Guidance

Authorised Investment Funds

Find out about Authorised Investment Funds (AIFs) including certificate of resident requests, new fund set up and tax payments, returns and vouchers.

A collective investment scheme is a form of investment fund. Investors can ‘pool’ their assets and invest in a professionally managed portfolio of gilts, bonds, and quoted equities. Some investments may be in unquoted investments or property.

Investors in such schemes are able to spread or reduce the risk associated with investment in such assets. They also gain the benefits of professional management.

The wide range of investments reduces the effect and risk that any one investment can have on the overall portfolio performance.

Authorised Investment Funds (AIFs) collective investment schemes

The Financial Services Authority authorise and regulate AIFs under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. They take the form of:

  • Authorised Unit Trusts (AUTs)
  • open-ended investment companies
  • Property Authorised Investment Funds
  • qualified investor schemes
  • tax elected funds
  • Authorised Contractual Schemes (ACSs)

Find guidance on AIFs and investment trust companies in the Company Taxation Manual.

Contact the Collective Investment Schemes Centre (CISC) for enquiries about AIFs.

Make a certificate of residence (CoR) request

You can claim tax relief in another country if you pay tax on your foreign income in the UK, and you have a CoR.

You can apply for a CoR if:

  • you’re classed as a resident of the UK
  • there’s a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with the country concerned

The overseas authority dealing with your claim will normally ask HMRC to certify that you’re a resident of the UK, in line with the DTA. Some fiscal authorities may also need HMRC to confirm that the person fulfils other conditions.

Residency may need to be certified on a specific form produced by the overseas authority or in a general letter produced by HMRC. Read more about certificates of residence in the HMRC International Manual – INTM162030 before making a request.

HMRC is only able to issue certificates for countries that they have an agreement with. See the Double Taxation Relief Manual for more information.

If you’re a CISC customer and would like to request a CoR, complete the certificate of residence request form (CISC9) and send it to the CISC.

Individual taxpayers who need a CoR should apply to their own tax office using an online form. HMRC’s standard turnaround time for dealing with your requests is 15 working days.

Agent authorisation

If you have a tax adviser, agent or accountant acting on your behalf, they must be formally authorised to deal with HMRC.

Your tax adviser or accountant can set up this authority securely online. Alternatively, you can complete the authorising your agent (64-8) form and post it to the CISC.

New fund set up

If you want a new fund to be set up and a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) issued, complete a new fund registration form CISC10 and send it by post to the CISC.

It is important to notify the CISC of any change of name, address, agent, trustee or depositary of a fund or company as soon as the change has occurred. Email changes to the CISC using this form.

If you wish to check that HMRC holds the correct information, sign up for HMRC’s online service.

Tax returns

You must submit Company Tax Returns online and pay any Corporation Tax that’s due electronically.

If you have any problems when filing your tax return online contact the online services helpdesk.

Interest distributions to non-resident investors

UK Income Tax is normally taken off interest distributions paid to investors.

Investors can arrange for interest distributions to be paid with no tax taken off if they are:

  • beneficially entitled to a share of the investments of an Authorised Investment Fund (AIF)
  • not resident in the UK can arrange for interest distributions

This also applies if they are jointly beneficially entitled to a share of the investments of an AIF provided the others, including a company or companies, are not resident in the UK.

Payments of tax

When submitting payments you should use the exact reference contained on the HMRC payslip. When HMRC issues a notice to deliver a:

  • Company Tax Return
  • payment reminder
  • payment reminder to an instalment payments payer

These have a payslip attached which includes a reference that is specific to the accounting period. For CT61 (return of Income Tax on company payments), use the payslip issued with the form.

Failing to use the correct payslip reference may result in misallocated payments.

You can make payments by cheque or electronic lodgement. Make sure you use the correct payslip or quote the payslip number for the accounting period concerned.

If you do not have a payslip, quote the accounting period together with the UTR in any covering correspondence and on the reverse of any cheque. Do not use a payslip or payslip reference for a different accounting period.

If a single payment is being made to account for payments due from more than one fund, make sure that the covering correspondence:

  • gives a breakdown of the amount for each fund
  • shows the correct payslip number relating to the accounting period concerned

If you are uncertain about any aspect of making a payment, contact the CISC team.

