If you are usually non-resident in the UK but found yourself unable to leave following a visit because of COVID-19, you can ask HMRC for a tax break on any income earned during your enforced stay.

Guidance from HMRC’s site sets out how it works:

If you could not leave the UK when you intended because of coronavirus, you will not have to pay UK tax on employment income that:

  • you earned between the dates you intended to leave and when you actually left
  • you paid tax on in your home country

Example You missed your departure flight because you were self-isolating and you worked in the UK until you could rearrange a flight home. As long as you pay tax on your wages in your home country, you will not have to pay tax in the UK.

You must file a Self Assessment tax return, together with a completed SA109 form, using the ‘other information’ section to include:

  • the dates you were stuck in the UK because of coronavirus
  • what you earned in that time
  • confirmation you paid tax on these earnings in another country

HMRC may ask you for proof that you:

  • could not leave the UK when you intended, for example an isolation note from the NHS
  • paid tax in another country on what you earned while stuck in the UK
  • left the UK as soon as you reasonably could

You may have to pay tax in the UK if you cannot prove you were unable to leave the UK and did not leave as soon as you could.

If you’re non resident you cannot use HMRC’s online services to tell them about your income and instead must either complete and post paper-based reporting or have a professional do the reporting.

  • Members of Life Porters who are unsure about their UK tax position or need help submitting a UK tax return can request a check with a professional.