Blevins Franks is warning expatriates that the current UK rules for determining whether or not an individual is tax resident in the UK remain complex and unclear.
While HM Revenue & Customs argues that its own IR20 and HMRC 6 booklets only provide guidance and are not binding, this is now subject to a judicial review in the Supreme Court.
The recent announcement that the government is consulting on the introduction of a statutory definition of residence, to be implemented from April 2012, has been broadly welcomed. However, as Blevins Franks warns there is no confirmation that such a process will actually provide the black and white definition so needed by British expatriates.
The latest fear is that HMRC will restrict expatriates to an annual 10 day working limit back in the UK. HMRC sought to allay fears with a statement stressing the 10 day limit was given as a de minimis level and was intended as guidance for those working abroad who also spend time working in the UK.
While HMRC works on its revisions, it has given the Institute of Chartered Accountants permission to reproduce the draft guidance on non-residence and full time work abroad in order to allay concerns. More information can be found at www.icaew.com
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