Non-Residence pages on Returns

The latest self-assessment tax return (2006/07) contains a number of changes to the non-residence pages. More detail is now required, probably as a result of such decisions as Robert Gaines-Cooper SpC 568, which challenged the accepted view of Revenue & Customs’ approach on residency issues.

 
It is now required to ascertain the exact circumstances of an individual’s travel to and from the UK when claiming to be non-resident for tax purposes. The questions inserted into the 2006/07 return seek to gather information such that the Revenue can ensure that its guidance in IR20 is being applied correctly. In January 2007, the Revenue issued Brief 1/07, which stated that IR20 was still its agreed interpretation of the law on residency although it does appear to have changed its emphasis. Commentators have already noted that some of the questions related to the return, particularly within the section called ‘Time spent in the UK’ and the accompanying notes, are not completely clear and could easily result in misunderstanding if taken at face value without consultation with the wording of the law and full consideration of the facts.

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