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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Double taxation agreements: introduction: Bilateral agreements

The United Kingdom makes bilateral agreements with other countries, the purpose of which is set out in the preamble to the agreements as the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion. The intention is to secure that, as far as possible, the taxpayers of each country may trade or invest in the other country without the deterrent of unrelieved double taxation. An equally important objective is to try to ensure that taxpayers do not exploit the terms of the agreements and differing tax systems in each country for tax avoidance purposes.

Agreements also protect the taxpayer in one country from discriminatory treatment in another.