Interpretation of Double Taxation Conventions
International Tax Law, Vol. 78, pp. 469-496, 1993
15 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 10 Jun 2015
Date Written: 1993
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: Suggested Citation