Business tax – guidance

Double Taxation Treaty Passport Scheme

How the scheme applies to overseas companies and borrowers. How to apply and tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about changes.

Overview

The Double Taxation Treaty Passport Scheme provides for Double Taxation Relief on UK loan interest payments made by a UK corporate borrower to overseas corporate lenders.

Who the scheme applies to

You can apply for a Double Taxation Treaty Passport if your company (or its head office):

  • is resident in a country that has a double taxation treaty with the UK
  • is an overseas corporate lender
  • took out a loan taken on or after 1 September 2010

HMRC also considers issuing passports to:

  • US limited liability companies
  • US corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credits to their shareholders for federal tax purposes

You should only use the Double Taxation Treaty Passport Scheme for loans that meet all conditions for relief under the relevant double taxation arrangements.

How to register

To register for passport holder status you need to complete form DTTP1 Application for a Double Taxation Treaty Passport and send it to the address on the form.

HMRC will consider your application within 30 days. If accepted HMRC will send you a letter and you’ll be allocated a unique double taxation treaty passport reference number.Your company’s details will be made publicly available on a register to help borrowers verify a passport holder’s status.

You must then give any borrowers your reference number and tell them to send HMRC form DTTP2 Notification of a loan from a Double Taxation Treaty Passport holder.

Renewal of passports

Your passport status will normally last for 5 calendar years.

HMRC will write to all existing passport holders 3 months before the passport is due to expire to request completion of a DTTP1 renewal application form.

There will be no requirement to provide further certification of tax residence.

If there have been no material changes since the original passport it will be renewed for a further 5 year period. If the DTTP1 renewal is not received by the expiry date, your passport holder status will be withdrawn.

Changes affecting passport holders and borrowers

You must tell HMRC if there are any changes to your own business details or changes to the borrowers, for example, changes in country of residence or owner. If you don’t, HMRC may remove your passport holder status.

Tell HMRC about a passported loan

If you’re a UK borrower and have a passported loan you must tell HMRC using form DTTP2 at least 30 working days before the first interest payment the Direction is required to cover. If you don’t do it in time, you must withhold tax from the interest payments.

HMRC reviews

HMRC may periodically review a sample of passport holders in order to:

  • confirm that passport holders are correctly understanding and applying their responsibilities
  • uncover any deficiencies or matters deserving of improvement in the scheme
  • encourage and obtain customer involvement and feedback on the scheme and its operation

If HMRC finds that you’re not operating the scheme correctly, they may:

  • send you a formal warning
  • suspend your passport holder status for a fixed period
  • remove your passport holder status