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BEPS: Preventing the artificial avoidance of the permanent establishment status

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The amendments to the permanent establishment threshold as part of the BEPS project have potentially far reaching consequences for cross-border trading activities. The first changes amend the deemed ‘agency permanent establishment’ concept. The second set of changes focuses on fixed place of business permanent establishments. An increased compliance burden is expected, even in cases where no additional tax is levied. Cases will turn on their facts, but a number of concepts are open to interpretation and will cause uncertainty for international businesses. Further work on the attribution of profits to permanent establishments is expected (by 31 December 2016) and will be essential in determining the consequences of a newly created taxable presence.

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