In Search of the Digital Nomad – Rethinking the Taxation of Employment Income under Tax Treaties

In this article, the author raises major policy questions, which emanate from the new digital economy setting, regarding the current normative framework for delineating taxation rights over employment income in our tax treaties, namely article 15 of the OECD/UN Models (2017). The author questions our reliance on the tax residence of individuals as the safe anchor for attributing taxation prerogatives, as well as our understanding of how and where employment is exercised. Furthermore, the author shows that labour law developments are making our tax treaty rules, which are currently based on the belief in the existence of a common international understanding of the concepts of employment and employer (employment relationship), increasingly inoperable. Based on the provided analysis, the author suggests amendments to article 15 of the OECD/UN Models (2017) to improve their alignment with the new digital reality.