Under the current rules non-resident companies with a trading business in the UK are liable to pay UK Corporation Tax on their profits made through a permanent establishment/branch or agency. This includes trading income and any income from property or rights used by, or held by or for, the permanent establishment/branch or agency (except dividends or other distributions received from companies resident in the UK) as well as certain chargeable gains falling within TCGA92/S10B.
There are a number of differences in the taxation of non-resident companies as opposed to resident companies. For example, a non-resident company:
- is not liable to account for ACT on distributions made before to 6 April 1999,
- cannot have 'franked investment income',
- cannot have surplus franked investment income for the purposes of ICTA88/S242,
- cannot set trading losses against dividend income to augment its trading income for the purposes of absorbing losses brought forward.
Any UK-source income received by a non-resident company which does not carry on a trade in the UK through a permanent establishment/branch or agency is subject to UK Income Tax on any UK-source income. Any Income Tax due is calculated at the basic rate only without any allowances, subject to any applicable Double Taxation Agreement. It is expected that corporate landlords will become subject to Corporation Tax on their income and gains from 6 April 2020.