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HMRC internal manual

Residence, Domicile and Remittance Basis Manual

Residence: The SRT: Days spent in the UK: Transit days

Transit days do not count towards the total day count for SRT. A transit day is a day when the individual is travelling from 1 country outside the UK on a through ticket, to a final destination to another country outside the UK, and whilst on route:

  • they arrive as a passenger
  • they leave the UK the next day

Provided that, between their arrival and departure, they do not engage in any activities that are to a substantial extent unrelated to their passage through the UK. Merely taking dinner or breakfast at their hotel, in the normal course of events, would be related to their passage.

In contrast, enjoying a film at a local cinema, spending any time in your home in the UK or catching up with friends or relations would be considered substantially unrelated to their passage through the UK.

The individual’s day of arrival, when in transit, does not count as a day spent in the UK for SRT purposes. Howeve, the following day, when the individual leaves the UK, may be a qualifying day under the deeming rule (see RDRM11720).

Example 1

Holly regularly visits the UK for work and social engagements. She also travels widely. She is planning to visit her aunt in Philadelphia, and will be flying in from Rome to connect with her flight at Heathrow.

Holly’s flight lands at 23.05 on Monday evening. Her flight to Philadelphia does not depart from Heathrow untill 11.05 on Tuesday morning. Holly decides to stay at an airport hotel to catch some sleep, before returning to board the plane for her onward journey. She merely leaves the airport terminal, catches a taxi to the hotel, sleeps, and snatches a quick breakfast before returning to the airport.

The transit arrival day (Monday) spent in the UK would not count as a day for Holly when she considers how many days she spent in the UK at the end of the tax year. The departure day (Tuesday), may count as a qualifying day under the deeming rule.

Example 2(a)

Holly’s brother, Lawrence, has a similarly itinerant lifestyle. He too is visiting their aunt in Philadelphia, and will be flying in from Toulouse to connect with their continental flight at Heathrow.

Lawrence’s flight lands at 17.20 on Monday evening. The flight to Philadelphia does not depart Heathrow until 11.05 on Tuesday morning. Lawrence decides to stay at an airport hotel, before returning to board the plane on Tuesday. In this scenario the midnight spent in the UK will not count as a day spent in the UK for SRT purposes. The departure day (Tuesday), may count as a qualifying day under the deeming rules.

Example 2(b)

The circumstances are for 2(a), but Lawrence decides that as he has a long transit period in the UK he will meet up with some friends and go to the theatre.

In this scenario Lawrence’s meeting friends and visiting the theatre is regarded as being to a substantial extent unrelated to his passage through the UK. The midnight spent in the UK will count as  a day spent in the UK for SRT purposes. The following day (Tuesday), may also count as a qualifying day under the deeming rule.

Example 2(c)

The circumstances are as for 2(a), but Lawrence meets his team leader for dinner to discuss work related issues. Their meeting lasts for an hour and a half.

In this sceanrio the meeting with his team leader is regarded as being to a substantial extent unrelated to his passage through the UK, and the midnight spent in the UK will count as a day spent in the UK for SRT purposes. The following day (Tuesday), may also count as a qualifying day under the deeming rule.

Example 3(a)

Simon is a lawyer who lives in France but works internationally. A business trip to Canada requires him to transit through the UK. He lands at Gatwick at 18.30 on Tuesday and his onward flight to Canada departs Heathrow at 14.00 on Wednesday.

While Simon is waiting for the shuttle bus to his Heathrow hotel he spots a work colleague from the London office who he has not seen for some time. They go for a coffee and talk about their families and recent holidays. That evening after dinner in his hotel, Simon uses social media to look at his colleague’s holiday phtographs and then exchanges a few emails with him about them. Before going to bed Simon watches a film on an internet website.

Simon’s chance meetingwith his colleague and his use of social media and internet websites are regarded as being related to his transit through the UK. This is becasue the meeting was entirely by chance, not planned, and he and his colleague did not talk about work issues. His use of social media at the hotel is acceptable, as it was not used in any way whatsoever for business or work purposes.

Simon’s day of arrival in the UK may be treated as a transit day and will not count as a day of presence in the UK for SRT purposes. Simon’s departure day (Wednesday) may also count as a qualifying day under the SRT deeming rule.

Example 3(b)

The situation is the same as for example 3(a), however Simon and his colleague discuss a litigation case they are both involved in. That evening Simon contacts his boss on his social media site to make him aware of the earlier discussion with his colleague, and they exchange some emails on the case.

Altough Simon met his colleague by chance they discussed both private and work related issues. He also used social media for work purposes. These activities are regarded as being to a substantial extent unrelated to his transit through the UK.

Simon’s day of arrival in the UK may not be regarded as a transit day and will be treated as a day spent in the UK for SRT purposes. If Simon works in the UK for more than 3 hours, the day will also count as a UK work day. Simon’s departure day (Wednesday), may also count as a qualifying day under the SRT deeming rule.