Tucked away on page 6 of the Business Word which came with the Examiner (August 30) was a story which should surely have deserved front page headlines on the main paper.
According to Robyn Williams of PwC, ‘The rules concerning UK tax residence will soon be changing. In a worst-case scenario under the new rules spending just 10 days a year in the UK could result in you being UK tax resident, particularly if you have other connecting factors such as family, available accommodation or employment in the UK. This may mean you are liable to pay UK tax on all your income...’
UK employment would be relevant to comparatively few Manx residents, but ‘family’ and/or ‘available accommodation’ must surely be relevant to the great majority of us. Besides this outrageous suggestion the UK’s attempt to remove the Reciprocal Health Agreement last year pales into insignificance.
Are we really to be classified as UK-resident if we take one brief holiday a year with family members in England? I spend more than 10 days a year visiting my daughter in Sweden, and the Swedish government has so far shown no sign of thinking it has the right to raid my bank account.
Why should the UK be any different?
Robyn Williams says that HMRC is ‘consulting about introducing a Statutory Residence Test... from April 5 which will define residence for tax purposes’. At the moment we are in political No Man’s Land until the general election.
Can we be assured that somebody in Government Office is on top of this and fighting our corner?