Entitlement: residence rules - introduction
The general rule is that, to claim tax credits, a person must be aged 16 or over and live in the United Kingdom, short absences abroad for holidays or on business will not affect eligibility. Some people may be eligible even if they, or the child/ren or qualifying young person/s they are claiming for, do not live in the United Kingdom.
The Tax Credits (Residence) Regulations 2003, referred to in this section, were made in March 2003 and were amended in the Tax Credits (Residence) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 made in April 2004 and by regulations 4 and 5 of the Tax Credits (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2006 made in March 2006.
Aged 16 or over and in the UK
The Tax Credits Act 2002, Section 3(3) and Section 3(4)
To be eligible for CTC or WTC, a person must be aged 16 or over and be in the United Kingdom (section 3(3)). If a person ceases to be in the United Kingdom, their entitlement to CTC and WTC ends from that point (section 3(4)).
The circumstances in which a person is to be treated as being, or as not being, in the United Kingdom are set out in regulations. TCTM02020 onwards provides details.
The United Kingdom is England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and adjacent islands. It does not include the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
Couples where only one partner is in the United Kingdom
A person should make a single tax credit claim if one of the following applies:
- they are in the United Kingdom and their partner lives outside the United Kingdom, and they don’t have any children;
- they are in the UK and their partner and children live outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland - unless they are a Crown Servant posted overseas, in which case it should be a joint claim;
- they have permanently split up from their partner and have children in the EEA or Switzerland who are financially dependent on them;
- they are in the UK, they don’t have any children and their partner has been abroad for longer than eight weeks (or longer than 12 weeks, if they’re abroad because either they or someone close to them is getting medical treatment or has died).
A person should make a joint claim for tax credits if one of the following applies:
- they are in the United Kingdom and their partner and children are living or working in the EEA or Switzerland;
- they are both in the UK and their partner goes abroad for eight weeks or less (or for up to 12 weeks if they or someone close to them is getting medical treatment or has died);
- their partner is a Crown Servant working anywhere overseas, for example in the armed forces.
Further information about making a claim for tax credit can be found in TCTM06100