English may be the lingua franca of our time, but it is not the only language of international law. Royal Bank of Canada v HMRC [2022] UKUT 45 (TCC).  raised issues around the interpretation of a tax treaty concluded in English and French, both languages being equally authentic. The complex facts are summarised at http://kluwertaxblog.com/2020/07/29/income-from-immoveable-property-article-6-and-royalty-streams/….

Territorial connection (or its more fashionable name “nexus”) for tax purposes is expressed in a variety of ways in domestic and international legal instruments. Permanent establishment in article 5 of the Model treaties and “fixed base” in article 14 of the UN Model are central concepts in direct tax subject matter jurisdiction. Fixed establishment The…

The right to be free from discrimination is perhaps the single most important human right as indicated by the fact that it appears as the first article in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” In the field of international taxation, article 24…

G E Financial Investments Limited v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 210 (TC)  raised central aspects of the interpretation of double tax treaties. My previous blogs considered the corporate residence  under article 4(1) of the UK-US Double Tax Treaty and the existence of a permanent establishment under article 5(1) of the treaty. The First-tier Tribunal decided that…

Last month my blog discussed the questions relating to corporate residence and article 4(1) of the UK-US Double Tax Treaty raised in G E Financial Investments v HMRC  [2021] UKFTT 210 (TC). This month the focus is on the permanent establishment issues. The case concerned a complex financing structure General Electric Company group. The taxpayer,…

When is a taxpayer a resident of a contracting state for purposes of a tax treaty? The decades old definition in article 4(1) of the OECD Model that ‘“resident of a Contracting State” means any person who, under the laws of that State, is liable to tax therein by reason of his domicile, residence, place…

Tax authorities have relied on informers for investigative leads perhaps since taxes were first imposed. In the 21st Century high profile cases of theft of taxpayer information by employees of service providers including banks and professional firms have provided data not only of interest to tax authorities but also as a driver of international tax…

The relationship between treaties and domestic tax law ought to be straightforward. The pacta servanda sunt principle expressed in articles 26 and 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties itself implies that treaty obligations must be upheld notwithstanding domestic law. A variety of constitutional arrangements around the world mean that there is…

HMRC v Embiricos [2020] UKUT 370 (TC) reflects a common issue that arises in connection with tax investigations or audits of internationally mobile individuals. Mr Embiricos  filed his tax returns on the basis that he was resident, but not domiciled in the UK. On that basis, he was entitled to the remittance basis of taxation….

The newly concluded Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and UK has limited provisions concerning taxation, but interesting provisions relevant to interpretation of treaties including good faith. The Agreement does not seek to replicate many of the rights which UK citizens and businesses had under EU law. There is no general non-discrimination provision. Double…

When the UK introduced its diverted profits tax, I was telephoned by a lawyer at the US Treasury. He wanted to know whether the “just and reasonable” apportionment of profits, in certain circumstances where DPT applied, was a new development? What did it mean? I was reminded of that discussion this week as a result…

Case law on thepurpose of transactions is starting to develop around the world. Is there a common pattern? Whether a financing structure was a “tax avoidance arrangement”  under  now repealed general anti-avoidance provisions of the New Zealand Income Tax Act 2004  was examined last month by the New Zealand Court of Appeal in Commissioner of…

Those with a long memory for cricketing events may remember the 1996 World Cup hosted jointly by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The winner, Sri Lanka, made 398 runs for 5 wickets, in a one-day international match, a record that stood until April 2006. South Africa’s Gary Kirsten scored 188 runs, not out, against the…

Following the Supreme Court decision in Fowler v HMRC [2020] UKSC 22, the UK First-tier Tribunal has considered another case where classification of a source of income for tax treaty purposes was in issue. This time the question was classification as business profit or income from immovable property in the Canada-UK double tax treaty. In…