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Reader residency query answered

Prudential’s head of trusts and taxation Gerry Brown responds to a reader query on residency

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Obrien Mtindi asked:

"I am planning to leave the UK for at least six months to look after my father who has suffered a heart attack in Zimbabwe .  I am currently a resident with an indefinite leave to remain visa. 

"Is there any complications that I my face with claiming a tax refund for the rest of the financial year and will this affect my status upon my return next year in May 2011?"

Gerry Brown’s response:

HMRC6 states that if you are in the UK for 183 days or more in the tax year, you will always be resident here. 

There are no exceptions to this.  You count the total number of days you spend in the UK – it does not matter if you come and go several times during the year or if you are here for one stay of 183 days or more.

If you are here for less than 183 days, you might still be resident for the year.

Just because you leave the UK to live or work abroad does not necessarily prove that you are no longer resident here if, for example, you keep connections in the UK such as property, economic interests, available accommodation, and social activities or if you have children in education here. 

For example, if you are someone who comes to the UK on a regular basis and have a settled lifestyle pattern connecting you to this country, you are likely to be resident here.

Split-year treatment is not relevant because Mr Mtindi is not coming to the UK for the first time nor is he leaving on a permanent basis.  He is leaving for a temporary purpose.

So it seems on the basis of the information provided it appears that he will be tax resident for both 2010-11 and 2011-12.  He will be entitled to full personal allowance for both years and so may well be entitled to a refund of some tax paid for 2010-11.

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