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Coronavirus and new guidance on exceptional circumstances for UK residence test

Coronavirus and new guidance on exceptional circumstances for UK residence test

Thursday, 26 March 2020

HMRC have issued new guidance on how the coronavirus will impact on the Statutory Residence Test (SRT). 

The number of days an individual stays in the UK, is one of the factors determining whether or not they are UK resident in a tax year. 

Theres been concern that some people might have to spend extra days in the UK due to the virus and as a result, inadvertently become UK tax resident and incur an unexpected tax bill.  

HMRC accepts that the epidemic is affecting people's ability to move freely to and from the UK and has announced that the following circumstances may be viewed as exceptional and will be ignored for the purposes of the various counts of their presence in the UK for the SRT: 

  • You are quarantined or advised by a health professional or public health guidance to self-isolate in the UK
  • You are officially advised by the Government not to travel from the UK
  • You cannot leave the UK as a result of the closure of international borders
  • You are asked by your employer to return to the UK temporarily, as a result of the virus 

Howeverthe 60-day annual limit set out in the statutory residence test still applies, and HMRC say they will consider the facts of each individual case before deciding to disregard days spent in the UK due to exceptional circumstances. 

HMRC have reminded taxpayers that this new guidance may change at short notice as situations change, so keep an eye on our website for updates or contact us via enquiry@larking-gowen.co.uk 

Alex Coghill 

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