The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review: Editor's Preface
It is increasingly common for tax practitioners to be involved in disputes that span multiple jurisdictions. We operate in a global economy. Supply chains cross continents, and the increasing role of technology accelerates the pace at which economic activity becomes divorced from the structures intended to tax it. The pace of economic and technological change potentially increases the gap between the reality of commerce and taxation.
Although supranational agencies such as the European Commission and OECD work hard to keep pace with change, there is an inevitable lag between intention and action. Of late we have seen individual countries start to take unilateral actions, with digital taxation being a prime example. In coming years, a combination of economic developments and unilateral actions by individual countries is likely to further emphasise the importance of double tax treaties and the OECD multilateral instrument.
As the chapters of this book were being written, there were already important changes taking place in the political landscape in the United States and Europe, and in the global economy, that may affect international cooperation on tax and trade.
While tax practitioners must understand their own jurisdiction in detail, it is more important than ever to understand the global environment in which clients operate. It comes as no surprise that the authors of many chapters have identified international tax issues and offshore structures as areas of key focus for their own domestic tax authorities.
Regardless of whether tax authorities increase in cooperation or increase in competition, one thing is certain: they will not stand still. Tax, and particularly the international approach to tax, is a constantly evolving issue.
The purpose of this book is to provide insight into the issues that give rise to tax disputes in different jurisdictions, the procedures for resolving those disputes, and the powers and approach of local tax authorities. It is hoped that it will provide valuable insight into the process, timescale and cost of resolving complex difficulties when they arise across more than one jurisdiction.
We are lucky to have contributions from many leading and impressive tax practitioners across a wide range of jurisdictions. Each provides an up-to-date insight into dealing with contentious tax issues in their jurisdiction. I have enjoyed and learned from reading their contributions and I hope you will do, too.
I would like to thank my colleagues Victor Cramer, Lee Ellis and Cristiana Bulbuc for their valuable assistance in compiling this edition.