An analysis of the applicability of the OECD Model Tax Convention to non-OECD member countries : the South African case
CITATION: Steenkamp, L. A. 2017. An analysis of the applicability of the OECD Model Tax Convention to non-OECD member countries : the South African case. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 10(1):83-93, doi:10.4102/jef.v10i1.6.
The original publication is available at https://jefjournal.org.za/
Most tax treaties (including South Africa's) are based on the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital and the related Commentary (the 'OECD Model'). Notwithstanding the uncertainty surrounding its legal status, the courts in many countries use the OECD Model in the interpretation of their tax treaties. The OECD launched an action plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ('BEPS') in 2013, which is aimed at improving international tax cooperation between governments. In South Africa, the importance of combating BEPS is highlighted by the fact that the Davis Tax Committee has appointed a sub-committee specifically to address concerns pertaining to BEPS. South Africa's participation in the BEPS project and its tax treaty negotiations with other countries, especially OECD member states, are of the utmost importance to South Africa's National Treasury. Consequently, it is the primary objective of this article to analyse the applicability of the OECD Model to non-OECD member countries, with particular emphasis on South Africa. It will be argued that, if the treaties of non-member countries are in conformity with the OECD Model and no specific position has been taken, the non-members also accept the provisions of the Model and the Commentary as an interpretative aid.