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Double tax convention ambiguities

An Israeli resident was taxed in the UK on his UK pension income. He sought to rely on Article 11 of the UK–Israel DTC of 1963 which exempted UK pension income from UK tax in the hands of ‘an individual who is a resident of Israel and subject to Israel tax in respect thereof’. The pension income was however exempt from tax under Israeli law for the first ten years. HMRC argued consistent with their current guidance that while Mr Weiser as an Israeli resident was indisputably ‘liable’ to Israeli income tax he was not ‘subject to tax’ on the UK pension income if Israel exempted income from Israeli income tax.

The judgment is dominated by the distinction between ‘liable to tax’ and ‘subject to tax’ concluding by reliance particularly on...

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