One of the main goals of international taxation treaties is to alleviate or mitigate the risk of double taxation on taxpayers. The Fifth Protocol of the Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty, in force since late 2008, is one such treaty.
On October 30, 2009, international tax experts gathered at the midtown law offices of Baker & McKenzie LLP to address the question: Will the Changes to the Canada-U.S. Treaty Help Taxpayers Deal with the IRS and CRA? The breakfast roundtable discussion was co-sponsored by the law firm and Brooklyn Law School’s Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law (IBL).
The panelists included Kimberly Brooks, an associate professor and the H. Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and a Visiting Scholar at the Law School. Other participants were Baker & McKenzie’s international taxation expert Marc M. Levey, a partner in the New York office; the firm’s Director of Economics, Christopher S. Raybould, of the Toronto office; and of counsel to theToronto office, James R. Sennema. Brooklyn Law School Professor Steven Dean was the moderator.
Among many issues, they examined questions of stock-based compensation, and business restructurings and the OECD discussion draft. They questioned whether mechanisms in the new law meant to resolve double taxation cases, such as Competent Authority procedures and arbitration, are in fact working, and examined whether arbitration is the “magic elixir” to resolve double tax cases. Permanent establishments; limitation of benefits provisions; pro- and anti-hybrid rules, and interest whipsaw were also discussed, with panelists providing potential solutions to ongoing problems drawn from their actual practice experiences.
By Josefina Colomar ’10