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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Historical Origins And Current Prospects Of The Multilateral Tax Convention, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Eran Lempert Jun 2023

The Historical Origins And Current Prospects Of The Multilateral Tax Convention, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Eran Lempert

Articles

This article has three aims. First, it surveys the pre-BEPS efforts to create a multilateral tax convention (MTC) from the 19th century onward, and explains why these efforts have failed, leading to an international tax regime dominated by unilateralism and bilateralism. Second, it contrasts the success of multilateralism in investment and trade law. Third, it examines the BEPS era efforts to create an MTC and suggests that, while there has been more convergence of the tax laws of countries, a fundamental divergence of interests persists that will likely doom any such efforts to failure. The article concludes that, at this …


The Historical Origins Of The Multilateral Tax Convention, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Eran Lempert Mar 2023

The Historical Origins Of The Multilateral Tax Convention, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Eran Lempert

Law & Economics Working Papers

This paper will survey the efforts to create a multilateral tax convention (MTC) from the beginnings of the international tax regime to the present day. The paper’s main contribution is to provide a historical analysis of the (failed) efforts to create a MTC from the beginnings of the ITR until the League of Nations (as contained in Part 1 to this paper). Part 2 of the paper serves to provide a brief modern context to the historical analysis from Part 1, covering why the multilateral instrument (MLI) that was included in BEPS 1.0 is not a true MTC, and secondly …


After Pillar One, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Mar 2023

After Pillar One, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Pillar One is unlikely to succeed for three reasons. First, it requires an MTC to be implemented because Amount A requires overriding Articles 5 (Permanent Establishment, PE), 7 (Business Profits) and 9 (Associated Enterprises) of every tax treaty to abolish the PE and Arm’s Length Principle (ALP) limits enshrined therein. But negotiating an MTC is hard, especially when over 100 countries are involved and there are fundamental disagreements among them.

Second, because Pillar One (despite its October 2021 expansion) is still aimed primarily at taxing the US digital giants (Big Tech), it is hard to envisage it being implemented without …


What Would Surrey Say? The Long Reach Of Stanley S. Surrey, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien Mar 2023

What Would Surrey Say? The Long Reach Of Stanley S. Surrey, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien

Law & Economics Working Papers

This essay examines the extent of Surrey’s influence on developments in tax law after his death. It argues that his ideas clearly impacted the tax reform of 1986, but can even be seen in later enactments like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and contemporary developments in international taxation. This in turn enables us to get a clearer perspective on what Surrey aimed to achieve and what the goals of these later developments are.


Canadian Qdmtt Challenges, Jinyan Li, Angelo Nikolakakis, Jean-Pierre Vidal Jan 2023

Canadian Qdmtt Challenges, Jinyan Li, Angelo Nikolakakis, Jean-Pierre Vidal

Articles & Book Chapters

Nobody believes that Canada is a tax haven. The fact remains that the effective tax rate of certain entities could be less than 15%. If nothing is done, Pillar Two could therefore apply and taxes that naturally accrue to Canada could end up in foreign hands. We must therefore find a solution and the most obvious is that of adopting a qualified domestic minimum top up tax. Other solutions are possible, but they seem less attractive. A QDMTT still presents some challenges. These challenges include sharing with the provinces, determining the priority to be given to certain foreign taxes relating …


International Tax Reform: Who Gets A Seat At The Table?, Assaf Harpaz Jan 2023

International Tax Reform: Who Gets A Seat At The Table?, Assaf Harpaz

Scholarly Works

The international tax framework relies on early-twentieth-century principles and favors the interests of the Global North, which created it. It bases taxing rights on a corporation’s physical presence and mostly allocates profits to the country of residence. Moreover, it has been slow to adapt to modern business practices. In the digital economy, companies shift profits with relative ease and often do not require a physical presence in the location of their consumers. International taxation needs reform, but leading proposals do not reflect meaningful input from the Global South and are unlikely to serve the needs of developing countries.

In 2021, …


What Would Surrey Say? The Long Reach Of Stanley S. Surrey, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien Jan 2023

What Would Surrey Say? The Long Reach Of Stanley S. Surrey, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien

Articles

Stanley S. Surrey died in 1984, two years before the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which gave us the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended. Historians have recently discovered Surrey’s work through his memoirs, published in 2022, and several articles based on the memoir and on the unpublished Surrey papers at Harvard Law School. There is no doubt that Surrey was a towering historical figure during his “Half-Century with the Internal Revenue Code.” As his protégé Donald Lubick, who served as Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in both the Carter and the Clinton Administrations, stated, Surrey …