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From 6 January 2024, the main rate of class 1 National Insurance contributions (NIC) deducted from employees’ wages is reduced from 12% to 10%. From 6 April 2024, the main rate of self-employed class 4 NIC will reduce from 9% to 8% and class 2 NIC will no longer be due. Those with profits below £6,725 a year can continue to pay class 2 NIC to keep their entitlement to certain state benefits. Our guidance will be updated in full in spring 2024.

Updated on 6 April 2023

Split year treatment

Technically, you are either resident or non-resident for the whole tax year. However, there are special rules which may apply to you if you arrive in or leave the UK in the tax year.

Content on this page:

Overview

If split year treatment applies to you, you pay UK income tax as a UK resident for income earned in the ‘UK part’ of the year and you pay income tax as a non-resident for income earned in the ‘overseas part’ of the year. Broadly, this means that the non-UK income earned in the overseas part of the year is out of scope of UK income tax.

Split year treatment can apply when you are becoming resident in the UK (if so, there will be an overseas part of the year followed by a UK part), or when you are becoming non-resident in the UK (if so, there will be a UK part followed by an overseas part).

Example

If you come to the UK on 1 July 2023 and you are eligible for split year treatment from that date, your residence position for the purposes of calculating your income tax liability in 2023/24 will be as follows: you will be taxed as a non-resident for the period from 6 April 2023 to 30 June 2023 and you will be taxed as a UK resident for the period from 1 July 2023 to 5 April 2024.

As non-residents are not taxable on foreign income and gains, income you receive in the overseas country before 1 July 2023 will not be taxable in the UK. Therefore, split year treatment can be quite useful in helping to prevent double taxation.

Split year treatment can be complex, and the year may not be split on the date you expect, particularly if you spend time in the UK before your arrival or after your departure.

You cannot choose the date on which you split the year; it is determined by law and depends on your circumstances.

However, if the date on which you split the year under the statutory residence test (SRT) is not what you expect (for example, in a year of arrival the UK part of the year begins sooner than the date you move here with your family, because of time you have spent in the UK prior to their arrival) it may be possible to ‘override’ the split year date for certain purposes by using a double tax agreement. This mechanism can also be used if you are ineligible for split year treatment for some reason (see below under the heading If you cannot split the year). However, this is a complex area and you should seek advice if you feel this applies to you.

Split year treatment does not require a claim; if you are eligible it applies automatically and cannot be disapplied.

Eligibility

Split year treatment can only apply if you are resident in the UK under the statutory residence test (SRT) for that year.

If you are non-resident for the year, then split year treatment is not applicable. In this case, you are subject to UK tax on UK-sourced income only for the whole tax year.

You can only split a particular tax year once.

When working out if you are eligible for split year treatment, you will often need to consider your circumstances for the following tax year. If you prepare your tax return on the basis that split year treatment applies, but it later turns out that the conditions for the following tax year are not met, then you will need to amend your return.

We discuss separately the different rules depending on whether you whether you are arriving in or leaving the UK in the year.

If you cannot split the year

If you are tax resident but ineligible for split year treatment in an arrival or departure year, it is usually possible to make appropriate claims under double taxation agreements (if one exists between the UK and the country concerned) to limit or exclude the UK’s ability to tax your pre-arrival (or post-departure) income. In effect, this secures the same result as split year treatment, but in a different way.

Example

Florian comes to the UK from New Zealand in August 2023 on a working holiday. He stays in hostels as he is travelling around and picks up work casually where he can. Under these circumstances he probably cannot split the year, so Florian will be tax resident in the UK for the whole of 2023/24. As he did not leave New Zealand until August 2023, he is tax resident there for most of 2023 too. This means that his pre-arrival employment earnings from New Zealand could be taxable in both countries. However, the UK/New Zealand double tax treaty tells us that in the period April 2023 to August 2023, his New Zealand residence is ‘stronger’ – meaning broadly that the UK will give up its right to tax his New Zealand income in that period.

You can find more information on our page Dual tax residence.

Capital gains tax

Split year treatment applies to both income tax and capital gains tax.

However, capital gains tax can sometimes apply if you are non-resident in the UK, including during the overseas part of a split year. In addition, if you are only temporarily non-resident in the UK then capital gains tax can apply on disposals made while non-resident when you return to the UK. For more information, see our separate guidance.

The rules on split year treatment and capital gains are very complex. You should take further advice from a professional tax adviser or HMRC’s Residency unit if you are considering selling an asset.

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