Coronavirus: Statutory Residence Test

24th March 2020

When determining your status for UK tax residency purposes, a key factor is the number of days you spend in the UK in any given tax year.

Given the current crisis, many individuals will find themselves unintentionally spending more time in the UK than they originally intended to and thus increasing their UK day count for tax purposes.

HMRC have announced that non-residents may be able to claim that these days were spent in the UK for ‘exceptional circumstances’. Days spent in the UK under this category do not count towards your day count when determining your UK tax residency status.

Normally, ‘exceptional circumstances’ covers events such as funeral attendance or having to stay in the UK for emergency care. HMRC grant individuals 60 days ‘exceptional circumstances’ per tax year, if the reason for their stay is as described.

However, as a result of the current crisis, this definition has been extended to include the following:

  • If you are quarantined or advised by a health professional or public health guidance to self-isolate in the UK as a result of the virus.
  • If you find yourself advised by official Government advice not to travel from the UK as a result of the virus.
  • If you are unable to leave the UK as a result of the closure of international borders, or
  • If you are asked by your employer to return to the UK temporarily as a result of the virus.

We would envisage this will be assessed on a case by case basis and further clarification will be given by HMRC in due course. However, what has been announced will have a crucial impact on determining the tax residency status for an individual for 2019/20 and possibly 2020/21.

If you have been affected by the coronavirus travel restrictions and are unable to leave the UK and this becomes relevant for you, we will include this disclosure on your Tax Return and liaise with HMRC where needed.

Should you need further clarification please call us on 01392 258553 or 01395 279521 .

Useful Links.

Coronavirus: Business update – Latest announcements

Read our latest ‘Hot Topic’ COVID-19: measures for UK businesses

Coronavirus: Business update – Business Rates & IR35

Coronavirus: Latest measures to support UK businesses

Coronavirus – Update for Businesses

UK Government guidance

NHS – condition overview

We hope you find the above links helpful as you plan for this extremely difficult period. Please remember we are here to help as much as possible through these challenging times.

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