The Coronavirus pandemic meant many non-UK residents were stranded in the country, unable to travel back to their home countries. So were any unplanned UK workdays taxable in the UK?
HMRC previously offered guidance on whether any unplanned days in the United Kingdom can be disregarded when determining the residency status of an individual. However, it was silent on whether any unplanned UK workdays would be taxable.
If a non-UK resident has been stuck in the United Kingdom and needed to work for their employer while here, they will not be made to pay tax on that employment income whilst in the UK, provided:
- They are paying tax in their home country on days the individual worked in the UK
- The individual left the UK as soon as they reasonably could and returned to their home country
However, HMRC has said that it may require proof that a particular individual couldn't leave the United Kingdom when they intended, and had to work in the UK to maintain their own job. It should be noted that HMRC considers any more than 3-hours work in a day a UK workday.
This new guidance from HMRC on unplanned UK workdays is welcome for non-UK residents stuck in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic, especially if they were made to self-isolate because of Track & Trace, a positive test for COVID-19, or because their home country banned flights from the United Kingdom.
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