UK and International Tax news

HMRC Issues Guidance On COVID-19 And The SRT

Tuesday 25th August 2020

HMRC has issued guidance and examples of when days spent in the UK may be considered ‘exceptional’ for Statutory Residence Test purposes.

Legislation contained in the Finance Act 2013 sets out how UK tax residence is determined according to the SRT and this explained further in HMRC guidance.

HMRC now recognises the COVID-19 pandemic may impact on a person’s ability to move freely to and from the UK or require the person to remain here unexpectedly. The SRT legislation allows for a day spent in the UK due to ‘exceptional’ circumstances beyond the person’s control, which prevents the person from leaving the UK, to be disregarded. Whether days spent in the UK can be disregarded due to exceptional circumstances will always depend on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

HMRC has published further guidance aimed at clarifying the circumstances in relation to COVID-19 which are considered exceptional for the purposes of the SRT, including the following:

  • Where a person is quarantined or advised by a health professional or public health guidance to self-isolate in the UK as a result of the virus, or
  • finds himself advised by official Government advice not to travel from the UK as a result of the virus, or
  • is unable to leave the UK as a result of the closure of international borders, or
  • is asked by their employer to return to the UK temporarily as a result of the virus.,

This new guidance needs to be read in conjunction with the current published guidance on exceptional circumstances, and HMRC advises that the person will need to keep records and documents in support of any claim made to have days spent in the UK disregarded due to exceptional circumstances.


If you would like to more information on the above, please contact Keith Rushen on 0207 486 2378.


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