Statutory Residence Test amended to allow skilled workers from around the world to assist the UK’s coronavirus response

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has written to the Treasury Select Committee, to inform it that the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) is being relaxed temporarily so ‘highly skilled’ individuals from around the world can join the UK’s coronavirus response without jeopardising their tax status.

The measures apply to workers such as anaesthetists and engineers working on ventilator design and production.

The move means that time spent in the UK working on the country’s coronavirus response between 1 March and 1 June 2020 will be disregarded for the purpose of the SRT. The period the relaxed measures apply to may be extended.

Without the measure, these skilled workers could have seen their global earnings becoming taxable in the UK.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, acknowledged the potential risk of tax avoidance in relation to the changes, and said: “The qualifying criteria will, therefore, be designed so that the relaxation of the rules is tightly targeted to minimise the risk of abuse.”

Full details of the changes to the SRT are set to be included in the Finance Bill 2020.

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