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History of tax treaty database

OECD, Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law Vienna (WU), IBFD, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and IFA Canadian Branchare proud to present the "History of Tax Treaties Database" o­n the history of tax treaties and their provisions.

About the History of Tax Treaties Data Base

The History of Tax Treaties Data Base is a not-for-profit project with many fathers, who contributed in many different ways, but who all had in common that they were and still are deeply involved in teaching, researching or practicing international taxation. The start of the data base at the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first draft of the OECD Model Tax Convention, o­n September 8, 2008, is no coincidence. Interest in international taxation has grown as the tax treaty network, based o­n the OECD Model Convention, expanded all over the world. While the importance of tax treaty practice increased exponentially, so did the need for correct treaty interpretation. Historical documents can be of great value in this respect. In particular the question of tax treaty provisions over time became more significant, as it was not easy to adapt treaty texts or protocols to the changing demands of international trade and the ever faster amendments of national tax laws.

That is why, some time ago, a project was conceived to open, at no charge to the public, all historic and official documents drafted in preparation of the text, not o­nly of the OECD Model Convention of 1963, but also of the older convention drafted under the League of Nations. The official texts are made available in the two languages in which they have been drafted: English and French. The data base contains several search functions based (1) o­n language, (2) o­n chronological order, (3) o­n the reference of documents and (4) the committee or department dealing with the document and (5) last but not least a full text research function in French and English.

In addition the data base contains a contact facility, permitting users to contact the partner organizations, initiators of this project, but also other users of the data base. The aim of this contact facility is to stimulate discussion. The role of the partner organizations is strictly limited to policing the contact facility. There is no commitment from their side to participate as an organization in the discussion. However individual members of the partner organizations are free to participate.

The main purpose of this initiative was to put at the disposal of researchers, academics and other tax professionals of international tax law, the very sources of international taxation, which during all these years had been languishing in the archives of international organizations. Our collective wish is that through this initiative we have made all these sources accessible in a user friendly way.