Signing of the Tax Convention between Japan and Latvia
January 18, 2017
1. On January 18, 2017, “Convention between Japan and the Republic of Latvia for the Elimination of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance” (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) was signed by Mr. Motome Takisawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ms. Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Minister for Finance of the Republic of Latvia.
2. For the purpose of eliminating double taxation arising between the two countries, this Convention clarifies the scope of taxable income in the two countries. In addition, this Convention will enable the tax authorities of the two countries to consult each other on taxation which does not comply with the provisions of this Convention, exchange information concerning tax matters and mutually lend assistance in the collection of tax claims. It is expected that, while eliminating double taxation and preventing international tax evasion and tax avoidance, this Convention promotes further mutual investments and economic exchanges between the two countries.
3. The following are the key points of the Convention.
(1) Taxation on profits from business activities
Where an enterprise of one of the two countries has in the other country a permanent establishment (such as a branch) through which the enterprise carries on business, only the profits attributable to the permanent establishment may be taxed in that other country.
(2) Taxation on investment income in the source country
As for investment income (dividends, interest and royalties), taxation in the source country is limited or exempted as follows:
Dividends Exemption (beneficially owned by a person other than an individual.) 10% (others) Interest Exemption (beneficially owned by a person other than an individual.) 10% (others) Royalties Exemption
(3) Provision for prevention of abuse of the Convention
In order to prevent tax treaty abuse, a benefit under the Convention shall not be granted if it is reasonable to conclude that obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any transaction.
(4) Dispute resolution between the tax authorities
Taxation which does not comply with the provisions of the Convention may be resolved by mutual agreement between the tax authorities of the two countries. Where the issue has not been resolved by the consultation within two years, the unresolved issue shall be submitted to an arbitration and resolved by the decision of an arbitration panel composed of third parties.
(5) Exchange of information and assistance in the collection of taxes
In order to prevent international tax evasion and tax avoidance effectively, the exchange of information concerning tax matters and the mutual assistance in the collection of tax claims between the two countries are introduced.
4. After the completion of the necessary domestic procedures in each of the two countries (in the case of Japan, approval by the Diet), the Convention will enter into force on the date of exchange of diplomatic notes indicating such approval.
In Japan, this Convention will be applicable:
(1) with respect to taxes levied on the basis of a taxable period, for taxes of any taxable period beginning on or after January 1 of the calendar year following the year of the entry into force of the Convention; and
(2) with respect to taxes levied not on the basis of a taxable period, for taxes levied on or after January 1 of the calendar year following the year of the entry into force of the Convention.