• Research Program for 2016

    Section 1 «Special economic zones and the economic integration of states»:

    А. General:

    1.1. What is your definition for special tax zone? (Are we talking about economic development zones, tax free zones or what?)

    1.2. What is the relationship between the concept of tax haven and STZ?

    B. Aims:

    1.3. What is the economic goal of the STZ regulations?

    1.4. Businesses targeted/supported?

    1.5. Any political endeavors with STZs?

    1.6. Are the STZ regulations limited for certain time-restricted periods?

    C. Taxes:

    1.7. Are there any constitutional or other domestic limitations applicable to granting tax benefits to certain taxpayers?

    1.8. What types of taxes are affected in STZs? Corporate and individual income taxes, real estate and excise taxes, VAT?

    1.9. What is the content of STZ tax rules and tax incentives, and what are the requirements?

    1.10. What is the role of permanent establishments and controlled foreign companies within the STZ?

    1.11. Sanctions when taxpayers do not (anymore) fulfill the requirements?

    1.12. Is there any ring fencing in relation to business activities between domestic STZ and non-STZ companies?

    1.13. Repatriation of capital, profit, capital gains?

    1.14. Exemptions and reliefs for import and export?

    1.15. Ports and airports only. What are the specific tax incentives for port and airport activities?

    D. Transperancy:

    1.16. What is the level of secrecy on the benefits granted to companies and transactions within the zone?

    1.17. Cooperation and information provided to foreign (domestic) authorities?

    1.18. Tax treaty network or other international administrative cooperation agreements available?

    1.19. Any influence of BEPS, standards on transparency and exchange of information, e.g. automatic notices on benefits granted?

    International Aspects:

    1.20. What is the role of trade agreements?

    1.21. Is the tax treaty policy aimed to preserve the benefits granted for a foreign investor, e.g. exemption in the investor’s residence country?

    1.22. Does the investor’s residence country grant participation or PE exemption for the income received from the STZ?

    1.23. Does BEPS potentially have any effect on the kind of benefits granted (e.g. Actions 3 CFC, 5 harmful tax competition, and 6 treaty abuse)?

    E. Practice:

    1.24. Considering the STZ start and today's, any economic development achieved?

    1.25. How can we verify whether the STZ concept is successful in money value or not? Statistics?

    1.26. How does the STZ administration work? Effortless or red tape?

    1.27. What is the economic and political relationship between STZ and non-STZ companies within the surrounding jurisdiction? Business with each other? Disagreement/irritation on conditions?

    1.28. What is your opinion on differences between developed and developing country STZs?

    F. Outcomes:

    1.29. Considering the economic (political and/or social) goals and possible time frame, is the time frame enough?

    1.30. The STZ and its role in the future?

    1.31. The recommendations on STZ future taxation (or other alleviations)?

    1.32. Considering the possible goals of the BRICS, UN, OECD, EU, ASEAN and other organizations, how do the STZs fit into the context?


    Section 2 «Legal issues of cooperation between integrational formations and free trade zones»:

    2.1. WTO law and global rules of international trade and cross-border investment

    2.2. The EAEU law and the CIS free trade zone

    2.3. The legal regime of the interaction between the EAEU and the EU -

    2.4. The legal regime of the interaction of free trade zones in the South Asian and Pacific regions.


    Section 3 of the Program «Multilateral tax treaty and dispute resolution system: BRICS states approach»:

