Withholding rates for debt instrument – Canada / US

As a follow up to a question I was aksed a few weeks ago about Corporation X’s proposed issuance of about $100 million of debt to be packaged and marketed by a foreign institution, I am providing the general withholding tax rules and one of the exceptions that would be applicable to Corporation X’s proposed debt issuance.

Generally, interest paid from US sources to foreign corporations is subject to US withholding at a rate of 30% or the lower rate under an applicable tax treaty.

Interest would be considered US-source if paid by a US citizen or resident or by a domestic corporation. However, no withholding tax is applied to US-source interest payments in the case of
interest on “portfolio debt obligations” of US issuers, defined as corporate and partnership debt issued in registered form and held by persons who own less than 10% of the equity of the issuing corporation (or less than 10% of the capital or profits if the issuing entity is a partnership).

Bearer instruments may also qualify if applicable guidelines are met.
The portfolio exemption does not apply to contingent interest, i.e. interest calculated by reference to the receipts, sales, income, profits, assets, or dividends of the debtor or a related party.


Author: Warren Orlans

Welcome to inTAXicating. My name is Warren Orlans and this is my blog. With over 17-years experience in the taxation industry, 11 of them working for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the rest working in the private sector at large financial institutions responsible for resolving tax issues for corporations and individuals and the Canadian lead for a large US bank on FATCA implementation. My tax career began pretty much out of university at the CRA, in Collections, where I moved up, across, over and up again through their division with stops in Enforcement, Taxpayer Relief (then Fairness), Audit, Directors Liability, Training, Mentoring, GST, GST/HST, Payroll, Corporate Tax, Personal tax, and probably much more. If you have a collections, compliance or audit issue with the CRA, inTAXicating is the place you need to contact. inTAXicating works in strategic partnership with amazing tax lawyers, insolvency practitioners, mortgage brokers, debt counselling experts and much more. When dealing with governments, knowledge is power. We possess strong understanding of government so we know what the next step is before the government does. When you have a collections problem with the CRA, do you hire a graphic artist? No, you get a former collector who trained the staff, and who worked as a resource officer for 5 years. Then you know you are on the right track to resolving your tax problem(s). Others offer suggestions. We offer solutions! info@intaxicating.ca

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