Tax treaties

OECD releases the draft contents of the 2017 update to the OECD Model Tax Convention

 

11/07/2017 — The OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs has just released the draft contents of the 2017 update to the OECD Model Tax Convention prepared by the Committee's Working Party 1. The update has not yet been approved by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs or by the OECD Council, although, as noted below, significant parts of the 2017 update were previously approved as part of the BEPS Package.  It will be submitted for the approval of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs and of the OECD Council later in 2017. This draft therefore does not necessarily reflect the final views of the OECD and its member countries.

 

Comments are requested at this time only with respect to certain parts of the 2017 update that have not previously been released for comments. These changes are as follows:

  • Changes to paragraph 13 of the Commentary on Article 4 related to the issue whether a house rented to an unrelated person can be considered to be a “permanent home available to” the landlord for purposes of the tie-breaker rule in Article 4(2) a).
  • Changes to paragraphs 17 and 19 of, and the addition of new paragraph 19.1 to, the Commentary on Article 4. These changes are intended to clarify the meaning of “habitual abode” in the tie-breaker rule in Article 4(2) c).
  • The addition of new paragraph 1.1 to the Commentary on Article 5. That paragraph indicates that registration for the purposes of a value added tax or goods and services tax is, by itself, irrelevant for the purposes of the application and interpretation of the permanent establishment definition.
  • Deletion of the parenthetical reference “(other than a partnership)” from subparagraph 2 a) of Article 10, which is intended to ensure that the reduced rate of source taxation on dividends provided by that subparagraph is applicable in the case where new Article 1(2) would have the effect that a dividend paid to a transparent entity would be considered to be income of a resident of a Contracting State because it is taxed either in the hands of the entity or in the hands of the members of that entity. That deletion is accompanied by new paragraphs 11 and 11.1 of the Commentary on Article 10.

 

Comments are not requested with respect to changes to the OECD Model Tax Convention that have been approved as part of the BEPS Package, were foreseen as part of the follow-up work on the treaty-related BEPS measures and/or were previously released for comments. These changes — which are released for information — include the following:

 

As part of the 2017 update, a number of changes and additions will also be made to the observations, reservations and positions of OECD member countries and non-member economies. These changes and additions are in the process of being formulated and will be included in the final version of the 2017 update.

 

Comments should be sent electronically in Word format by 10 August 2017 to taxtreaties@oecd.org. Comments should be addressed to the Tax Treaties, Transfer Pricing and Financial Transactions Division, OECD/CTPA.

 

All responses to this consultation document will be made publicly available. Responses submitted in the name of a collective “grouping” or “coalition”, or by any person submitting responses on behalf of another person or group of persons, should identify all enterprises or individuals who are members of that collective group, or the person(s) on whose behalf the commentator(s) are acting.