I have heard that new rules are being introduced from April 2013 with regards to determining whether somebody is resident in the UK. Can you give me an outline of these changes?

Historically many of the issues relating to residence have centred around case law as many of the terms used to describe residency are not defined in legislation. However following an announcement in the 2011 Budget the Government published a consultation document in June 2011 and subsequently plans were announced to introduce new legislation on this in April 2013.

The proposed legislation consists essentially of three tests. The first test is an automatic non-residence test which ensures that anyone meeting this test will be deemed non-resident for UK tax purposes. Under this rule, if an individual has been non-UK resident for all the previous three tax years and are in the UK for less than 46 days in the current year, or the individual was UK resident in one of the last three years and spends less than 16 days in the UK in the current year, or, the individual goes to work in full time employment abroad and is present in the UK for less than 91 days and spends no more than 20 days working in the UK, they will have satisfied the automatic non-residence test.

The second rule is an automatic residence test and as in the first test an individual who meets this test will prove automatic residence in the UK. The individual will have to ensure that they spend 183 days in the tax year and their only home is in the UK or they have more than one home but all of them are in the UK, or, they work full time in the UK.

If an individual does not meet either of the automatic tests above they will then need to consider the final test which is based on a number of different connection factors including (but not limited to) the location of the individual’s family and whether the individual has access to accommodation in the UK. To assist with this there is a decision matrix which considers how many days were spent in the UK by the individual along with how many ties they have to the UK based on these factors (e.g. family and accommodation).

Our tax specialist can be contacted on 01455 852550 should you require any further advice.