Reshaping International Tax Law
Frank Brunetti, professor of law and taxation, is helping to reshape international tax law. As an observer member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Cooperation in International Tax Matters, he recently attended the committee’s second session in Geneva, Switzerland. He was one of over 125 tax experts who attended the meeting.
At the session, Brunetti suggested reorganizing the United Nations Manual for Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries, which his sub-group had been working to improve. After his presentation, the committee appointed him as the coordinator of a working group to update the manual.
Over the past year, Brunetti and the members of his group eliminated portions of the manual and made significant changes to the annexes and observations. With the insight of the new working group, the manual will be revised to include various model treaties, chapters on international tax evasion and avoidance and aspects of mutual agreement procedures. The committee will also address issues such as treaty abuse, the inclusion of practical examples and treatment of Islamic financial instruments.
Brunetti’s group consists of experts from Mexico, Bahamas, Germany and Barbados and professors from St. Thomas University and the University of California at Sacramento. The group has been given a two-year time frame to complete the enormous task, and Brunetti will report on their progress at the next session.
“I believe the work of the sub-group on behalf of the sub-committee is important because it will result in a tool that can teach administrators in developing countries how to negotiate a tax treaty, how to interpret the treaty and manage their tax administration,” says Brunetti.
Through his work with the U.N. committee, Brunetti has forged invaluable relationships with international tax community experts and broadened FDU’s network of global learning.