Moved back to the UK from Germany - do I need to complete two tax returns?



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Registration : 16 April 2020
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Hello! I apologise if my question has already been answered, I've had a look at quite a few threads and a lot of them seem to very nearly answer my question, but not quite...

So I was living in Germany from February-October 2019. I registered as self-employed there as I'm a freelance translator. I also had two 'Mini Jobs' while I was there, as a hotel pianist and a babysitter. In October, I moved back to the UK, and now I'm trying to figure out my tax return(s).

I rang HMRC yesterday and was assured that all of my income would be considered 'foreign income' as all of my clients are based abroad and pay me in euros. However, I've done some online research and according to HMRC's website, if I have lived in the UK for more than 183 days of the tax year (which I just have), I am officially tax resident in the UK, and all of my self-employed income for the tax year should be taxed in the UK, no matter where it came from. BUT according to the German rules, if I lived in Germany for more than six consecutive months (which I did) I'm tax resident there for that tax year. Needless to say, I'm slightly confused.

I found this helpful, from an expert's answer to a previous question: 'Where you are working and performing services as a freelance worker, is where you are going to be liable for taxes' - I feel like this should clear things up for me, but should I still be completing a German tax return for all the freelance work I did BEFORE I moved back to the UK? Or should all of my self-employed income earned in the UK tax year (April '19 to April '20) be taxed in the UK?

My other query is that some of my German clients still pay into my German bank account (it's just easier)...would this income still be taxed in the UK? Or would I have to file two tax returns, one to the UK and one to Germany?

Thank you so much and, again, apologies if my question has actually been answered already!


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