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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

Guidance by country: Belgium: Notes

Residence (Article 4)

Where the income consists of interest, dividends or royalties a United Kingdom resident has to be the beneficial owner of the income in order to qualify for reduced Belgian withholding taxes.

Subject to a de minimis limit of £2,000, a UK resident who claims the benefit of the remittance basis is not entitled to any relief from Belgian tax on Belgian source income regardless of whether or not the income is remitted to the UK (Article 28(1) of the Agreement). A resident of either state is defined in standard terms (see INTM153050) but Article 4(4) provides that the Government, a political subdivision or a local authority of either country is to be regarded as a resident of that country even though not liable to tax by reason of domicile, residence etc there. Claims that certain other Government institutions or agencies similarly qualify should be referred to CTIAA, Tax Treaty Team.

Article 4(5) confirms that pension schemes established in the UK and charities and certain other non-profit organisations resident in the UK under UK law shall be considered residents of the UK for the purposes of the Convention.

Offshore activities (Article 21)

The agreement contains special provisions relating to activities in connection with the exploitation of offshore oil and gas deposits.

Enterprises of one Contracting State which carry out offshore activities in the other Contracting State are deemed to have a permanent establishment or fixed base in that other State.

2009 Protocol

A protocol (SI2010/2979) entered into force on 24 December 2012 and has effect for tax years and chargeable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2013. The protocol makes provision for arbitration and amends a wide range of provisions including those relating to residence, shipping and air transport, dividends, interest, royalties, capital gains, dependent personal services, company managers, pensions, government service, elimination of double taxation, non-discrimination, exchange of information and miscellaneous rules.