    3.1. BEPS and Taxation of Cross-Border Trade and Investments in Russia

    3.1.1. Main Characteristics of the Russian Tax System

    3.1.2. The Network of Russian Tax Treaties & the RF Model Tax Convention

    3.1.3. Limitation of benefits (LOB)

    3.1.4. CFC Rules (since 2015)

    3.1.5. Thin capitalization Rules (Article 269 (2) of the RF Tax Code)

    3.1.6. Transfer Pricing Rules

    3.1.7. GAAR & Special Anti-Avoidance Measures

    3.1.8. New Tax Incentives for Investors (Free Port of Vladivostok & etc.)


    3.2. International Tax Treaty Policy in BRICS Countries

    3.2.1. Tax Coordination as an element of Economic Integration?

    3.2.2. International Agreements on Exchange of Information

    3.2.3. GAAR & Special Anti-Avoidance Measures in BRICS Countries


    3.3. Multilateralism in International Tax Law: General observations

    3.2.1. Introduction

    3.2.2. Multilateralism in International Tax Law before BEPS

    3.2.3. Developing a multilateral instrument in accordance with the BEPS Action Plan

    3.2.4. Mandate to launch negotiations on a Multilateral Instrument

    3.2.5. The precise content of a multilateral instrument?

    3.2.6. The BEPS project: a threat for tax sovereignty of developing countries?

    3.2.7. The key elements of multilateralism


    3.4. Conclusive remarks

    3.4.1. Actions which per se do not require multilateral instrument

    3.4.2. Areas of possible common interest (for developed and developing countries)

    3.4.3. Areas of developed countries’ concern


    Section 4 «Cross-border taxation of property and income from property in the global economic system (legal aspects)»

    1 Introduction

    1.1 Policy

    1.1.1 Summary of the article

    1.1.2 Policy of the article

    1.2 History

    1.2.1 League of Nations and OEEC/OECD, 1963

    1.2.1 League of Nations and Draft Conventions, 1927 – 1935

    - Situs principle and taxation of income from immovable property situated in the third state.

    - Permanent Establishment Principle vs. Situs Principle

    - General scope of Article 2 of 1927 and 1928 Draft Conventions

    - Further development and the activity of the LN Fiscal Committee in 1929 – 1935

    1.2.2 Mexico 1943 draft and London 1946 draft Conventions

    1.2.3 Organization for European Economic Co-operation, 1948 – 1963

    1.2.2 OECD after 1963

    1.3 Relationship to basic principles of international taxation


    2 Residence country taxing rights

    2.1 Taxing rights

    2.2 Exceptions


    3 Source country taxing rights

    3.1 Taxing rights

    3.2 Exceptions

    3.3 Sourcing / arising rule


    4 Method of taxation

    4.1 At residence

    4.2 At source

    4.2.1 Net vs. gross taxation

    4.2.2 Deductibility of losses

    4.2.3 Solutions based on simultaneous application of Articles 6 and 7


    5 Income covered

    5.1 Type of income

    5.1.1 Definition of immovable property Reference to national law of contracting states vs. tax treaty definition Immovable property and real property Transport means as immovable property

    5.1.2 Income from immovable property Income from “direct use of immovable property” Agricultural, forestry and similar activities as “direct use” of immovable property Standard approach Standard approach and domestic special tax treatment regimes Exceptions Income from natural resources Income from shares or rights, which are treated therein as income from immovable property / occupation as “direct use” of immovable property Income from movable property that is treated as income derived from immovable property Income from letting of immovable property Definition Issues concerning the method of taxation Income from mixed activity Income from immovable property and income from alienation of immovable property

    5.1.3 Income from immovable property of an enterprise

    5.2 Geographical limitation


    6 Relationship to other articles

    6.1 Express provisions

    6.2 Implicit relationships

    6.3 Terms defined elsewhere

    6.4 Meta topics


  • Research program for 2015

    1. The use of pre-trial practice of settlement of tax disputes and prospects of mediation techniques in the area of tax relations - domestic aspects

    1.1. Pre-trial settlement of disputes when considering the taxpayer's objections to the tax audit report and while the resolution of his appeal in a higher tax authority;

    1.2. An amicable settlement in the courts between taxpayers and tax authorities: how much is this practice popular?

    1.3. Discretion in assessing of the evidence in tax cases as an area of use of mediation techniques for pre-trial settlement of the tax dispute: international and integration issues;

    1.4. Mutual Agreement Procedure in international tax treaties as the field of application of mediation techniques in cross-border tax agreements;

    1.5. Tax arbitrage in international tax treaties and other international agreements involving tax issues, vs. the use of mediation techniques;

    1.6. Application to supranational courts (European Court of Justice, the Court of the EurAsEC / EAEU) vs. the use of mediation techniques.


