Vol. 6, Issue 3 (2020)
The legal regime for arbitration in international tax disputes in the emerging global market: The Nigerian experience
Author(s): Kwaghkehe Ierkwagh
Abstract: Arbitration as a mechanism for resolving international tax disputes as an alternative to litigation is gaining prominence globally. Most trading partners of Nigeria have now adopted the mandatory international tax arbitration in their double taxation agreements as required by OECD Action Plan 15. However, Nigeria as a signatory to the Multinational Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measure to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“Multilateral Treaty” or “MLT”) has refused to introduce mandatory binding arbitration to resolve international tax disputes. Through the doctrinal research method, the paper has found that the tax system plays a vital role in foreign investment destinations, and features of a good tax system include certainty and predictability in quick and timely resolution of tax disputes. Arbitrability of international tax disputes presents itself as the surest mechanism for resolution of tax disputes as against the regular courts. Consequently, the absence of mechanism for arbitration of international tax disputes in Nigeria has the potentials to increase uncertainties and result in a decline of foreign investment in Nigeria. The paper therefore recommends that Nigeria adopt the international regime for arbitration of international tax disputes in order to give the desired assurances and confidence to her trading partners and foreign investors that tax disputes will be resolved amicably, and speedily too.