“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” – Brothers Grimm, “Snow White” Where it all started Tax evolved like many things in the world we experience today. Taxes were already levied during the various reins of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The earliest taxes in Rome were customs duties on imports and exports…

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…

Introduction While tax legislation is subject to continuous changes, tax treaties are an interesting tool whereby Contracting States offer investors some degree of legal certainty, especially where there is a recognition that internal law should not override tax treaties’ provisions.  Article 2(4) of OECD-MA can be seen as a provision intended to assure the continuity…

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…

Probably without noticing it, Colombia did not take into account that signing the recent DTT with France would allow some treaty-covered taxpayers to claim Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) protection. Some of Colombia’s DTTs, as the ones signed with Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Portugal and Mexico, include Most-Favoured-Nation clauses with respect to royalties. In this sense, it is important…

When UK voters went to the polls on 23 June 2016 and voted by a slim majority to leave the European Union, few of them had in mind the impact on taxation.  Future generations are unlikely to view it kindly. Looked at from the present the dominating features are uncertainty and disruption of settled tax…

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 6 June 2016, the European Commission finally released its decision in the McDonald’s State Aid case. After the clarifications recently provided on the Commission’s position concerning transfer pricing cases and the arm’s length principle (see especially its decision in the Belgian Excess Profits Exemption Scheme, §§ 145–150, clarifying the Commission’s reliance on an independent…

1. The international context: OECD giant steps towards international transparency Last year OECD released its Update on Voluntary Disclosure Programs: A pathway to tax compliance, a renewed edition of the survey published in 2010; the 2015 update was aimed at providing guidance to governments wishing to offer taxpayers the chance to come forward and become…

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…

George Orwell’s parable, Animal Farm, offers insights on political and governmental institutions that bear revisiting from time to time. BEPS Action 6 with the broad title “Prevent treaty abuse” has among its objectives “developing model treaty provisions to prevent the granting of treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances” and “to clarify that tax treaties are not…

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…

The OECD BEPS project was kicked off by the observation that the interaction of domestic tax systems sometimes leads to an overlap, resulting in double taxation as well as gaps, which result in an item of income not being taxed anywhere, thus resulting in so called “double non-taxation”. Co-operation among countries historically addressed double taxation…