Globally, countries are making a concerted effort to rein in the direct tax challenges posed by the digital economy. Some of this work is directly inspired by the recommendations set out by the OECD as part of its 15-point Action Plan to tackle base erosion and profit shifting. The Indian government, too, introduced two key…

Earlier this month, the author of this blog was at the IFA UK branch meeting where experts assembled to discuss certain interpretational aspects concerning the BEPS Multilateral Instrument (BEPS MLI) from a UK perspective. Most of these issues would have relevance in other jurisdictions too (including India) as more and more countries ratify the BEPS…

Background Action 6 of BEPS introduced the principal purpose test (PPT) as one of the Minimum Standards to be implemented by the countries/jurisdictions taking part in the BEPS Inclusive Framework (IF). The PPT has been also introduced in the Multilateral Instrument (MLI), in force since 1 July 2018. Even though the choice given to countries…

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…

A. Where are we? A worldwide and LATAM picture A current worldwide picture of unilateral initiatives developed on the direct taxation of the digitalized economy includes at least the following paths:[1] (i) the traditional PE concept, as updated by BEPS Final Recommendation on Action 7, and subsequently reflected in the OECD MC 2017 and the…

On June 9, 2019 the G20 finance ministers endorsed the program of work that was issued by the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on BEPS on May 31, 2019 in relation to tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy. As expected, the program of work has two parts. The first part, called Pillar One, aims…

This is a short series of blogs on transfer pricing documentation: what I have seen over the years, how it does (not) align with OECD documentation requirements, and thoughts on possible improvements. I focus on practicalities. Why do we need TP documentation? One answer is because many countries’ laws require it. More interesting is the…

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…

Taxation of the digital economy has become a war in the post-BEPS world. As with any war, there are more or less clear rivals and there will be of course winners and losers. It goes without saying that there are also “casualties” in this conflict, i.e. those policy options initially included in the drafts published…

BEPS Action Plan 6 observes that corporations are misusing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) provisions by indulging in treaty shopping. A typical example of treaty abuse that BEPS Action Plan 6 seeks to counter is that of an American corporation entering the Indian market through Mauritius because of the favourable India-Mauritius DTAA. An intermediary mailbox…

I wrote in my last blog that despite its impact, corporate tax avoidance is one of the lesser debated issues in India. This is what I wrote: “Multinational tax avoidance has almost never made it to the front pages of popular Indian newspapers and has never been discussed on primetime TV news debates. That corporate…

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to French scientist Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Franklin was right then and he is right now. However, there is one more commonality…

The financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed led to millions losing their jobs and their homes. In Europe, the governments reacted to the pressure on the Eurozone by imposing austerity and sharply cutting the social safety net. While the Obama Administration made no such cuts, the size of the US fiscal…

The proposal for upholding a minimum effective tax rate on corporate profits, on which the OECD Inclusive Framework recently invited comments, has received a lot of criticism. A minimum tax would deny developing countries the possibility to compensate for a poor investment climate by offering tax breaks, harming their development. Worse, it would undermine the…