The OECD has released the latest edition of its model tax convention, which includes major treaty-related changes developed under the G-20/OECD base erosion and profit-shifting project.
Specifically, the condensed version of its 2017 model convention, published on December 18, incorporates work related to action 2 (neutralizing the effects of hybrid mismatch arrangements), action 6 (preventing treaty abuse), action 7 (preventing the artificial avoidance of permanent establishment), and action 14 (improving dispute resolution).
It is the 10th edition of the condensed version of the OECD model convention and comprises the articles and commentaries of the convention as it read on November 21, when the OECD Council, the organization's governing body, approved it. However, the condensed version does not include the historical notes and background reports that are included in the full version.
BEPS-project-related changes in the 2017 update approved in November include a new article 29 (entitlement to benefits), which includes in the OECD model simplified and detailed versions of a limitation on benefits rule; an antiabuse rule for permanent establishments in third states; and a principal purpose test rule — all work related to action 6.
There are also changes to article 5 (PE) and its commentary as the result of work under action 7, and changes to article 25 (mutual agreement procedure) and commentaries on articles 2, 7, 9, and 25 related to work under action 14. Changes linked to the OECD model MAP arbitration provision and its commentary are meant to reflect the MAP arbitration provision developed under the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, also known as the multilateral instrument.
The full OECD model convention, including the articles, commentaries, nonmember economies’ positions, and historical notes, will be published in the coming year, according to an OECD news release. Sophie Chatel, head of the OECD’s tax treaty unit, said on December 15 during the eighth installment of the OECD’s Tax Talks webcast series that the full version should be available by mid-January.
By Stephanie SOONG JOHNSTON
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