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Tax Treaty

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A tax treaty that existed between 2 countries is based on certain model

Two worldwide recognize model used :

  1. Organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD) model
  • Made by OECD (formerly by league of nations)
  • Given most of taxation might to domicile country
  • OECD country mainly a developed countries, where capital technology and HR come from
  1. United Nations (UN) model
  • Made by UN
  • Given most of taxation rights to source country
  • More suitable for developing countries, as a destination investment country of developed countries

Other models (limited) :

  1. United States (US) model

Only applying for USA tax treaty with other countries  similar with OECD model, even more aggressive toward domicile country

  1. Nordic Convention

Only applying in certain Northern European/ Scandinavian country  more balanced between source and domicile country

  1. Caricom Agreement

Only applying in central America and Caribbean Island country  similar with UN model, even more aggressive to source country

Tax Treaty as Source of International Tax Law

  • Agreement is bond two parties, must be conducted with good faith
  • Country that enter into tax treaty must be realized that tax treaty will limit the country tax laws
  • Compromises between each countries involved
  • Tax treaty is a Lex Specialis (specific laws), and remember the principle Lex Specialis Derogat Lex Generalis (specific laws prevail over general laws)
  • Tax laws issued after tax treaty can’t override the tax treaty itself Lex Posterior Generalis Non Derogat Legi Prori Specialis

OECD Model Content

  • Introduction
  • Text  tax treaty model regarding taxation on income and capital
  • Commentaries  explanation of text
  • OECD countries position when :
  • It has different views on certain articles (reservation)
  • It has different views on certain commentaries (observation)
  • Non OECD countries position

Text of OECD Model

Chapter I Scope of the convention

Article 1

Article 2

Persons covered

Taxes covered

Chapter II Taxation of Income

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

General definitions


Permanent establishments

Chapter III Taxation of Income

Article 6

Article 7

Article 8

Article 9

Article 10

Article 11

Article 12

Article 13

Article 14

Article 15

Article 16

Article 17

Article 18

Article 19

Article 20

Article 21

Income from immovable property

Business profit

Shipping, inland waterways and air transport

Associated enterprise




Capital gain

Income from professional service

Income from employment

Director’s fee

Artists and sportsman


Government service


Other income

Chapter IV Capital

Article 22


Chapter V Methods of Elimination of Double Taxation

Article 23A

Article 23B

Exemption method

Credit method

Chapter VI Special Provisions

Article 24

Article 25

Article 26

Article 27

Article 28

Article 29

Non discrimination

Mutual agreement procedure

Exchange of information

Assistance in the collection of taxes

Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts

Territorial extension

Chapter VII Final Provisions

Article 30

Article 31

Entry into force



Types of Income That “May be Taxed”




Article 6

Income from immovable property


Article 7

Business profit

If the business type is permanent establishments

Article 10


Can be imposed in domicile country only and also on source country and domicile countries

Article 11


Can be imposed in domicile country only and also on source country and domicile countries

Article 13

Capital gain

Except, if provisions in article 13:5 fulfilled

Article 14

Income from professional service *deleted since 2000

If professional service has a fixed base in source country

Article 15

Income from employment

If one of this condition fulfilled

(1) Employment is more than 183 days in 12 months; (2) Income paid by employer, which is a resident of source country; (3) Income paid by employer is recognized as an expense by PE in source country  

Article 16

Director’s fee


Article 17

Artists and sportsmen




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