An academic visitor for tax and payment purposes:
- does not have a contract of employment with the University; and
- will be at Oxford for a limited (and defined) period of time; and
- is associated with another institution (usually this means as an employee); and
- will be returning to their own institution upon completion of their visit to Oxford.
Paying fees, honoraria, stipends etc, will usually be taxable and will require you to determine employment status of the payee (reimbursement of expenses is generally not taxable and is covered under the Expenses process).
If there is a contract of employment or a contract in place, then the visitor must should be paid via payroll and treated in the same way for tax and National Insurance purposes as any other employee.
Subsistence allowances for visitors from overseas
Visitors from overseas (not the UK) can be paid a daily subsistence allowance (i.e. a round-sum payment without the need to produce receipts). This will be treated as taxable unless clearance is obtained from HMRC in advance.
To obtain clearance, departments should complete the Tax clearance – short term academic visitor form and return it to the Payroll Team at least one month in advance of the expected arrival of the visitor. A ruling will be sought from HMRC on whether a daily allowance may be paid without deduction of tax or National Insurance. Once this is received a copy will be sent to the department.
Payment should be arranged using a Payment Request Form (xlsx). When requesting payment, a copy of the HMRC clearance must be attached to each payment request form.
HMRC clearance is given only for the specific circumstances and time period provided on the form – if circumstances change or the period of stay is extended then further approval must be sought by completing an additional form.
Tax-free payments to visitors from overseas
Non-UK nationals visiting Oxford for less than six months may be able to obtain tax-free status for income received in the UK or a refund of any tax paid.
If clearance is provided for the payment of round-sum subsistence allowances, as outlined above, then these are paid without deduction of tax or National Insurance.
If clearance is not provided, or payments are to be made in return for work or service, then it may still be possible to pay an individual without having to deduct tax or National Insurance. Alternatively, if tax is deducted, individuals may be able to obtain a refund when they leave the UK. The following HMRC forms are used in both instances:
- Form P85 – completed when an individual who is not a UK national leaves the UK after the end of an assignment.
HMRC no long provide a standard form for overseas visitors to complete and obtain tax exemption on arrival in the UK. In cases where it is believed that tax should not be paid, therefore, (e.g. exemption is claimed under a double taxation agreement) then the individual concerned should advise their head of administration at the earliest opportunity.
- Heads of Administration should complete form DTA Visiting Academic and forward it to the Head of Payroll. Clearance to pay salary without deduction of tax will be sought from HMRC, but may take up to a month to obtain. Payment of salary without deduction of National Insurance will depend upon which country the individual is arriving from.