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India and the Digital Economy – The Emerging P.E. and Attribution Issues

India and the Digital Economy – The Emerging P.E. and Attribution Issues

The exponential expansion of information and communication technology has made it possible for businesses to be conducted in ways that did not exist 15 years ago.  It has given rise to new business models that rely almost exclusively on digital and telecommunication networks, do not require physical presence, and derive substantial value from data collected and transmitted through digital networks.  So how and where should these companies be taxed?  Sunil Agarwal, an advocate and senior tax partner of AZB & Partners New Delhi, evaluates proposals already enacted in India and the U.K. and those under consideration at the level of the European Commission and E.U. member countries Italy, France, and Austria.  Should the digital tax be a consumption tax passed on to the final consumer or a minimum income tax based on global profits or substantial economic presence?  At this point, consensus does not exist.

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More Permanent Establishments: The Dwindling Preparatory and Auxiliary Activities Exception

More Permanent Establishments: The Dwindling Preparatory and Auxiliary Activities Exception

Nothing is certain in this world, except death and taxes – and even taxes are subject to change.  The ever-expanding definition of a permanent establishment (“P.E.”) and ever diminishing exceptions to a P.E. under the O.E.C.D.’s B.E.P.S. Project has made one thing clear – the restrictions local jurisdictions put on activities by foreign taxpayers to trigger taxation are tightening.  The dwindling preparatory and auxiliary activities exception is a prime example.  Neha Rastogi and Beate Erwin explain.

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The I.R.S. Approach to the Dependent Agent Concept

The I.R.S. Approach to the Dependent Agent Concept

When foreign corporations have certain limited activities in the U.S., a question that arises is whether a taxable presence exists in the U.S. for Federal income tax purposes.  A foreign corporate taxpayer with direct activities or operations in the U.S. is subject to U.S. corporate income tax and branch profits tax if it conducts a U.S. trade or business generating effectively connected income. Recently, the I.R.S. Large Business and International division published an international practice unit (“I.P.U.”) addressing the creation of a P.E. through the activities of a “dependent agent.” Fanny Karaman and Beate Erwin lead the reader through the I.P.U. and explain the four-step process that is used by the I.R.S. to evaluate whether a permanent establishment exists.

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A New Definition of Permanent Establishment in Italian Domestic Income Tax Law

A New Definition of Permanent Establishment in Italian Domestic Income Tax Law

Italian domestic tax law has adopted the permanent establishment (“P.E.”) concept when determining whether business profits of a nonresident are taxable in the absence of an applicable income tax treaty.  Earlier this year, changes to the definition of the term broadened the scope of activity constituting a P.E.  Effective January 1, 2018, (i) a digital P.E. is treated as a fixed place P.E., (ii) the scope of the specific activity exemption has been scaled back, (iii) an anti-fragmentation rule has been adopted applicable to groups of companies, and (iv) the scope of an agency P.E. has been broadened. Stefano Loconte and Linda Favi of Loconte & Partners, Milan, explain the new rules.

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O.E.C.D. Receives Public Comments on Proposed Changes to the Model Tax Convention

O.E.C.D. Receives Public Comments on Proposed Changes to the Model Tax Convention

In August, the O.E.C.D. released public comments on proposed changes to the Model Tax Convention.  Beate Erwin and Stanley C. Ruchelman examines the suggestions received by the O.E.C.D. and provides observations on the interplay between the O.E.C.D. proposed changes and existing U.S. approaches to these issues.  Areas covered include whether competent authority agreements can define undefined terms thereby removing the interpretation from local courts, whether a limitation on benefits (“L.O.B.”) clause or a principle purpose test (“P.P.T.”) is the better approach to limit treaty shopping, and whether a home that is leased to others can be a permanent home for purposes of applying the residence tiebreaker provision in a treaty. 

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