To avoid double taxation with important distortive effects on cross-border trade and investment, countries have developed a vast network of bilateral tax treaties. However, absent internationally-agreed standards and an easily accessible set of draft provisions, negotiations of these bilateral treaties between countries would be extremely difficult and their application may lead to divergent interpretation. This case study deals with the co-ordination of the internationally-agreed standards for the elimination of double taxation of income and the prevention of tax evasion. These standards are reflected in the network of more than 3 500 bilateral tax treaties that have been concluded, and are interpreted and applied, on the basis of these standards, which need to be continuously refined and adapted to new situations.
This case study on the coordination of bilateral tax treaties and the OECD Model Tax Convention was developed by the Tax Treaties Unit of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration.
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