In last month’s blog I promised to address the treaty aspects of  Davies and Others v HMRC [2020] UKUT 67 (TCC). The case concerned UK resident individuals who each took out a life insurance policy with a Bermuda insurer under which their entitlements were linked to a Mauritian company that developed land in the UK….

The OECD’s BEPS 2.0 project is currently navigating turbulent waters partly because of the unexpected Covid19 crisis and its impact on state budgets and the need for additional revenues, and partly because of internal tensions and conflicts within OECD dominant group of industrialized countries, the 140-member-state inclusive framework, and the business community. Disagreements include (but…

We have all become familiar with the expression in the PPT set out in article 7(1) of the MLI and article 29(9) of the 2017 OECD Model  where “obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction”.  Discerning which is a principal purpose is one of the main challenges in…

Many States have incorporated General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAARs) into their tax laws to prevent tax avoidance; within the EU, a GAAR is even mandatory for corporate taxation since 1 January 2019 (Article 6 of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (EU ATAD)). States are recommended in the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital to…

In my last blog, I looked at the immediate impact of Covid 19 Lockdowns on key elements of double tax treaties – residence, permanent establishment and employment income. Many tax administrations have published guidance on their approach to these issues. Indeed, almost immediately after the OECD also published helpful comment on them too. The general…

Measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus have impacted on every aspect of life. While the degree of enforced isolation and immobility varies from country to country, the basic elements remain the same: Most people are compelled to stay at home and to work from there if possible. The speed with which the pandemic has…

The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the Tax Court of Canada decision in Canada v. Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L., 2020 FCA 43 (CanLII).   The case is of some significance because the Canadian Revenue Agency (“CRA”) sought to apply the Canadian domestic general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) in order to deny treaty relief. The…

Revised transfer pricing legislation set out in the Finance Act 2019 (No 45 of 2019), sections 24 to 27, represents a radical shift in the Irish approach to this area of international tax law. Transfer pricing legislation came somewhat later to Ireland than other OECD countries, having been first introduced in Finance Act 2010. The…

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…