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Treaty between Morocco and Gabon – details

20 April 2012

Details of the Gabon - Morocco Income Tax Treaty (1999), signed on 3 June 1999, have become available. The treaty was concluded in the French and Arabic language, each text having equal authenticity. In the case of divergence, however, the French text prevails. The treaty generally follows the OECD Model (2010).

The maximum rates of withholding tax are:

-   15% on dividends;
-   10% on interest. An exemption applies to interest paid to the government or the central bank of the other contracting state; and
-   10% on royalties.

Deviations from the OECD Model include that:

-   the definition of a permanent establishment (PE) includes (i) a retail point (Art. 5 (2g)) and (ii) a warehouse for the storage of goods belonging to third parties (Art. 5 (2h));
-   Art. 5(2i) provides that a building site or a construction project constitutes a PE if it lasts more than 6 months;
-   Art. 5(3) provides that the rendering of services, the furnishing of equipment and machinery on hire used for the prospecting, extraction or exploitation of natural resources by an enterprise constitutes a PE; and
-   Art. 10(8) provides that a branch profit tax may be levied at a maximum rate of 10%.

The treaty generally provides for the credit method to avoid double taxation. In addition, both states grant a tax sparing credit with respect to tax reduced or exempted in accordance with domestic legislation.

If the income derived by a resident of one state is, under the treaty, exempt from tax in that state, the state may nevertheless take into account the exempt income in calculating the amount of tax on the resident's other income (exemption with progression).

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