In this section:

Can you claim tax credits if you live outside of the UK?

If you're a Crown servant posted overseas, or you're living abroad but working in the UK (a 'cross-border' worker), you could qualify for tax credits. If you live outside the UK, but have a child and get UK benefits or State Pension, you may also qualify.

On this page:

You're a Crown servant posted overseas

When you work for the UK government, for example, as a civil servant or a member of the armed forces you're a Crown servant. If you have to work abroad you may be able to claim tax credits, just as if you were living in the UK. The Tax Credit Office will treat you as being in the UK if any of the following applies:

  • you are, or were just before you were posted abroad, 'ordinarily resident' in the UK
  • you've had a series of postings abroad, with no breaks in between - and you are or were 'ordinarily resident' in the UK immediately before the first of those postings
  • you were in the UK just before you were posted abroad and the reason you were in the UK was connected to your posting - this can apply to a single posting or to a series of postings

Ordinarily resident

Ordinarily resident means you normally live in the UK, and plan to stay here for the time being. When the Tax Credit Office decides if you're ordinarily resident in the UK they'll look at things like:

  • where your settled home is
  • where your close family live
  • why you came to the UK
  • if you plan to leave the UK for good in the next two or three years


If your partner's a Crown servant posted overseas

If your partner's a Crown servant posted outside the UK, you may be able to claim tax credits if you:

  • live with your partner while they work abroad
  • live in the UK while your partner works abroad

You don't need to be ordinarily resident in the UK during the time you're with your Crown servant partner overseas.


You're a cross-border worker

If you regularly travel from another country to work in the UK, you may be able to get Working Tax Credit. For example, you might travel from the Republic of Ireland or France to work in the UK. If you have a child, you may also get Child Tax Credit.

The tax credits - and the amount - you can get depends on your income and circumstances.

More about tax credits if you're a cross-border worker


You have a child - and get UK benefits or State Pension

If none of the sections above apply to you, you might be able to claim Child Tax Credit if both of the following apply:

  • you and your child live in a European Union (EU) member state
  • you get one of certain benefits, or State Pension, from the UK

You need to be getting at least one of the following:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • State Pension
  • Widow's Benefit
  • Bereavement Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance

If you don't live in an EU member state, you won't be able to get Child Tax Credit. An exception to this is if you (or your partner) are a Crown servant posted abroad. See the sections above for more information.

EU member states

The following countries, along with the UK, are EU member states:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.


What makes up the United Kingdom (UK)?

The UK is made up of:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

It doesn't include the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.


More useful links

Going abroad temporarily and claiming tax credits

How to claim tax credits

Your family doesn't live in the UK - can you get tax credits?

When to make a joint or single tax credits claim