Tax treaty update: Senate Foreign Relations hearing is scheduled

Tax treaty update: Senate Foreign Relations hearing

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled for Thursday, October 29, a hearing on pending income tax treaties and Protocols.

Related content

The Foreign Relations Committee announcement states the subject of the hearing will be the following tax agreements with: 

  • Switzerland: A Protocol [PDF 1.05 MB] to amend the income tax treaty with Switzerland—the Protocol was signed in 2009.
  • Luxembourg: A Protocol [PDF 549 KB] to amend the income tax treaty with Luxembourg—the Protocol was signed in May 2009.
  • Hungary: An income tax treaty [PDF 2.14 KB] with Hungary—the treaty was signed in February 2010.
  • Chile: An income tax treaty [PDF 2.28 MB] with Chile—the treaty was signed in February 2010.
  • OECD: A Protocol [PDF 712 KB] amending the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (signed in May 2010)
  • Spain: A Protocol [PDF 2.3 MB] to amend the income tax treaty with Spain—the Protocol was signed in January 2013.
  • Poland: An income tax treaty [PDF 2.8 MB] with Poland—the treaty was signed in February 2013.
  • Japan: A Protocol [PDF 2.78 MB] amending the income tax treaty with Japan—the Protocol was signed in January 2013.

All but the Protocol with Japan have previously been approved and reported by the Foreign Relations Committee, but have not been considered by the full Senate.

U.S. ratification process

In the United States, ratification requires the advice and consent of the Senate.  A signed tax treaty is first referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for consideration. A public hearing for the tax treaty is typically held. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee then reports the treaty with a recommendation to the full Senate.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee in early 2014 approved and reported tax treaties and/or Protocols with Switzerland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Chile, Spain, and the Protocol amending the OECD convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters. However, approval by the full Senate under unanimous consent motions had been blocked by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

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