What is your residency status?
I live abroad and travel a lot, what is my residency status?
Depending on the countries you travel, your residency status will normally be determined by the following key facts about yourself:
- The amount of time you spend in a country
- The amount of work you conduct in a country
- How many ties (eg. close family, homes) you have in a country.
However, every country will have different rules. In the UK, your residency status will be determined by the Statutory Residence Test which sets out a number of tests that will ultimately determine your residency status.
Normally, if you spend over six months of any year in a particular country, you will be classed as a resident. However, this is not always the case and you should always seek expert advice if you are concerned about your residency status.
Your residency status is important because it will determine the primary location where you will be subject to tax rules. While this does not mean that you will not pay tax in other jurisdictions, it is essential that you understand where you need to pay tax, and how much tax you need to pay, to avoid penalties. For example, if you are classed as a tax resident of the UK, you will be required to pay tax on all your worldwide income and capital gains. Conversely, if you are not a tax resident of the UK, you will only be subject to tax on income and capital gains from the UK (eg rental income and property sales).
You will virtually always be asked your residency status when opening new financial accounts in accordance with The Common Reporting Standard, so it is vital that if you spend a significant amount of time travelling that you know what your residency status is.
Your residency status is different to your country of domicile. For an explanation of the differences between residency and domicile, please read our article which explains and compares both.
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