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…

Corresponding adjustments and the MAP process When the price charged for goods or services sold between related parties is not in accordance with the arm’s length principle, Article 9(1) of the OECD Model authorizes the tax authorities of a State to make primary adjustments to the transfer price. This may trigger economic double taxation as…

Taxation of the digital economy is one of the more difficult and contentious issues in international taxation. There are several strands to this complexity. One strand is profit attribution for enterprises trading across different tax jurisdictions. Yet, several countries have introduced or propose to introduce a tax on MNEs in the digital sector known as…

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 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…

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…

Groundbreaking decision, landmark case, a milestone in EU case law, disappointing surprise: there are different ways to refer to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgments issued on February 26, 2019, on the withholding tax exemption provided by the Interest and Royalties Directive (joined cases C-115/16, C-118/16, C-119/16 and C-299/16, available here – the ‘IRD…

The text represents the personal views of the author, which do not purport to represent the view of Poland’s Ministry of Finance. In the judgement in X GmbH (Case C-135/17), on 26 February 2019, the CJEU for the first time examined a compatibility of CFC rules with the EU primary law to the extent of…

The recent (February 2019) OECD document for public consultation introduced two proposals to address the challenges of taxation, the first one is the revised profit allocation and nexus rules in the digital economy (Section 2) and the second one is the global anti-base erosion proposal (Section 3). Even though the document is titled challenges of…

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…