The attribution of profits to a permanent establishment is already a complex issue with at least three separate regimes in the tax treaty context- the OECD Authorised Approach under the 2010 OECD version of Article 7 of the OECD Model, the AOA subject to limitations required by the pre-2010 version and that permitted by Article…

1. The Tendency We live in a time where the media, politicians, NGOs and activists increasingly are preoccupied with international tax matters. A simultaneous preoccupation is observed among the OECD, G20, EU countries and most other developed countries alike. This has led to continuously increasing regulatory requirements and strengthened legislation towards companies. The tendency is…

In highly dramatic fashion the French tax authorities and IT specialists raided Google’s headquarters and McDonalds. I don’t own Google stock. I’m not in favor of Google’s near monopoly on search (though it has accomplished this by offering a really great product and (free) work tools that make my life much easier).  I don’t eat…

Model tax treaties do matter. The OECD and UN Models constitute precedent books with standard clauses that contracting states can follow or adapt to suit their particular circumstances. The US Model treaty, in contrast, is a statement of intent. The preamble to the revised 2016 US Model Income Tax Convention released by the US Treasury…

Interest and penalty regimes place a high premium on correctly identifying the existence of a permanent establishment in the territory of a state. The failure to do so often means that there is no reporting to the tax administration by the foreign enterprise by way of registration or filing of returns. This is particularly true…

The Spanish National Court has recently ruled (case no. 182/2012) that a Spanish affiliate of Dell that sold Dell computers in Spain under a commissionaire agreement with Dell Ireland constituted a permanent establishment of the Irish group sales company. The decision is in line with earlier Spanish Supreme Court Decisions in Roche Vitamins Europe SA…

So what were the other discussions at the UN from 19 to 23 October this year?  One of the main topics is the continuing work on a withholding tax on technical services.  The reason for developing countries is simple: it is a simple, effective way to protect the local tax base and prevent BEPS through…

It is the annual Session of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.  This Ad Hoc subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) is responsible for the UN Model Double Taxation Convention and the Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing…

The services permanent establishment concept is perhaps the most noteworthy contribution to tax treaties provided by the UN model. The tax treaty concluded by South Africa and the United States in 1997, to replace the one terminated during the apartheid era, has provided an opportunity to consider thorny questions of services and permanent establishments. The…

Article 7(1) of the OECD model treaty is perhaps the most important rule regulating the international taxation of business. It sets out the fundamental basis on which businesses are taxed, that is, the state of residence has the primary right to tax with source state entitlement restricted to taxing the profits of permanent establishments. Source…

Following my latest post on the Court of Justice’s decision in Commission v UK (C-172/13, ECLI:EU:C:2015:50), I want to turn in this comment on the related issue of currency losses, which was recently addressed by Advocate General Kokott in her Opinion in case X AB v Skatteverket (C-686/13, ECLI:EU:C:2015:31). The Advocate General concludes that Member…

An issue of topical interest for tax administrations in the heat of the BEPS Plan, examining the existence of a PE does not seem to be on the agenda of Brazilian authorities. In a ruling from June, 2014, the Revenue Service confirmed the long-standing Brazilian treaty practice of taxing income from services at source irrespective…

The OECD Joint Working Group on Business Restructurings is, in many respects, the precursor to the OECD BEPS project. Unresolved Business Restructuring issues, particularly in relation to permanent establishments, have appeared on the BEPS agenda. One question asked by the Joint Working Group was: Can an agency PE exist if the arrangements entered into did…