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Tools

IBFD is increasingly introducing easy-to-use tools which help you do your research more quickly and efficiently. Export functionality to MS Excel or MS Word enables answering client requests or filing for internal purposes. In this section of the help file you can find out what tools we have available, as well as how to use them.

 

Please note that you only have access to tools which are part of your subscription.
 
Comtax Basic Calculation Tool

What is it?

Comtax® Basic, a tool developed by IBFD's partner Comtax AB, helps calculate cross-border transactions to and from 129 countries worldwide. It takes all tax costs into account for up to two intermediary countries, using dividends, interest, royalties or fees. The tool is supported by a reference database which links subscribers back to IBFD's surveys and treaties for further details.

Note: this tool is only available to subscribers of the product Comtax® Basic.

How does it work?

Country Chapters Comparison

What is it?
Users can compare corresponding sections of two country chapters that are written in a common outline: the ideal tool for undertaking comparative tax research. This tool is available for Country Surveys and Analyses, Value Added Taxation, Transfer Pricing, Transfer Pricing Special Chapters, Corporate Investment Income, Private Investment Income, Holding Companies, Permanent Establishments, Investment Funds & Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, Tax Risk Management and the Trusts chapters.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When e.g. Country Surveys are part of your subscription, go to the tab "Tools" and select Country Chapters Comparison.
  • Step 2
    From the drop-down menu that appears in the frame on the left now choose the type of collection from which to pick the countries/jurisdictions to be compared (Corporate or Individual at the Country Survey level or Country Survey Subnational level).
  • Step 3
    After you have selected the type of collection, a new drop-down menu will appear, from which you can choose two countries/jurisdictions. Tick the boxes next to the two country/jurisdiction names you want and click the Compare button.
  • Step 4
    A new window will open, showing the type of collection and the countries you selected, side by side, with the common outline in the left frame. You can navigate through the common outline to go straight to the section of your choice.
  • Step 5
    On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this overview or export it to PDF or Word to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from all country chapters in Country Surveys (including Subnational level), Country Analyses and Topical Analyses by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar.

Country Tables Comparison

Tool combining the following, different country comparison tables

 

Country Key Features Comparison Table

What is it?
With this unique tool the user can see an overview of the corporate and individual tax rates of a specific country, including the rates relating to residents and non-residents, and then generate a comparison between this country and all other countries covered in the database. The tool is also available for the subnational level (states, cantons) of some countries. In addition, users can export this overview to Excel to enable further processing, whether for client requests or internal purposes.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When Country Key Features are part of your subscription, go to the "Tools" tab on the Tax Research Platform and choose "Country Tables Comparison". From the menu on the left choose Country Key Features. Then select National or Subnational from the drop-down "Table Type". 
  • Step 2
    Select all EU Member States, all OECD Member States, or a number of countries in order to compare their key features. For the Subnational level, select Canada, Switzerland or the United States and then select all provinces, cantons or states, or just those of your choice.
  • Step 3
    Press the "Submit" button followed by the "Generate Table" button to get the table you want. On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

EU VAT Rates Table

What is it?
Users can generate an overview of the VAT rates applied by EU Member States for goods, products and services, including standard and reduced VAT rates, generally applied VAT rates and VAT rates applied to labour-intensive services. This handy feature allows you to display a table of two or more countries covered in the database. In addition, users can export this report to Excel to enable further processing, whether for client requests or just internal purposes.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When the collection VAT & Sales Tax is part of your subscription, go to the tab "Tools". Under "Country Tables Comparison" choose "EU VAT Rates" in the left menu. Select one or more countries in the drop-down menu and press the "Submit" button. From the drop-down menu "Goods, Products and Services" which then appears limit the overview to certain goods, products and services. Press the "Submit" button again.
  • Step 2
    Press the "Generate Table" button to get the table you want. On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing. Note: This rates table is based on the European Commission document VAT Rates Applied in the Member States of the European Community (DOC/2401/2009). IBFD will update its EU VAT Rates Table on a regular basis.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Global Mobility Comparison Table

What is it?
A convenient and concise overview of tax rates for short-term and long-term assignments, statutory deadlines such as for the filing of tax returns and payment of taxes, employer's obligations, special regimes and exemptions and other important assignment-related issues.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When the Global Mobility collection is part of your subscription, go to the tab "Tools"  and select "Country Tables Comparison" from the icons listed.
  • Step 2
    Select "Global Mobility" and the countries of your interest via the menu on the left and submit. Press the "Generate Table" button to create an overview.
  • Step 3
    In the middle frame, the comparison table will be shown of the countries you selected, side by side. If you click on the yellow icon in a cell containing information, this will take you straight to the relevant section for that country in the Global Mobility collection.
  • Step 4
    On the bottom toolbar, you can either print the table you have just made or export it to Excel.    

