UK Domicile ruling - implications for all expats?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by 4(T), Feb 17, 2010.

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  1. The Court of Appeal has ruled in HMRC's favour that an individual is liable for UK tax because he is domiciled here - even though he satisfied the non-resident ruling.

    Times article on Tax ruling

    He was ruled as domiciled in UK because of his house here, and because members of his family were based here.

    On the face of it, this seems to indicate that all expats who have spent a period of non-residence - usually paying tax to their host country overseas - are now liable for full UK tax on those earnings. Many expats spend years working as "non-UK residents" overseas, but typically retain a family house in UK or send their kids to school here.

    If the HMRC are now able to open claims for tax retrospectively, most expats would probably be wiped out - given the way HMRC raises penalties and then compounds the interest on them....

    Anyone in the tax business here who can clarify what the CoA ruling really implies?
  2. Whereas the rules on residence are quite clear those on domicile were open to interpretation. Basically almost any link with Britain qualifies for domicile status. Property, pension, holidays even membership of a club or professional organisation would suffice. I went through this every year for years when making my tax return, until the taxman finally gave up saying you pay no tax anyway, why bother.