The classic issue of dynamic versus static interpretation of tax treaties arises again. Not only is this a hot topic in the international tax arena, but it is also a permanent pain in the Spanish Supreme Court’s neck since its judgment on the Julio Iglesias case of June 11, 2008 (available here). In that case,…

Almost every foreign client I have advised has at some stage told me how complex the Indian Income Tax Act is. And those who follow Indian tax jurisprudence closely know that judicial decisions, in many cases, are doubly complex. Recently, India’s Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), New Delhi was asked to decide if the tax…

One of the fascinating features of EU law is that no matter how well-established its classics may be, they are revisited over and over again. If you thought you had seen it all about preliminary references, think twice. Always think twice, because you can never be fully sure until the Court’s next judgment. Last week,…

The Tax Court of Canada decision in Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L. v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 152 (CanLII) on August 22, 2018 may provide useful pointers to the meaning and application of the PPT found in Article 7(1) of the MLI and Article 29(9). A Luxembourg resident company claimed exemption from Canadian income tax under…

Can an Indian subsidiary be said to be the permanent establishment of its overseas parent on the ground that it is a virtual projection of the latter even if the tests explicitly stipulated in the permanent establishment Article of a tax treaty are not met? This was one of the main questions that recently came…

The update on tax certainty IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors   published on 22 July 2018 may not have been everyone’s summer holiday reading. This report follows on from the 2017 IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers in March 2017. It should certainly give pause for thought. The “tax…

On July 13, 2018, India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued for stakeholders’ comments a consultation document on framing of tax rules in respect of the concept of “significant economic presence” – a recent addition to the Indian Income Tax jurisprudence. Readers will recollect that India’s 2018 Budget proposed to amend the definition of…

Being familiar with the Spanish tax environment, readers will know that Spain does not withhold taxes on interest paid to EU residents. This domestic exemption has been in force for several decades, long before the EU Interest and Royalties Directive. The domestic exemption has the beauty of simplicity: it applies to all EU-resident lenders, without…

I am delighted to see that my post on value creation has stimulated discussion on the fundamental thinking about international taxation. See the posts of my friends and colleagues Werner Haslehner and Sergio André Rocha. At the IFA seminar in Rotterdam, we puzzled over the meaning of “value creation”. Werner also referred to another mystifying…

Article 13.1 of the double tax treaty (DTT) signed between Luxembourg and Spain authorizes Spain to tax gains from the alienation of shares in a company whose assets consist principally of immovable property in Spain, with no exceptions for properties engaged in economic activities. Let us look at a scenario where a Luxembourg company makes…

The importance of the permanent establishment (PE) principle in tax treaties cannot be undermined. Whether or not a source country has the right to tax business profits of a foreign company would depend wholly on the existence or non-existence of a PE of that company in the source country. Work undertaken by the OECD in…

There is only one legal certainty about Brexit. On 29 March 2019 EU law will cease to apply in the United Kingdom, as a result of the UK having given notice of withdrawal on 29 March 2017. This is clear from Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union. Draft withdrawal agreement A Draft Agreement…

Increased focus on taxation of cross-border situations involving both individuals and companies is one of the key features of the post-BEPS international tax environment. One central aspect of this is increased administrative cooperation between tax administrations in exchange of information and assistance in recovery of taxes. Territoriality principle Recent UK decisions have emphasised the need…

Non-inclusion of the Swiss-United Kingdom income tax treaty in the list of Covered Tax Agreements of both the states on signing the BEPS MLI on 7 June 2017 surprised some observers. This evident gap between two OECD member countries was quickly filled by a protocol to the Swiss-United Kingdom treaty concluded on 30 November 2017….