Domicile: Enquiries into domicile status: Requesting information and documents
The list at RDRM23080 gives an idea of the scope and depth of the evidence that might have to be sought during an enquiry into an individual’s domicile. Much of the basic information will be relevant to most cases, but each enquiry is unique and so the questions you ask should be tailored to the particular circumstances of the individual under enquiry.
In framing any requests for documents and information you should bear in mind the following questions.
- What is the scope of the enquiry into the individual’s domicile?
- Is there agreement about the individual’s domicile of origin?
- Is domicile of dependence potentially an issue?
- Is the case solely about the acquisition or otherwise of a domicile of choice by the individual?
- To what extent is it necessary to consider the domicile of any other individual?
- If such consideration is necessary, what is the scope of the relevant enquiry?
- Where does the burden of proof lie in respect of each relevant question?
In complex cases an enquiry into an individual’s domicile can become an iterative process during which the circumstances of the individual’s forebears are examined in an attempt to establish an agreed starting point.
It is important to ensure that a complete picture of an individual’s background, lifestyle and intentions is obtained.
In certain cases there may be an understandable tendency for an individual to emphasise the evidence that supports his or her arguments and to place less stress upon, or even to ignore, the evidence that does not do so. In conducting enquiries it is necessary to bear this in mind; HMRC, and any tribunal needs to give due consideration to all the evidence and arguments on both sides.
Requests for information and documentation should usually be made informally in the first instance. If it is necessary to issue a formal information notice (most usually a taxpayer notice) consult the guidance in the Compliance Handbook, and particularly that at CH22140 if requiring sight of a document that was entirely created more than six years ago, as will often be the case in domicile enquiries.
In some cases, where the matter is not self-evident, it might be necessary to request explanations of the background to the information provided.