Levene v Inland Revenue Commissioners: HL 1928

Until 1919 Mr. Levene had been both resident and ordinarily resident in the UK. Then, for five years he spent about five months (mainly in the summer) each year, staying in hotels in the UK and receiving medical attention or pursuing religious and social activities. He spent the remaining months staying in hotels abroad. The House considered what was the meaning of ‘residence.’
Held: The appeal failed. The taxpayer had remained resident and ordinarily resident in the UK during those years.
Viscount Cave LC said: ‘My Lords, the word ‘reside’ is a familiar English word and is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as meaning ‘to dwell permanently or for a considerable time, to have one’s settled or usual abode, to live in or at a particular place.’ No doubt this definition must for present purposes be taken subject to any modification which may result from the terms of the Income Tax Act and Schedules; but, subject to that observation, it may be accepted as an accurate indication of the meaning of the word ‘reside’. In most cases there is no difficulty in determining where a man has his settled or usual abode, and if that is ascertained he is not the less resident there because from time to time he leaves it for the purpose of business or pleasure. Thus, a master mariner who had his home at Glasgow where his wife and family lived, and to which he returned during the intervals between his sea voyages, was held to reside there, although he actually spent the greater part of the year at sea (Re Young, 1875, 1 Tax Cases 57; Rogers v Inland Revenue, 1879, 1 Tax Cases 225). Similarly a person who has his home abroad and visits the United Kingdom from time to time for temporary purposes without setting up an establishment in this country is not considered to be resident here.’ and
‘The expression ‘ordinary residence’ is found in the Income Tax Act 1806 and occurs again and again in the later Income Tax Acts, where it is contrasted with the usual or occasional or temporary residence; and I think that it connotes residence in a place with some degree of continuity and apart from accidental or temporary absences.’
Lord Warrington said: ‘A member of this House may well be said to be ordinarily resident in London during the Parliamentary session and in the country during the recess. If it has any definite meaning I should say it means according to the way in which a man’s life is usually ordered’.
Viscount Cave LC, Lord Warrington
[1928] AC 217, [1928] UKHL 1
England and Wales
Cited by:
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These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 January 2021; Ref: scu.200337