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Tony Tax
Tony Tax, Tax Consultant
Category: UK Tax
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Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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UK expat in the Middle East. been here for 6 years, returning

Resolved Question:

UK expat in the Middle East.

been here for 6 years, returning to UK.

Just advised that I may have a problem with tax, as I kept a UK address and various other things like UK bank account etc - therefore may not have been correctly classified as UK tax exempt.

Is this true ? How do I check ? I always used an acoountant and thought everything was above board and correct. Just want to be sure of my position before heading back into a mess !
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Tax
Expert:  Rakhi Vasavada replied 9 months ago.
Dear Friend,

Hello and welcome. Thank you for providing an opportunity to assist you.

No... I do not think so, that you can face problem. If you have declared and filed your income correctly, I just do not think you will have any problems. This is just a matter of record, and if you have incorrect addresses, just get in touch with HMRC and get it corrected.

I am sure this would help.

You may please leave a positive rating if this helps as this is the only way we get compensated for assisting you. Alternatively please feel free to reply back if you need further assistance.

Warm Regards
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Hi - sorry to have been delayed in replying - the weekend here runs Thur-Fri and things can be a bit tricky with UK responses !


 


OK - little bit of expansion. I was forwarded a copy of the new expat rules including the issue of "number of ties"


Unfortunately my wife and I became estranged three years ago. She has been resident in the UK, along with my minor son, with me remitting money back informally. The family home is also in the UK, with me in company rented accommodation here. To pay her , and the household bills, I had to keep the UK joint bank account going. I'm on heart meds, and my prescriptions include medicines not available in Oman, so I carried on getting GP based prescriptions from the UK.


NOW - my accountant initially based the whole thing on me being a working individual overseas for a limited time (the original idea was three years with the whole family here and the UK house rented. This never happened - after a year my wife elected not to come out and the whole mess started. The problem may be that now that my wife wishes to drag me through the courts to obtain a divorce, and will not negotiate in any meaningful way, financial disclosure makes our whole setup look very murky (it was never intended to be). It's not a pleasant situation for me - botXXXXX XXXXXne is I need real clarity on what expanses we may face in me returning to UK - not least because the only asset that could pay a UK tax bill stretching back any time is the house - return to the UK pretty much terminates my ability to earn. I did seek advice from the YOUGOV website, which was confusing, and a CAB helpline which was very noncommittal.


I'm not trying to avoid any liabilities - just need to know what they are. If I have to stay here for another couple years to pay bills I can - but if I LEAVE without knowing for sure and THEN find I have liabilities, I'll be in (more) trouble.


 


Last tax year I was in UK about 98 days - on average I've been below the 90 days a year allowable, but it's all got very very messy. I was out of touch for a while - hospitalised in an arab institution for severe depression and mental breakdown and just let all this slide by - now it's looking complicated.


 


Thanks for any assist - what I REALLY need I guess is a full opinion based on earnings, where who and what was, times, dates and any resultant liabilities. I haven't found anything online that can do this.


 


JB

Expert:  Rakhi Vasavada replied 9 months ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Hello and welcome again. Thank you for your reply.

I am really sorry to hear about your situation. In my opinion, you need advice of an attorney / lawyer and not of a finance professional.

It would be best to solicit opinion from such professional would analyze and explain your liabilities in case of an unpleasant situation like divorce.

I am opting out of this and see if other experts are able to assist you with this.

Warm Regards
Expert:  Tony Tax replied 9 months ago.

Hi.

A statutory residence test came into effect from 6 April 2013. It does not apply to tax years before 2013/14 unless the taxpayer elects for it to do so. You can read about the test here.

The month that you return to the UK will dictate the adjusted number of days you can spend in the UK between 6 April 2013 and your "deemed" date of return to the UK which itself determines the maximum number of ties you can have to the UK before you are considered resident for the tax year. The year of your return to the UK will be a split year (the periods before and after your return to the UK) and so long as you have stayed in the UK within the number of days allowed for a partial period of absence in the tax year, you should not pay UK tax on your overseas earnings for the final tax year during part of which you were abroad. See section 5 of the guidance note.

For the period between your original departure from the UK to 5 April 2013, you should refer to section 8 of HMRC6 here and, in particular, to the example calculations on pages 47 and 48. They show you how to calculate whether you have breached the number of days you are allowed to spend in the UK based on the period which started after the day you left the UK.

There are many people such as yourself who post questions here about their UK tax position having worked abroad or who are about to work abroad. Many don't take their families but that doesn't necessarily affect their non-UK residence status adversely so long as they limit their days in the UK and spend at least one full tax year (6 April to 5 April) working abroad. Nobody expects an individual who is going to work in Iraq or Afghanistan as a contractor to take their families with them.

 

Frankly, unless you have breached the days in the UK limits, I don't believe you have a UK tax problem.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.

Tony Tax, Tax Consultant
Category: UK Tax
Satisfied Customers: 14098
Experience: Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
Tony Tax and 3 other UK Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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