For individuals who planned to be non-UK resident for tax purposes, getting stuck in the UK due to travel restrictions may have given rise to concerns over whether they would be treated as UK resident for tax purposes and therefore be drawn into possibly having to disclose worldwide income and gains to HMRC.
HMRC have confirmed that for tax residence purposes 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;
· find yourself advised by official Government advice not to travel from the UK as a result of the virus;
· are unable to leave the UK as a result of the closure of international borders; or
· are asked by your employer to return to the UK temporarily as a result of the virus
the circumstances are considered as exceptional.
It is rare for HMRC to state what events they consider to be exceptional and so this will alleviate worries for those relying on the day count to avoid UK residence. Of course, there are other aspects to the Statutory Residence Test rules and professional advice is recommended.
By Tax Manager, Paul Webb