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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

DT applications and claims: Non-resident beneficiaries of UK trusts

Distributions to an absolute beneficiary or to a life tenant – processing the claim


How to identify a repayment claim

A repayment claim might be supported by either:

  • A suitable certificate from the R185 series prepared by the trustee showing the rate(s) at which the source(s) of income have been taxed, or
  • Original tax certificates (or statements), or an appropriate voucher for the underlying investments, held in the name of one or more of the trustees, or their nominee.

Tax certificates supplied to absolute beneficiaries and life tenants

The R185 form currently available from HM Revenue & Customs for trustees to complete and provide to beneficiaries when making payments to them is the R185 (Trust Income). This form superseded the form R185 (Non-discretionary trust income) in 2003.

R185 (Trust income)

This form is used for both discretionary and non-discretionary trusts. If the trust is non-discretionary, the section headed ‘Income entitlement under a trust’ will have been completed. The certificate gives a summary of the income distributed to a beneficiary in a tax year, and shows tax at different rates according to the underlying sources of income arising to the trustees. The form also specifically asks for the type of income to be shown if the beneficiary is a non-resident. This will enable you to apply the relevant articles of the double taxation agreement to the income if you need to look through to the underlying sources.

R185 (Non-discretionary trust)

These certificates R185 (Non-discretionary trust) give a summary of the income distributed to a beneficiary in a tax year. They are designed to show tax at different rates according to different sources of income, so the design may differ from year to year. If the form is an R185 (Non-discretionary trust)(1999), the form asks for the trustees to attach a separate schedule identifying each type of income if the beneficiary is not resident. However, if this is absent you may still be able to infer the sources of income for the purpose of allowing relief. If there is any doubt as to the source of income taxed at a particular rate (for example, income liable at the basic rate, which could be schedule A or royalty income), you will need to obtain details of the underlying sources of the income.

Earlier version of the R185 (non-discretionary trust) will not give details of the underlying income and unless these are provided separately by the claimant you will need to obtain these.


If you can identify the sources of income from the R185, no further information is necessary to calculate the repayment.

If it is not possible to identify the underlying sources of income, you will need to find out what they are. Remember that you will have to open an SA enquiry to ask for the information you need. See INTM331200 for guidance on how to open an enquiry.

What to ask for

State that you need to identify the underlying sources of income comprising the payment in order to calculate relief. Ask for: a schedule giving a breakdown of the amount of each underlying source, or a copy of the trust income accounts.

What to do with the information provided

  • If a breakdown of the underlying sources is provided and this agrees with the total on the R185, pay accordingly.
  • If trust income accounts are provided, these should include a schedule of income giving the information you need. If it does not, you will need to ask specifically for such a schedule.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)