One of the key impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the disruption to travel, which has stranded individuals and prevented them from moving freely between countries. The significant travel restrictions, together with stringent advice on self-isolation, have imposed a significant financial burden on individuals.
The UK uses the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) to determine whether an individual is resident in the UK for tax purposes in any given tax year. The key component of the test is the counting of the number of days during which an individual is present in the UK. With COVID-19 restricting travel, it is putting many individuals at risk of losing their non-residence status.
UK rules grant an exclusion from an individual’s day count for days relating to exceptional circumstances. The number of days one can disregard due to exceptional circumstances is restricted to 60 days in any tax year. The tax authorities have recently updated their guidelines, allowing individuals that are unable to leave the UK or enter into their country of residence because of COVID-19, the ability to apply for special treatment under the exceptional circumstances regulations.
Sonal Shah, International Tax Manager at Gerald Edelman, explains this further in her article: COVID 19: Impact on UK tax residency.Back to top