Category: Royalties

Advance payments by non-residents disposing of immovable property

Introduction Withholding obligation Proposed amendment Comment Introduction The 2015 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill proposes an amendment to Section 35A of the Income Tax Act (58/1962), dealing with withholding percentages from payments due to non-resident sellers of immovable property situated in South Africa. The proposed amendment raises interesting questions regarding compliance… – Continue reading

Russia and Singapore sign a Protocol revising their existing DTA

On November 17, 2015 Russia and Singapore signed a Protocol revising the existing Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Singapore for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income (Hereafter: the Protocol)…. – Continue reading

European Commission requests the Netherlands to amend the Limitation on Benefits clause in the Dutch-Japanese Tax Treaty for the Avoidance of Double Taxation

On November 19, 2015 the European Commission published the key decisions of its November infringement package. One of the key decision mentioned is the Commission’s decision to request the Netherlands to amend the Limitation on Benefits (LOB) clause in the Dutch-Japanese Tax Treaty for the Avoidance of Double Taxation, which… – Continue reading

Hong Kong and Romania enter into tax pact

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, today (November 18), signed in Bucharest an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation with Romania. Romania’s State Secretary for Public Finance, Mr Attila Gy?rgy, signed on… – Continue reading

Corporates dodge taxing questions

UPDATE 12.45pm: Bermuda has a company tax rate of zero. In Ireland its 12.5 per cent and, with the Netherlands, has given the world the term “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich”. But a trio of prominent Australian business leaders have denied the tax links of their companies to the three offshore… – Continue reading

Text of new Polish-Sri Lankan DTA published

On October 6, 2015 Poland and Sri Lanka concluded a new Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income (Hereafter: the DTA). When entering into force this new DTA will replace the existing Double Taxation Agreement (stemming from 1980)… – Continue reading

U.S. Implementation of BEPS Changes Begins

As at least the first phase of the OECD’s BEPS project1 wound down with the October release of the “final” BEPS deliverables, questions remained regarding how much of the recommended changes would be implemented in the United States in the near term. Because many of the recommendations require legislative changes… – Continue reading

UK: Proposed Revisions To The US Model Income Tax Treaty

The US Treasury Department released proposed revisions to the US Model Income Tax Treaty (the ‘Model Treaty’); the proposed changes are intended to combat treaty abuse and deny treaty benefits in certain situations. The revisions to the Model Treaty include: (i) changes to the Limitation on Benefits provision which most… – Continue reading

Implementation problems in connection with the FATCA Agreement

The BMF has application letter sent to the chief financial authorities of the countries associated with the between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America concluded by 31.5.2013 FATCA Agreement. Background Background of extensive, comprehensive 71 pages, application letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance on… – Continue reading

Bleak growth exposes malaise of revenue shortfalls

First it was the scourge of public sector corruption, until now the mortifying spectacle of South Africa’s post-apartheid transition. Now, with the ground shifting beneath the world’s sclerotic economy – and the past few years have produced more tremors than ever in the 21 years of democracy – it’s a… – Continue reading

Barbados, Slovakia Sign Double Taxation Agreement

Barbados and Slovakia signed a double tax agreement on October 28, 2015, to boost investment and trade prospects. The DTA allocates taxing rights to the two territories, to ensure that cross-border income is not taxed twice. It further stipulates that cross-border income from dividends will be subject to a withholding… – Continue reading

Cyprus – Switzerland: Tax Treaty Enters Into Force

TThe Income and Capital Tax Treaty between Cyprus and Switzerland entered into force on 15 October 2015. The provisions of the treaty will become effective on 1 January 2016. The treaty was signed on 25 July 2014. In accordance with the treaty, the following withholding taxes will apply: Dividends: 0%… – Continue reading

Dijsselbloem – Netherlands does not want to be seen as enabler of tax avoidance

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the Netherlands wants to make as much progress as possible in clamping down on tax avoidance by multinational corporations during its EU presidency, after criticism from the European Commission, reports Reuters. The Dutch tax system has enabled some corporations to pay almost no taxation… – Continue reading

Netherlands plans to rein in tax avoidance during EU presidency

The Dutch finance minister has said the Netherlands wants to make progress in clamping down on corporate tax avoidance during its EU presidency, after criticism of its sweetheart deal with Starbucks. The Dutch system has allowed some corporations to pay almost no tax and that was never the intention, Jeroen… – Continue reading

Spanish Company’s Moves in Ireland Hit Tax and Political Hot Buttons

MADRID — One part of the move had been long in the works by Grifols, a big Spanish medical company. The other came as a politically fraught surprise. When Grifols, a global leader in blood-plasma products, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new $100 million distribution center outside Dublin last… – Continue reading

