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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Migrant workers: present in the UK

The Tax Credits Act 2002 section 3 (3) require a person to be “in the United Kingdom” to claim Tax Credits and Tax Credits (Residence) Regulations 2003 reg. 3 sets out circumstances under which a person is treated as not being in the UK and also circumstances under which they are treated as being ordinarily resident.

WTC is classed as a social advantage under EC law and not a family benefit. This means that entitlement to WTC is determined by reference to UK Tax Credits law and not EC law. For WTC purposes EEA nationals exercising their rights as migrant workers in the UK (including those who are retired workers and those having a right to reside) are treated as ordinarily resident under Tax Credits law. This means that even though they may not be ordinarily resident in the UK they are treated as being ordinarily resident whilst they are working legitimately here. Like all customers, migrant workers claiming WTC must satisfy all the normal entitlement conditions in order to be eligible for WTC.

CTC is classed as family benefit under EC law. The European law overrides the requirement for the partner or spouse to be present and ordinarily resident in the UK under Tax Credits legislation. This means that EEA nationals exercising their right as migrant workers in the UK can claim CTC for their family (i.e. dependent children) residing in another member state of the EEA - providing they are responsible for them and the UK is ‘competent’ to pay the family benefits, see TCM0287020 

Cases involving abroad involvement are termed complex cases and dealt with by the International Team. For further advice and details of the referral process for complex cases see relevant guidance. Temporary or permanent absences from the UK can have an impact on tax credits. For further information follow the guidance in TCM0287040 and TCTM02040