A significant number of countries tax income from services, or major categories of services such as professional services, on a gross basis. Such tax is imposed by way of withholding tax on the gross amount of the payment for the services, or on a prescribed percentage of the gross amount of the payment, sometimes with different rates depending on the category of services.
In most of these jurisdictions, withholding tax only applies if the income is derived by a non-resident SP who does not have a PE in the jurisdiction. Where the services are effectively connected with a PE situated in the jurisdiction, the domestic law of these countries provides for net taxation of profits from those services. In these countries, the PE is effectively treated as a resident and subject to the same or similar rules as residents in determining taxable income. In some European countries, e.g. Luxembourg, this treatment may be limited to services income derived by companies, and will not apply, for example, to professional income derived by individuals.
In Mexico and Uruguay providers of certain services are sometimes able to opt for net taxation.
The rate of withholding imposed on income from services may be quite low (e.g. 15 per cent in the Czech Republic) or very high (e.g. 35 per cent or more in Argentina, Chile and Brazil). Income of non-resident operators of ships or aircraft in international traffic is commonly taxed at significantly lower rates than those applicable to other business profits. Insurance premiums derived by non-resident insurers from sources in a jurisdiction are also frequently taxed at a low rate.