Tax Treaty Interpretation

The Meaning and Application of Article 3(2)

Richard Xenophon Resch
Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten

This study clarifies the meaning and application of Article 3(2) of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital. It maps the entire historical debate on the provision, illuminates flawed assumptions and misunderstandings in its course, and outlines how these continue to fuel the current controversies. In addition, it provides a comprehensive analysis of German case law concerning the interpretation of tax treaties and examines the extent to which the German Federal Fiscal Court has been influenced by views developed in doctrine. Finally, it clarifies the relationship between Article 3(2) and the rules on treaty interpretation codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the meaning of 'context', and how the condition 'unless the context otherwise requires' is to be applied. Thereby, an approach is submitted that is firmly based on public international law principles and transcends the current controversies into a holistic synthesis.