UN Virtual Workshop on Selected Tax Treaties Issues


UN Virtual Workshop on Selected Tax Treaties Issues
17 June and 1, 15, 24 and 29 July 2020, 2pm-5pm NY time

Organized by the Financing for Sustainable Development Office of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (FSDO/UNDESA), in collaboration with the OECD and the Interamerican Center of Tax Administrations Forum (CIAT) 

The UN Workshop on Selected Tax Treaties Issues addressed the history and objective of tax treaties, plus specific technical issues, such as persons and taxes covered, including the application of tax treaties to transparent entities, the definition and attribution of profits to permanent establishments, application of tax treaties to the provision of services, and business income. Upon demand, the workshop also included a full Q&A session held on 24 July 2020, addressing case studies submitted by the participants.

This regional capacity development workshop brought together 70 participants from the National Tax Administrations and Ministries of Finance from 12 developing countries in Latin America. The workshop was conducted in Spanish.

The workshop provided practical training for developing countries in negotiating, administering and interpreting tax treaties. It focused on concrete issues particularly relevant to the special needs and demands of developing countries. It translated complex concepts into practical and accessible language to ease understanding of those important issues and engagement with expert facilitators.

Participants in the workshop confirmed its positive impact on the capacity development of public officials, including how it would help them in applying the most suitable instruments in tax treaties to broaden the tax base of developing countries. This is particularly relevant for supporting developing country efforts in Latin America to mobilize domestic resources for achieving their Sustainable Development Goals, from eradicating poverty and hunger to reducing inequalities and building resilient infrastructure.

The workshop built on the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries, an important tool for developing countries in negotiating their bilateral tax treaties. The UN Tax Committee, through its subcommittee on this topic, is currently updating the UN Model Convention. UNDESA tax capacity workshops like these informed the Committee’s understanding of priority areas where developing countries could benefit.

The workshop facilitators included top-tier experts in tax treaty law, including current and former members of the UN Tax Committee, other experts from the region, representatives from partner organizations, namely the OECD and CIAT, and UNDESA staff.