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Interpretation of Double Taxation Conventions

International Tax Law, Vol. 78, pp. 469-496, 1993

Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 72/2015

15 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 10 Jun 2015

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

Date Written: 1993

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Income Tax, Double Taxation Agreements, Jurisdiction, Statutory Interpretation, International Law

JEL Classification: K33, K34

Suggested Citation

Prebble QC, John, Interpretation of Double Taxation Conventions (1993). International Tax Law, Vol. 78, pp. 469-496, 1993; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 72/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1582263

John Prebble QC (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand
+64 4 463 6311 (Phone)
Papers Indexed at HOME PAGE (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/staff/prebble-scholarly.aspx

Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

University of Notre Dame Australia - School of Law

Sydney Campus, New South Wales
Australia

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