2008 OECD Model : changes to the Commentary on Article 5 regarding the treatment of services : more choices, less clarity

This article examines the changes made by the 2008 Update of the OECD Model to the Commentary on Art. 5 regarding the treatment of services. The article summarizes the new Commentary on the provision of cross-border services and discusses the OECD's apparently growing practice, and its potentially far-reaching implications, of including alternative positions in the Commentaries. The article also discusses specific technical issues that may arise in connection with the "Services PE" alternative in the new Commentary. Finally, the article raises the question whether the alternative provision is part of a broader erosion of the historic OECD permanent establishment standard and, if so, whether further reflection by the OECD member countries would be well-advised.