Home Sweet Home: Tax Treaty Interpretation and the Problem with Language under Consideration of the Permanent Home Tie-Breaker

British Tax Review, Issue 2, 2019

28 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020

Date Written: February 1, 2019

Abstract

This article discusses how language idiosyncrasies affect the interpretation and application of tax treaties in practice, causing interpretative schisms in the international arena. To illustrate, the interpretation of the permanent home tie-breaker in German tax treaties based on Article 4 of the OECD Model by the German Federal Fiscal Court, German commentators, and the German tax administration is analysed in detail. The example shows that reliance on the harmonizing powers of the OECD Model and Commentary alone is no substitute to a comparison with the other authentic language texts or additional recourse to the prevailing one when such exists.

Note: “This material was first published by Thomson Reuters, trading as Sweet & Maxwell, 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AQ, in the British Tax Review as Home Sweet Home: Tax Treaty Interpretation and the Problem with Language under Consideration of the Permanent Home Tie-Breaker [2019] BTR, No.2 and is reproduced by agreement with the publishers”."

Keywords: Tax Treaties, Taxation, Permanent Home, Plurilingual, Interpretation, OECD Model, OECD Commentary

JEL Classification: K33, K34

Suggested Citation

Resch, Richard Xenophon, Home Sweet Home: Tax Treaty Interpretation and the Problem with Language under Consideration of the Permanent Home Tie-Breaker (February 1, 2019). British Tax Review, Issue 2, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596863

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