Will My Old UK Debt and Taxes Owed Prevent Me From Returning to the UK?

“Dear Jon,

I lived in the UK since about 2000 to 2007.

I left the UK in 2007 due to family health issues, Dad subsequently passed away. Was expecting to come back to the UK but circumstances changed and was not able to return until now.

What happens to unpaid taxes? Unpaid credit cards or bills?

Have been told debt is forgiven after 7 years, including bank debt. Is this correct?

Are taxes forgotten too or have longer dispensation periods?

My son is inviting me to come to the UK and stay with him for a few weeks; the house I bought when we first arrived in the UK. Its in Portchester, oversees Portsmouth Harbour, very pretty…

Do I face possible stop at the airport due to any unpaid bills/taxes from 2007?

Thank you very much for your service



I can understand your concerns and worries and you will not be stopped at the airport, or anywhere for that matter, just for unpaid bills or taxes.

There is a period of time where if you have no contact with a creditor, six (6) years, a debt can be statute barred. This goes for taxes as well.

There are two issues with this:

The first being if a creditor has attempted contact, but you have moved and the creditor does not have your new details. This can be looked at as contact.

The second is that while taxes are included in the six year period, HMRC is not going to disclose that fact to you.

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Your just visiting is not going to be an issue, unless you were to contact anyone you owe. This could then start the collection process over again.

So a visit is not going to be an issue, and due to the time that has passed, the debt(s) may be statute barred anyway.

You mention a property you bought. Is that property in your name on the land registry? If so, and if your creditors continued to send correspondence to that address, that would constitute contact, negating the debt(s) being statute barred. Unless there has been no correspondence for six years or more.

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In addition, it is possible a creditor or HMRC looked to getting a CCJ and then a Charging Order against the property.

Get back to me about this property and we can look into this more.



Jon Emge is an experienced UK debt advisor who has helped thousands and thousands of people in the UK to deal with problem debt. Jon specialises in finding good solutions for problem debt using a variety of UK specific techniques.

If you have a question you’d like to ask about how to get out of UK debt, just use the online form.