determine tax residence and UK ties

Step by step UK tax residency test for 2020

We’ve created a series of simple UK tax residency tests. Our tests are free, quick and provide instant online results.

In order to help you understand how HMRC determines tax residency status, we’ve taken our standard UK residency flowchart and converted it into a 4-step quiz. For more information about tax residence, download our free guide to UK tax for expats.

The UK tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April. The current tax year is 2020/21 and began on 6th April 2020. If we ask about the ‘previous tax year’, we are asking for information pre-6th April 2020.

Step 1: Am I automatically non-UK tax resident?

Our first test will determine if you automatically qualify as a non-UK resident for tax. If our test tells you that you are automatically non-UK resident, you can stop there. Should the test be unclear, move onto step two to find out if you’re automatically UK resident.

Step 1: Are you AUTOMATICALLY non-UK resident?

Our first step of the UK residency test considers whether you are AUTOMATICALLY non-UK resident. If the results of this test are unclear, you should move on to the next step.

Have you been non-UK resident throughout the whole of the previous three tax years and only present in the UK for less than 46 days in the current tax year?

Were you resident in the UK in at least one of the previous three tax years and present in the UK for less than 16 days in the current tax year?

Do you work full-time overseas, while only present in UK for less than 91 days of the year, with less than 31 days spent working on UK soil?


Step 2: Am I automatically a UK resident?

There are some conditions where an individual is automatically classed as a UK tax resident. Take Step 2 to find out if you would be automatically deemed UK resident and liable for taxation. If you are automatically UK tax resident, you will be liable to report your income and gains to the UK, and pay UK taxes.

Step 2: Are you AUTOMATICALLY a UK resident?

Our second step of the UK residency test considers whether you are AUTOMATICALLY UK resident. If the results of this test are unclear, you should move on to the final 'sufficient ties' test.

Have you been present in the UK for more than 183 days in the current tax year?

Did you work full-time in the UK for a 365 day period, all or part of which was in the current tax year?

Are all of your homes in the UK, and you were present in a UK home for more than 30 days in the current tax year?


Step 3: The sufficient ties test for UK residence

Those neither automatically resident or non-resident, there is a further test to take. This test aims to find out how many UK ties you have. The result of this test will tell you how many ‘ties’ to take to the final step. Some sufficient ties can be controlled for tax planning, while others (like family status) are more difficult to adjust.

Step 3: Sufficient ties test

Our final step in determining your tax residence is the 'sufficient ties' test. Once you've calculated the number of ties you have, use the table below to find out your residence status.

Do you have UK resident family?

A family tie could be a UK resident spouse, civil partner or dependent child.

Have you 'substantive UK employment' greater than 40 UK days in the tax year?

A work day in the UK for the Statutory Residence Test is a day on which over three hours’ work is performed. Even while an employee is regarded as being non-resident, incidental duties may continue to be deemed to be performed offshore, while only substantive UK duties are taxable.

Do you have accessible UK accommodation in which you have stayed for more than 1 night in the tax year?

This covers any home in the UK you have, which is accessible to you and where you have stayed overnight.

Have you been present in the UK for more than 91 days in either of the previous two tax years?

Your tax residence history is an important factor in determining your current tax residence.

Have you been UK resident within last 3 tax years, AND been present in UK more than any other single country this tax year?


Step 4: Sufficient ties test table

Take the number of UK ties calculated above in Step 3 to determine whether you are UK tax resident according to the table below.

  • NR = Non-Resident
  • R = Resident
sufficient ties table for UK taxation based on days spent in the UK

The tax residency tests

We appreciate the complexity of tax residence, and the questions we ask. Unfortunately with tests like these, there are several double-negatives and difficult questions. If you’re unsure of anything, and unclear on your tax status send us a quick question online. We’re here to help and can usually answer simple questions via email within a few hours. Getting your tax and residence status right is really important.

For a more detailed explanation of UK taxation and guidance about UK tax reporting requirements, see HMRC’s notes on residence.


Free online UK tax residence test 2020
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