The interpretation of double taxation agreements : a comparative evaluation of recent South African case law
CITATION: Du Plessis, J. 2016. The interpretation of double taxation agreements : a comparative evaluation of recent South African case law. Journal of South African Law / Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, 2016(3):484-499.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/jlc_tsar
Vogel and Rust describe the act of interpretation as unfolding a text, to bring it to be understood. The South African courts have recently had a number of opportunities to interpret double taxation agreements entered into by South Africa. For example, in May 2015 the tax court in Johannesburg delivered judgment in a case dealing with the double taxation agreement between South Africa and the United States of America. In August 2015, the supreme court of appeal considered the double taxation agreement between South Africa and Australia. Besides the relevant findings on the merits of the cases, both these judgments contain a number of interesting points regarding the interpretation of double taxation agreements. It is these points regarding interpretation that this contribution aims to examine.