Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

UN Tax developments

The UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters concluded their October meeting with several important milestones discussed.  A summary of the meeting is provided, and a reference to the Handbook on Selected Issues in Protecting the Tax Base of Developing Countries are provided for reference:

http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/special/11ictm-key-outcomes.html

http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/handbook-tb.pdf

Key points:

  • A new Article was adopted re: fees for technical services that will become a part of the new UN Model Double Tax Convention (DTC).
  • A new practical Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries was adopted.
  • Subcommittee on Exchange of Information presented a draft “Code of Conduct” that will be updated in the October 2016 session.
  • The Committee also welcomed the work of UN DESA’s Financing for Development Office in the area of capacity-building, including the production of a “Handbook on Selected Issues in Protecting the Tax Base of Developing Countries.”
  • Two new subcommittees were formed:
    • Royalties re: updated Article 12 UN Model and commentary
    • Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) to review and propose updates to UN Model

On the heels of the OECD BEPS Guidelines, the UN developments will pave the way for many developing countries that lack the time and/or resources for implementation.  Accordingly, additional withholding taxes for services and withholding sources will be revealed to extract monies at source.  As a result, the UN initiatives are paramount to monitor and review accordingly.

These initiatives will also provide greater capacity for global disparity, with the BEPS Guidelines and UN changes in periods of transition re: domestic legislative actions around the world.

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