Individuals and organisations which receive income or gains from other countries, typically pensions or royalties, may have overseas tax deducted from those payments unless they can show they qualify for relief under a double taxation agreement (DTA) which is done via a certificate of residence.

Many DTAs require the taxpayer to prove they are resident for tax purposes in the UK before the payment can be made without deduction of tax, or in some cases with a lower rate of tax deducted. This proof is given as a certificate of residence, which in general must be issued by HMRC.

A fresh certificate is required for each country, and sometimes for each transaction. Some countries issue forms which must be stamped by HMRC to prove UK residence, and in most cases those forms can be downloaded from the website of tax authority of the relevant country.

Individuals have been able to apply online or by email for certificates of residence from HMRC since 2016. As a tax agent you can apply on behalf of your client. Until now companies and partnerships have had to write to the HMRC office which dealt with their tax affairs to request a certificate of residence in writing.

A new online form (RES1) for companies and partnerships to apply for a certificate of residence was launched on 6 March. Unfortunately, this is an interactive form which can’t be saved in a partially complete state, so you should assemble the information necessary for the application before opening the form. You should also first check that the DTA between the UK and the relevant country requires a certificate of residence to be issued by HMRC.

If you require help on this subject we can put you in touch with a network of tax experts who can guide you through the maze of requirements