International Tax Arbitration in Asia

Live Webinar

International Tax Arbitration in Asia

About the Conference

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) School of Law and Tribute are proud to present the inaugural webinar on international tax arbitration with a focus on Asia.

With more than 3,000 Double Tax Agreements (DTAs), the system of DTAs has been the bedrock of the international tax system. For several years, Article 25 of the Model Tax Convention of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Income and on Capital ('OECD Model Tax Convention'), and Article 25 of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries ('UN Model Tax Convention') had relied on a negotiation-based Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) as the only mechanism for the resolution of disputes arising from a tax treaty. In order to improve the function of the MAP mechanism, the OECD, in 2008, and the UN Tax Committee, in 2011, introduced a binding ad hoc arbitration clause in Article 25(5) of their respective Model Tax Conventions.

Since then, mandatory arbitration has been recommended by BEPS Action 14 and adopted by a number of countries such as the US and Germany. Europe has advanced far ahead with its Arbitration Convention. In Asia, however, arbitration as a means to resolve disputes in international tax remains at the starting point. The lack of a strong coherent regional multinational grouping and institution, the wide variations of circumstance and capacities of the 40 countries across Asia and the relative lack of experience in international arbitration forums are some of the reasons cited for the paucity of international tax arbitration cases in Asia.

However, two recent arbitral awards involving the Indian government and multinationals has renewed interest in arbitration as an effective means to address cross-border tax disputes. It is with this in mind that we bring you penetrating and comparative insights from the world's leading academic, industry experts, tax professionals, tax administrators and the judiciary in this vastly important area that is a cornerstone of international tax dispute resolution in G20-OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting project and the upcoming OECD Inclusive Framework Pillar One with a particular focus on Asia.


10:45 GMT / 18:45 SGTOpening of Webinar Channel and Admission of Participants
11:00 GMT / 19:00 SGT Opening Address by Dean of SUSS School of Law, Professor Leslie Chew, Senior Counsel
Introduction by Conference Chair Sam Sim
11:10 GMT / 19:10 SGTIntroduction to International Tax Arbitration by Tribute Founder and Chair Hans Mooij
11:35 GMT / 19:35 SGTSpecial Address by Chief Justice Eugene P. Rossiter, Tax Court of Canada
12:00 GMT / 20:00 SGTOECD Perspective on International Tax Arbitration in the post-BEPS world, the Role of Arbitration in Pillars 1 & 2 and Getting Asia to Adopt Arbitration in Tax
Speaker: Lee Harley
12:35 GMT / 20:35 SGTFrontiers of International Tax Arbitration
This panel explores international tax arbitration around the world drawing upon trends that hold lessons for Asia.
  • Global trends
  • Modalities (baseball vs last best offer, mandatory arbitration under the MLI etc.)
  • Comparative perspectives: (i) US and Latin America and potential lessons for Asia and (ii) arbitration under Competent Authority vs under Bilateral Investment Treaties for tax disputes
Introduction by Conference Chair Sam Sim
Speakers: H. David Rosenbloom and Jorge Espinosa
13:15 GMT / 21:15 SGTTax Arbitration – Alternative Dispute Resolution Whose Time Has Come for Asia?
This panel discussion aims to discuss regional developments of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for Asia.
  • The state of tax arbitration in Asia, is it still nascent and what is the potential?
  • Resistance in giving up sovereignty and other potential issues
  • Perspectives from India (Vodafone and Cairn Energy), Philippines, Singapore
Moderator: Associate Professor Darren Koh
Speakers: Tribute Experts Kim S. Jacinto-Henares and Mukesh Butani, and Professor Yansheng Zhu
14:00 GMT / 22:00 SGTClosing Remarks

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