General Anti-Avoidance Rules: Enactments from the World

104 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2017 Last revised: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by John Prebble QC

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: December 14, 2017

Abstract

This paper sets out the text and translations of over sixty of the world’s general anti-avoidance rules. General anti-avoidance rules are found in taxation statutes. Known as “GAARs”, they are perhaps the most intractable of all statutory provisions, challenging alike to policy-makers, drafters, legislators, advisers, tax practitioners, and citizens. Nevertheless, during the present century they have become increasingly popular among the legislatures of the world. All GAARs have fundamentally the same purpose: to prevent or to render void attempts at tax avoidance. They operate similarly, by providing that despite compliance with tax or general rules, arrangements that have the purpose of avoidance are ineffective against the tax authorities. Despite this similarity of purpose there is a remarkable range of form. GAARs are often very long, sometimes very short. They approach their goal from different angles. The GAARs set out in this paper contain examples of all different approaches. The paper thus forms a foundational resource for comparative work on GAARS and for scholars and policy-makers tasked with evaluating different approaches to drafting or improving their countries’ GAARs.

Keywords: Tax law, Taxation, Tax avoidance, General anti-avoidance rules

JEL Classification: K00, K34

Suggested Citation

Prebble QC, John, General Anti-Avoidance Rules: Enactments from the World (December 14, 2017). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 170/2017; WU International Taxation Research Paper Series No. 2018-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3088222

John Prebble QC (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

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New Zealand
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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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