On 16 February 2017 the Public Consultation on the proposed introduction of rules at EU level to disincentivize promotion of aggressive tax planning schemes was closed. The rules under consideration focus on a Mandatory Disclosure Regime (MDR) – referred to also as a Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime. Under such rules, tax advisers…

Tax treaty negotiators in 100 countries will be tied up over the next few months with the challenge to evaluate their positions on the BEPS Multilateral Convention (BEPS Convention) with a view to participation in the signing ceremony scheduled for 7 June 2017 in Paris. The many options offered by the BEPS Convention make it…

Publication of text of The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS Convention) by the OECD on 24 November 2016 is one of the key milestones in the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. The BEPS Convention will be open for signature from…

Tax practitioner’s in the northern hemisphere taking their summer holidays may well have included the OECD discussion draft of 5 July 2016 on the attribution of profits to permanent establishments as part of their holiday reading (a mere 40 pages). See post on July 21, 2016. Over 50 organisations and individuals submitted comments(published by the…

On May 10, 2016, the Indian Finance Ministry announced that a new protocol has been finalized to amend certain provisions of the Indo-Mauritius double taxation avoidance agreement. According to a press release issued by the Finance Ministry, the protocol is aimed at tackling the dual problem of treaty shopping and round tripping of funds, besides…

Back in April this year, my contribution on the Panama Papers scandal started by saying that: “Massive leaks of information on offshore activity like the Panama Papers illustrate the need for enhanced global tax cooperation with an improved and deeper inter-jurisdictional information sharing scheme.”[1] It is not now my intention to follow the subsequent episodes…

Harmonisation of the efforts to discourage tax avoidance in the EU Recently, besides the objective of maintaining a balanced allocation1 (a reflection of the principle of territoriality), the imperative of restoring trust in the fairness of tax systems has been gaining terrain as a possible justification for restrictions of free movement rights2. The Member States…

On June 24 the British people voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU. The vote itself does not automatically imply the withdrawal from the EU: indeed, such withdrawal shall take place pursuant to Article 50 of the EU Treaty, which requires in the first place the notification of the intention to leave the…

On June 27, 2016 the EU Commission published the long awaited Starbucks State Aid decision (see here).  The EU Commission’s decision challenges the outcome of the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) between the Netherlands Tax Authority (Tax Authority) and Starbucks Manufacturing BV (SMBV), a wholly owned and controlled coffee roasting operation. Below is the Part I…

Is tax avoidance a bad thing? The international tax community seems recently to adopt an almost unanimous position: Yes, it is supposedly a very bad thing, as it not only reduces public revenue, but also makes taxation “less fair”, since tax-avoiding taxpayers do not pay their “fair share”. It is surprising how unanimous is this…

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…

Change is the only constant!  As businesses find new ways to operate, tax authorities are finding new ways to tax.  All is fair in the world of taxes! The tax world has been brimming with, news and claims of tax avoidance.  Tax has become representative of responsible corporate behaviour, governance and citizenry, and some big…

On April 12, 2016, India’s High Court at Madras delivered a landmark ruling in favor of an anti-avoidance provision (section 94A) introduced in the Indian Income Act, in 2011, to enable the Government to notify for tax purposes foreign tax jurisdictions that do not share tax and other financial information with the tax authority. From…

Massive leaks of information on offshore activity like the Panama Papers illustrate the need for an enhanced global tax cooperation with an improved and deeper interjurisdictional information sharing scheme. In fact, efforts towards reaching a global tax cooperation on obtaining and sharing interjurisdictional information is a longstanding endeavor of the international community, whose origins may…