Blockchain Technology and the Allocation of Taxing Rights to Payments Related to Initial Coin Offerings

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Abstrakt

The author explores one of the most debated technologies of recent times – blockchain technology – from an international tax perspective. The focus is on its main principles in its current stage and how the technology may create value in certain use cases. Being one of the most common use cases benefitting from the main principles of blockchain technology, it is analysed how capital raised through initial coin offerings and the investors’ return on their invested capital should be classified according to the OECD Model Tax Convention 2017. More specifically, emphasis is placed on classification of capital raised through the issuing of utility tokens, debt tokens, and equity tokens as well as the classification of return on investments in such tokens. Among other things, it is concluded: 1) that capital raised through the issuing of utility tokens in some initial coin offerings may be subject to a shared taxing right; 2) and that Article 21 of the OECD Model Tax Convention 2017 may, to a greater extent, be applicable with regards to the classification of the investors’ return on investment in tokens compared to return on more ‘traditional’ hybrid financial instruments. Against this background, the fundamental principles of legal certainty and neutrality are discussed. It is also recommended that policymakers provide guidance on the classification of capital raised through initial coin offerings and the investors’ return on their invested capital.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftIntertax
Vol/bind48
Udgave nummer10
Sider (fra-til)879-903
Antal sider25
ISSN0165-2826
StatusUdgivet - 2020

Emneord

  • OECD model tax convention
  • Tax treaty classification
  • International tax law
  • Tax policy
  • Blokchain technology
  • Initial coin offering
  • Hybrid financial instruments
  • Financial innovation

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