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COVID-19: Statutory Residency Test

15th April 2020

COVID-19: Statutory Residency Test
This article was created on 15 April and last reviewed on 21 May.

The Statutory Residency Test deems an individual to be resident or non-resident for tax purposes in the UK if certain criteria are met. One of these criteria is the number of days an individual spends in the UK. The day limit is set by reference to certain other factors.

Rishi Sunak has announced that during the period between 1 March 2020 and 1 June 2020, any days spent in the UK by individuals working on COVID-19 related activities will not count towards the residence tests. Further details on who this relaxation will apply to are to follow.

For those that do not qualify for this relaxation, it is possible for some days still to be disregarded if this was as the result of exceptional circumstances. 

HMRC have advised that they will accept that the circumstances are exceptional 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.

You should ensure that you retain all relevant evidence of the circumstances so that this can be produced to HMRC if required.

Some parts of the Statutory Residency Test contain conditions relating to ‘full time working’ either in the UK or abroad. It is hoped that HMRC will be sympathetic to a situation where an individual’s residency position is affected by being unable to work due to issues related to the virus.

If you wish to discuss or obtain advice on how your residency position will be affected and/or any other COVID-19 related initiatives, please contact Stephanie Parker, Katharine Arthur, your usual haysmacintyre contact or email CV19@haysmacintyre.com.

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