India: Procurement Services By Chinese Company Taxable As Fees For Technical Services Under India-China Tax Treaty: AAR

There can be no straight jacket formula to determine what is meant by “provision of service,” which may include where services are i) provided; ii) rendered; or iii) utilized. The expression ‘provision of services’ is much wider than ‘provision of rendering of services,’ and covers the services even if they… – Continue reading

The European Commission qualified member states’ tax rulings as state aid

On 21 October 2015, the European Commission decided that a tax ruling between Starbucks and the Netherlands should be considered illegal state aid. As a consequence, the European Commission ordered the Dutch State to recover the aid granted to a Dutch Starbucks group company (Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA B.V.), which is… – Continue reading

Six ways the ATO uses data to catch tax-dodgers

How analytics will nab cheaters. Tomorrow is the Australian Taxation Office’s official cutoff for 2014-15 personal tax returns. Will you be tempted to tell fibs about your income? How will the tax man ever know? Take note: it may already know – or at least can find out – a… – Continue reading

European Union: The European Commission’s New Pandora’s Box – Reopening Final Tax Rulings As A Form Of “State Aid”

The European Commission (Commission) has adopted a decision on 21 October 2015 on the tax rulings – also referred to as “comfort letters” – granted by Luxembourg to Fiat Finance and Trade (FFT) and by The Netherlands to Starbucks. Rejecting the decisions of domestic authorities in Luxembourg and The Netherlands,… – Continue reading

Green light for the entry into force of the DTA between Switzerland and Argentina

Bern, 10.29.2015 – The double taxation agreement (DTA) in the area of taxes on income and on capital between Switzerland and Argentina is on 27 November 2015 to enter into force after the ratification procedures in Switzerland has been completed. It will replace the agreement of 1997 and corresponds to… – Continue reading

Ireland cuts tax for IP profits

Ireland has announced a new 6.25 per cent corporate tax rate for intellectual property research Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate is already one of the lowest in Europe, Economia reports. Now, companies investing in research and development (R&D) will be able to avail of the even lower rate… – Continue reading

Procurement Services by Chinese Company Taxable as Fees for Technical Services under India-China Tax Treaty: AAR

• There can be no straight jacket formula to determine what is meant by “provision of service,” which may include where services are i) provided; ii) rendered; or iii) utilized. • The expression ‘provision of services’ is much wider than ‘provision of rendering of services,’ and covers the services even… – Continue reading

INVESTIGATION: How MTN ships billions abroad, paying less tax in Nigeria

MTN has consistently prided itself as the foremost telephone company that is getting Nigerians talking the most. Now the South African company is about to set tongues wagging across networks with revelations that it has routinely been shipping billions of naira overseas to avoid paying its fair share of tax… – Continue reading

Commentary: Multinationals put poor countries in fix

The African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) recently requested major multinationals operating in Africa to be more open about the taxes and royalties they pay governments to improve transparency and accountability. Although a reasonable request, this is a tall order when you consider that often it is the governments… – Continue reading

As Maruti and HUL show, royalty is a small price to pay

While stocks such as Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Maruti Suzuki have outperformed the markets by a wide margin in the last couple of years, the stocks have sustained the performance even over longer periods. Despite the hue and cry over royalty payments by Indian subsidiaries of multinational companies, these companies… – Continue reading

How a company worth billions pays pennies on a million for tax

The company that is not a taxi company, which has drivers that are not taxi drivers, who carry people around that are not clients, Uber, is not only killing the taxi business, it is also avoiding paying taxes. The company uses a trick known as “the double-Dutch.” It is perfectly… – Continue reading

European Commission adopts first two decisions in EU tax probe in push for corporate tax reform

On 21 October, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted its first decisions in its investigation into Member States’ tax rulings. The investigation, which began in June 2013, has also targeted tax rulings given to Apple and Amazon as well as Belgium’s so-called “excess profits regime”. Although the investigation is conducted under… – Continue reading

Netherlands Sets Out Response To BEPS Reports

The Dutch Secretary for Finance, Eric Wiebes, has reported to the House of Representatives on the impact of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting project on Dutch tax rules. His letter, published on the Dutch Government website on October 19 in English, splits measures into those that concern domestic… – Continue reading

After Blow to Europe Tax Havens, Some Promise More Staying Power

Luxembourg and the Netherlands lost a bit of luster as tax havens for some of the world’s biggest companies this week, as the European Union fired its latest salvo aimed at multinational tax dodging. Yet the Netherlands is on pace to maintain its attractiveness as a tax-friendly address for multinationals,… – Continue reading

