The attribution of profits to a permanent establishment is already a complex issue with at least three separate regimes in the tax treaty context- the OECD Authorised Approach under the 2010 OECD version of Article 7 of the OECD Model, the AOA subject to limitations required by the pre-2010 version and that permitted by Article…

When UK voters went to the polls on 23 June 2016 and voted by a slim majority to leave the European Union, few of them had in mind the impact on taxation.  Future generations are unlikely to view it kindly. Looked at from the present the dominating features are uncertainty and disruption of settled tax…

George Orwell’s parable, Animal Farm, offers insights on political and governmental institutions that bear revisiting from time to time. BEPS Action 6 with the broad title “Prevent treaty abuse” has among its objectives “developing model treaty provisions to prevent the granting of treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances” and “to clarify that tax treaties are not…

The OECD BEPS project was kicked off by the observation that the interaction of domestic tax systems sometimes leads to an overlap, resulting in double taxation as well as gaps, which result in an item of income not being taxed anywhere, thus resulting in so called “double non-taxation”. Co-operation among countries historically addressed double taxation…

Model tax treaties do matter. The OECD and UN Models constitute precedent books with standard clauses that contracting states can follow or adapt to suit their particular circumstances. The US Model treaty, in contrast, is a statement of intent. The preamble to the revised 2016 US Model Income Tax Convention released by the US Treasury…

Interest and penalty regimes place a high premium on correctly identifying the existence of a permanent establishment in the territory of a state. The failure to do so often means that there is no reporting to the tax administration by the foreign enterprise by way of registration or filing of returns. This is particularly true…

The Spanish National Court has recently ruled (case no. 182/2012) that a Spanish affiliate of Dell that sold Dell computers in Spain under a commissionaire agreement with Dell Ireland constituted a permanent establishment of the Irish group sales company. The decision is in line with earlier Spanish Supreme Court Decisions in Roche Vitamins Europe SA…

The longstanding view on application of the arm’s length principle is that it is generally based on a comparison of the conditions in a controlled transaction with the conditions in transactions between independent enterprises. A transaction, for this purpose, almost always involves a contract. This is because a contract, whether made in writing, orally or…

Everyone concerned with international taxation awaits the publication of the final package of BEPS measures by the OECD on Monday 5 October 2015. While the BEPS programme addresses disparities between national tax systems and features of international tax rules that have allowed some multinational companies to enjoy very low effective corporate tax rates, it is…

In many respects a multilateral tax treaty represents an utopian view of international tax law: a wide consensus among nation states to submit themselves to a common set of rules that govern the levying of taxes across national boundaries. While there have been several examples of attempts at multilateral double taxation treaties, such as the…

The services permanent establishment concept is perhaps the most noteworthy contribution to tax treaties provided by the UN model. The tax treaty concluded by South Africa and the United States in 1997, to replace the one terminated during the apartheid era, has provided an opportunity to consider thorny questions of services and permanent establishments. The…

This week, the United Kingdom Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, has ruled that a UK resident individual member of a Delaware limited liability company is entitled to credit in the UK for US tax on the profits of the LLC. Anson v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2015] UKSC 44 has rejected…

Article 7(1) of the OECD model treaty is perhaps the most important rule regulating the international taxation of business. It sets out the fundamental basis on which businesses are taxed, that is, the state of residence has the primary right to tax with source state entitlement restricted to taxing the profits of permanent establishments. Source…

Tax treaty rules to resolve the dual residence of persons other than individuals have been consistent since the 1963 OECD draft convention. Such dual residence in resolved by Article 4(3) of the OECD and UN Model Treaties in favour of the place of effective management. Only a very few states have noted reservations on this…