Letter of Confirmation of Residence

It can be daunting going to work in a foreign country, or coming to work in the UK. Understanding how tax and social security are affected by making such a move can add to the list of complexities you have to deal with.

CONFIRMING UK TAX RESIDENCE

As a new UK resident, foreign tax authorities are often forthcoming with their requests for proof of UK tax residence. The tax authority in Greece for example may require a former resident of Greece to prove that he or she is now regarded by HMRC as a resident of the UK. Customers may also want HMRC to confirm that they are regarded as UK resident so that they can claim relief from foreign taxes which they might be entitled to under the domestic law of the foreign state rather than under the terms of the UK’s DTA with that other state.

Our personal tax desk at Mouktaris & Co is thoroughly versed in the process of obtaining proof of UK tax residence. As a first step, it’s important to distinguish what exactly is required.

LETTER OF CONFIRMATION OF RESIDENCE VS CERTIFICATE OF RESIDENCE (COR)

A Letter of Confirmation of Residence is confirmation that the taxpayer is regarded by HMRC as a resident of the UK for purposes other than claiming relief from foreign taxes under the terms of a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA).

The worked required to obtain a Certificate of Residence (CoR) on the other hand is more involved and will require the taxpayer to outline the following:

  • why a CoR is needed
  • the double taxation agreement under which a claim is sought
  • the type of income under which a claim is sought and the relevant income article
  • the period for which the CoR is needed

TAX RESIDENCE WHEN COMING TO THE UK, OR LEAVING THE UK

Having moved to the UK, an overseas assignment may turn out to be a permanent move; similarly a stint abroad may be intended for a finite length of time. In any case the length and timing of one’s time spent outside the UK, any return visits made to the UK and what personal ties are maintained with the UK are important. These factors will determine tax residence when coming to the UK in the year of arrival, or leaving the UK in the year of departure. The taxation of residents and non-residents is very different.

  • The starting point is the Statutory Residence Test (SRT), in which you are either UK resident or non-resident for the whole tax year. Provided that you continue to meet the Statutory Residence Test conditions in any given tax year (6 April – 5 April), you are considered UK or non-UK resident.
  • If however during a tax year you start to live or work abroad, or come to the UK, then ‘split year treatment’ may apply. There are 8 cases where the criteria for ‘split year treatment’ can be met:
    1. Starting full time work overseas
    2. The partner of someone starting full time work overseas. Under UK law, spouses and civil partners are generally treated entirely separately for tax purposes. This means that the tax residence position of your spouse or civil partner needs to be considered based on his or her own facts and circumstances. However, in some cases it can be influenced by your own tax residence position.
    3. Ceasing to have a home in the UK
    4. Starting to have a home in the UK only
    5. Starting full time work in the UK
    6. Ceasing full time work overseas
    7. The partner of someone ceasing full time work overseas
    8. Starting to have a home in the UK
  • Where the conditions are met this splits the tax year into 2 parts:
    • A UK part for which you are UK resident, in which you are charged to tax as a UK resident
    • An overseas part for which you are non-resident, in which, for most purposes, you are charged to tax as a non-UK resident. ‘Split year treatment’ however does not affect whether you are regarded as UK resident for the purposes of a double taxation agreement.

ADVISING ON TAX RESIDENCE IN THE YEAR OF ARRIVAL OR LEAVING

Based on the above and in order to advise properly, it’s important to:

  1. understand one’s motivations for leaving or coming to the UK, under one of the 8 cases above;
  2. clarify one’s intended leaving or arrival date and the conditions and constraints for spending time in and out of the UK during the tax year;
  3. appreciate and quantify the repercussions of not achieving ‘split year treatment’ in a particular tax year both in terms of UK and non-UK taxation, and subsequently identify what would be required to achieve non-UK-residence status in the subsequent tax year

Whether you’re an existing client or don’t yet use our services, we would be pleased to help you. Contact Mouktaris & Co Chartered Accountants for expert advice or click here to subscribe to our Newsletter.

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