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Holding Companies Comparison Table

What is it?
The Holding Companies Comparison Table provides regularly updated overviews of the most important (withholding) tax and legal aspects of holding companies from their formation to their liquidation (including related treaties, EU directives and anti-avoidance matters). You can generate an overview of the holding company regimes by selecting as many countries as you desire from all countries covered.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When the Holding Companies Tables are part of your subscription, go to the "Tools" tab on the Tax Research Platform. Click on the "Country Tables Comparison" icon and choose "Holding Companies".  
  • Step 2
    Select the countries of your interest via the menu on the left and press the "Submit" button.
  • Step 3
    Press the "Generate Table" button to create an overview. On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Interest and Penalties Comparison Table

What is it?
Country-by-country overview of administrative tax penalties and late interest payments for both corporate and individual income taxes. You can generate an overview of the interest and penalties regimes by selecting as many countries as you desire from all countries covered.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When "Interest and Penalties" are part of your subscription, go to the "Tools" tab on the Tax Research Platform. Under "Country Tables Comparison" choose "Interest and Penalties".  
  • Step 2
    Select one or more countries in the drop-down menu and press the "Submit" button.
  • Step 3
    Press the "Generate Table" button to get the table you want. On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Outbound Payments Comparison Table

What is it?
Table to compare the corporate or individual tax rates on outbound payments, i.e. patent royalties, dividends or interest, between a source country and residence country or countries or vice versa.
 
The comparison tables include direct links to the relevant tax treaty and sections of country chapters. In addition, users can export this report to Excel to enable further processing, whether for client requests or internal purposes.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When the Topical Analyses Corporate Investment Income or Private Investment Income are part of your subscriptions, go to the tab "Tools" and choose "Country Tables Comparison" from the icons listed. Select "Outbound Payments" in the drop-down menu on the left and choose either Corporate Tax Rates or Individual Tax Rates.
  • Step 2
    Further select one or more income streams of your choice and "Submit". 
  • Step 3
    Select a source country and one or more residence countries (or vice versa) and press "Generate Table" to get the table you want. 
  • Step 4
    On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Tax Management Comparison Table
What is it?

Country-by-country overview of tax administration, compliance and tax dispute resolution aspects for both corporate and individual income taxes (including links to relevant information on the website of the tax authorities of each country).

How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When the Tax Management Tables are part of your subscription, go to the "Tools" tab on the Tax Research Platform. Click on the "Country Tables Comparison" icon and choose "Tax Management".  
     
  • Step 2
    Select the countries of your interest via the menu on the left and press the "Submit" button.
     
  • Step 3
    Press the "Generate Table" button to get the table you want. On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Transfer Pricing Comparison Table

What is it?
A convenient and concise country-by-country overview of rates, applicable rules, the pre-filing phase and filing phase dealing with applicable transfer pricing methods, method priority per country, comparables, documentation requirements, APAs, CCAs, customs duties and VAT aspects, tax assessment details and penalties.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When the Transfer Pricing Tables are part of your subscription, go to the "Tools" tab on the Tax Research Platform. Click on the "Country Tables Comparison" icon.
  • Step 2
    Select "Transfer Pricing" and the countries of your interest via the menu on the left and submit.
  • Step 3
    Press the "Generate Table" button to get the table you want. On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Withholding Rates Comparison Table

What is it?
From about 175 Treaty Withholding Rates tables, you will be able to generate your own dynamic comparison table, tailored to your needs, showing the source and residence countries and income streams you want.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    When Withholding Rate Tables are part of your subscription, go to the "Tools" tab on the Tax Research Platform and choose "Country Tables Comparison" from the icons listed. Select "Withholding Rates" in the drop-down menu on the left. 
  • Step 2
    Select an income stream and then select the source countries and residence countries of your interest via the left menu. Press the "Submit" buttons followed by the "Generate Table" button to get the table you want.  
  • Step 3
    On the bottom toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Excel to enable further processing.

Alternatively, you can open this compare functionality from any Country Key Features document or Quick Reference Tables table by clicking on the "Country Compare" button on the bottom toolbar. 

