Found in Translation: The Correct Interpretation of 'Secret Formula or Process' in India's Tax Treaties

(2016) 4 British Tax Review 411-415

6 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2016 Last revised: 17 Aug 2017

See all articles by Dhruv Sanghavi

Dhruv Sanghavi

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 9, 2016

Abstract

This article critically reviews of the Delhi High Court in Director of Income Tax v New Skies Satellite BV to interpreting the phrase "secret formula or process" in the India-Netherlands Tax Treaty 1989. It argues that the court's sole reliance on the English version of the text of the tax treaty (which was also concluded in Dutch and Hindi, lead it along the incorrect interpretative process. Whilst the court does arrive at the correct outcome, the author argues, it does so for the wrong reasons; and the process would have been simplified had the Dutch version of the tax treaty or French text of the OECD Model Tax Convention been referred to.

Keywords: tax treaties, OECD Model Tax Convention, Royalties, secret formula or process, interpretation, legal methodology, multilingual treaties, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Suggested Citation

Sanghavi, Dhruv, Found in Translation: The Correct Interpretation of 'Secret Formula or Process' in India's Tax Treaties (November 9, 2016). (2016) 4 British Tax Review 411-415. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2867079

Dhruv Sanghavi (Contact Author)

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200
Netherlands

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