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.