Tufted Tit-Tyrant is widespread in western South America, from southern Colombia south to Chile and Argentina. It occurs in the high Andes from Colombia to Chile and Argentina, but also in the lowlands of central Chile, and in Patagonia in Argentina.
Tufted Tit-Tyrant generally is resident; some authors report that patagonicusis partially migratory in the nonbreeding season, when it occurs north to Catamarca, Tucumán, and Salta in northwestern Argentina (Johnson 1967, Traylor 1979).
The elevational range of Tufted Tit-Tyrant in Colombia is 2100-3600 m, but it primarily occurs from 3000-3400 m (Hilty and Brown 1986); it occurs mostly from 2500-3500 m in Ecuador (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a); in Peru the elevational distribution is 2400-4400 m; it is reported in Bolivia from 1900-4300 m (Hennessey et al. 2003); and in Chile it occurs from sea level up to 2000 m (Jaramillo 2003).