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UK, Austria Sign Deal On Granting Tax Treaty Benefits

Monday, September 7, 2020

HM Revenue and Customs has announced that it is has agreed changes with authorities in Austria regarding how the two authorities will deal with requests for relief under the two countries' tax treaty.

Austria has agreed to accept changes to HMRC procedures with regards to the certificates HMRC issues to confirm that a person is resident in the UK for the purpose of Article 4 of the treaty.

Austrian law requires that a claim for benefits under the Convention must be submitted on a specified claim form that has been certified by HMRC. Typically these forms are certified using a "wet ink" stamp and are hand-signed by HMRC officials. This procedure applies both for relief at source and to reclaims of tax that has already been deducted.

Owing to COVID-19, the two authorities have agreed that to ensure claims are processed in a timely fashion, HMRC will instead use electronic signatures to certify these certificates.

Further, the two authorities are to exchange information under Article 24 of the treaty to verify the validity of the certificates. The agreement will remain in place until June 30, 2021.