Data and documentation

About the dataset

Version: 2.0.3 (5 March 2021: treaties signed prior to 1 January 2020, status correct as of 29 August 2020, MLI positions correct as of 23 February 2021). The coding book explains how the text of treaties was converted into the entries found on this site. If you are interested in working with the underlying data, please contact info@ictd.ac.

Indices

We provide five indices that amalgamate the content of a treaty into an expression of the overall bargaining settlement it contains. These indices are useful starting points for comparing treaties, but they are only a very rough approximation, and we recommend a detailed examination of the text before drawing any firm conclusions. To create the indices, each clause in the treaty was assigned a value between 0 and 1, where 1 represents a greater taxing right over inward investment. Indices are averages of these values over a particular group of clause, as follows.

Source. All fields in the dataset that relate to the balance of taxing rights.

PE. Fields related to Permanent Establishment, which refers to the threshold above which a foreign company’s presence in a country becomes taxable. Drawn from article 5 of the model treaties.

WHT Rates. An average of the fields coding withholding tax rates in each treaty. These are taxes imposed on cross-border investment, which treaties either prevent or limit to a maximum rate. Articles 10 to 12A of the model treaties.

Other. The remaining fields that relate to the distribution of taxing rights, drawn from articles 7, 8, 12, 13, 16 and 21 of the models.

UN. A strict analysis of only the provisions that vary between the UN and OECD models. It excludes, for example, WHT rates, since these are not specified in the UN model.

Clauses

Art. 5(3)(a): Construction PE length in months

The minimum length of time that a building site, a construction, assembly or installation project carried on by a business from a Contracting State must be present in a country in order to qualify as a permanent establishment.

UN: 6 months / OECD: 12 months

Art. 5(3)(a) Supervisory activities included in PE

Supervisory activities in connection with a building site, a construction, assembly or installation project can in themselves constitute a permanent establishment.

UN model: yes / OECD model: no

Art. 5(3)(b) Service PE length in months

The furnishing of services, including consultancy services, by an enterprise through employees or other personnel engaged by the enterprise for such purpose can in itself constitute a permanent establishment provided they continue for more than a certain length of time.

UN: yes, 6 months / OECD: no

Art. 5(4)(a) Delivery facilities excluded from PE

The use of facilities solely for the purpose of delivery of goods or merchandise belonging to an enterprise is excluded from the definition of permanent establishment.

UN: no / OECD: yes

Art. 5(4)(b) Delivery stock excluded from PE

The maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to an enterprise solely for the purpose of delivery is excluded from the definition of permanent establishment.

UN: no / OECD: yes

Art. 5(5)(b) Agent maintaining a stock included in PE

A permanent establishment can arise if a person acting on behalf of an enterprise habitually maintains a stock of goods or merchandise from which that person regularly delivers goods or merchandise on behalf of the enterprise.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 5(6) Insurance broker included in PE

An insurance enterprise of a Contracting State shall, except in regard to re-insurance, be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the other Contracting State if it collects premiums in the territory of that other State or insures risks situated therein through a person.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 5(7) Dependent agent extension to PE

Paragraphs 5(5) and 5(6) can still apply to a person who acts exclusively or almost exclusively on behalf of one or more enterprises to which it is closely related, if that person carries on business as an independent agent.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 7(1)(b&c) Limited force of attraction

Profits from sales of goods or merchandise of the same or similar kind as those sold through a permanent establishment, or from other business activities of the same or similar kind as those effected through that permanent establishment, can be taxed, rather than merely the profits attributed to the permanent establishment itself.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 7(3) No deduction for payments to head office

In determining the profits of the permanent establishment, no deduction shall be allowed in respect of amounts, if any, paid (otherwise than towards reimbursement of actual expenses) by the permanent establishment to the head office of the enterprise or any of its other offices, by way of royalties, fees or other similar pay-ments in return for the use of patents or other rights, or by way of commission, for specific services performed or for management, or, except in the case of a banking enterprise, by way of interest on moneys lent to the permanent establishment.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 8(2) Shared taxing right over shipping

Profits of an enterprise of a Contracting State from the operation of ships in international traffic arising in the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State if they are more than casual. (They may be reduced by an agreed percentage).

UN: optional / OECD: no

Art. 10(2)(a) Qualifying dividend WHT rate

Dividends may be taxed in the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the dividends. This entry records the maximium tax rate where the beneficial owner is a company which holds a certain percentage of the capital of the company paying the dividends.

