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United Kingdom Relaxes Residency Rules Due to COVID-19

UK Residency Rules
By: Jyme Mariani, Esq. | 14 May 2020

The United Kingdom announced it is relaxing its residency rules due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19. Whether days spent in the U.K. can be disregarded due to exceptional circumstances depends on the individual's facts and circumstances.

New Exceptional Circumstances
There are new exceptional circumstances listed by the U.K. government during the COVID-19 crisis. These circumstances are considered as "exceptional" if a person:

  • Is quarantined or advised by a health professional or public health guidance to self-isolate in the U.K. as a result of the virus;
  • Is advised by official government advice not to travel from the U.K. as a result of the virus;
  • Is unable to leave the U.K. as a result of the closure of international borders; or
  • Is asked by his or her employer to return to the U.K. temporarily as a result of the virus.
General Residency Rules
Whether a person is a U.K. resident usually depends on how many days are spent in the U.K. in the tax year (6 April to 5 April the following year). A person is automatically a U.K. resident if he or she spent 183 or more days in the U.K. in the tax year or if his or her only home was in the U.K. (the person must have owned, rented, or lived in it for at least 91 days in total and spent at least 30 days there in the tax year).

A person is automatically a nonresident if he or she spent fewer than 16 days in the U.K. (or 46 days if he or she has not been classified as a U.K. resident for the three previous tax years) or he or she works abroad full-time (averaging at least 35 hours a week) and spent fewer than 91 days in the U.K., of which no more than 30 were spent working.

Jyme Mariani, Esq., is Managing Editor of Payroll Information Resources for the American Payroll Association.