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…

After a decade, the Treasury Department issued a new U.S. Model Income Tax Convention (the “2016 Model”), which is the baseline text the Treasury Department uses when it negotiates tax treaties (last updated in 2006). The 2016 Model includes a number of new provisions intended to more effectively implement the Treasury Department’s longstanding policy that…

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…

On January 15, 2016, in a joint (bi-partisan) letter of Senate Finance Committee Republicans and Democrats to US Treasury, one that will certainly be of interest to our friends at Wolters Kluwer (a Netherlands parent multinational enterprise), the Senate Finance Committee members encouraged Treasury to use a tit-for-tat strategy against the EU Commission.  The letter stated that…

Interest and penalty regimes place a high premium on correctly identifying the existence of a permanent establishment in the territory of a state. The failure to do so often means that there is no reporting to the tax administration by the foreign enterprise by way of registration or filing of returns. This is particularly true…

The Spanish National Court has recently ruled (case no. 182/2012) that a Spanish affiliate of Dell that sold Dell computers in Spain under a commissionaire agreement with Dell Ireland constituted a permanent establishment of the Irish group sales company. The decision is in line with earlier Spanish Supreme Court Decisions in Roche Vitamins Europe SA…