Article 13 of the Israel U.S. Tax Treaty - Interest

1. Interest derived by a resident of one of the Contracting States from sources within the other Contracting State may be taxed by both Contracting States.

2. Interest derived by a resident of one of the Contracting States from sources within the other Contracting State shall not be taxed by the other Contracting State at a rate in excess of 17.5 percent of the gross amount of such interest, except that, if the interest is derived from a loan of whatever kind granted by a bank, savings institution, or insurance company or the like, the interest shall not be taxed at an amount in excess of 10 percent of the gross amount of such interest.

3. Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), interest beneficially derived by (a) one of the Contracting States, or by an instrumentality of that Contracting State, not subject to tax by that Contracting State on its income, or (b) a resident of such Contracting State with respect to debt obligations guaranteed or insured by that Contracting State or an instrumentality thereof, shall be exempt from tax by the other Contracting State.

4. Interest paid by a resident of one of the Contracting States to a person other than a resident of the other Contracting State (and in the case of interest paid by a resident of Israel, to a person other than a citizen of the United States) shall be exempt from tax by the other Contracting State unless such interest is treated as income from sources within the other Contracting State under paragraph (2) of Article 4 (Source of Income).

5. Paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) shall not apply if the interest is treated, under paragraph (6) of Article 8 (Business Profits), as industrial or commercial profits attributable to a permanent establishment which the recipient has in the other Contracting State. In such a case, the provisions of Article 8 (Business Profits) shall apply.

6. Where an amount is paid to a related person and would be treated as interest but for the fact that it exceeds an amount which would have been paid to an unrelated person, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to so much of the amount as would have been paid to an unrelated person. In such a case the excess amount may be taxed by each Contracting State according to its own law, including the provisions of this Convention where applicable.

7. The term "interest" as used in this Convention means income from money lent and other income which under the taxation law of the Contracting State in which the income has its source is assimilated to income from money lent.


Commentary to Article 13 of the Israel - U.S. Tax Treaty

Paragraph (1) provides that interest derived by a resident of one Contracting State from sources within the other Contracting State may be taxed by both Contracting States. However, paragraph (2) limits the rate of tax in the Contracting State of source to a rate not in excess of seventeen and a half percent of the gross amount of the interest. If the interest is derived from a loan of whatever kind granted by a bank, savings institution, insurance company, or the like, the rate of tax in the Contracting State of source may not exceed ten percent of the gross amount of the interest.

Paragraph (3) provides that interest beneficially derived by one of the Contracting States, or by an instrumentality of that Contracting State not subject to tax by that Contracting State on its income, will be exempt from tax by the other Contracting State. Under this rule, interest income derived by the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Overseas Private

Investment Corporation (OPIC) on loans made to Israeli residents will be exempt from tax in Israel. Similarly, income derived by the Bank of Israel on loans made to residents of the United States will be exempt from U.S. tax. The exemption also applies where a resident of a Contracting State receives interest income with respect to debt obligations guaranteed or insured by that Contracting State or an instrumentality thereof.

Paragraph (4) provides that interest paid by a resident of one Contracting State to a person other than a resident of the other Contracting State (and in the case of interest paid bye resident of Israel, to a person other than a United States citizen) will be exempt from tax by the other Contracting State unless such interest is treated as income from sources within the other Contracting State under paragraph (2) of Article 4 (Source of Income).

Paragraph (5) provides that the limitations of paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) will not apply if the interest is treated, under paragraph (6) of Article 8 (Business Profits), as industrial or commercial profits attributable to a permanent establishment which the recipient has in the other Contracting State. In such a case, the provisions of Article 8 (Business Profits) will apply.

If excessive interest is paid to a related person, paragraph (6) provides that the Article does not apply to the excessive portion of the payment. The excessive portion may be taxed by each Contracting State according to its own laws, including the Israel - U.S. Tax Treaty where applicable. In the case of the United States, the excessive portion may be taxed as a dividend, in which case the provisions of Article 12 (Dividends) will apply.

Paragraph (7) defines “interest” for purposes of the Israel U.S. Tax Treaty as income from money lent and other income which under the taxation law of the Contracting State in which the income has its source is assimilated to income from money lent. This Article is subject to the saving clause of paragraph (3) of Article 6 (General Rules of Taxation). Therefore, interest derived by a citizen of the source Contracting State may be taxed by that Contracting State without regard to this Article.


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The above is intended for informative purposes only and is in no way to be construed as tax advice or a legal opinion. It is important to consult with an Israeli tax lawyer on the practical application of the Israel US tax treaty.

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