UK Visit Limitations To Remain Non-resident For UK Tax Purposes

One of the members of the Expat Network community asked the following question about being able to visit the UK without becoming tax resident in the UK and we asked Trevor Wilkes of Trew Tax to respond to his query.

I have a permanent home in the USA, where I have lived for 35 years and became a citizen 15 years ago.  I was born in the UK and maintain a property in the UK and visit there every year for 2-3 weeks yearly. I do not let the property.  Now I am retired and wish to visit the UK more often, how many days per year can I visit, either consecutively or in two visits per year. without becoming a resident for tax purposes in the UK?   I do not intend moving back to the UK at this point.

 

Trevor Wilkes of Trew Tax answered as follows:

Thank-you for your query which hopefully I have summarised correctly in the email subject line.

Whether or not you are aware of it, the UK’s rules for determining tax residence changed in April 2013. These rules known as the Statutory Residence Test are intended to provide greater clarity to what is a complicated subject.

Currently, based upon the outline of the circumstances provided, you should be regarded as non-resident for UK tax purposes under Part A of the test for 2018/19 which is relevant year on year I.e. 6th April to the following 5th April.

There is scope for you to increase on the current level of your UK visits and still remain non-resident under Part A of the test. This would see you not exceeding 46 midnights during a tax year.

If you were intending on spending a greater amount of time in the UK per tax year and still remaining non-resident then this should be permissible under Part C of the SRT. This would however require a close review of circumstances (completing a specific form in relation to the SRT) in order to determine how much more time you may spend as the number of days (midnights) will be determined by your connectivity to the UK.