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Did my employer breach its contract with me?
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Did my employer breach its contract with me?

I am a US employee on secondment to the UK. My contract states that while in the UK I am to be "tax protected" (i.e. pay the same tax rate as I would had I been living in the US). This did not happen for the first 9 months of my employment in the UK. In fact, for the first 9 months I was paying both UK and US taxes, taking home less than half of my paycheck. Finally, after much complaining I was able to get it fixed "going forward". However, the company still has not reimbursed me (3 months after my paycheck was fixed) for the period of time where I was being taxed incorrectly and I now want to resign.

My concern is that when I agreed to take the UK assignment, the company gave me a signing bonus with the restriction that it would have to be repaid if I left voluntarily or was fired for cause.

I believe that because my company breached its contract with me, I do not have to repay the signing bonus. Further, I believe the company still owes me money for the period of time when I was being taxed incorrectly. Can anybody tell me if I am correct? Any advice on how to resign?


Technically your employer did not do anything wrong. You are required to pay UK tax because your work is performed in the UK.

However, due to tax treaty, you only have to match up your rate difference with the US.

For instance, you are paying 15% in US and you need to pay 20% in UK. You are not required to pay the US tax anymore.

Same situation, if you are paying 25% in US and you need to pay 20% in UK. You just have to match up the 10% difference.

Also, US tax regulation provide a hugh credit to overseas employment. You may end up paying nothing.

You should consult an accountant to see if it is the case.

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