In Stuart Gulliver v HMRC [2017] TC05712 an application for closure notice in order to block a sch 36 information notice failed. The fact that HMRC had agreed a taxpayer's change of domicile in the past did not mean that they could not revisit the issue in a later year and ask more questions.

The taxpayer was a UK national with a UK domicile.

  • In 2002 he transferred a sum into a family trust and said that he had acquired a domicile of choice in Hong Kong. The tax at stake was just £4,735, and HMRC in applying a 'risk based approach' did not chose to probe the basis for the domicile claim.
  • By 2013/14, the taxpayer had been UK resident for 13 years was the Group Chief Executive of HSBC and based in the UK.
  • HMRC opened a valid enquiry into his SA return. Presumably there was some resistance to questioning in relation to the taxpayer’s domicile and HMRC countered this with the issue of a Schedule 36 FA 2008 Information Notice requesting answers to 123 questions and information on 33 categories of document.
  • The taxpayer did not answer HMRC’s questions in relation to domicile. Instead he applied to the FTT for a closure notice on the basis that HMRC had determined his domicile in relation to 2002 and it was now stuck with the consequences.

The FTT disagreed and refused the application, citing the law as set out in Caffoor v Commissioner of Income Tax [1961] AC 584, Barnett v Brabyn [1996] STC 716 and King v Walden [2001] ST 822: income tax and CGT are charged by reference to separate tax years. A determination of fact (whether made by a tribunal or following an agreement under s54 TMA 1970) made in relation to one tax year is not binding in relation to a later tax year.


Unless the taxpayer is deemed domicile by virtue of the legislation, any change in domicile is decided according to the facts of each case. It is almost unheard for HMRC to agree that a change from a UK domicile to a foreign domicle of choice occurs if the taxpayer returns to the UK. From 6 April 2017 any taxpayer who is UK resident for 15 out of the preceding 20 years is deemed UK  domicle for IT, CGT and IHT, and any UK domiciled taxpayer who acquires non-UK domicile and returns to the UK is brought back into the UK domicile net, see Domicile & tax.

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