Can my Wages be Paid into a UK Bank Account?
Q.I am going to Jordan to work as a nanny for 18 months. My employer will be paying my wages directly into my bank account. Can these wages be paid into UK bank account and will I be charged anything? Also will I get taxed if my wages are paid into my UK bank account?
There is no inherent reason why your salary in Jordan could not be paid into your bank account in the UK. You will need to ask your employer in Jordan whether they are willing to do that, though. Not all employers are.
In general, banks in the UK will charge a small fee for receiving a payment from abroad. Usually this will be about £5 - £10. If the payment is made in a foreign currency, they will convert it to Sterling at their own exchange rate. This may not be as competitive as the exchange rates you could find with third-party foreign exchange dealers, so you should watch out for some losses there.
You don’t make clear whether you will need your salary to live on while you are in Jordan or whether your basic living arrangements will be taken care of otherwise. If you’re planning to withdraw cash in local currency from your local bank account via ATMs, for example, you would be facing currency exchange loss in both directions, and will usually have to pay special service charges for accessing your account from foreign ATMs too. This could eat into your salary significantly.
Whether you have tax liability in the UK will depend partly on when you leave. If you spend more than 183 days in the UK during the tax year (6 April – 5 April of the following year) you are regarded as resident in the UK for tax purposes, and will be taxed on your worldwide income for that year. So, if you went to Jordan in November, say, after spending the rest of the year in Britain, you would be subject to British taxes on all of your income. However, sometimes the Revenue agrees to split the year up into resident and non-resident portions.
There is a double taxation treaty between Jordan and the UK so you should not be taxed on the same income twice. You would just need to explain it to the appropriate authorities in both cases. In general, if your income has been taxed in Jordan, it should not also be taxed in the UK. Sometimes, Middle Eastern countries offer special tax-free working arrangements to Westerners, however. If you have one of those, it is possible the UK taxman will want a piece. Look into creating an offshore account if you want another layer of protection.