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United Arab Emirates To Review Its Tax Treaties

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
17 December, 2014

The United Arab Emirates is reviewing its tax treaty network to ensure it will be compliant with the proposals of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as part of its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) work.

The nation recently held a workshop in Dubai, titled "Taking Tax Treaty Work Related To BEPS Forward," in collaboration with the OECD. The workshop covered the legal aspects of designing and implementing tax treaties. It also discussed how tax treaties exacerbate BEPS risks, developments concerning the attribution of profit to permanent establishments, proposed changes to the OECD model tax convention, and challenges related to the taxation of the digital economy.

The OECD is engaged in a number of initiatives concerning treaties, including its BEPS Action 6 work on preventing treaty abuse. Under this area of its fifteen-point Action plan, the OECD aims to develop treaty and domestic law provisions that would deny treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances and introduce best practice with regards negotiating tax treaties. Of particular relevance, this Action item reinforces that tax treaties should not give rise to double non-taxation or facilitate treaty shopping.

The UAE has signed almost 80 double tax agreements since it began to build a treaty network in 1987.

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