Tax Treaties and the Taxation of Services in the Absence of Physical Presence
41 Brook. J. Int'l L. 1143 (2016)
15 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2016
It is old news that modern technological developments have strained long‐standing international tax policies and principles. Tax treaties have attempted to keep pace by fitting these new developments within the existing framework. This brief article addresses one aspect of technological developments that can directly affect individual taxpayers—the increasing ability to deliver personal services electronically across borders, without the need for the service provider to have a physical presence in the “source” country. In particular, it focuses on recent developments with the U.N. Model, which may allow source‐based taxation of at least some types of services income even in the absence of the service provider’s physical presence. The article identifies a number of concerns with this approach, and suggests that this jurisdictional expansion be more narrowly tailored to address the specific concerns raised by cross‐border services.
Keywords: international tax, tax, telemedicine, telesurgery, cross-border, personal services, citizenship, treaties, globalization, offshoring, outsourcing, labor mobility, technology
JEL Classification: F22, F66, F68, H24, H26, J29, J61, K34, N70, O15, O33, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation