Robert Newey & Co

Get in touch today: 020 7407 9434

News and Articles

A brief account of domicile

31st May 2014

Domicile is not just a tax concept, although it is important for UK tax purposes. This is a summary of some of the main rules, which have mainly been developed by the UK courts. Cases on domicile date back to the eighteenth century.

Every person receives a domicile of origin of origin when he or she is born. A legitimate child born during the lifetime of his or her father has a "domicile of origin" in the country in which the father was domiciled at the time of the child's birth. A legitimate child not born during the lifetime of his or her father, or an illegitimate child, has his or her domicile of origin in the country in which the mother was domiciled at the time of the child's birth. A domicile of origin may be changed as a result of adoption, but not otherwise.

It is possible to acquire a "domicile of choice" by:

  • living in a country; and
  • intending to stay there permanently or indefinitely.

A person who has a domicile of choice in a country may abandon it by:

  • ceasing to reside there; and
  • ceasing to intend to reside there permanently or indefinitely.

When a domicile of choice is abandoned, either:

  • a new domicile of choice is acquired; or
  • the domicile of origin revives.

There are detailed rules on the domicile of dependent persons. In particular, the domicile of an unmarried legitimate child aged 16 changes with that of his or her father.

IMPORTANT: These notes are necessarily simplified. Tax law and practice can also change very fast. Always take detailed, specific advice before taking, or deciding not to take, any action.

Back to Articles