Historical Tax Archives

What is it?
As a tax practitioner you may need to deal with tax issues from the past, due to protracted litigation procedures. To help you find the right information fast, IBFD has made available the Historical Tax Archives dating back to 2009. This tool allows you to quickly compare historical versions of a country chapter, or a historical version with the current one. From 2012 we have highlighted the main changes per historical version for easy reference.

Note: The tool can only be purchased as an add-on for selected collections (i.e. it is not sold separately). Currently it is available for the following collections (to which you have a subscription including the Historical Tax Archives add-on): Country Key Features, Withholding Rates Tables, EU VAT Rates Tables, Country Surveys, Country Analyses, VAT & Sales Tax, Corporate Investment Income, Private Investment Income, Transfer Pricing, Permanent Establishments, Mergers & Acquisitions, Holding Companies, Tax Risk Management, Trusts and European VAT Directives.

How does it work?

  • Step 1
    Go to the Tools tab on the Tax Research Platform and select the Historical Tax Archives from the list of icons. Alternatively, you can access the tool directly from the document you are viewing by clicking on "Historical versions" on the toolbar.
     
  • Step 2
    From the drop-down menu "Collection" choose the collection for which you want to find the historical document. Then select the country from the "Country" drop-down menu.
     
  • Step 3
    You can then choose to (a) view version of the document as it was published on a certain date in the "Show historical document" box in the left frame, or (b) compare a historical version of a document with another historical version or the current version.
     
  • After generating a comparison, you can print or export to Word or PDF using the buttons in the bottom tool bar. If you have chosen to view a historical version, besides printing or exporting the document to Word or PDF, you can also make an annotation or add the document to your Favourites, you can scroll through the various historical versions of that document in the archive by clicking on "previous/next" on the bottom toolbar and selecting the previous or next historical version.
International Tax Structuring 

What is it?

This tool is designed to help you plan cross-border transactions. It provides guidance to the steps to be considered per transaction by generating a side-by-side view of relevant Country and Topical Analyses chapters and summaries from the International Tax Structuring publication. You can select your home country and a foreign country, or you can compare the implication of the transaction in two foreign countries.
 

In the left column, the ITS publication is shown. In the middle and right columns, you can view two related Analyses chapters side by side. From the ITS publication, only the Summary at the end of each chapter is displayed. Each step in the Summary contains a header, a short description of what to plan or check in terms of the transaction and a link referring to the relevant paragraph in the ITS publication.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    Pick an ITS chapter using the drop-down button in the left column.
  • Step 2
    Expand the first header by clicking on the plus to read the first step.

    Tip: For more context to each step, click on the link “ITS [number]” to open the full paragraph in the text that is summarized in this point. This will bring you to the original ITS publication. Simply click on the yellow tool tab to return to the ITS tool or use the button on top of the Summary in the original chapter of the publication.)
  • Step 3
    Select a country in the middle and/or right columns of your screen.
  • Step 4
    Click “Home Country” or “Foreign Country” to see the appropriate Country or Topical Analyses sections for your chosen countries. (I.e. indicate whether the country selected in the middle column is to be regarded as your home country or a foreign country by clicking on the radio buttons. You can choose to compare either a Home Country in the middle column and a Foreign Country in the right column or two Foreign countries by using the toggle “Regarded as”.)
  • Step 5
    Expanding the header of a step in the ITS column on the left will show the relevant link to an Analysis section relating to that step in the middle and right columns. Click on the link and it will display background information from the Country Analyses or Topical Analyses chapters.
    By changing the country or using the toggle “Regarded as” Home Country/Foreign Country, the Analyses sections displayed in that column are changed.

    Tip: As you progress through the ITS steps by expanding the headers, you will see that the links shown relate to the step you last clicked and that step is shown in yellow.
     
  • Step 6
    You can print the compared documents, export them to Word, or save your search in Favourites.

Note: IBFD has tailored this tool to provide you with relevant sections from our platform related to the transaction steps, where available. For some steps, no relevant sections can be offered. As some steps are only relevant from either a Home or a Foreign Country perspective, one of the columns may remain empty. Whether links are shown depends on your subscription. The country dimension shows the Country Analyses chapters for the region you are subscribed to via your Explorer Plus package. Linking through to Permanent Establishments, Mergers & Acquisitions, Holding Companies and Transfer Pricing will depend on whether you have access to these collections through your other subscriptions. The aforementioned Topical Analyses chapters cover many but not all of the countries covered in the Country Analyses.

