Mutual agreement procedure (MAP) pursuant to article 25 of the OECD and UN Model treaties imposes obligations on tax administrations. Inadequacies in the performance of these obligations has been the subject of much work by the OECD in the course of the 21st Century. BEPS Action 14 OECD Action 14 – 2015 Final Report, Making…

Some issues tax issues never go away. The source of income or gain is one of them. Two recent decisions, one Australian, and the other South African, have considered this fundamental issue. Both cases involve the natural resource sector. Each relates to a fact pattern that is frequently found in the sector. Correct identification of…

The High Court of Kenya gave judgement on 15 March 2019 on a challenge to the validity of the Kenyan-Mauritius double tax treaty in Tax Justice Network- Africa v Kenya Revenue Authority and others.  The petitioners had sought a declaration that the treaty had not been subjected to the ratification of domestic law and the…

The judgements of the CJEU in N Luxembourg 1 v Skatteministeriet (Case C-115/16) and joined cases and in T Danmark (Case C-116/16)  and another joined case, on 26 February 2019, once again addressed numerous controversies over meaning of the term “beneficial ownership”. The court’s concern in N Luxembourg was qualification for relief from withholding tax…

The Tax Court of Canada decision in Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L. v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 152 (CanLII) on August 22, 2018 may provide useful pointers to the meaning and application of the PPT found in Article 7(1) of the MLI and Article 29(9). A Luxembourg resident company claimed exemption from Canadian income tax under…

The update on tax certainty IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors   published on 22 July 2018 may not have been everyone’s summer holiday reading. This report follows on from the 2017 IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers in March 2017. It should certainly give pause for thought. The “tax…

What the UK government wants by way of Brexit outcome seems to change daily, with the government and political parties in Parliament divided among various factions. The only legal certainty about Brexit is that unless the UK and the remaining member states agree otherwise, EU law will cease to apply in the UK after 29…

I am delighted to see that my post on value creation has stimulated discussion on the fundamental thinking about international taxation. See the posts of my friends and colleagues Werner Haslehner and Sergio André Rocha. At the IFA seminar in Rotterdam, we puzzled over the meaning of “value creation”. Werner also referred to another mystifying…

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana, The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense (1905). A seminar was held in Rotterdam on 18 May 2018 on “value creation” in the new tax universe to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the International Fiscal Association. An erudite panel, comprising Prof…

There is only one legal certainty about Brexit. On 29 March 2019 EU law will cease to apply in the United Kingdom, as a result of the UK having given notice of withdrawal on 29 March 2017. This is clear from Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union. Draft withdrawal agreement A Draft Agreement…

Increased focus on taxation of cross-border situations involving both individuals and companies is one of the key features of the post-BEPS international tax environment. One central aspect of this is increased administrative cooperation between tax administrations in exchange of information and assistance in recovery of taxes. Territoriality principle Recent UK decisions have emphasised the need…

Non-inclusion of the Swiss-United Kingdom income tax treaty in the list of Covered Tax Agreements of both the states on signing the BEPS MLI on 7 June 2017 surprised some observers. This evident gap between two OECD member countries was quickly filled by a protocol to the Swiss-United Kingdom treaty concluded on 30 November 2017….

Taxation of the digital economy featured in discussion on the implementation of the OECD/G20 BEPS action items at the annual conference of the Canadian Tax Foundation in Toronto on 21 November 2017. Several speakers note that no generally accepted solution had been found to address the impact of the digitalisation of the global economy on…

Adoption of the EU Council Directive on Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in the European Union on 10 October 2017 is a milestone in international tax dispute resolution. The Directive offers a uniform mechanism to address tax treaty disputes among EU member states that meets the BEPS Action 14 minimum standard, and largely renders the arbitration…