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U.S. Senate Approves Pending Protocols to Tax Treaties with Japan, Luxembourg, and Switzerland

On 17 July 2019, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the resolutions for the ratification of the pending protocols to the 2003 income tax treaty with Japan, the 1996 income and capital tax treaty with Luxembourg, and the 1996 income tax treaty with Switzerland.

Protocol to Tax Treaty with Japan

The protocol to the tax treaty with Japan was signed on 24 January 2013 and provides for several amendments, including in relation to dividends, interest, capital gains, and double taxation relief for Japan, as well as the denial of treaty benefits in cases of dual residence, the addition of arbitration provisions, and the replacement of the exchange of information provisions and assistance in recovery of taxes provisions.

The protocol will enter into force once the ratification instruments are exchanged and will apply in respect of withholding taxes from the first day of the third month after its entry into force and in respect of other taxes from 1 January of the year following its entry into force. However, the new arbitration, exchange of information, and assistance in recovery provisions generally apply from the date of the protocol's entry into force.

Protocol to Tax Treaty with Luxembourg

The protocol to the tax treaty with Luxembourg was signed on 20 May 2009 and provides for the replacement of Article 28 (Exchange of Information). The protocol will enter into force once the ratification instruments are exchanged and will apply for requests made on or after the date of its entry into force with regard to tax years beginning on or after 1 January 2009.

Protocol to Tax Treaty with Switzerland

The protocol to the tax treaty with Switzerland was signed on 23 September 2009 and provides new provisions in relation to a withholding tax exemption for dividends beneficially owned by a pension, retirement arrangement, or individual retirement plan, as well as the addition of arbitration provisions and the replacement of the exchange of information provisions.

The protocol will enter into force once the ratification instruments are exchanged and will generally apply from 1 January of the year following its entry into force in respect of withholding taxes and exchange of information, although exchange of information will apply for certain information from the date the protocol was signed and the arbitration provisions will generally apply from the date the protocol enters into force.

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