Short term business visitors (STBVs)

By Tolley in association with Gill Salmons

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

  • Short term business visitors (STBVs)
  • Introduction
  • What is a short term business visitor?
  • Employment status
  • PAYE and RTI obligations
  • Automatic enrolment
  • National Insurance


For the purpose of this guidance note, a short term business visitor (STBV) is an individual who has been sent to work in the UK for fewer than183 days by their non-UK contractual employer.

There is a common misconception that there is automatically neither a UK tax liability, nor are there any reporting requirements for the UK host employer in such circumstances. This is rarely the case.

What is a short term business visitor?

An STBV for UK tax purposes is an individual who performs duties for a non-UK employer and as a part of those duties has been asked to spend a short period working in the UK. For UK purposes, ‘short term’ means in the UK for fewer than183 days. The period over which those 183 days are counted will vary according to the country from which the individual has been sent, and will depend on the wording of the Employment Article in the double tax treaty between the two countries. In older treaties this may be called the Dependent Personal Services Article. Note that there are different time periods adopted in different treaties. In the rare cases where no treaty is in place, income tax will be due via PAYE from day 1 on income attributable to work performed in the UK.

The 183 days do not have to be consecutive and a day is defined as one of which any part was spent in the UK. Note that there is no distinction made between days of work and non-working days. Where an individual has previously been tax-resident in the UK in a split tax year (for more on split years see the Statutory residence test guidance note), only UK days in the overseas part of the tax year are considered for the purpose of ascertaining whether the individual can

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