Residence and Domicile

Liability to UK tax depends on an individual’s residence and domicile in the UK. This is an extremely complex area and it is important to understand the basic principles and differences of each.


Generally, a domicile of origin is acquired at birth and remains until displaced by a domicile of choice. In the majority of cases, unless an individual’s father was UK domiciled when they were born, where they are a foreign national moving to the UK for the first time and do not intend to remain here permanently, it is likely they will be foreign domiciled.

Domicile is not the same as residence or nationality, although both may be important in determining domicile. Under UK law, an individual cannot have more than one current domicile.

The above said where an individual has been resident in the UK for 15 of the previous 20 tax years they will become deemed domiciled for all taxes.  An individual who is deemed domiciled in the UK will subject to UK income tax and Capital Gains Tax on their worldwide income and capital gains without the benefit of being able to claim the remittance basis.  It will also see their worldwide potentially exposed to UK Inheritance Tax and not just the assets situated in the UK.



In contrast to only having one domicile an individual can be resident in more than one jurisdiction.

From 6 April 2013 the UK introduced a new Statutory Residence Test (“SRT”) to determine residence in the UK. Unfortunately, this is now far more complex and it is vital to seek appropriate advice. 

The SRT consists of a series of tests that need to be considered in sequence. All the tests include a reference to the number of days spent in the UK, while also including some reference to connecting factors or “ties”.

We can advise on all matters, including:

Clarification of residence and domicile status;

● Managing arrival into the UK;

● Managing departure from the UK;

● The remittance basis; and

● The use of offshore structures.

Want to find out more?

We’d be happy to discuss all of the options available to you.