ECJ rules that dividends received by US funds investing in Polish companies may be exempt from withholding Tax; Polish law restricts free movement of capital

The European Court of Justice (ECJ), on April 10, ruled that Polish tax laws that exempt from withholding tax dividends paid to investment funds located in Poland and other EU countries, but that do not exempt dividends paid to funds located outside the EU, may be invalid because the laws restrict free movement of capital.

As a result, U.S. investment fund, Emerging Market Series of DFA Investment. . .

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OECD releases discussion drafts on VAT rules for B2C services and intangibles, interest deductions, and dispute resolution

The OECD on December 18 released four more discussion drafts addressing aspects of the OECD/G20 base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action plan. The drafts concern the application of VAT/GST to business-to-consumer (B2C) supplies of services and intangibles, seek to limit BEPS through interest deductions, and propose ways to improve the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) dispute resolution process. . . .


Australia to determine if higher prices charged to consumers create location specific advantages for transfer pricing

Treasurer Joe Hockey in a Sept. 4 release said that he has asked the Commissioner of Taxation to examine whether location specific profits are being generated in Australia on account of the high prices multinationals charge to consumers and, if so, whether multinationals are appropriately allocating these profits to Australian operations under the transfer pricing rules.
“Australian consumers often pay much higher prices compared to United States . . .

Council of the European Union

EU adds antiabuse rule to parent-subsidiary directive

The EU Council, on January 27, amended the EU parent-subsidiary directive, adding a new antiavoidance rule. The action follows up on a political agreement reached on December 9 to amend the directive. The directive exempts from taxation dividends and other profit distributions received by parent companies from subsidiaries located in different member states. The amended directive provides that tax exemptions for . . .

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OECD releases key guidance on transfer pricing risk, recharacterization, and special measures

The OECD on December 19 released a discussion draft proposing significant revisions to the OECD transfer pricing guidelines to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). The draft seeks to provide a more accurate delineation of related party transactions, provides guidance on the relevance and allocation of risk, and provides for the recharacterization of transactions in some cases. The draft also sets out five “special measures,” including . . .

Commonwealth of Australia

G20 ministers approve progress on BEPS, endorse automatic exchange of information

G20 finance ministers, in a communique released following their Sept. 20-21 meeting in Carins, Australia, have expressed approval of the progress made toward completion of the G20 OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan and have committed to finalizing all action items by 2015. Further, the ministers endorsed the finalized global Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of tax information, committing to exchange of information by 2017 or end-2018, subject to the completion of legislative procedures. Communique. See also, G20 release, prior coverage of BEPS recommendations.

UK formally commits to country-by-country reporting template: The UK has agreed to implement the country-by-country reporting template provided for in the OECD/G20 BEPS recommendations, Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke announced in a Sept. 20 release. See, UK release.


India disputes binding arbitration proposals in BEPS recommendations: In a Sept. 22 speech before the G20, India’s Minister of State for Finance expressed support for the OECD/G20 BEPS project but said that developing nations had “major concerns” with proposals to introduce binding arbitration into the mutual agreement procedure for tax treaties. See, speech of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, India Minister of State for Finance. See, related coverage.


The OECD and Global Forum announce mandate to assist developing nations with BEPS: The OECD and its Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information announced on Sept. 22 that they have been mandated by the G20 to develop toolkits to support developing countries in addressing BEPS and to launch pilot projects to assist them to move towards automatic exchange of information. The OECD said it will report to the G20 Leaders in November on its plan to deepen the involvement of developing countries in the OECD/G20 BEPS project and ensure that their concerns are addressed. OECD release.




Luxembourg and France amend double tax treaty to permit source country taxation of indirect real estate transfers

Luxembourg and France on Sept. 5 signed the 4th amendment to their 1958 double tax agreement, providing for source country taxation of gains from the sale of shares of companies that primarily invest in immovable property, such as real estate. Text of the amendment (in French), release (in French). For analysis, see Arendt & Medernach, Loyens & Loeff, Baker & McKenzie