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…

The dust has not settled yet and there is probably much more to come from this and future leaks. Investigations have started, international cooperation will be key and hopefully those that have not respected the law will be punished. Here below a couple of reflections based on what I read/seen/heard these days between one toy…

A critical appraisal of the EU Switch Over Rule and the Indian Equalization Levy At present, it is unavoidable to recognize that the international tax scenario is in transition to a much more inter-nation equitable system, where the national tax base will be better protected against erosion and profit-shifting corporate manipulations than it was in…

Introduction On 28 January 2016, the proposal for a council directive laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market (the so-called ATA-directive) has been published. Article 4 of the ATA directive contains an interest limitation rule that very closely resembles the German interest limitation rule which is…

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…