Apple Stakes Raised as EU Orders Starbucks, Fiat Tax Repayments

Apple Inc. and Inc. got a preview of what the European Union may have in store for them after regulators ordered Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit to repay millions of euros in back taxes. The EU said the coffee company and the Italian carmaker were… – Continue reading

Hong Kong: The Need To Review Royalty And Technology Transfer Agreements

On October 5, 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) released its final report on the 15 key elements of international tax rules set out in its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) Action Plan. The OECD launched the BEPS Action Plan in 2013 at the request of… – Continue reading

Brazil: Non-Applying Of Withholding Income Tax Over Foreign Remittances Of Remuneration Of Technical Services Supplied By Non-Residents In Brazil

The Brazilian Federal Revenue – RFB and the General Attorney of the National Treasury – PGFN changed the understanding that they shared in regard to the applying of Withholding Income Tax (IRRF) over foreign remittances of remuneration of technical services supplied by non-residents in Brazil. Before that, the RFB1 and… – Continue reading

HQs wooed with tax incentives

THE CABINET has approved the Finance Ministry’s proposal for more tax incentives to facilitate the creation of International Headquarters and International Trading Centres in Thailand. IHQs and ITCs in the Kingdom currently enjoy both tax and non-tax benefits, including complete income-tax exemption for out-out transactions, while in-out transactions will be… – Continue reading

Treasury offers tax deduction to SA firms in Africa

SOUTH African companies with operations elsewhere in Africa, such as telecommunications giant MTN, have reason to breathe a little easier having earned a tax respite, albeit considered minor by tax experts. The Treasury has made a concession on the proposed repeal of foreign tax credits for fees on services provided… – Continue reading

Rules on tax-dodging multinationals must be thoroughly implemented

The following editorial appears in Friday’s Yomiuri Shimbun: International cooperation must be bolstered to close tax loopholes that can be exploited by multinational business corporations. The Group of 20 major economies and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have worked out new international taxation rules to clamp down on… – Continue reading

IRS updates guidance on US-Canada DTA

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a revised October 2015 version of its Publication 597, which provides information on the United States-Canada double taxation agreement (DTA), reports Tax News. A number of DTA provisions that most often apply to US citizens or residents who may be liable for Canadian… – Continue reading

Cyprus signs off a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Georgia

Permanent Establishment Based on the new treaty the definition of permanent establishment also includes a building site or construction or installation project or any supervisory activities in connection with such site or project constitutes a permanent establishment only if it lasts more than 9 months. Dividends The withholding tax rate… – Continue reading

Ireland plans 6.25 per cent patent-box tax as `Double Irish’ ends

Ireland will introduce a new lower tax on intellectual property to keep and win more overseas investment as the government phases out a controversial loophole known as the “Double Irish.”, reports Bloomberg. The new knowledge development box will tax profits from patented innovations such as technological and pharmaceutical developments at… – Continue reading

Ireland, accused of giving tax breaks to multinationals, plans an even lower rate

Ireland, whose corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent is already one of the lowest in the developed world, said it would cut that rate in half for a new tax category — one covering revenue pegged to companies’ patents and other intellectual property. The Irish government, long criticized by other… – Continue reading

United States: Entering The U.S. Without Entering Its Tax System: Holding Company Structures For U.S. Operations

Foreign companies entering the U.S. market for the first time will want to consider how their operations can be structured to minimize U.S. taxes. Although sales into the U.S. can be arranged in some cases to keep profits offshore, a sufficient presence ”on the ground” can pull sales income (and… – Continue reading


The Norwegian conservative government on 7 October 2015 published both the proposed state budget for 2016 and a “white paper” containing proposals for tax reform. The proposed tax reform in the white paper is a follow-up action from a report on tax reform, presented by the Tax Commission in late… – Continue reading

Spain lionel messi royalties switzerland offshore companies tax evasion court case

Spanish prosecutors have dropped all tax fraud charges against FC Barcelona’s Argentinian star Lionel Messi, but will pursue the case against his father. Jorge Horacio Messi and the footballer were accused of defrauding Spain’s tax office by not paying €4m (£2.9m, $4.5m) due in taxes between 2007-09. If convicted, the… – Continue reading

UK: The Use Of UK Holding Companies In International Group Structures

The location of a holding company is a significant consideration in any international corporate structure. Choice of jurisdiction for a group holding company (‘Holdco’) is relevant both from the point of view of tax optimisation (maximising withholding tax free dividend, interest and royalty flow up through the group and minimising… – Continue reading