Tax Treaties

Tax Treaties in the United States

Legal Materials

Foreign Treaties

U.S. and foreign tax treaties are available through subscription services such as the Worldwide Tax Treaties by Tax Analysts, the Tax Treaties Database by the IBDF and RIA Worldwide Tax Law on Checkpoint. If you don’t have any of those subscriptions, Tax Analysts’ Worldwide Tax Treaties database is on Lexis (FEDTAX;TAWTT).

U.S. Treaties

All U.S. income tax treaties are posted on the United States Income Tax Treaties – A to Z page of the IRS web site. News about tax treaties is generally reportedin Tax Notes Today, which is available in hard copy or on Lexis (FEDTAX;TNT).

RIA/WGL and CCH both put out multi-volume sets called Tax Treaties, and Lexis/Mate Bender publishes U.S. International Taxation and Tax Treaties, annotated by Rufus Rhoades and Marshall J. Langer. All three sets contains all U.S. tax treaties. The CCHTax Treaties is available online through Intelliconnect and the Rhoades & Langer set is on Lexis (FEDTAX;INTTXT). In addition, you can find both U.S. and foreign tax treaties in the subscription-based Worldwide Tax Treaties database from Tax Analysts, the RIA Worldwide Tax Law available through Checkpoint and the Tax Treaties Database published by the the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD). Also, tax treaties are included in all the generally sources discussed in the “Getting U.S. Treaties” section of this entry.

The law firm of Roberts & Holland produces a multi-volume set called Legislative History of United States Tax Conventions (W.S. Hein & Co.). The U.S. Tax Treaty Reference Library Index: US Tax Treaties in Force and Their Legislative Histories (Tax Analysts) provides legislative history information on U.S. tax treaties up to 1990.

For specifics, search for individual treaties and subjects by name. See also the “Model Laws” entry in this legal Encyclopedia for information about model tax treaties.

History of Tax Treaties Data Base

The History of Tax Treaties Data Base is a not-for-profit project with many fathers, who contributed in many different ways, but who all had in common that they were and still are deeply involved in teaching, researching or practicing international taxation. The start of the data base at the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first draft of the OECD Model Tax Convention, on September 8, 2008, is no coincidence. Interest in international taxation has grown as the tax treaty network, based on the OECD Model Convention, expanded all over the world. While the importance of tax treaty practice increased exponentially, so did the need for correct treaty interpretation. Historical documents can be of great value in this respect. In particular the question of tax treaty provisions over time became more significant, as it was not easy to adapt treaty texts or protocols to the changing demands of international trade and the ever faster amendments of national tax laws.

That is why, some time ago, a project was conceived to open, at no charge to the public, all historic and official documents drafted in preparation of the text, not only of the OECD Model Convention of 1963, but also of the older convention drafted under the League of Nations. The official texts are made available in the two languages in which they have been drafted: English and French. The data base contains several search functions based (1) on language, (2) on chronological order, (3) on the reference of documents and (4) the committee or department dealing with the document and (5) last but not least a full text research function in French and English.

In addition the data base contains a contact facility, permitting users to contact the partner organizations, initiators of this project, but also other users of the data base. The aim of this contact facility is to stimulate discussion. The role of the partner organizations is strictly limited to policing the contact facility. There is no commitment from their side to participate as an organization in the discussion. However individual members of the partner organizations are free to participate.

The main purpose of this initiative was to put at the disposal of researchers, academics and other tax professionals of international tax law, the very sources of international taxation, which during all these years had been languishing in the archives of international organizations. Our collective wish is that through this initiative we have made all these sources accessible in a user friendly way.

More Tax Legal Materials

More legal materials about Tax include the following topics (see the separate entries for them):

  • Tax
  • Tax Code – See: Internal Revenue Code and Tax Regulations
  • Tax Forms
  • Tax Liens
  • Tax Management Portfolio series (BNA’s)
  • Treaties and Foreign Treaties
  • Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Taxpayer Identification Numbers

See Also

International Law
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Memorandum of Understanding
North American Free Trade Agreement
Statutes At Large
Foreign Treaties
United States Congressional Serial Set
United States Department of State

Tax Treaties: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Tax Treaties. This part provides references, in relation to Tax Treaties, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Tax Treaties by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Tax Treaties and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Tax Treaties or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Tax Treaties and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Tax Treaties. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Tax Treaties should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Tax Treaties when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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