Saturday, 23 March, 2019
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Obtaining a tax reference number

There is currently a wide choice of jurisdictions for registration of a non-resident company. Each of these jurisdictions may have its own terms and regulations regarding the tax status of companies incorporated there.

  1. In classical offshore jurisdictions such as the Seychelles, Belize, Nevis and other, the international business companies registered there generally have no tax reference number and cannot receive it. In such jurisdictions, instead of obtaining a certificate with the tax reference number it is possible to obtain upon request an official document from the responsible authority such as for example, the Ministry of Tax & Finance that the company is exempt from tax in that jurisdiction. This certificate is known as a certificate of tax exemption.
  2. In other countries such as for example in the United Kingdom or Ireland, any company incorporated there is automatically a subject to registration with tax authorities, and therefore will have a tax reference number. A certificate with such a number can be ordered and received in due course.

The matter of the company’s tax reference number is important to the entrepreneur because in some cases other countries, including Russia, require a certificate stating that the company is a taxpayer in its country of incorporation, or not as the case may be, in order to open a representative office of the foreign company or to simply have a bank account in the country.

The above refers only to the simple confirmation that the company is registered as a taxpayer under a specific number by having a tax reference number. The certificate which contains the tax reference number is not necessarily a certificate of tax residence and does not necessarily entitle the company to any benefits under double tax treaties.