British Expatriate Tax Residence and domicile

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In the vast majority of cases, an individual is domiciled in the country which is his permanent home, even though he or she may be working in another country. Your domicile may be your domicile of origin, which is where your father was domiciled at the time of your birth, or your domicile of choice.

It is not easy to establish domicile of choice in another country. To establish a domicile of choice, you will normally be resident in that country and intend to live there permanently. If you have a domicile of origin (or choice) in the UK, and you leave to work overseas for a few years, you will normally remain domiciled in the UK.

Your UK residence status is expressed in terms of whether or not you are resident and whether or not you are ordinarily resident.

If you work in full time employment abroad, under an employment contract, for a period that includes at least one complete UK tax year, you will be regarded as not resident and not ordinarily resident in the UK. This is for the period from the day after your departure until the day before your return to the UK, provided your visits to the UK do not amount to:

183 days or more in any one tax year; and
an average of more than 90 days per tax year (calculated over the period of your assignment up to a maximum of four years).
Periods spent in the UK include holidays and sick leave although in calculating the 90 day average, any days spent in the UK because of exceptional circumstances beyond your control such as illness of yourself or a member of your immediate family are not normally counted. In addition, days of arrival and departure are normally ignored.

The fact that you have living accommodation available to you in the UK will not impact on your residence status whilst you are working overseas.