The problem “Please tell me what the header is, I don’t know what the namespace for multiple schemas should be.”  It seemed like a reasonable question, but I never got the answer.  The same fate struck my other seemingly simple request: “Can you please give us a sample of a completed, valid, xml file so…

In March I blogged about the first OECD draft guidance on the allocation of profits to commissionaire and other PE’s.  Looking at the June OECD draft, further ideas have come up as to why the allocation of profits to absentees is not a good transfer pricing idea. I have great respect for the OECD’s work…

On 23 May the OECD published a Public Discussion Draft on Implementation Guidance on Hard-to-Value intangibles (HTVIs).  Comments are due by 30 June 2017, so hurry. 1.    Introduction All guidance by the CFA and the opportunity to comment is appreciated, especially on a major topic like intangibles.  That being said, I think that this paper…

In quantum physics, nothing is certain, particles are not to be found at one point but within waves of probabilities and connected particles can mirror each other faster than the speed of light because there is no transfer of information. Agency PE’s threaten to become the quantum physics of taxation. Introduction But let us get…

There are several misconceptions in international taxation, some of them more pervasive than others.  Many are often repeated by speakers at tax conferences without being contradicted. The first is the so-called interest deduction bias.  It is not the main topic of this blog, but I will deal with it by way of introduction. The Interest…

There are many things in life that we take for certainties, which are not, e.g. that it was the Scots that invented whiskey, the French champagne, or the Italians pizza.  All not necessarily true. Similar certainties exist in tax and in transfer pricing.  I recently had the honour of giving a training in France to…

This has been an interesting session and for those who were not there, I am sure that the essence is reported elsewhere in the international tax press.  The deliberations lead me to the following additional thoughts. 1. As a remedy for even starting disputes: tax authorities should not take positions in making adjustments that they…

Random thoughts on presumptions on accuracy It is a fact that most in-house tax professionals know very little about their group’s financial systems.  E.g. very few know whether their companies deduct discounts from gross sales or from net sales; likewise very few know whether there are any employee expenses included in cost of goods sold…

(“Every in-house tax department should have their own IT/Financial systems capacity” – JHM, TP Minds London, 2015.) The unexpected benefit from country by reporting (“CbyC”) reporting is that tax departments may learn something about their own groups’ financial systems. What is there to learn? If you are in-house, answer these four questions: 1. Do you…

Introduction It has been a few weeks now since the Commission has made public its decisions in the FIAT and Starbucks cases.  I understand that the Commission, the countries involved and the taxpayers are now going through the decisions themselves, agreeing on what information is too confidential to be published, before the actual – blacked…

So what were the other discussions at the UN from 19 to 23 October this year?  One of the main topics is the continuing work on a withholding tax on technical services.  The reason for developing countries is simple: it is a simple, effective way to protect the local tax base and prevent BEPS through…

It is the annual Session of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.  This Ad Hoc subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) is responsible for the UN Model Double Taxation Convention and the Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing…