“In short, it is possible for your client to sever their UK tax residency,” says Adam Thompson of expat tax specialists The Fry Group. “Furthermore, for any full tax year in which they are non-resident they will not be required to file a tax return, so long as they have no UK source income.
“Unfortunately the reality is far from being that simple.
“Since 6 April 2013, an individual’s residence status for tax purposes has been determined under the Statutory Residence Test. The Statutory Residence Test is formed of three parts, and each part must be looked at in turn in order to determine one’s residence status.
“Part A of the test will determine whether or not someone is conclusively non-resident. If they are not classed as non-resident under this part of the test, we need to look at Part B of the test to determine whether or not they are conclusively resident.
“If their residence status cannot be determined under either Part A or Part B, we turn to Part C of the test, which looks at the number of ties a person has to the UK and stipulates how many days they can spend in the UK based on the number of ties they have.
“There is also provision for split year treatment if your client has left the UK part way through a tax year. If applicable, split year will determine the date on which your client may have become non-resident.
“Due to the complexity of the Statutory Residence Test I am afraid that I cannot give any clear guidance without exploring the specific facts of your client’s case. Once I have the relevant information I will be able to offer a conclusive answer to your client’s residence status and provide advice as to how to maintain or create non-resident status.”