What happens to tax credits if you go abroad? This section explains tax credit procedures if you live overseas or go travelling abroad.
There is extra tax credit information for Crown servants who get posted overseas and what it means to be ordinarily resident.
Suppose your partner is not living in the United Kingdom and you do not have any children. Do you still qualify for tax credits?
In some cases you might still get Working Tax Credit as a single person. You would need to be living and working in the United Kingdom if your partner stayed in their own country.
You must inform the Tax Credit Office within one month if your partner then comes to join you in the UK. The reason for this notification is because it could affect your tax credits payments.
In this case you may also qualify for Child Tax Credit if you have a child and:
As a general rule you cannot claim for a child who lives outside of the EEA or Switzerland. The exception would be if your partner is a Crown servant posted overseas from the UK.
You must inform the Tax Credit Office within one month if your partner and child come to join you in the UK. The reason for this notification is because it could affect your tax credits payments.
Having children when your partner gets benefits paid by another EEA country (or Switzerland) can affect your tax credits. The tax office counts some benefits as income such as those paid because of unemployment. Whereas, others such as family benefits are not.
Going abroad can affect your tax credits. They stop if you expect to be outside the UK for one year or more. Spending a short time overseas does not usually affect your claim. An example of a short period would be for a holiday or to receive medical treatment.
|Reason for Leaving UK||Period of Tax Credits|
|Medical treatment for yourself, your partner or your child||12 weeks (maximum)|
|Death of your partner, a child or close relative of either you or your partner||12 weeks (maximum)|
|Any other reason (e.g. holiday or business trip)||8 weeks (maximum)|
You should contact the Tax Credit Office within one month if your trip is expected to last more than 8 or 12 weeks. In this case your tax credits will stop unless:
There are exceptions where you can get tax credits if you live outside the UK. An example could be for a Crown servant posted overseas or if you live abroad with your child (conditions below).
In most cases, a Crown servant may get tax credits as if they were living in the United Kingdom. The Tax Credit Office treat you as living in the UK if any of these apply to your situation:
Partner is a Crown Servant Posted Overseas
You may claim tax credits if your partner gets posted outside the UK as a Crown servant and:
In this case you do not need to be classed ordinarily resident in the UK while you are overseas with your Crown servant partner.
The definition of 'ordinarily resident' means you usually live in the United Kingdom. You also plan to stay in the UK for the foreseeable future. The Tax Credit Office decides if you are ordinarily resident by looking at:
What happens if none of these situations apply to you? You might claim Child Tax Credit if you and your child live in a European Union (EU) member state and you get State Pension or one of these benefits:
You will not qualify for Child Tax Credit unless you live in an EU member state. The exception could be if you (or your partner) are a Crown servant posted overseas of the United Kingdom.
Tax Credits If You Leave United Kingdom or Travel Abroad