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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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USA: Double taxation agreement, Article 11: Interest

  1. Interest arising in a Contracting State and beneficially owned by a resident of the other Contracting State shall be taxable only in that other State.
  2. The term “interest” as used in this Article means income from debt-claims of every kind, whether or not secured by mortgage, and whether or not carrying a right to participate in the debtor’s profits, and, in particular, income from government securities and income from bonds or debentures, including premiums or prizes attaching to such securities, bonds or debentures, and all other income that is subjected to the same taxation treatment as income from money lent by the taxation law of the Contracting State in which the income arises. Income dealt with in Article 10 (Dividends) of this Convention and penalty charges for late payment shall not be regarded as interest for the purposes of this Article.
  3. The provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the interest, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State, in which the interest arises, through a permanent establishment situated therein, and the interest is attributable to such permanent establishment. In such case, the provisions of Article 7 (Business Profits) of this Convention shall apply.
  4. Where, by reason of a special relationship between the payer and the beneficial owner or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the interest exceeds, for whatever reason, the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the beneficial owner in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In such case the excess part of the payments shall remain taxable according to the laws of each State, due regard being had to the other provisions of this Convention.
  5. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, interest paid by a resident of a Contracting State and determined by reference to receipts, sales, income, profits or other cash flow of the debtor or a related person, to any change in the value of any property of the debtor or a related person or to any dividend, partnership distribution or similar payment made by the debtor to a related person, may also be taxed in the Contracting State in which it arises, and according to the laws of that State, but if the beneficial owner is a resident of the other Contracting State the gross amount of the interest may be taxed at a rate not exceeding the rate prescribed in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 2 of Article 10 (Dividends) of this Convention.

(b) Sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph shall not apply to any interest solely by reason of the fact that it is paid under an arrangement the terms of which provide:

(i) that the amount of interest payable shall be reduced in the event of an improvement in the factors by reference to which the amount of interest payable is determined; or

(ii) that the amount of interest payable shall be increased in the event of a deterioration in the factors by reference to which the amount of interest payable is determined.

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, a Contracting State may tax, in accordance with its domestic law, interest paid with respect to the ownership interests in a vehicle used for the securitisation of real estate mortgages or other assets, to the extent that the amount of interest paid exceeds the return on comparable debt instruments as specified by the domestic law of that State.
  2. The provisions of this Article shall not apply in respect of any interest paid under, or as part of, a conduit arrangement.

(Further clarification to paragraph 4 may be found at DT 19939X)