Many of our accountancy trade bodies have consulted with the Treasury on a range of tax difficulties faced by those stranded in the UK during the pandemic. They accidentally became residents, with obvious tax consequences ...
Because of this, HMRC has introduced a range of tax rule relaxations this year in respect of the Statutory Residence Test. However, with the range of lockdown measures continuing, further issues have inevitably arisen.
They explain that the circumstances of the various lockdowns and travel restrictions, the 60-day limits when the disregard for exceptional days is inadequate. Although HMRC confirms that it considers 60-days to be adequate, there's nothing they can do when it's not as it's a statutory limit that they have no powers to extend.
In the context of all the other COVID-19 legislation, it wouldn't have been much trouble to fix this, but when you look at CRCA 2005 s9, HMRC can, "do anything they believe necessary in connection with the exercise of their functions", so you would have thought they had the authority.
And what about the Family Tie issue, which could unexpectedly make someone a UK resident because the schools have been shut? Well, there are no changes proposed here either.
Should a non-resident individual be stranded in the UK, then HMRC has confirmed that any earnings from this country will be excluded from domestic taxation and treated as foreign earnings if they are taxed in their own country.
A lot of interesting stuff has come out of this. Yes, some of it is frustrating, but it clears up a lot of uncertainty, which is always helpful when dealing with HMRC.
If you'd like to find out more about anything I've written here, do call me on 01908 774323 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.