Tax vouchers and consolidated tax vouchers

Nominee account holders that invest in an AIF are able to use consolidated tax vouchers. The account holders can use or adapt a generic voucher template in these circumstances.

If nominee account holders use this template there is no need to seek prior approval from HMRC that the voucher is acceptable. If you cannot use the template for any reason, prior approval of the proposed format of the consolidated tax voucher may be sought from the CISC.

The CISC team can also provide advice on ordinary tax vouchers for AUTs and Unauthorised Unit Trusts.

Genuine diversity of ownership

To ask HMRC to give an AIF advance clearance for the genuine diversity of ownership condition, use form CISC5.

Find detailed guidance for AIFs needing clearance in the Investment Funds Manual.

Investment Trust companies

Investment Trusts are limited companies. They have a fixed capital structure incorporated under company law.

They invest in a broad range of shares and securities and use professional managers to oversee their investments. Buying shares in investment trusts enables investors to:

  • diversify their portfolios
  • spread risk
  • gain access to this professional management

As limited companies, investment trusts are within the charge to Corporation Tax. Which of their profits are subject to tax in practice depends upon whether they are approved or unapproved.

For accounting periods commencing before 1 January 2012, companies wishing to seek approval as an investment trust must contact the CISC.

Investment trusts can invest in interest bearing assets without incurring a tax liability. Find guidance on these regulations in the Company Taxation Manual.

For accounting periods commencing 1 January 2012 or later, companies seeking approval as an investment trust can use form CISC8.

Contact the CISC for enquiries about investment trust companies.

Find general guidance on investment trusts in the Company Taxation Manual.

Property Authorised Investment Funds and Tax Elected Funds

You can find guidance on Property Authorised Investment Funds (PAIF) in the Company Taxation Manual. For funds wishing to make an application to enter the PAIF regime, complete and submit form CISC7 to give notice of entry into the PAIF regime.

You can also find guidance on Tax Elected Funds (TEFs) and on making an application to enter the TEF regime in the Company Taxation Manual.

You can use form CISC6 to apply for entry into the TEF regime.

You can email: cisc.sheffield@hmrc.gov.uk for enquiries about TEFs.

European Economic Interest Groupings

A European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) is an association formed by businesses or enterprises from at least 2 EU member states. The EEIG aims to encourage co-operation across national boundaries and between similar businesses.

It also aims to help or develop the business activities of its members and to improve or increase the results of those activities. Its purpose is not to make profits for itself. It may only engage in activities which are:

  • related to the business activities of its members
  • not more than ancillary to them (such as research and development and marketing)

An EEIG may not:

  • exercise any power or management over its members’ activities (particularly in the areas of personnel, finance and investment)
  • hold shares in any kind of member’s business (the holding of shares should only be possible to the extent that it is necessary in order to achieve the objects of the grouping and if they are held on behalf of the members)
  • employ more than 500 people
  • make loans to directors of member companies (where the making of such loans would be against the company law of the member state) or get involved in transfer of property between companies and its directors or other associated persons
  • be a member of another EEIG

For information on European Economic Interest Groupings email: cisc.general@hmrc.gov.uk.

Authorised Contractual Schemes

An Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS) is an authorised contractual arrangement to pool assets. It has no legal personality and does not constitute an entity in its own right. It is a form of collective investment scheme.

It is essentially a pool of assets held and managed on behalf of a number of investors (participants) who are the co-owners of the assets.

The scheme has an operator (or manager) who is responsible under the contract for the operation of the scheme. The operator is also responsible for decisions about the investment of participants’ funds in accordance with the contractual arrangements.

The scheme also has a depositary who is responsible for holding and safeguarding the assets of the participants that are part of the scheme. The depositary will acquire and dispose of assets on behalf of the participants on the instructions of the operator.

An ACS is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the operator and depositary must also be FCA authorised persons.

Find further information about co-ownership authorised contractual schemes in the Investment Funds Manual.

Tax

An ACS is not a taxable entity and is not within the charge to direct taxes. Each participant is responsible for tax arising on their own share of income and gains at their own rates of tax (although this works differently for each type of ACS). For this reason an ACS is described as ‘tax-transparent’.

Where stamp taxes are payable on acquisitions then the operator of the ACS will account for these on behalf of the participants. The ACS is exempt from VAT on the costs of fund management.

Find out about tax on commission payments passed on to investors in Revenue and Customs Brief 4.

Published 28 June 2011