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Self employed working via a UK agency overseas?

Self employed, invoicing a UK agency but all work overseas

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A UK individual (hydrographic surveyor) is self employed and invoices a UK agency. All work is carried out overseas and he is likely to satisfy HMRC overseas residence test # 3. i.e. less than 91 days in UK for 2019/2020 and sufficent hrs being worked abroad.  If he qualifies for non UK residency for 2019/2020 am I correct he will be able to avoid UK tax and NIC. The work is all carried out in Europe, often offshore. I am concerned that he is invoicing a UK agency.

Any thoughts gratefully recevied as I am retired now and he's my son :-) 

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20th Apr 2019 12:46

Work out where he will be resident and read the DTA between UK and that country. My guess is he will have a tax obligation in his country of residence but not in the UK .

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to Tim Vane
20th Apr 2019 16:15

Thanks for the response Tim. A combination of offshore working in Europe plus winter travelling in Asia would mean he will be arguing that he is not tax resident anywhere. I appreciate this can be difficult with HMRC but his circumstances will be as outlined.

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to Chris Dusgate
24th Apr 2019 09:25

Well if he is unlikely to be resident anywhere then unfortunately he will not be protected by any tax treaty and could well end up being taxed in more than one location based on his work pattern and the nature of the contracts in place. Get specialist advice on the UK and other countries where he will be working since lacking a residence can be a very costly mistake if the taxpayer assumes that they are exempt. Tax treaties are there to protect the taxpayer from being overtaxed and he may be better off opting to stay somewhere just to get protection. Don’t try and advise him yourself if you don’t have experience as a miscalculation is likely to be costly. A small consultation fee to a specialist is likely to be money very well spent.

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23rd Apr 2019 11:51

Might be not resident anywhere.
Seafarers rules and ensuring he keeps proof of location/flights etc would be my only comments

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