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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
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DT: Finland: double taxation agreement, Article 11: Dividends

The current Article 11 was introduced by SI 1996/3166:

(1) Dividends paid by a company being a resident of a Contracting State which are derived and beneficially owned by a resident of the other Contracting State shall be taxable only in that other State.

(2) The term ‘dividends’ as used in this Article means income from shares or other rights, not being debt-claims, participating in profits, as well as income from other corporate rights assimilated to income from shares by the taxation law of the State of which the company making the distribution is a resident and also includes any other item (other than interest or royalties relieved from tax under the provisions of Article 12 or Article 13 of this Convention) which, under the law of the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividend is a resident, is treated as a dividend or distribution of a company.

(3) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the dividends, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State independent personal services from a fixed base situated therein, and the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such case the provisions of Article 8 or Article 15, as the case may be, shall apply.

(4) If the beneficial owner of the dividends being a resident of a Contracting State owns 10 per cent or more of the class of shares in respect of which the dividends are paid and does not suffer tax thereon in that State then paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to the dividends to the extent that they can have been paid only out of profits which the company paying the dividends earned or other income which it received in a period ending twelve months or more before the relevant date. For the purposes of this paragraph the term ‘relevant date’ means the date on which the beneficial owner of the dividends became the owner of 10 per cent or more of the class of shares in question. Provided that this paragraph shall apply only if the shares were acquired primarily for the purpose of securing the benefit of this Article and not for bona fide commercial reasons.

(5) Where a company which is a resident of a Contracting State derives profits or income from the other Contracting State, that other State may not impose any tax on the dividends paid by the company, except insofar as such dividends are paid to a resident of that other State or insofar as the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with a permanent establishment or a fixed base situated in that other State, nor subject the company’s undistributed profits to a tax on the company’s undistributed profits, even if the dividends paid or the undistributed profits consist wholly or partly of profitsor income arising in such other State.