to a Danish foreign income tax offset. As the Danish tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December, the UK property income/expenses along with any UK tax paid will need to be proportioned appropriately.

    In situations where you own a property, but do not receive rental income, or in instances where rental income is below market rates, a tax on the property will apply, no matter where it is located.

    Where a ‘Danish resident’ has property in the UK, the Denmark-UK double tax treaty becomes relevant.

    Will I receive my UK personal allowance as resident of Denmark?

    When non-resident of the UK, it’s only in certain circumstances that you will get a personal allowance of tax free UK income each year. These include the following:

    • you hold a British passport
    • you’re a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or
    • you’ve worked for the UK government at any time during that tax year.

    As Denmark is a country in the European Economic Union, it’s likely you will be entitled to your UK personal allowance. Thus, only the rental income over the UK personal allowance will be taxable in the UK.

    How do I file my UK self-assessment tax return from Denmark?

    Regardless of whether you’re a resident of Denmark, renting out a UK property automatically enters you into the UK self-assessment regime. The return will be used to calculate any tax liability arising from your UK property income and any additional UK taxable income.

    The same Tax Return deadlines apply to non-residents as they do to UK residents – 31st January following the tax year end (31st October for paper returns). Automatic late filing penalties will apply after the deadlines have passed.

    As a non-resident you are unable to use HMRC’s online services to file your return. Instead, you need to:

    • Send your tax return by post
    • Use commercial software
    • Get help from a professional

    Contact Us

    If you need advice or assistance with your UK or Danish tax obligations, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us for a no-charge fact finding call. After such call, we are usually able to send a fee quote for services.

    Denmark: John Munch, Tax Manager, Sheltons Accountants (Copenhagen), J.Munch@SheltonsGroup.com

    United Kingdom: Ned Shelton, Director, Sheltons Accountants UK (London), N.Shelton@SheltonsGroup.com

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