Rishi Sunak eases tax rules for foreign workers fighting Covid-19 in the UK

LONDON: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has temporarily eased the tax criteria for highly skilled foreign workers, including those from India, who participate in the fight in the UK for a fixed period of three months.

The Indian-born finance minister wrote to the House of Commons Treasury Committee on Thursday to announce that the so-called Proof of Statutory Residence (SRT) will not apply between March 1 and June 1, meaning that There will be no change in the tax status of international workers in response to the British government's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

We appreciate the experience and resources of those who want to come to the UK to combat COVID-19, from anesthetists to engineers working on the design and production of ventilators.

Under normal circumstances, the actions and presence of these people in the UK could affect their own state of tax residence, which could bring their global profits within the reach of UK taxes, notes Sunak's letter addressed to the UK MP. Conservative party Mel Stride, Chairman of Parliament's Treasury Committee.

We will modify the Proof of Statutory Residency (SRT) to ensure that any period (s) between March 1 and June 1, 2020 that people working in Covid-19 related activities spend in the UK will not count towards proof of residence. It is correct that these changes are for a limited time and only support those whose skills are currently required, he adds.

The minister said the measure will provide flexibility and support to those who come to work in the UK to serve the fight against the coronavirus and is necessary due to the extraordinary circumstances triggered by the pandemic.

But he emphasized that the UK government remains committed to the broader framework of SRT and to ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of taxes in the UK.

Therefore, the qualification criteria will be designed so that the relaxation of the rules is strictly directed, minimizing the risk of abuse. We will also keep the duration of this measure under review as the situation unfolds, in line with the other support already provided, he added.

Sunak, 39, has led the UK government's indictment of the economic response to the Covid-19 outbreak and massive social distancing measures, which have disorganized the future of many companies.

He has presented a series of mini budgets since last month to offer new loans and grants to companies and workers to help them overcome the crisis.

Our economic plan is based on a simple idea: that we depend on each other, he said earlier this week when he unveiled new funding to support the UK charity sector.