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  • Tax treatment of death benefits under UK SIPP with overseas beneficiary

    Hi, A Canadian resident (Mr A) aged 77 has passed away. Mr A was a member of a SIPP which is a registered pension scheme operated in the UK. Mr A previously lived and worked in the UK in the 1990s before passing away this year. Mr A died leaving a spouse (Mrs A) who also resides in Canada. I understand that overseas residents receiving pension payments from a registered pension scheme (including those resident in Canada) are liable to UK income tax unless they are exempted by a double taxation agreement. The agreement in this case is the 1978 Canada / UK Double Taxation Convention (2014 Consolidated Version): I also note the contents of HMRC's Digest of Double Taxation Treaties (April 2018): I have the following questions in regard to the Convention and Digest: (1) I note that the definition of "pension" in the Canada Convention includes "any payment under a superannuation, pension or retirement plan". Does Article 17(1) of the Canada Convention apply to the distribution of death benefits under a SIPP established in the UK? (2) As the sole beneficiary of the SIPP is tax resident in Canada, will any distribution of benefits under the SIPP be subject to UK income tax and / or UK inheritance tax? (3) Does a SIPP fall within the definition of "Other Pensions / Annuities" in HMRC's Digest? Are payments made under the SIPP to a Canadian beneficiary subject to full relief from UK income tax? (4) If Article 17(1) of the Canada Convention and the provisions of HMRC's Digest above apply to the death benefit payable from the SIPP to Mrs Achber, must (i) Mrs Achber pay a UK income tax charge on any withdrawal; and (ii) be eligible to claim full "Treaty Relief", which will refund such charge in full?