It was recently reported in the UK national press that HM Revenue & Customs had put a 10-day limit on the number of days a British expatriate could spend working in the UK before the authorities could challenge their non-residency position. The figure was described by some commentators as being “ludicrously low”.
Following the reports HMRC said that the commentary was inaccurate and issued a statement seeking to clarify its rules. It said that the 10 day limit was given as a de minimis level and intended as guidance for those working abroad who spend time working in the UK.
With regards to how much work can be carried out in the UK, this “depends on facts and circumstances relevant to each individual”. If you spend less than 10 days a year working in the UK HMRC will “generally accept” that you have made a break from the UK by working full time abroad. If more days are worked, “whether an individual is working full time abroad will depend on their circumstances”.
So, no need to panic if you read the press articles and thought that just by spending more than 10 days working in the UK would automatically make you tax resident there. What HMRC does not confirm, however, is how many days you can work in the UK before you will be considered tax resident…