Scottish Income Tax 1 2 3

My client, a single 56 year old woman with no children nor dependents, left the UK before 5th April 2013 to work as a volunteer overseas for an expected 5-7 years living, in so far as she had financial needs over her immediate provided living expenses, off accumulated savings and rents from (1) an inherited house and (2) her previous PPR to which she intends to return in due course; both are in England.

She appointed a friend who is a Scottish resident under a power of attorney with regard to financial matters and it is that address to which tax papers are addressed and which has now received the HMRC letter about the Scottish rate of income tax.

My client may start to draw on her pension funds in the next year or so and concern is expressed concerning any variation in the tax laws under the new Scottish delegated powers since the Scottish address is only that of her ‘agent’.

In the year to 5th April 2015, the client failed to satisfy any of the statutory residency tests and only met one of the ‘sufficient ties’ tests.

The website link given in the letter from HMRC does not give an opportunity to seek clarification and the letter contains no ‘reply to’ address – the envelope only has the standard undelivered mail address at Newcastle.

Do others agree that my client will not be subjected to the effects of Scottish income etc. tax regulations?  Where should any correspondence on the subject be addressed?

  • Your client cannot be a Scottish taxpayer without a home in Scotland.  An accommodation or proxy address is not a home.

    The logical way to tell HMRC about the arrangements is to call the SA helpline and ask them where you send the letter.  Use the agent priority line and your wait will be shorter.  The online tools provided by HMRC to notify taking up or disposing of a Scottish address are for typical cases, such as moving house or leaving the UK, rather than unusual cases such as this.