Interpretation of Double Taxation Conventions
John Prebble QC
Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law; Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien; University of Notre Dame Australia - School of Law
International Tax Law, Vol. 78, pp. 469-496, 1993
Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 72/2015
New Zealand has concluded double tax agreements with 24 countries. Double tax conventions are brought into effect by Orders in Council, a form of subordinate legislation. They are also incorporated in legislation by reference under section 294 of the New Zealand Income Tax Act 1976, which states that the terms of an Order in Council of the kind mentioned take precedence over the terms of the Income Tax Act. New Zealand courts accept that treaties are diplomatic, rather than legalistic, documents, and should be interpreted liberally, at lest in theory. They also recognise that the interpretation of a treaty is a matter of international law. In practice, and with notable exceptions, judges tend to interpret tax conventions in the same way in which they interpret legislation in general, with rather close attention to and even analysis of the text in issue.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: Income Tax, Double Taxation Agreements, Jurisdiction, Statutory Interpretation, International Law
JEL Classification: K33, K34
Date posted: April 1, 2010 ; Last revised: June 10, 2015
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