We reported last month that HMRC would shortly be launching an online tax residence indicator, which on the basis of a series of questions (eg how many days the taxpayer spent in the UK, what family ties he has) would indicate to a taxpayer his residence status under the Statutory Residence Test (‘SRT’), for the purposes of income tax and capital gains tax.

A pilot version of the indicator is now available online: http://tools.hmrc.gov.uk/rift, with an updated version of the indicator due to be launched later in the year.

The indicator does not currently appear to provide a closed-system ‘flow-chart’ style solution to answering questions of residency, because users seeking guidance on whether or not, for example, they had a home in the UK during a given tax year will be directed to accompanying guidance notes. Of course, given the complexity of the tests, it may be impossible to build such a tool.