Written by: Kyle Barford, Product Manager (Tax)
Though the responses of international governments to the COVID-19 outbreak have been varied, many countries have imposed strict border controls, implemented mandatory quarantine periods for entrants, and broadly encouraged higher uptake of home working. Each of these measures have impacted the day-to-day work and lives of millions, and for those individuals who are internationally mobile for work, family or other reasons, a host of potential tax issues can arise.
Tax residence of the individual
HMRC were quick to publish guidance on the matter of UK days of presence, and under what circumstances days of presence in the UK related to the COVID outbreak are considered “exceptional” and thereby may be excluded from certain day-counting tests present in the UK Statutory Residence Test (SRT) rules.
HMRC’s guidance confirmed the continuation of the general 60 day cap on the number of days of relief that can qualify as “exceptional”. The guidance also confirms that “exceptional circumstances” apply where an individual is present in the UK on a given day for one of the following reasons:
- The individual is quarantined or self-isolating as advised by a healthcare professional or public health guidance on COVID-19
- The individual is following advice form the UK government not to travel from the UK as a result of COVID-19
- The individual is unable to leave the UK as a result of the closure of international borders
- The individual was asked to return to the UK temporarily by their employer, as a result of COVID-19