ordinarily resident

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In the UK capital gains tax rules, an individual “ordinarily resident” in the UK is subject to the tax even if not actually resident in the UK. Such a status might be held by an individual imprisoned in a foreign jail or a backpacker during the gap year between school and university. However, even a short period of not being resident in the UK is, for most individuals, likely to involve a period of not being ordinarily resident. In Reed v Clark [1985] STC 323 the court held that the musician Dave Clark had ceased to be ordinarily resident in the UK when he went to San Francisco for 13 months to avoid paying UK tax on the sale of his music.

“Ordinarily resident” is also the test applied to determine whether an individual qualifies for a local authority award or loan to finance the cost of university education. Decided cases appear to follow the same rationale as is used to determine the liability to capital gains tax.

Although “ordinarily resident” is also the test adopted for eligibility for child tax credits and for various social security benefits, the approach taken by the courts in these areas appears to be different. For these purposes, ordinarily resident appears to be equated with habitual residence.

It is possible to be ordinarily resident in more than one country at the same time (R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex Chugtai [1995] Imm AR 559). In contrast, it is not possible to be habitually resident in more than one country at the same time (Re V (Abduction: Habitual Residence) [1995] 2 FLR 992).

Subjects: Law.

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