One of the impacts of the Coronavirus is that it is preventing people from moving freely to and from the UK and as a result, many Non-UK Residents who planned to visit the UK for a short period of time have found themselves having to remain in the UK for much longer.
Many Non-UK Residents will be familiar with the Statutory Resident Test (SRT) for the purposes of ensuring they keep in check their residence status. If as a result of the Coronavirus they are stuck in the UK, they may be concerned that the additional time they are now having to spend in the UK could have an impact on their Non-UK Residence status.
There are rules where, based on the facts and circumstances of each case, days in the UK can be disregarded due to exceptional circumstances beyond the individual’s control.
HMRC have updated their guidelines to confirm 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
these circumstances are considered exceptional.
As we understand it, the rules only allow an additional 60 days in the UK.
If, due to the Coronavirus, you have found yourself in the UK for longer than you had planned then it is important you seek advice regarding your Residence Status and whether you have breached the UK day count and need to understand your position with regards to the exceptional circumstances relief.
Disclosures will need to be made on your UK Tax Return and you will need to retain evidence of the circumstances that made you stay in the UK.
HMRC may be sympathetic to this situation and provide a light touch approach. However, it is far better to be prepared, understand your position and seek advice.
For more information on how we can help, please get in touch.