Domicile

By Tolley
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The following Personal Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Domicile
  • Introduction
  • What is domicile?
  • Domicile of origin
  • Domicile of dependency
  • Domicile of choice
  • Why does domicile matter for tax purposes?
  • How do you acquire a domicile of choice?
  • HMRC guidance
  • Reporting non-UK domicile
  • Enquiries
  • Previous domicile rulings

Introduction

Domicile is one of the key factors you should consider when deciding whether, or to what extent, an individual is liable to tax in the UK. The other is residence, see the Residence ― overview guidance note. Before 6 April 2013, the individual’s ordinary residence needed to be considered. Although ordinary residence was abolished as a concept from that date, it may have needed to be factored in for the tax years 2013/14 to 2015/16 in the context of limited transitional provisions. See the Ordinary residence ― transitional rules (2013/14 to 2015/16) guidance note.

This guidance note explains what domicile is, why it matters, how to change it and how to report non-domiciled status to HMRC. Note that other countries may have different interpretations of domicile from the UK.

For a discussion of the deemed domicile rules introduced with effect from 2017/18, see the Deemed domicile for income tax and capital gains tax (2017/18 onwards) guidance note.

What is domicile?

Domicile is a legal concept and does not have a specific definition for tax purposes. It is often defined as the place where a person has their permanent home. It thus contains two elements: residence and an intention of remaining there permanently.

A person can only have one domicile at a time (unlike residence).

Domicile is normally tied to a territory subject to a single system of law, so you can be domiciled in England and Wales, or in Scotland, or in Northern Ireland, but not in the UK. It is not the same as nationality. However, for the sake of simplicity in most publications (including TolleyGuidance), those domiciled in the home countries are normally grouped together as ‘UK domiciled’.

There are three types of domicile ― of origin, of dependency and of choice.

Domicile of origin

Everyone

More on Residence, remittance etc: