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Updated on 6 April 2023

Split year treatment on arriving in the UK

If you are becoming tax resident in the UK under the statutory residence test, you should consider whether split year treatment applies in your first year of residence.

Content on this page:

Introduction

There are five sets of circumstances in which split year treatment may apply to you in the year that you first become resident in the UK.

Note that if you are non-resident in your year of arrival (this can happen if you arrive very late in the tax year), then you should consider split year treatment for the following year.

In straightforward situations, if you arrive in the UK then you will usually (though not always) split the year from the earlier of:

  • starting full-time work in the UK, and
  • starting to have a home in the UK.

However, it is very important that you work through the rules in detail as they may give a different result, which could be unexpected.

If the UK part of the year overlaps with a period of residence overseas, then you may be dual resident for that period.

For more information on the impact of split year treatment generally, including more information how double tax agreements might in effect modify the date, see our main page on split year treatment.

Below, we give an overview of the possibilities to split the year under the statutory residence test for the first year of residence. In each of the following cases, it is important to review the full conditions. See HMRC’s manual for further details.

Ceasing full-time work overseas

If you are returning to the UK from a period of non-residence as a result of full-time work overseas (of no more than five tax years), then in general you will split the year when your overseas work ends. You must be resident in the UK in the following tax year.

For further information on the conditions, see HMRC’s manual.

However, if you also meet the conditions to split the year because you are starting full-time work in the UK (see below) then that split date will take priority if it is earlier.

Partner of someone ceasing full-time work overseas

If you are the partner of someone who is able to split the tax year because they are ceasing full-time work overseas (see above), then you should also be able to split the year from the later of:

  • the day you move to the UK to join your partner, and
  • the day the UK part of the year starts for your partner.

You must be resident in the UK in the following tax year.

There are conditions which apply for the overseas part of the year. For more information, see HMRC’s manual.

However, if you are:

  • able to split the year under this test as well as under starting full-time work in the UK (see below), and
  • not able to split the year because you are ceasing full-time work overseas yourself,

then the split date given by starting full-time work in the UK takes priority if it is earlier.

Starting full-time work in the UK

You can split the year if you start a 365-day period of full-time work in the UK. However, there are conditions which must be met relating to your circumstances in the overseas part of the year. For further information, see HMRC’s manual.

If you are able to split the year under this test as well as either (or both) of the two below tests, then whichever gives the earliest date will take priority.

Starting to have a home in the UK

You can split the year if you start to have a home in the UK for the rest of the tax year and the whole of the following tax year. You must be resident in the UK in the following tax year.

There are conditions relating to the overseas part of the tax year. For more information, see HMRC’s manual.

If you are able to split the year under this test as well as either (or both) of the immediately above and below tests, then whichever gives the earliest date will take priority.

Starting to have a home only in the UK

You can split the year if you start to have a home in the UK and you no longer have any homes in any other country for the rest of the tax year.

There are conditions relating to the overseas part of the tax year. For more information, see HMRC’s manual.

If you are also able to split the year under either (or both) of the immediately above two tests, then whichever gives the earliest date will take priority.

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