Longer-term secondments to the UK

Produced by Tolley in association with Paul Tew

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Paul Tew provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Longer-term secondments to the UK
  • Length of stay in the UK
  • Brexit
  • Apportioning PAYE
  • Bonus payments
  • Share ― based income
  • NIC position on long-term assignments in the UK
  • Worker coming to the UK from an EEA country or Switzerland with an A1 ― for assignments which commenced on or before 31 December 2020
  • Worker coming to the UK from an EEA country or Switzerland ― from 1 January 2021 onwards
  • Worker coming to the UK from a country outside the EEA or Switzerland which has a social security agreement with the UK and holding a certificate of coverage
  • More...

Longer-term secondments to the UK

This note primarily covers the PAYE (tax and NIC) position of seconded employees working wholly or partly in the UK.

This note does not cover relief from income tax for:

  1. travel and subsistence payments commonly referred to as detached duty or temporary workplace relief associated with secondments of less than 24 months, or

  2. relocation expenses and ‘home leave’ travelling expenses of an employee’s family, which are subject to special rules to qualify for relief

For more on those rules, see the Home leave and employee travel guidance note.

For the purposes of this note, a seconded employee is one who is:

  1. working wholly or partly in the UK for a UK resident employer on assignment whilst remaining employed by an overseas employer, or

  2. assigned to work wholly or partly in the UK at a recognised branch of the employer’s business

An employee is always either resident or non-resident for a complete tax year, although split-year treatment may apply. If an individual is non-resident (see the Statutory residence test guidance note), only the earnings relating to UK workdays will be taxable in the UK (the non-UK earnings of a non-resident are not taxable, even if remitted to the UK). The concept of ‘ordinary residence’, which would have been applicable to employees undertaking longer-term secondments to the UK, is no longer relevant from 6 April 2013.

Length of stay in the UK

If the employee is seconded to the UK to work full-time for a period of 365 days or more, with no significant break from UK work, the individual will be treated as UK tax resident from the date of UK arrival to the date of their UK departure. The individual will therefore be treated as UK-resident for part of the UK tax year from the date the third automatic UK residence test is met, see the Statutory residence test guidance note. Where an employee is UK tax resident, income tax is usually chargeable on their worldwide

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