Sufficient ties test

The fifth article in a series on the Statutory Residence Test

Because of the lack of statute law on the topic, there has been a wealth of case law to establish the meaning of the term ‘residence’.

Residence denotes a degree of permanence and the judges have looked to a person’s way of life to establish this; what ties them to the UK?

The Gaines-Cooper case

One of the significant cases in recent times has been Gaines-Cooper v HMRC [2008] STC 1665:

Robert Gaines-Cooper was born in England in 1937.

He bought a property in the Seychelles in 1975 and moved to Canada in 1976.  

In 1979 he married and moved to California; the marriage was dissolved in 1986.  

In 1988 a Panamanian company controlled by Gaines-Cooper bought a large house in Berkshire, where he lived when he visited the UK.

In 1993 he married a woman who had been born in the Seychelles, but had lived in the UK since 1977.  

In 1998 their son was born in the UK where he lived with his mother and went to school.  

His father visited each year for a limited time and contended that he was not resident in the UK in line with the published guidance.

The new legislation seeks to codify this by trying to examine the factors, such as his family life and the things that link a person to the UK.

Whether a person has sufficient ties to link them to the UK will depend on whether they were resident in the UK and the number of days they spends here.

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