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What is domicile?

I’ve heard about both domicile and residence. But what is “domicile” and how do I establish my domicile?

What is domicile?

When you are born, your domicile is automatically assigned as the same domicile as your parents, which then becomes your domicile of origin.

If your parents were unmarried when you were born, your domicile of origin will normally be the same as your mother, although it may be different based on your individual circumstances.

You keep your domicile of origin throughout your life, irrespective of any country you subsequently move to and live in and will normally only change if you make a significant effort to change your domicile.

Your domicile is primary used in the UK to determine whether you are required to pay inheritance tax to the HMRC when you die.

Many people and organisations incorrectly ask for your domicile when they actually mean your country of residence. Your country of residence will change when you spend a significant period of time in that country, while your domicile is highly unlikely to change.

In the UK you also may be deemed domicile when you die if you either transferred your domicile away from the UK within three the previous three years of your death or if you were considered a tax resident in the UK for 17 of the previous 20 tax years.

For more information about the differences between domicile and residence, please read our in-depth article about domicile vs residence.

If you are unsure about your domicile, or have questions relating to your domicile, we can arrange for a free 15-minute consultation with a tax consultant who will be able to answer your general questions and help you understand your situation.

If you require additional services, such as establishing your tax residence status, the consultant will be able to provide you with a fee quotation of their services and you will be able to decide whether to proceed with their help or not.

Request a free domicile consultation (click to show form)

Submit your details using the form if you would like a free 15-minute tax consultation to help you understand more about your domicile.


Last updated: 8 November 2018

Request a free domicile consultation

Submit your details using the form if you would like a free 15-minute tax consultation to help you understand more about your domicile.