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…

The quest to align the international tax order with the challenges posed by the digital economy has so far mostly focused on solving issues involving incorporated structures. What is somehow escaping the attention of the tax treaty policymakers is the fact that it is not only in the domain of companies that we have lost…

This is the first article of a short series that explores the international taxation of income attributable to Autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AAI). The series is based on an article written by the author and published by Kluwer in INTERTAX, Volume 47, Issue 05 (May 2019).[1] Each article features questions posed by prominent tax professors around…

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…

There has been much brouhaha about equalization levies in the context of the digital economy. One of the hotly debated issues is whether such levies are covered by tax treaties at all. In this post, I should like to reflect over this issue as objectively as possible. I shall not, however, delve into issues of…

Since the OECD started conceiving and implementing the BEPS project, the major argumentation in favour of the new policies is mainly based on the refrain that everybody should pay their “fair share” of taxes. It is hard to find any publicly available explanation about what exactly lies behind the idea of a “fair share” of…

Taxation of the digital economy remains fixed in the first position of the international tax charts, with the discussions focusing lately on the so-called Amazon tax considered to be introduced in the UK. The debate has been exalted following respective recent statement by the UK Finance Minister P. Hammond, stressing that the “country needs a…

The Existing Framework: Nexus and Profit Attribution Rules Under the current Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) framework, business profits are in principle taxable in the State of residence of the enterprise. However, the source (market) jurisdictions may tax the profits if a permanent establishment (PE) is triggered therein. A PE arises when the non-resident operates…

The well-known expression “butterfly effect” comes from chaos theory, and it refers to the idea that a butterfly could flap its wings in Brazil and, through ripple effect, set off a tornado in Texas. Bringing this expression into the tax world, a decision by a domestic court on a seemingly domestic tax matter could trigger…

For many years, I have been advocating a drastic change in the distribution approach for taxing rights in international taxation. The focus of my criticism has been Article 7 of the OECD and UN Model Conventions.  My core argument continues to be that the so-called “permanent establishment principle” disregards the role of the infrastructure that…

Following up on Jonathan Schwarz’s latest blog contributing to the debate on taxation and value creation, I wanted to attempt adding some further critical points. The OECD’s stated goal of the second pillar (“Substance”) of its BEPS action plan is to align taxation with value creation. It has already been observed that this is a…