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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Entitlement: Residence rules - Present and ordinarily resident: Ordinary residence: leaving the United Kingdom

Deciding if a person leaving the United Kingdom is no longer ordinarily resident here, means considering if they have, for the time being, ceased to live here as part of the regular order of their life. All the relevant factors should be considered to build up an overall picture of the person’s position.

For time limits attached to notification of Change of Circumstances see TCTM05100

Various factors may be relevant and help to indicate a person’s residency. Normally, no one factor on its own will determine if a person is ordinarily resident. A decision should be made according to all the circumstances of the particular case.

Examples of relevant factors:

  • will the person be returning to the United Kingdom? If so, this may indicate ordinary residence continues during the period(s) abroad (the sooner, more frequent or longer the return visits, the stronger that indication). If the person does not intend to return, this indicates they ceased to be ordinarily resident.
  • what is the purpose of any return visit? Visits to see family who have remained at the person’s home in the United Kingdom or holidays spent at such a retained home in the United Kingdom may indicate continued ordinary residence. Visits connected to the absence abroad (for example, being sent to the UK for training by an overseas employer) are less likely to indicate ordinary residence.
  • will the person’s family (spouse or partner and any children) be going abroad as well? If so, this may indicate the person (and their family) is no longer ordinarily resident, particularly if they do not maintain a home in the United Kingdom. If their family remains in the United Kingdom it may indicate the person continues to be ordinarily resident here.
  • will the person retain a home in the United Kingdom during their period abroad? If so, this may indicate continuing ordinary residence during the period of absence. If not, the person is less likely to remain ordinarily resident.
  • if the person retains a home in the United Kingdom, will it be available for their use when they return? If so, this is an indication ordinary residence may continue. If not - for example, because it is let on a long lease - then it is less likely the person will remain ordinarily resident.
  • will the person be returning to the United Kingdom at the end of the period abroad? If so, this may indicate ordinary residence continues. If not, this may indicate the person ceases to be ordinarily resident, particularly if they do not retain a home in the United Kingdom during their absence.
  • how long has the person lived in the United Kingdom? The longer the period, the stronger the indication the person is ordinarily resident.