Case law on thepurpose of transactions is starting to develop around the world. Is there a common pattern? Whether a financing structure was a “tax avoidance arrangement”  under  now repealed general anti-avoidance provisions of the New Zealand Income Tax Act 2004  was examined last month by the New Zealand Court of Appeal in Commissioner of…

Inspiration, purpose and the context of this contribution In the article “The PPT in Post-BEPS Tax Treaty Law: It Is a GAAR but Just a GAAR!”, Professor Robert Danon convincingly demonstrated that “while the PPT certainly permits a purposive interpretation, it may not be used to build into tax treaty law additional requirements that were…

In a moment of crisis like the one provoked by the Coronavirus, the problems of tax avoidance and tax evasion become particularly relevant, even more when they are blamed for cutting national resources to ride out the crisis and save millions of lives. Experts and activists in many countries are appealing to governments to go…

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….

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…

In the 1980s, a new dimension to profit shifting was introduced in the United States through the establishment of Onshore Offshore Banks. New legislation (called the International Banking Facility (IBF)) allowed banks in the US to maintain two separate sets of accounts. One set capturing all transactions with residents of USA which would be subject…

It is widely accepted that the United States of America is one of the most litigious countries on earth. As of 2010, US residents spent about 2.2% of their GDP (approximately 310 Billion Dollars) annually on litigation costs[1]. There are more lawyers per capita in the United States that any other country in the world….

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…

India recently notified a Protocol that amends the India-China tax treaty and incorporates some of the OECD recommendations put forth as part of its BEPS project. The changes would apply from the 2020 financial year. The Protocol brings about serious changes to the tax treaty in several areas, including limiting treaty abuse, tackling artificial avoidance…

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…

DNB (Dutch Central Bank) issued on July 2 2019 a Guideline entitled “Good practices tax integrity risks at clients of banks” (Good practices fiscale integriteitsrisico’s bij cliënten van banken). The Financieel Dagblad (Dutch financial newspaper) published an article on August 7 on the topic. The editor’s comment in the August 8 paper concludes this is…

I wrote in my last blog that despite its impact, corporate tax avoidance is one of the lesser debated issues in India. This is what I wrote: “Multinational tax avoidance has almost never made it to the front pages of popular Indian newspapers and has never been discussed on primetime TV news debates. That corporate…

On 16 April 2019, the European Parliament (EP) voted in favour of the proposed Directive on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law (hereinafter “the Directive”). While the Directive remains to be adopted by the Council, it seems very likely that after the overwhelming majority it enjoyed at the EP, it will…