The Beginning of the New Global Environment of Double Taxation Agreements

The Association of Trust and Company Managers (ATCOM), together with the Gibraltar Minister for Commerce, hosted a seminar on the new double taxation agreement between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom (UK). Europa Trust Company Ltd reports on the seminar and the positive implications the tax agreement will have for the jurisdiction.

The world economy is becoming more integrated, and as it does so, the risks of being taxed on the same income in multiple and often overlapping jurisdictions increases. To avoid these situations and to increase trade and business, Double Tax Agreements (DTA) were designed and agreed between countries.

It is important to note that DTAs relieve tax burdens –  they do not increase them. The absence of DTA’s are a disability in today’s environment and not having these agreements in place can make a jurisdiction unstable and undesirable.

Gibraltar is now moving into this new global taxation environment by beginning to create a network of treaties with countries around the world that will help Gibraltar establish its place in the international tax regime.

A DTA between Gibraltar and the UK has been successfully concluded between Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and Her Majesty’s Government. Gibraltar has been working towards such an outcome for several years.

To assist in providing Company and Trust Professionals with the insights on this particular DTA, ATCOM organised the all-day seminar titled, “Double taxation conventions for Gibraltar – a new start and a discussion of practical implications”. The seminar was hosted on the 5-star floating hotel the Sunborn on Monday 28th October 2019. Philip Baker QC and Jonathan Schwarz, both barristers who specialise in Double Taxation Treaties were the keynote speakers.

A Summary of the Advantages of the DTA between the UK and Gibraltar:

  • This treaty is based on OECD models. It is the same type of treaty the UK would enter into with large trading economies such as China or Brazil.
  • Gibraltar can be used as an effective route into the UK to conduct business.
  • Gibraltar has exclusive rights to charge capital tax but there is no capital gains tax is in domestic Gibraltar law.
  • Providing certain requirements are met, there will be no UK withholding tax on dividends, interest or royalties.

Europa Trust Company Limited is a founder member of ATCOM, which was established in the early 1990’s. Europa’s own Director and Legal Counsel, Mark Bridge has been on the board of ATCOM for an eleven consecutive years.

Gibraltar will now begin to develop a network of DTA ‘s with countries around the world. 30 DTA’s are expected in the next five years, which will generate business and further develop Gibraltar as an international finance centre.