15-12-2016 / Intertax 2016/44/12: New Options to Restrict Article 17 for Artistes and Sportsmen


The tax journal Intertax has publshed the article New Options to Restrict Article 17 for Artistes and Sportsmen" (see downloads). According to the international tax treaties they can be taxed in the countries of their performances, while the countries of residence have to allow a foreign tax credit (or tax exemption). But this goes wrong very often.

De OECD has created new possibilities in the Commentary on Art. 17 of the Model Tax Treaty with which the scope of the article can be restricted. Best choice would be not to include Art. 17 anymore in bilateral tax treaties, because then still the source country would have the right to tax the artistes and sportsmen trying to evade taxation. But when countries don't want to go that far, there are now good alternatives taking off the sharp edges from the taxation:

  • Exclude normal employees from source taxation
  • Allow deduction for expenses and normal tax settlements in the source country
  • Insert a minimum threshold of € 15.000 (or higher)
  • Exempt subsidized artistes and sportsmen
  • Exempt cross-border competities
  • Restrict the scope of Art. 17(2) to only artistes and sporters owning the company

The Intertax article also has a draft text for the new Art. 17 including all options, which can be used in new tax treaties.

Countries can take the interests of their artistes and sportsmen with performances abroad seriously with using these new options to restrict Art. 17.

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