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The Arm's Length Principle, Tax Treaties, and the Multilateral Instrument

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: September 15, 2021
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• OECD Pillar one
        - Overview
        - Scope
        - Nexus
        - Profit Allocation
• Pillar One and Tax Treaties
• Pillar one and the ALS

: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Recorded: September 15, 2021

Difficulty: Experienced Attorneys (Non-Transitional)


Will Pillar One’s new taxing right diminish the iconic status of the arm's length standard, and if so, with what long-term impact on tax treaties? What are the implications of Pillar One’s reliance on formulary apportionment as a mechanism for taxing the digital economy? Are multilateral instruments an appropriate and effective tool for administering the realignment of taxing rights under Pillars One and Two?

In this seminar, Professor Avi-Yonah assesses whether the arm's length standard is still fit for purpose in the digital age.

This program was recorded on September 15th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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William J. Seeger

Clinical Professor
The University of Texas at Arlington

William J. (Bill) Seeger was a Tax Principal in KPMG’s Global Transfer Pricing Services Group until his retirement in September 2014. He was a Senior Economist and Practice Leader for the Economic and Valuation Services Group for the Dallas and Denver Business Units. He also served as the Southwest area lead for KPMG’s Economic Consulting Practice. Before joining KPMG, he was a Tax Principal and Senior Economist with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Transfer Pricing practice.

Bill has 20 years of experience as an International Transfer Pricing Economist in public accounting and three years’ experience as a field agent working for the Internal Revenue Service. While at KPMP and PwC, he engaged in tax planning and compliance analysis for large Multinational companies and specialized in the valuation of Intellectual Property for tax purposes. In his IRS capacity, Bill served as an Industry Economist in Transfer Pricing for IRS Comprehensive Examination Tax Audits about Multinational Enterprises.

Since his retirement, Bill started a consulting firm, QuantEcon, and served as a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Texas at Dallas. While at UTD, he taught courses in Managerial Economics, Transfer Pricing, and The Economics of Multinational Corporations. Before starting his IRS and public accounting career, Bill taught at several universities in the Dallas area including the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Dallas, and Dallas Baptist University.

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Elizabeth J. Stevens

Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.

Elizabeth Stevens is a Member of the Firm and practices across the International Tax, Tax Controversies, and Business, Investment & Transactional Tax groups. Her practice spans international tax planning and advocacy for multinational corporations, as well as advising clients on federal income tax structuring and transactional representation for partnerships, LLCs, and S-corporations.

Ms. Stevens’ experience in international tax matters primarily involves transfer pricing and U.S. outbound and inbound investment planning and structuring. In the transfer pricing space, she advises corporate clients on planning, documentation, and compliance, with a particular focus on negotiating Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). Ms. Stevens regularly represents clients seeking Competent Authority assistance under bilateral income tax treaties and also advises on other treaty-related matters, such as the creation and taxation of permanent establishments and eligibility for treaty benefits.

For both cross-border and U.S.-based clients, Ms. Stevens provides representation in acquisitions and buy-out transactions, including the drafting and negotiation of partnership and LLC operating agreements. She also advises partnerships and S-corporations on federal income tax planning, structuring, and compliance matters.

In recent years, Ms. Stevens’ international tax practice has emphasized advice regarding the implications of recent and proposed U.S. and global tax reform initiatives for particular business lines and models and on alternatives for mitigating resulting risk and uncertainty. She also counsels multinational enterprises on the federal income tax consequences of restructuring proposals and provides strategic guidance in transfer pricing and other federal income tax controversy matters.

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Reuven Avi-Yonah

Irwin I. Cohn Professor of Law
University of Michigan

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah specializes in corporate and international taxation. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on tax competition, and is a member of the steering group for OECD's International Network for Tax Research.

He also is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Tax Counsel, and an international research fellow at Oxford University's Centre for Business Taxation. In addition to prior teaching appointments at Harvard University (law) and Boston College (history), he practiced law with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York; with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York; and with Ropes & Gray in Boston.

He has published more than 250 books and articles, including Advanced Introduction to International Tax Law (Elgar, 2019), Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law (Oxford University Press, 2011), and International Tax as International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

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