Payments made by a non-UK resident trust to UK resident beneficiaries are governed by a series of ‘tax hierarchy’ rules, which govern the tax treatment of the amounts received by the beneficiary. See the Tax on UK resident beneficiaries of non-resident trusts (overview) guidance note.

The first step is to determine whether the payment is a distribution of income. If it is, the payment is subject to income tax according to the principles set out in the Tax on income distributions from non-resident trusts guidance note.

If the payment is a ‘capital payment’ and the beneficiary is not the settlor, the primary charging provision is the transfer of assets abroad code (TAAC), which taxes individuals receiving a benefit. This is an income tax charge on the beneficiary calculated with reference to the amount of Available Relevant Income (ARI) within the trust.

If there is no ARI against which to match the beneficiary’s payment, the provisions of TCGA 1992, s 87 are to be considered. This is a capital gains tax charge on beneficiaries, calculated with reference to the amount of undistributed capital gains within the trust.

This guidance note explains how each charge works and the interaction between the two.

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