Tax treaties

Updated guidance on tax treaties and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis



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  • English Published 21 January 2021
  • French Published 16 February 2021


Unprecedented measures imposed or recommended by governments, including travel restrictions and curtailment of business operations, have been in effect in most jurisdictions in various forms and stages during most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this situation continues in 2021. This note revisits the guidance issued by the OECD Secretariat on 3 April 2020 on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tax treaties. The guidance represents the Secretariat's views, supported by Working Party 1 (in its Inclusive Framework setting), on the interpretation of the provisions of tax treaties intending to provide more certainty to taxpayers during this exceptional period when those measures were applicable. The guidance reflects the general approach of Working Party 1 and illustrates how some jurisdictions have addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the tax situations of individuals and employers. This updated guidance outlines the application of the existing rules and the OECD Commentary on concerns related to the creation of permanent establishments; the application of "tie-breaker" rules to dual residents; and the tax treaty treatment of income from employment.



Many jurisdictions have issued their own guidance on the treatment of the issues covered in the updated guidance. Links to some of that guidance are included below (noting that this list does not purport to be a complete list of guidance issued). Links available in language of respective jurisdiction. 


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