As we approach the halfway mark between the 2018 IFA conference in Seoul and the 2019 one in London, I want to clear up some issues around “Business” as in stakeholders in tax discussions. Classically these stakeholders are “Government”, “Academia” and “Business” (plus the last 10 years “Civil society”). So, who should “Business” be? Setting…

Transfer pricing cases in India are estimated to account for more than half of the world’s transfer pricing disputes. Prolonged transfer pricing litigation due to overburdened courts and tribunals is a sad reality for many companies doing business in India. The consequence is that a cloud of uncertainty constantly hangs over cross-border, intra-group transactions routinely…

Almost every foreign client I have advised has at some stage told me how complex the Indian Income Tax Act is. And those who follow Indian tax jurisprudence closely know that judicial decisions, in many cases, are doubly complex. Recently, India’s Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), New Delhi was asked to decide if the tax…

One of the fascinating features of EU law is that no matter how well-established its classics may be, they are revisited over and over again. If you thought you had seen it all about preliminary references, think twice. Always think twice, because you can never be fully sure until the Court’s next judgment. Last week,…

The Tax Court of Canada decision in Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L. v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 152 (CanLII) on August 22, 2018 may provide useful pointers to the meaning and application of the PPT found in Article 7(1) of the MLI and Article 29(9). A Luxembourg resident company claimed exemption from Canadian income tax under…

The idea for this article came to me after I read a piece published by the International Tax Review with the title “Mexico confirms that US may qualify as a preferential tax regime in light of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”.[1] Instead of curating a proper blacklist, or a published list of tax havens…

Can an Indian subsidiary be said to be the permanent establishment of its overseas parent on the ground that it is a virtual projection of the latter even if the tests explicitly stipulated in the permanent establishment Article of a tax treaty are not met? This was one of the main questions that recently came…

The update on tax certainty IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors   published on 22 July 2018 may not have been everyone’s summer holiday reading. This report follows on from the 2017 IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers in March 2017. It should certainly give pause for thought. The “tax…

On July 13, 2018, India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued for stakeholders’ comments a consultation document on framing of tax rules in respect of the concept of “significant economic presence” – a recent addition to the Indian Income Tax jurisprudence. Readers will recollect that India’s 2018 Budget proposed to amend the definition of…

I am delighted to see that my post on value creation has stimulated discussion on the fundamental thinking about international taxation. See the posts of my friends and colleagues Werner Haslehner and Sergio André Rocha. At the IFA seminar in Rotterdam, we puzzled over the meaning of “value creation”. Werner also referred to another mystifying…

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…

Article 13.1 of the double tax treaty (DTT) signed between Luxembourg and Spain authorizes Spain to tax gains from the alienation of shares in a company whose assets consist principally of immovable property in Spain, with no exceptions for properties engaged in economic activities. Let us look at a scenario where a Luxembourg company makes…