New FTT Decision on the acquisition of a domicile of choice

The FTT has released its decision in Coller v HMRC which considered the issue of the acquisition of a UK domicile of choice over two generations. The Decision considers the domicile position of (i) the Appellant’s father who had a domicile of origin in Austria, but fled Nazi persecution in the late 1930s aged 20 and died in England aged 50; (ii) the Appellant’s mother who had a domicile of origin in Ireland, and moved to England aged 23; and (iii) the Appellant, who was born and has subsequently lived in England.

The decision addresses issues that often arise in domicile cases and will therefore be of interest to anyone advising in the field including: the weight to be given to witness testimony in domicile cases (including statements from deceased witnesses) (at [19], [150], [278]); the adhesiveness of a domicile of origin when an individual has few, if any, links or attachments to it (at [106-110]); and, how later acts and events should be taken into account when discerning someone’s intention at a given point in time (at [156], [274]-[285]).

Akash Nawbatt KC and Georgia Hicks were instructed by HMRC. Chris Stone was instructed by Macfarlanes LLP.

The Decision of the FTT can be found here.

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