Digital Taxation and Permanent Establishment: Treaty Benefits, Choice of Entity, and the OECD

Taxation of Services Performed Inside and Outside the U.S.

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

A live 110-minute CPE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, September 3, 2020

1:00pm-2:50pm EDT, 10:00am-11:50am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, August 7, 2020

or call 1-800-926-7926

This webinar will explore the taxation of digital commerce inside and outside the U.S. Our panel of international tax experts will explain how treaty benefits can operate to mitigate taxation and the evolution of the historical definition of permanent establishment (PE).


Statutorily, the United States subjects nonresidents to tax on any income "effectively connected with the conduct of a United States trade or business." The scope of taxation shifts when treaty benefits are elected and invoked. Treaties provide that a business enterprise is taxable only in its country of residence unless it takes steps of enough significance to create a PE in the other country.

The United States maintains income tax treaties with roughly 70 countries, and each treaty contains distinct terms and articles. Many treaties were enacted decades before digital commerce was a significant consideration and have never been updated. Businesses with PEs are taxed on indirect items of income, like capital gains. With so many treaties in place, determining what constitutes permanent establishment under U.S. tax treaties is critical, even though unclear.

Questions surrounding PEs abound and include activities of agents, services performed in the U.S. for end-users outside the U.S., and vice versa. Personal services are no longer always performed and consumed within the same jurisdiction.

Listen as our panel of global tax experts explains the latest interpretations of permanent establishment, the application of treaty benefits, digital taxation in a global economy, and the latest OECD developments to mitigate the taxation of international commerce.



  1. Permanent establishment: background
  2. Choice of entity
  3. Digital taxation
  4. Examples using specific treaties
  5. OECD developments


The panel will cover these and other critical issues:

  • How to utilize treaty benefits to mitigate or avoid taxation
  • How are digital services taxed internationally?
  • When does a relationship with an agent constitute a PE?
  • How are nonresidents who are not eligible for, or who do not utilize, treaty benefits taxed in the U.S?
  • How do specific countries define PE?


Fuller, Pamela
Pamela A. Fuller, JD, LLM

Of Counsel
Tully Rinckey

Ms. Fuller’s practice has a triple focus: tax planning, tax controversies, and tax compliance. She advises a wide...  |  Read More

McCormick, Patrick
Patrick J. McCormick, J.D., LL.M.

Culhane Meadows Haughian & Walsh

Mr. McCormick specializes in the areas of international taxation, tax compliance, and offshore reporting...  |  Read More

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