Tuesday, March 17, 2009

France and the United States Sign a Protocol Amending the Income Tax Treaty

Excerpt from Practical US/International Tax Strategies by Gauthier Blanluet, Andrew P. Solomon, Willard B. Taylor, Aditi Banerjee and Nicolas de Boynes (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP)

On January 13, 2009, France and the United States signed a protocol (the “Protocol”) amending the income tax treaty signed by the two countries in 1994, as amended by a 2004 protocol (the “Existing Treaty”).

The Protocol generally eliminates withholding tax on dividends paid to shareholders holding at least 80 percent of the distributing company and generally eliminates the branch profits tax. It also eliminates withholding on royalties for the use of intangible property. The Protocol provides for mandatory arbitration of certain cases that are not resolved by the competent authorities within a specified period of time, clarifies the treatment of certain fiscally transparent and pass-through entities, imposes stricter requirements for certain companies to qualify for the benefits of the treaty, and updates the rules for the exchange of taxpayer information between the tax authorities of each country. These changes will align the Existing Treaty more closely with more recent U.S. tax treaties.

Read More on these Treaty Amendments

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