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Home » Meeting the SRT – Managing Days in the UK as a Hong Kong BNO

Meeting the SRT – Managing Days in the UK as a Hong Kong BNO

Non-domiciled tax status is an important consideration for British National (Overseas) passport holders from Hong Kong who wish to become UK tax residents. A non-dom is a UK tax resident who was born outside of the UK, has their permanent home (domicile) outside of the UK and who does not intend to remain in the UK permanently or indefinitely. Non-dom status can provide significant UK tax advantages if properly claimed and maintained. This article will examine non-domiciled tax returns and tax planning opportunities for BNOs from Hong Kong.

Claiming Non-Domiciled Status:
A non-domiciled tax return allows a UK tax resident from Hong Kong to be taxed on the remittance basis. This means the non-dom BNO is only taxed on foreign income and gains remitted or brought into the UK. Foreign income and gains retained and held offshore outside of the UK remains outside the scope of UK taxation until remitted.

To claim non-dom tax status, a Hong Kong BNO must complete the new Residence, Remittance Basis etc page of the UK tax return. This page replaces the previous self-assessment Form R38. BNOs must also complete the Residence, remittance basis etc. supplementary pages providing details of all relevant foreign income and gains. Supporting schedules should reconcile to any disclosures made under the Requirement to Correct (RTC) legislation.

Retaining Non-Domiciled Status:
A non domiciled tax return BNO Hong Kong provide tax advantages for up to 15 consecutive UK tax years. This is known as the ‘15 year clock’. The clock can be re-set by leaving the UK for a full UK tax year. BNOs wishing to maintain non-dom status long term should liaise with UK tax advisors on structuring their affairs.

Making Tax Free Remittances:
With careful planning, BNOs can reduce their UK tax liability by maximizing tax free remittances during their first 15 UK tax years. This may involve remunerating offshore savings and investments and remitting proceeds to the UK. Using excluded property trusts and companies can allow further tax free remittances of foreign income and gains.

Statutory Residence Test:
BNOs should also pay close attention to the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) rules when completing their UK non-domiciled tax return. The SRT determines UK tax residence based on factors like days spent in the UK and employment ties to the UK.

Meeting the SRT criteria is necessary for claiming non-dom status each tax year. BNOs must monitor and manage their activity in the UK vs Hong Kong to retain non-domiciled status on an ongoing basis.

Tax on Remitted Foreign Income and Gains:
Although non-dom BNOs only pay UK tax on foreign income and gains remitted to the UK, the remitted amounts are subject to full UK taxation. Remitted employment earnings are taxed as UK employment income. Investment income and rental profits remitted are taxed as UK investment income and rental profits respectively.

Remitted capital gains are subject to UK capital gains tax. Losses on remitted assets cannot be set against UK income or gains. This lack of loss relief should be considered in any offshore investment strategy.

The Remittance Basis Charge:
After 7 years of claiming the remittance basis, BNOs face an additional RBC tax charge on their unremitted income and gains. The RBC is charged at £30,000 if claiming the remittance basis for the 8th year, £60,000 for the 9th year and £90,000 if claiming for the 10th year and beyond.

For high net worth BNOs, the RBC charge rate increases to £60,000 for the 12th and subsequent years of claiming the remittance basis. However, BNOs who pay the RBC can continue claiming the remittance basis indefinitely, rather than just the first 15 tax years.

Tax Planning for Non-Domiciled BNOs:
Careful tax planning is essential for BNOs from Hong Kong claiming non-domiciled status in the UK. Strategies may include:

Transferring offshore assets into excluded property trusts before becoming UK tax resident
Maximizing tax free remittances in early UK tax years
Monitoring days in the UK for SRT compliance
Leaving the UK for full tax years to re-set the 15 year clock
Considering whether to pay the RBC to extend the remittance basis beyond 15 tax years
Remitting selectively to minimize UK tax exposure
Structuring investments and savings to segregate income/gains by expected remittance date

Professional advice from an experienced international tax advisor is recommended when establishing an optimal, compliant tax planning strategy. Taking the right steps can lead to significant UK tax savings for eligible non-domiciled British Nationals (Overseas) arriving from Hong Kong.


The non-domiciled tax regime offers important UK tax advantages for eligible BNOs from Hong Kong. However, claiming and retaining non-dom status requires proactive tax planning and compliance. Working with an advisor to navigate the technical rules around residence, domicile and tax free remittances is highly recommended. With proper structuring, BNOs can realize substantial UK tax savings as new non-domiciled tax residents.