The Statutory Residency Test (SRT) is the legislation by which an individual’s UK tax resident status is established. There are a number of automatic tests applied, from which you are deemed to be either non-resident or UK resident or if none of the conditions have been met, a day test will apply based on the number ‘ties’ you have with the UK. For those who may be concerned that their UK days limit have been breached, the government has put the following measures in place:
The government have announced changes to the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) to ensure that any period(s) between 1 March and 1 June 2020 spent in the UK by individuals working on COVID-19 related activities will not count towards the residence tests.
How do I know if my activities are classed as COVID-19 related?
Details of related activities have not yet been published- we will update this article with the relevant links as soon as they are available.
How will this affect completing my return?
HMRC is updating the SA109 residence, remittance basis etc. notes as follows:
Box 10 Number of days spent in the UK during 2019 to 2020
For the period from 1 March 2020 to 5 April 2020 if you have been in the UK in order to carry out specified coronavirus disease related work, include any such days in box 10, but provide the following details in Box 40 Any other information box:
Box 40 Any other information
You should also include any days that you have spent in the UK due to work on the Covid19/coronavirus pandemic, and include the name of the company/organisation you worked for as well as your specific job role, see Box 10 notes.
In Taxcalc these boxes can be reached from:
HMRC Forms mode> Residence and Remittance> Page 1/Page 3.
SimpleStep mode> Residence and Remittance. Time spent in the UK> How many days have you spent in the UK and > Residence and Remittance> Further information.
Other COVID-19 factors affecting the residency test
In some circumstances, usually outside of an individual’s control, certain days can be disregarded for some of the residency tests. The number of days which can be disregarded due to exceptional circumstances is capped at 60 per tax year.
HMRC has published guidance that considers the travel restrictions and quarantine conditions imposed by many countries due to COVID-19. It has confirmed that an individual’s presence in the UK can be considered as ‘exceptional circumstances’ when they:
There are likely to be other circumstances arising from the impact of the virus and HMRC has stated that they will be updating their guidance as situations change.