UN: unspecified / OECD: 5%

Art. 10(2)(a) Threshold for qualified dividends

Dividends may be taxed in the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the dividends. This entry records the percentage of the capital of the company paying the dividends that the recipient must hold in order to qualify for the lower rate specified in this article.

UN: unspecified / OECD: 15%

Art. 10(2)(b) Portfolio dividend WHT rate

Dividends may be taxed in the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the dividends. This entry records the maximum tax rate where the beneficial owner is a company which holds less than a certain percentage of the capital of the company paying the dividends.

UN: unspecified / OECD: 15%

Art. 11(2) Interest WHT rate

Interest may be taxed in the Contracting State in which it arises, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the interest. This entry records the general treaty rate applying to most types of interest.

UN: unspecified / OECD: 10%

Art. 11(2) Interest WHT rate (financial institutions)

Interest may be taxed in the Contracting State in which it arises, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the interest. This entry records the rate applying specifically to interest on loans made by banks / financial institutions. (In the UN and OECD models all interest is treated in the same way).

UN: unspecified / OECD: 10%

Art. 12(2) Royalties WHT rate

Royalties may be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the royalties. This entry records the general rate applying to most types of royalties.

UN: yes, unspecified / OECD: no

Art. 12(2) Royalties WHT rate (copyright payments)

Royalties may be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the royalties. This entry records the specific rate applying to royalties for the use of, or the right to use, any copyright of literary, artistic or scientific work. (In the UN and OECD models all royalties are treated in the same way).

UN: yes, unspecified / OECD: no

Art. 12(2) Royalties WHT rate (use of equipment)

Royalties may be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the royalties. This entry records the specific rate applying to royalties for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial or scientific equipment. (In the UN and OECD models all royalties are treated in the same way).

UN: yes, unspecified / OECD: no

Art. 12A Technical service fees WHT rate

Fees for technical services (for services of a managerial, technical or consultancy nature) may be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise, but the tax so charged shall not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount of the fees.

UN: yes, unspecified / OECD: no

Art. 13(4) Capital gains (land rich company)

Gains from the alienation of shares or comparable interests may be taxed in a Contracting State if these shares or comparable interests derived more than a certain percentage of their value from immovable property situated in that State.

UN: yes / OECD: yes

This article can also be introduced to treaties via the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS (MLI)

Art. 13(5) Capital gains (other shares)

Gains from the alienation of shares in a company, or comparable interests, may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the company is a resident, if the alienator holds more than a certain percentage of the capital of that company or entity.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 14 Independent personal services

Income in respect of professional services or other activities of an independent character can be taxed by a Contracting State if the person deriving them has a fixed base in that State, or stays in that State for a certain proportion of time within a 12-month period.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 16(2) Top-level managerial officials

Salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a res-ident of a Contracting State in his capacity as an official in a top-level managerial position of a company which is a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 21(3) Source taxation of other income

Items of income of a resident of a Contracting State not dealt with elsewhere in the Convention and arising in the other Contracting State may also be taxed in that other State.

UN: yes / OECD: no

Art. 25B(5) Mandatory binding arbitration

Any issues issues arising from a case submitted to a competent authority under the mutual agreement procedure that are unresolved after a specified period of time shall in certain circumstances be submitted to arbitration, which shall be binding on both States.

UN: optional / OECD: yes

Art. 27 Assistance in tax collection

The Contracting States shall lend assistance to each other in the collection of revenue claims.. A revenue claim made by a Contracting State that meets the criteria set out in the article shall be collected by the other State in accordance with the provisions of its laws applicable to the enforcement and collection of its own taxes as if the revenue claim were a revenue claim of that other State.

UN: yes / OECD: yes

This article can also be found in mutual assistance agreements between states that are not included within this dataset.

Art. 29 General anti-abuse rule

This is an experimental field that codes according to the type of anti-abuse rule, as follows:

  • Limitation on Benefits (LOB): a resident of a Contracting State is not entitled to the benefits of the convention unless they meet one or more objective criteria.
  • Principle Purpose Test (PPT): a benefit under this Convention shall not be granted if it is reasonable to conclude that obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction that resulted in that benefit.
  • Both: LOB & PPT are both included.
  • Other: a non-standard article that does not resemble an LOB or a PPT.
  • Partial: a standalone anti-abuse provision that covers a specified set of articles of the Convention

UN: both / OECD: both

This article can also be introduced to treaties via the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS (MLI).