Tag: Double taxation

Preface paragraph 4

In the case of tax administrations, specific problems arise at both policy and practical levels. At the policy level, countries need to reconcile their legitimate right to tax the profits of a taxpayer based upon income and expenses that can reasonably be considered to arise within their territory with the need to avoid the taxation of the same item of income by more than one tax jurisdiction. Such double or multiple taxation can create an impediment to cross-border transactions in goods and services and the movement of capital. At a practical level, a country’s determination of such income and expense allocation may be impeded by difficulties in obtaining pertinent data located outside its own jurisdiction ...
Double taxation

Chapter I paragraph 1.15

A move away from the arm’s length principle would abandon the sound theoretical basis described above and threaten the international consensus, thereby substantially increasing the risk of double taxation. Experience under the arm’s length principle has become sufficiently broad and sophisticated to establish a substantial body of common understanding among the business community and tax administrations. This shared understanding is of great practical value in achieving the objectives of securing the appropriate tax base in each jurisdiction and avoiding double taxation. This experience should be drawn on to elaborate the arm’s length principle further, to refine its operation, and to improve its administration by providing clearer guidance to taxpayers and more timely examinations. In sum, OECD member countries continue to support strongly the arm’s length principle. In fact, no legitimate or realistic alternative to the arm’s length principle has emerged. Global formulary apportionment, sometimes mentioned as a possible alternative, would not be acceptable in theory, implementation, or practice. (See Section C, immediately below, for a discussion of global formulary apportionment.) ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.2

Where two or more tax administrations take different positions in determining arm’s length conditions, double taxation may occur. Double taxation means the inclusion of the same income in the tax base by more than one tax administration, when either the income is in the hands of different taxpayers (economic double taxation, for associated enterprises) or the income is in the hands of the same juridical entity (juridical double taxation, for permanent establishments). Double taxation is undesirable and should be eliminated whenever possible, because it constitutes a potential barrier to the development of international trade and investment flows. The double inclusion of income in the tax base of more than one jurisdiction does not always mean that the income will actually be taxed twice ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.4

Tax compliance practices are developed and implemented in each member country according to its own domestic legislation and administrative procedures. Many domestic tax compliance practices have three main elements: a) to reduce opportunities for non-compliance (e.g. through withholding taxes and information reporting); b) to provide positive assistance for compliance (e.g. through education and published guidance); and, c) to provide disincentives for non-compliance. As a matter of domestic sovereignty and to accommodate the particularities of widely varying tax systems, tax compliance practices remain within the province of each country. Nevertheless a fair application of the arm’s length principle requires clear procedural rules to ensure adequate protection of the taxpayer and to make sure that tax revenue is not shifted to countries with overly harsh procedural rules. However, when a taxpayer under examination in one country is a member of an MNE group, it is possible that the domestic tax compliance practices in a country examining a taxpayer will have consequences in other tax jurisdictions. This may be particularly the case when cross-border transfer pricing issues are involved, because the transfer pricing has implications for the tax collected in the tax jurisdictions of the associated enterprises involved in the controlled transaction. If the same transfer pricing is not accepted in the other tax jurisdictions, the MNE group may be subject to double taxation as explained in paragraph 4.2. Thus, tax administrations should be conscious of the arm’s length principle when applying their domestic compliance practices and the potential implications of their transfer pricing compliance rules for other tax jurisdictions, and seek to facilitate both the equitable allocation of taxes between jurisdictions and the prevention of double taxation for taxpayers ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.5

This section describes three aspects of transfer pricing compliance that should receive special consideration to help tax jurisdictions administer their transfer pricing rules in a manner that is fair to taxpayers and other jurisdictions. While other tax law compliance practices are in common use in OECD member countries – for example, the use of litigation and evidentiary sanctions where information may be sought by a tax administration but is not provided – these three aspects will often impact on how tax administrations in other jurisdictions approach the mutual agreement procedure process and determine their administrative response to ensuring compliance with their own transfer pricing rules. The three aspects are: examination practices, the burden of proof, and penalty systems. The evaluation of these three aspects will necessarily differ depending on the characteristics of the tax system involved, and so it is not possible to describe a uniform set of principles or issues that will be relevant in all cases. Instead, this section seeks to provide general guidance on the types of problems that may arise and reasonable approaches for achieving a balance of the interests of the taxpayers and tax administrations involved in a transfer pricing inquiry ...

Sweden vs Flir Commercial Systems AB, March 2020, Stockholm Administrative Court, Case No 28256-18

In 2012, Flir Commercial Systems AB sold intangible assets from a branch in Belgium and subsequently claimed a tax relief of more than SEK 2 billion in fictitious Belgian tax due to the sale. The Swedish Tax Agency decided not to allow relief for the Belgian “tax”, and issued a tax assessment where the relief of approximately SEK 2 billion was denied and a surcharge of approximately SEK 800 million was added. The Administrative Court concluded that the Swedish Tax Agency was correct in not allowing relief for the fictitious Belgian tax. A double taxation agreement applies between Sweden and Belgium. In the opinion of the Administrative Court, the agreement prevents Belgium from taxing the assets. Consequently, any fictitious tax cannot be deducted. The Administrative Court also considers that the Swedish Tax Agency was correct in imposing a tax surcharge and that there is no reason to reduce the surcharge. The company’s appeal is therefore rejected. Click here for translation FÖRVALTNINGSRÄTTEN-I-STOCKHOLM-Mål-nr-28256-18-28261-18-och-22183-19 ...