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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Foreign entity classification for UK tax purposes: Considerations when using the List of Classifications of Foreign Entities for UK tax purposes

A list of foreign entities where we have been asked our view on the question of transparency/opacity is set out in INTM180030.

The list gives our general view as to whether the foreign entity is to be regarded as opaque or transparent for the purpose of deciding how its members are to be taxed in the UK on the income they derive from their interest in it.  Our view of a specific entity may vary depending on –

  • the specific terms of the UK taxation provision under which the matter must be considered:
  • the provisions of any legislation, articles of association, by-laws, agreement or other document governing the entity’s creation, continued existence and management, and;
  • the terms of any relevant double taxation agreement.


Our view of the entities shown on the list may also change if:

  • HMRC’s view was given many years ago, and there have been significant changes in the relevant foreign law
  • there are any significant changes in foreign law after the publication of these instructions


The list describes entities as either fiscally “transparent” or “opaque” solely for the purposes of deciding how a member is to be taxed on the income they derive from their interest in the entity.In the case of a “transparent” entity the member is regarded as being entitled to a share in the underlying income of the entity as it arises and is charged to tax in the UK on their share of the profits on that basis. But, in the case of an “opaque” entity the member generally is taxed only on the distributions made by the entity.

The expressions “transparent” and “opaque” are not interchangeable with “partnership” and “company” or “body corporate”.A fiscally transparent entity is not necessarily a partnership. A fiscally opaque entity is not necessarily a “body corporate” or a “company” for UK tax purposes.

We will provide our view of whether we consider a particular foreign entity to be transparent or opaque in specific cases in line with our guidance on non-statutory clearances at-


Applications should be made in writing and include -

  • the name and address of the entity to be considered
  • why HMRC’s view is being requested
  • consideration of points a) to f) at INTM180010
  • copies of any legislation, articles of association, by-laws, agreements or other documents governing the entity’s creation, continued existence and management
  • copies of any documents amending the entity’s constitution


Applications should be sent by post or email to -

Neil Nagle
HM Revenue & Customs
Business, Assets & International (BPP Team)
10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf
NE98 1ZZ

Telephone: 03000 534690

If you need HMRC’s view on whether particular entities constitute collective investment schemes, you should contact -

Colin Strudwick
HM Revenue & Customs
CSTD Financial Services Group
3rd Floor
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ

Telephone: 03000 585275