The global crisis provoked by the Covid-19 disease has affected several spheres of our lives. Apart from health, the biggest impact has been felt in the reduction of production and consumption, accompanied by a general tightening of business conditions. Although the course of the pandemic disease remains a factor of uncertainty, it becomes increasingly apparent…

The VAT treatment of the issue, acquisition, holding and sale of shares has become a rather complicated affair over the last thirty years. The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on this topic is fundamentally ambiguous, causing serious legal uncertainty among businesses [1]. In its judgment in C&D Foods…

Duplicate activities? Duplicate services are defined in the 2017 Transfer Pricing Guidelines (TPG) of the OECD as “activities undertaken by one group member that merely duplicate a service that another group member is performing for itself, or that is being performed for such other group member by a third party.” [1] Those activities are expressively…

Denmark accepted all MLI articles dealing with PEs, but what does that actually mean?  Reading the MLI itself leaves one somewhat bewildered, being thrown back and forth between a variety of articles and options.  Reading the instrument of ratification, does not necessarily help: it tends be a collection of long list of countries with treaty…

In last month’s blog I promised to address the treaty aspects of  Davies and Others v HMRC [2020] UKUT 67 (TCC). The case concerned UK resident individuals who each took out a life insurance policy with a Bermuda insurer under which their entitlements were linked to a Mauritian company that developed land in the UK….

A subsidiary can (also) be a fixed establishment (FE) of its parent company under European (EU) VAT, after all. This is the most immediate conclusion as it emerges from the much-awaited decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Dong Yang Electronics (Case C-547/18). With its ruling on 7 May 2020,…

Council Directive (EU) 2018/822 (generally known as DAC 6) expressly provides for reporting obligations concerning cross-border arrangements that present an indication of a potential risk of tax avoidance. The Annex to the Directive lists the hallmarks triggering reporting obligations, which include the category of specific hallmarks concerning transfer pricing (Category E). The first of these…

The OECD’s BEPS 2.0 project is currently navigating turbulent waters partly because of the unexpected Covid19 crisis and its impact on state budgets and the need for additional revenues, and partly because of internal tensions and conflicts within OECD dominant group of industrialized countries, the 140-member-state inclusive framework, and the business community. Disagreements include (but…

We have all become familiar with the expression in the PPT set out in article 7(1) of the MLI and article 29(9) of the 2017 OECD Model  where “obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction”.  Discerning which is a principal purpose is one of the main challenges in…

Purpose of the blog The purpose of the blog, which is slightly futuristic, is to discuss whether countries will still compete with one another to attract activities in their jurisdiction post-Pillar II implementation. State sovereignty and Tax Competition A sine qua non condition for the existence of international tax competition is the opportunity to transfer capital…

I am currently working on a case that involves questions of huge significance when it comes to related-party transactions and customs valuation. It is always good to begin with a caveat and I have two. The first is that the import in question pertains to the years 2002-2006, when the Indian custom valuation rules were…

With a judgment rendered on 16 December 2019 (case no. 2C_209/2017), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (“FSC”) rejected several reclaims of Swiss dividend withholding taxes made by a Luxembourg resident financial institution (“Lux Bank”) and thereby denied the claimant the benefits of the double taxation treaty between Switzerland and Luxembourg on income and capital taxes…

Tax Issue Under Review On 6 February 2020 (case no. 2C_510/2018), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court rendered a decision on the tax qualification of a pension plan benefit paid from a Swiss pension plan to an individual resident in Thailand, for the purposes of Swiss federal and cantonal withholding taxes on pension benefits paid to…