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International Tax Law

Model Conventions

Double Tax Agreement (DTA) Models

The following two model conventions are the basis for almost all of the several thousand worldwide DTAs. Other models can be found by clicking on the Treaties & Models link on the search homepage of the IBFD Tax Research Platform.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Convention 

The main purpose of the OECD Model Convention is to provide a means of settling on a uniform basis the most common problems that arise in the field of international double taxation. The Council of the OECD has recommended that member countries, when concluding or revising DTAs between themselves, should conform to the current Model Convention and commentary, having regard to the relevant reservations expressed by countries.

The full version contains the full text of the Model Convention, detailed commentaries on the articles, non-member economies' positions, the Recommendation of the OECD Council, historical notes, the detailed list of conventions between OECD member countries and background reports. 

UN Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries 

The UN Model Convention is designed for developing countries and countries with economies in transition as a basis for negotiation of their DTAs. The Model helps to move forward in a way  that preserves an appropriate share of taxing rights for developing countries. It also  promotes cooperation to deal with tax avoidance and evasion.

The UN Model Convention and the UN Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries are reviewed and updated by the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. 


Information Exchange Model 


The purpose of the OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters (Model TIEAis to promote international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information. It was developed by the OECD Global Forum Working Group on Effective Exchange of Information and released in April 2002. The model represents the standard of effective exchange of information for the purposes of the OECD’s initiative on harmful tax practices. It is not a binding instrument but contains two models for bilateral agreements. A large number of bilateral agreements have been based on this Agreement. See all bilateral agreements.

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 100 jurisdictions. The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.  These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters (Model TIEA) and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004, which has been incorporated in the UN Model Tax Convention. The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. 


OECD Tax 'Acts' and Documentation 

The OECD develops legal instruments, referred to as 'the OECD Acts' on a wide range of topics, including Tax. The main types of Acts are Decisions and Recommendations. Other legal instruments developed by the OECD include Declarations and International Agreements. 

All OECD Acts and other instruments in force are available in the Legal Instruments Database, and can be searched, or browsed by committee, type or theme. To find all legal instruments concerning international tax, choose international agreements, from the Type drop down box and taxation, from the theme drop down box.  

Here you will find the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral treaty, of which 144 countries are signatories to.  This treaty is also available in the UN Treaty Series.

See also: 



See the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration for all conventions, working papers, reports, policies, news etc on the tax topics listed below.

Finding International Tax Agreements

Finding a comprehensive set of all international tax agreements can be problematic, unless you have access to commercial platforms such as the IBFD Tax Research Platform, which contains all international tax agreements.

Commercial Databases

To find the full text of all international tax agreements, use the Treaties & Models option, from the Search page on the IBFD tax research platform. This database contains more than 15,500 full agreements, protocols, MOUs, Exchange of Notes, etc. Agreements can be browsed by country, region, international organisation, treaty subject (such as Tax Treaties (in IBFD these are called Income/Capital Treaties) and topics. Searches can also be undertaken on the status of materials, in different languages and by date.

A useful feature of this database is that individual Articles in all treaties have links to the comparable Article in the OECD, UN and other Model Treaties, so can be directly compared side by side. 


To find the full text of all DTAs, use Worldwide Tax Treaties on the Tax Notes online platform. (Users need to register to use this and then sign on each time it is accessed). Once you access the platform, select Research Tools and then Worldwide Tax Treaties. Note: this database only includes DTAs, not other types of international agreements.

This database contains more than 10,000 full-text treaties, amending protocols, and similar documents. Up to date detailed country profiles are provided, as well as tools to directly compare both tax treaties and tax rates for every available jurisdiction. A useful feature of this database is that individual Articles in all treaties have a link to the comparable Article in the OECD Model Treaty, so can be directly compared side by side.

To find the full text of international treaties, search by country or go to the International Tax Treaties section. This database includes a large collection of international treaties and expert analysis. The Treaty Compare Tool enables you to easily compare treaties and against model treaties (OECD and UN). Users need to register to access, and then sign on each time.

Open Access Databases

To find international tax treaties in individual countries, use: 

  • The majority of international tax agreements are bilateral, but may also be multilateral. Although the vast majority of multilateral treaties (and many bilateral treaties) are deposited with the UN and form part of the UN Treaty Series, there is no requirement for deposit. However, this is a good place to start and contains the most complete collection of international tax agreements from all countries.
  • Individual country treaty series which include all bilateral as well as multilateral agreements.  
    • The individual foreign legal research guides on our Research Guides webpage all have a treaties tab, which helps you find open access treaties for those countries.
    • The Treaties tab in this Public International Law Research Guide lists many open access treaty databases
  • The WorldLII International Treaties Collection provides access to full text treaties by country - but only approximately 70 countries are included.

Other Research Guides to finding treaties - for example, the very helpful open access Globalex guides:



A useful list of all Tax Conventions on Income and on Capital Between OECD Member Countries is available on the OECD website. This list only covers agreements between the 35 OECD member countries and does not link to the full-text agreements. 

None of the open-access tools are as good, up to date, complete or as fast to use as the commercial databases, so if you have access to the commercial databases, do yourself a favour!

Tools for Comparing International Agreements 


The IBFD tax research platform Treaty Article Comparison tool enables side by side comparison of complete texts of bilateral agreements or individual agreement articles, such as Tax Treaties (in IBFD these are called Income/Capital Treaties) and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (in IBFD these are called Exchange of Information Treaties).

Commentary on all International Agreements

IBFD's encyclopaedic Global Tax Treaty Commentaries provides commentary and material on the OECD Model, the UN Model and other models, all tax treaties in general, and the treaty-related aspects of international taxation. It contains information, examples and tables on the article or topic in question, as well as hyperlinks to other collections in the IBFD Tax Research Platform, such as Treaties, Models, Country and Topical Analyses, Tax Treaty Case Law, and International Organisations’ Documentation. 


Finding Domestic Legislation covering taxation on foreign income of residents and domestic income of non-residents 


The handiest way to identify domestic legislation from all countries covering taxation on foreign income of residents (worldwide income) and domestic income of non-residents is to use the IBFD Tax Research Platform. While all the country databases will describe the relevant rules, only the Country Analysis database will name the legislation. However, apart from linking to full-text US legislation, this database does not link to the full text of doemstic legislation - this will have to be found in individual country legislation databases.

Country Analysis provides detailed information on the tax regime in each country, divided into individual and corporate tax. Select a country from the left-hand menu, then you will see the individual and corporate chapters on the main screen. Select the International Aspects heading from either individual or corporate, and then use the + signs on the menu on the left to narrow the topic. Commentary on each topic is provided, together with references to legislation and legislative provisions, case citations, and links to full-text treaties and other international agreements.

Note that in this database DTAs are called 'Tax Treaties', and other international agreements, such as Exchange of Information Agreements, are under 'Treaties on Administrative Assistance'.

A handy feature of the Country Analysis database is that, when you are viewing a specific law of a country, you can quickly compare it with the comparable law in another country by clicking the Country Compare button at the bottom of the screen.

Citing Treaties in AGLC4 Compliant Style 

See the Citing Treaties using AGLC4 style box on the Treaties page in this Research Guide.

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