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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Company residence: when HMRC will not usually review residence: limitations

Factors to consider

The factual basis of the case law test greatly restricts HMRC’s scope to provide guidance on residence issues. Successive cases have emphasised that the place of central management and control is wholly a question of fact. For example, Lord Radcliffe in Bullock v Unit Construction Co Ltd said that “the question where control and management abide must be treated as one of fact or ‘actuality’”. It follows that factors which together are decisive in one instance may individually carry little weight in another.

There are, however, certain groups of factors which, if they are found occurring together, HMRC could say with certainty that it would not seek to establish that a company was tax resident in the UK under the case law test - even if it was clear that some part of the central management and control of the business was to be found in the UK.

Despite this, when considering the examples at INTM120150 it is important to bear in mind the assumptions on which they are based concerning the company’s ownership, activities and so on rather than solely the criteria set out in the examples themselves.

There is some additional guidance on cases falling outside the examples at INTM120160.