Taxation of income from employment: A comparative study of the OECD Model Convention, the UN Model Convention, the Ethio-China tax treaty and the Ethio-UK tax treaty

Taxation of income from employment: A comparative study of the OECD Model Convention, the UN Model Convention, the Ethio-China tax treaty and the Ethio-UK tax treaty

With the advent of globalization and technological advancement, an offshore employment relationships are proliferating more than ever making it possible the application of States’ domestic laws in the situations no more. The problem is more exacerbated when it comes to the taxation of the remuneration derived from such employment relationships. Most commonly, double taxation arise because States tax not only domestic assets and transactions but also assets and transactions in other States which benefit resident taxpayers, resulting in the overlap of the States’ tax claims. In order to tackle this pressing problem, devising a mechanism by which employment income could be taxed is proved a matter of no alternative.Not surprisingly, States hesitate to come up with a single multilateral convention on this subject. Nevertheless, two widely accepted model conventions are there with no binding force. In addition, States also preferred to address the issue bilaterally Ethiopia being no exception. Against this background, this piece is aimed at examining how the taxation of [income from employment] is addressed under the OECD and the UN Model Conventions as well as the Ethio-China and Ethio-UK Treaties on comparative basis. Since the latter three conventions are principally reproduced from the OECD MC with only slight difference, to avoid unnecessary redundancy, a mentioning of legal provisions in the work stands for all the conventions except where a specific reference is made otherwise.  The taxation of Income from a cross-border employment is primarily treated under Art. 15 of all the four legal regimes under consideration. Nevertheless, a resort to other relevant provisions will also be inevitable. The three sub-provisions of Art. 15 of the OECD, the UN, the Ethio-China and Ethio-UK Conventions each represent three different scenarios. The first sub-article constitutes both a general rule and an exception with respect to the employment income tax. The second sub-article, on its part, provides for exceptions to the exception per the first sub-article. Certain special cases are treated under the last sub-article.