Tax Treaty (Bilateral Tax Agreement)


The term tax treaty is used to describe an agreement that reduces, or eliminates, the double taxation that can occur when an individual or company resides in multiple jurisdictions.  The objectives of a tax treaty include reducing double taxation, lowering the frequency of tax evasion, and encouraging trade.


Also known as a bilateral tax agreement, a tax treaty is an arrangement that reduces or eliminates the double taxation of individual residents as well as corporations.  Treaties may include profits (earnings), income (wages), inheritance, sales, royalties, capital gains, as well as value added tax.  A tax treaty can be an agreement between countries, territories, states, counties or even townships.

The process of eliminating double taxation involves the exchange or sharing of taxpayer information as well as mutual assistance in the collection of taxes owed.  The provisions of a tax treaty may include:

  • Enforcement and procedural frameworks for both implementation as well as dispute resolution.
  • Resident eligibility rules, benefits, exemptions, in addition to the taxes covered by the treaty.
  • Limits on the amount of tax one jurisdiction may levy against the income of an individual or business once permanent residence is established.

Related Terms

flat tax, progressive tax, expatriation tax, excise tax, ad valorem tax, Gas Guzzler Tax, FUTA, franchise tax, household employer's withholding tax, luxury tax, non-resident entertainers' tax