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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Double Taxation claims and applications - Beneficial ownership: How you decide if the beneficial ownership condition is satisfied

All claims

You should consult the notes relating to the type of claimant with which you are dealing.

But in all cases where royalty payments of any kind are concerned, you should also consult INTM342500 and following. This is because royalties are often assigned to a recipient other than their original owner, and you need to be certain that the claimant or applicant is entitled to claim or apply in respect of the royalties in question.

Claims by individuals

When the claimant signs the declaration on the claim form, he or she is declaring him or herself to be the beneficial owner of the assets or income to which the claim relates. So you should not question this declaration without sound reasons to do so.

Where the name of the claimant, the signatory, and the name on any vouchers supporting the claim are all the same, then there is no reason to doubt that the claimant is the beneficial owner of the content of the claim.

But where the voucher carries a name or names which differ from that of the claimant, you will need to find out why this is so - see INTM333070 and subsequent notes about names on vouchers.

You should also consider that you may be dealing with income from a trust (INTM339500) or an estate (INTM340000).

Claims by companies

Claims by companies and similar entities in corporate form are signed either by an officer of the company, or by its duly appointed agent. The signatory thus declares the company to be the beneficial owner of the income or asset to which the claim relates.

Vouchers supporting a company claim may bear a name other than that of the company - see INTM333070 and following about names on vouchers.

But unless you have any concerns arising from names on the vouchers, there is no doubt that a corporate entity can be regarded as the beneficial owner of its income and assets.

Claims by other concerns

There is always doubt as to whether unincorporated organisations of any type can be regarded as the beneficial owners of their income and assets. This is because the declaration of beneficial ownership can only be properly made by the entitled individual him or herself, or by a corporate body through its authorised officer. Both an individual and a corporate body are clearly defined legal persons.

But unincorporated bodies, including pension funds, collective investment vehicles, charities, and various others, by definition represent groups of persons, and may or may not themselves constitute legal entities.

So unless you are dealing with an individual or a corporation, you should consult the notes about categories of claimants beginning at INTM335500.

Those notes give details of the extent to which various types of organisation can be regarded as the beneficial owners of their income for the purposes of claims and applications under double taxation agreements. They also tell you what further information you may need to obtain to decide if this requirement is met.