Simultax

What is it?
This tool allows you to fill in your own figures to calculate the corporate income tax for your resident company with domestic and foreign-source income. All IBFD collections containing Country Analyses on Corporate Taxation now automatically provide access to the Simultax tool.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    Select the tool "Simultax" from the tools icons listed on the IBFD Tax Research Platform.
  • Step 2
    Choose the country for which you want to make the calculations from the drop-down menu on the left, and click on the hyperlinked text in the right-hand frame (e.g. "Tax year 2015 calculation example for [your selected country]"). 
  • Step 3
    Fill in all the blank (white) fields with the figures you want to use. Once you have filled in the desired fields, the calculation adjusts automatically.  
  • Step 4
    On the bottom toolbar, you can either print the calculation, export it to Word or export it to Excel for further processing.
Treaty Article Export

What is it?
This tool allows you to export multiple income and capital tax treaty articles to MS-Word , PDF or Excel format to study one or more articles from various treaties in more detail (for example, the Permanent Establishment article from multiple treaties).
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    Select the Tool "Treaty Articles Export" from the tools icons listed in the IBFD Tax Research Platform.
  • Step 2
    Choose the countries for which you want to make the comparison from the drop-down menu on the left. You can select multiple countries by ticking the box next to the name of the country.
  • Step 3
    If you want, you can also select a "Related Country" and the language. Furthermore, if you want to add an OECD topic, you can do so by clicking on the yellow button and ticking the topics of your choice. 
  • Step 4
    On the bottom Toolbar, you can either print this table or export it to Word, PDF, or Excel for further processing.
Treaty Article Comparison

What is it?
This tool enables users to display two tax treaties side by side, allowing a detailed article-by-article comparison. Users can generate a comparison of any two treaties between countries covered in the database. New embedded links now also provide instant comparisons of a treaty article to the relevant OECD, UN and US Model Conventions, where possible. These links take you to the approximated corresponding articles in the relevant Models. This means you can now directly compare a treaty, article by article, to the corresponding articles in the OECD, US or UN Model. The tool also allows you to compare two different language versions.
 
How does it work?

  • Step 1
    Select the Tools "Treaty Article Comparison" from the tools icons listed in the IBFD Tax Research Platform.
  • Step 2
    Select "Country", "Related Country", "Language" and "Document" for the treaties you want to compare. 
  • Step 3
    Now click on the "Compare documents or Treaty Articles" button and you will see the treaties you selected. 
  • Step 4
    A new window will open with both treaties side by side. Now simply scroll through both treaties and compare the sections that you are interested in. You can then either print this comparison or export it to Word or PDF for further processing.

Note: To compare a treaty with the OECD, UN or US Model Convention, simply open a relevant treaty and scroll through the document. Under each article heading you will see embedded links allowing a comparison with either the OECD, UN or US Model Convention (not all treaties contain these links). Click these links to open a new window, showing the approximated corresponding articles in the relevant Models. This can even be done when viewing two treaties you have compared using steps 1 through 4.

Treaty Status Monitor

What is it?
The Treaty Status Monitor allows you to check the year of signature and status of each treaty document available in the comprehensive IBFD Treaties collection covering all jurisdictions around the world. It contains links to the full treaty document with further links to recent News and Case Law to find relevant details.

Clicking on the year of signature will show you the latest version (if more than one exists) of the full treaty document in the English language. If no English version is available, the treaty will be displayed in another language. Each treaty also contains links to recent News and Case Law. The Monitor covers all treaties currently in the database of which IBFD is aware. Please note that a selection of 225 by 225 countries results in a very long loading time. Selection is therefore limited to 30 by 225 countries.

Note: The tool is only available to treaty subscribers, and only for the region(s) included in their subscription. The ability to click through to the Treaties, News and Case Law depends on the level of your subscription.

How does it work?

  • Step 1
    Go to the Tools tab on the Tax Research Platform and select "Treaty Status Monitor" from the list of icons.
     
  • Step 2
    From the drop-down menu "Country" choose the first set of countries you are interested in, and from the second drop-down menu "Related Country" choose the second set. You can select multiple countries by ticking the box next to the name of the country.
     
  • Step 3
    You can choose to narrow down your search results at any stage of the search using the drop-down menus in the left frame. These allow you to filter on treaty subject, status, document type or date.
     
  • Step 4
    Click on "Generate Table" to make the overview. Click on the year to access the treaty of your choice. The key below the table indicates the status of the treaties contained in the table. Statuses are abbreviated by the first letter. Protocols are indicated by a "P". "O" is used for all document types other than Treaties and Protocols. If there is no treaty, the cell is left blank.

    After generating the table, you can print or export to Excel using the buttons in the bottom tool bar. The "Hide empty rows" button will show you only the countries that have treaties.