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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Switzerland: double taxation agreement, Article 3: General definitions

(1) In this Convention, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) the term `United Kingdom` means Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including any area outside the territorial sea of the United Kingdom which in accordance with international law has been or may hereafter be designated, under the laws of the United Kingdom concerning the Continental Shelf, as an area within which the rights of the United Kingdom with respect to the sea-bed and sub-soil and their natural resources may be exercised;

(b) the term `Switzerland` means the Swiss Confederation;

(c) the terms `a Contracting State` and `the other Contracting State` mean the United Kingdom or Switzerland, as the context requires;

(d) the term `tax` means United Kingdom tax or Swiss tax, as the context requires;

(e) the term `person` includes any individual, company, unincorporated body of persons, and any other entity with or without juridical personality;

(f) the term `company` means any body corporate or any entity which is treated as a body corporate for tax purposes;

(g) the terms `enterprise of a Contracting State` and `enterprise of the other Contracting State` mean respectively an enterprise carried on by a resident of a Contracting State and an enterprise carried on by a resident of the other Contracting State;

(h) the term `national` means:

(i) in relation to the United Kingdom, any citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, or any British subject not possessing that citizenship or the citizenship of any other Commonwealth country or territory, provided in either case he has the right of abode in the United Kingdom, and any legal person, partnership, association or other entity deriving its status as such from the law in force in the United Kingdom;  


(ii) in relation to Switzerland, any Swiss citizen and any legal person, partnership, association or other entity deriving its status as such from the law in force in Switzerland:  

(i) the term `international traffic` means any transport by a ship or aircraft operated by an enterprise which has its place of effective management in a Contracting State, except when the ship or aircraft is operated solely between places in the other Contracting State;

(j) the term `competent authority` means in the United Kingdom, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or their authorised representative and in Switzerland, the Director of the Federal Tax Administration or his authorised representative;

(k) the term `political subdivision`, in relation to the United Kingdom, includes Northern Ireland.

(l) the term ‘conduit arrangement’ means a transaction or series of transactions which is structured in such a way that a resident of a Contracting State entitled to the benefits of this Convention receives an item of income arising in the other Contracting State but that resident pays, directly or indirectly, all or substantially all of that income (at any time or in any form) to another person who is not a resident of either Contracting State and who, if it received that item of income directly from the other Contracting State, would not be entitled under a convention for the avoidance of double taxation between the State in which that other person is resident and the Contracting State in which the income arises, or otherwise, to benefits with respect to that item of income which are equivalent to, or more favourable than, those available under this Convention to a resident of a Contracting State and the main purpose of such structuring is obtaining benefits under this Convention.

(2) As regards the application of the Convention by a Contracting State any term not defined therein shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning which it has under the law of that State concerning the taxes which are the subject of the Convention.