    2. Modernization of the tax legislation and its implementation in a competitive tax systems and the universalization of the rules of cross-border economic activity

    2.1. Problems of modernization of corporate taxation and the concept of the beneficial owner: implementation of the OECD or the Russian alternative approache?; Article 7 of the Russian Tax Code; Article 312 of the Russian Tax Code; the concept of "beneficial owner" and institute of  restrictions of tax benefits according the tax treaty («limitation of benefits / LOB») in the Russian tax treaties and their interpretation of the Ministry of Finance and the judicial practice;

    2.2. Russian legislation on controlled foreign companies (CFC) and the prospects for its use in the global context; CFC legislation and the international exchange of information; CFC legislation and the concept of corporate residence in the Russian law;

    2.3. Taxation of loan commitments in domestic and cross-border situations: thin capitalization rules vs. non-discrimination provisions of bilateral tax treaties - 2014 – 2015 trends.


    3. General and specific debating points of stipulated fiscal policymaking and its implementation in BRICS member states

    3.1. Introduction: General Issues of International Tax Policy of BRICS Countries (in particular, Brazil & Russia);

    3.2. Comparative analysis of the Russian Federation tax system / domestic tax law and the Brazilian Republic (República Federativa do Brasil) tax system / domestic tax law;

    3.3. International Tax Treaty Policies of Russia and Brazil: a comparative analysis;

    3.4. Peculiarities of the International Tax Treaty Policy of China;

    3.5. Peculiarities of the International Tax Treaty Policy of India;

    3.6. Peculiarities of the International Tax Treaty Policy of the South Africa;

    3.7. Art. 6 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – taxation of incomes from immovable property;

    3.8. Art. 7 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Taxation of Business Profits & Art. 5 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Permanent Establishment (in particular, Services PE);

    3.9. Art. 10, 11, 12 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Dividends, Interest, Royalties (in particular, issues of interpretation of the concept “beneficial owner”);

    3.10. The concept of “Technical Services” – issues of Tax Treaty Qualification;

    3.11. Art. 13 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Capital Gains / Taxation at Source;

    3.12. Art. 14, 15 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Dependent and Independent Work;

    3.13. Art. 24 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Principle of Non-Discrimination and other principles of International Tax Law;

    3.14. Art. 9 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Transfer Pricing / Formulary Apportionment;

    3.15. Art. 23 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Methods of Avoidance of Double Taxation (in particular, Tax Sparing Credit and Procedural Aspects);

    3.16. Art. 26 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Exchange of Information / Bank Secrecy;

    3.17. Art. 27 of the OECD Model Convention / the UN Model Convention – Mutual Agreement Procedure.


  • Aims of the BRICS Law Institute

    The main aims of the establishment and activities of the BRICS Law Institute are:

    • coordination and engagement of comparative studies in the field of the legal systems of the BRICS countries;
    • legal expertise and the development of legal instruments aimed at improving and harmonizing the legal systems of the BRICS countries;
    • conduct comparative legal research and the preparation of draft international instruments aimed at ensuring the economic, financial and fiscal cooperation between the BRICS countries;
    • organization of international scientific conferences on the BRICS member states law and other conferences, symposiums and forums that are relevant to achieving the objectives of the Institute;
    • promote the publication of research papers and other publications related to the study of problems of  BRICS law;
    • facilitate the implementation of educational projects and the organization of lectures on the problems of BRICS countries law;
    • legal expertise and advisory work in the sphere of economic activity of business entities in jurisdictions BRICS States or in other jurisdictions where the applicable law of one of the BRICS states.