beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Residence, Domicile and Remittance Basis Manual

Domicile: Categories of domicile: The three categories of domicile

Domicile of origin

The common law ascribes a domicile of origin to every individual at birth. An individual’s domicile of origin can subsequently be altered only by adoption.

Top of page

Domicile of dependence

Domicile of dependence is the domicile that the law ascribes to an individual because of that individual’s lack of legal capacity and legal dependence upon another person.

Dependent persons fall into three classes:

  • Children
  • Married women, prior to 1 January 1974
  • Individuals who lack sufficient mental capacity

Top of page

Domicile of choice

Any individual who has legal capacity can acquire a domicile of choice. Such a domicile is acquired by the combination of:

  • physical presence in a legal territory as an actual inhabitant, and
  • the intention to remain in that territory permanently or indefinitely.

A domicile of choice is lost by the loss of both these factors. As a change of intention alone is insufficient to bring an end to a domicile of choice, it can be necessary to examine not only an individual’s intentions at the time of an enquiry but also that person’s intentions over a longer period.

Top of page

Legal Capacity

In order to have legal capacity an individual must have reached a specific age (usually either 16, 18 or 21 years old, depending upon the relevant system of municipal law), and possess the necessary mental capacity.