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…

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…

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…

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 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…

Jonathan Schwarz has already briefly discussed the CJEU’s judgment in the “Danish Beneficial Ownership Cases” (C-115/16, C-118/16, C-119/16, C-299/16 and C-116/16 and C-117/16), noting that the cases “represent a landmark on beneficial ownership” and comparing them to recent international tax law jurisprudence, concluding that the “voyage of discovery is certainly not at and end”. In…

The Debate What makes a tax system competitive? How can countries multiply the competitiveness of the existing system? These question-marks are attracting substantial research by today’s policy makers, at national and international level as well as by business lobbyists. Most importantly, their potential replies entail significant impact for taxpayers and the society in general. Indicatively,…

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…