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….

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…

In my last blog, I looked at the immediate impact of Covid 19 Lockdowns on key elements of double tax treaties – residence, permanent establishment and employment income. Many tax administrations have published guidance on their approach to these issues. Indeed, almost immediately after the OECD also published helpful comment on them too. The general…

Measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus have impacted on every aspect of life. While the degree of enforced isolation and immobility varies from country to country, the basic elements remain the same: Most people are compelled to stay at home and to work from there if possible. The speed with which the pandemic has…

The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the Tax Court of Canada decision in Canada v. Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L., 2020 FCA 43 (CanLII).   The case is of some significance because the Canadian Revenue Agency (“CRA”) sought to apply the Canadian domestic general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) in order to deny treaty relief. The…

Revised transfer pricing legislation set out in the Finance Act 2019 (No 45 of 2019), sections 24 to 27, represents a radical shift in the Irish approach to this area of international tax law. Transfer pricing legislation came somewhat later to Ireland than other OECD countries, having been first introduced in Finance Act 2010. The…

Two cases, currently before different courts highlight long-standing questions around the attribution of profits to permanent establishments. Irish and United Kingdom law on the attribution of profits to branches of non-resident companies remined identical for decades until 2003. In each country, a non-resident company trading through a branch in that country was chargeable to corporation…

Equality is one of the core values of modern democratic societies. It is no accident that equality featured in opening preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the first article of both the French Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789 and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights…

Some four years ago in this blog, I wrote about problems that would start to emerge as exchange of information between tax administrations became more routine and extensive.  If nothing else, the number of disputes in this area was bound to increase. See also Exchange of Information: bumps in the road. 2019 has already seen…

While earthlings are grappling with taxation in a digitalised world, a new and important frontier has been opening up somewhat less observed. Commercial exploitation of space has become commonplace and plans for activity beyond our planet more ambitious. At the IFA Permanent Scientific Committee  we are always looking ahead to see where cutting-edge tax issues…

Two of my recent articles have examined the Australian decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Resource Capital Fund IV LP [2019] FCAFC 51. The articles examine the central question on the source of income earned and the tax classification and entitlement to treaty benefits of investment funds. Real property gains This time I consider two…

Commissioner of Taxation v Resource Capital Fund IV LP [2019] FCAFC 51 addressed a number of fundamental international tax issues. The case concerned a gain from the sale of shares in an Australian incorporated public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange by two Cayman Island limited partnerships whose partners included residents of the United…

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…