COVID-19 and the Statutory Residence Test (SRT)

21st April 2020

HMRC have now updated their residence guidance in respect of COVID-19, recognising that the pandemic may impact individuals’ ability to move freely to and from the UK, or require individuals to remain unexpectedly in the UK.

 

There have been two main changes: for overseas individuals coming to the UK to work in connection with coronavirus-related activities, and for individuals who have remained in the UK for longer than they had initially expected.

 

Individuals present in the UK to work on COVID-19 related activities

On 9 April 2020 in a letter to the Chair of the Treasury Committee, the Chancellor confirmed that any periods spent in the UK between 1 March and 1 June 2020 by individuals working on COVID-19-related activities will not count towards the residence tests.  Therefore, non-UK resident individuals may be able to spend longer in the UK without jeopardising their residence position.

 

‘Disregarded days due to exceptional circumstances’

The SRT has always appreciated that there may be occasions when individuals are inadvertently present in the UK for longer than expected, but these circumstances are strict and do not usually cover travel problems.  Exceptional circumstances normally apply where the individual has no choice about the time they spend in the UK, or in coming back to the UK, and where the situation is completely beyond their control.

 

New guidance has been issued specifically for COVID-19.  Where any of the following apply:

  • You are quarantined or advised by a health professional to self-isolate in the UK as a result of the virus
  • You find yourself in a ‘lockdown’ situation as a result of the virus
  • You are unable to leave the UK due to the closure of international borders
  • You are asked by your employer to return to the UK temporarily as a result of the virus

 

HMRC consider the circumstances are ‘exceptional’, and up to 60 days of those spent in the UK as a result of the exceptional circumstances can be disregarded.

 

Whilst this won’t be at the forefront of most people’s minds right now, for some people this provides some certainty during this very uncertain time.

Other items in Blogs
Barbara Nicholas
25th May 2022 A Grim Reap?

We work hard to improve our lot and most of us hope that our loved ones will reap some benefit from our endeavours. But assuming that we don’t manage to spend all the fruits of our labours, the taxman is lurking. And he will take a sizeable chunk if we don’t plan sensibly.   The…

Jake Day
17th May 2022 We’re Hiring: Tax Careers at Whitings

With a vacancy now open for a Trainee Tax Technician in our Bury St Edmunds office, we’d like to give you a closer look at the highlights of choosing a career in tax – and also the highlights of choosing Whitings as your employer. Why choose tax? The common misconception with a career in tax…

Peter Brown
16th May 2022 e-Commerce: Are you finding keeping your business’s records a nightmare?

Understanding how to account for your business’s transactions with online selling platforms can be complicated. Ensuring that you are submitting the correct information to HMRC can be tricky as not all platforms have the same VAT treatment.   A2X could make your life easier by saving you time and headaches from the complex world of…

Louise Bassett
10th May 2022 Defra Announce 50% BPS advance

As farmers face being squeezed with price increases for inputs due to the situation in Ukraine and worldwide gas and energy prices, DEFRA have announced that the RPA will advance 50% of the value of BPS payments to farmers from the end of July 2022 with the balance to be paid from December as normal.…

Luke Bacon
10th May 2022 HMRC starts chasing up SEISS overpayments

HMRC has started to recover overpayments of Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants. From April, HMRC is writing to taxpayers whose entitlement to the fourth or the fifth SEISS grant has reduced by more than £100 to ask them to repay amounts that were overpaid. Entitlement to the fourth and fifth SEISS grants can be affected…

Charlie Whittle
5th May 2022 TRS – Information required and annual declarations

Intended as a companion to: TRS Who should register and when. The TRS will collect information about the trust and its trustees, settlors and other individuals or organisations exercising control. This will include: Name of the trust. Date the trust was created. Whether the trust is an express trust or not. Details of the trust…