May 2019  
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Issue No. 2 - 2019 of the World Tax Journal is now available online.

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Number 2 - 2019 contains the following:
 
Five Core Problems in the Attribution of Profits to Permanent Establishments
Richard Collier and John Vella
The rules regulating the attribution of profit to permanent establishments (PEs) are a fundamental feature of the existing international tax system yet are beset by a multitude of problems. This article identifies five “core” problems with these rules: (1) the absence of a single standard for PE profit attribution; (2) conceptual and practical problems arising in the application of the Authorised OECD Approach; (3) new pressures arising as a result of the changes made to the PE threshold rules by the BEPS Project; (4) the failure to deal with the uncertainties between the transfer pricing rules and the PE attribution rules in the aftermath of BEPS; and (5) a raft of new challenges arising from the work on the digitalization of the economy. To a large degree, these issues are symptomatic of the problems faced by the international tax system as a whole. This article analyses the source, nature and impact of these core problems, before concluding with some brief thoughts on potential solutions.
In Search of the Digital Nomad – Rethinking the Taxation of Employment Income under Tax Treaties
Svetislav V. Kostić
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.
Citizenship and Tax
Giorgo Beretta
Since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, citizenship has defined the membership of an individual to a polity. Despite being a central pillar of national states and a supranational institution like the European Union, the importance of citizenship has progressively declined due to globalization and increased cross-border mobility. Indeed, citizenship has almost been abandoned as a connecting factor for establishing a state’s tax jurisdiction. This article, however, argues that such a perception is partly misplaced. Far from being a relic of the past, citizenship still maintains relevance in today’s international tax arena. Citizenship can serve, at times, either to extend or restrict a state’s taxing rights over an individual’s income. And yet, the use of citizenship for tax purposes is often instrumental and does not reflect the effective participation of an individual in a polity, which might ultimately suggest abandoning citizenship altogether as a relevant connecting factor in jurisdictional tax matters.
Designing a General Anti-Avoidance Rule for the East African Community – A Comparative Analysis
Afton Titus
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional integration project working towards the formation of a political federation. As a grouping of developing states, most EAC Partner States have legislated their own general anti-avoidance rules (GAARs) as a means to prevent base erosion and profit shifting. This article argues that the EAC federation, once formed, should continue this practice and legislate its own GAAR to protect its corporate tax base – one of the most important tax bases for African countries. This article further proposes a GAAR for the EAC that builds on the existing GAARs in the EAC Partner States and draws from international best practice through a comparative analysis of the GAARs in the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, the Income Tax Act in Canada and the Income Tax Act in South Africa. In so doing, the author proposes a GAAR for the EAC that is in keeping with international developments while adapting such developments to the EAC context.
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