How long can a UK employee work remotely from HK until HK tax kicks in?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    1

    Question How long can a UK employee work remotely from HK until HK tax kicks in?

    Hi everyone

    (About me: I have the HK PR and a European passport. I have been working full-time in London for a few years and am in the process of getting the UK passport.)

    Back in March after the UK gov't's 'strategy' on COVID came out, given my workplace offices were closed and all employees were asked to 'work from home' I decided it would be safer to WFH from Hong Kong and be with family and not stuck in a small London flat under strict lockdown rules and at the mercy of the the NHS' capacity.

    I informed my employer of my decision. They confirmed a week later I was permitted 3 months working from abroad and failing to return to UK soil I would need to take annual leave and once that ran out, be on unpaid leave.

    My understanding is that:
    - you need to work and be present in the UK for at minimum 183 days to pay UK taxes.
    - there is a dual tax agreement between UK and HK ensuring one would not pay taxes to both gov'ts. (I found this on the UK gov website)
    - HK tax only 'starts' once you work in HK for more than 6 months (if anyone knows where I can find this legislation, or doc that would be helpful!)

    Is this '3 months' rule valid? As I was convinced it was 6 months.
    And finally given that we are still asked to WFH and not return to the workplace, wouldn't this constitute indirect discrimination? (Given that if I was Scottish I would be staying with my Scottish family in Scotland and would not have this risk of being put on unpaid AL as i'm in the UK).

    Any answers would be most helpful!

    A.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by Athena852:
    Hi everyone

    - HK tax only 'starts' once you work in HK for more than 6 months (if anyone knows where I can find this legislation, or doc that would be helpful!)
    Any luck getting the clarifications you're after?

    I'm interested in the part above. If someone resides in Hong Kong, but does remote work with no connection to or payment from Hong Kong, does it still become "Hong Kong employment" after certain amount of time here (ie, 3-6 months you mentioned)?