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Almost all countries that treat services income as ordinary income for tax purposes have exceptions to this general rule. In most such countries, special rules apply to income derived by non-residents from international shipping or transportation, or from entertainment activities. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have special rules applying to construction activities undertaken by non-residents, while others apply special tax treatment to the insurance activities of non-residents, and yet others, such as the Netherlands, apply special rules to income from the exploration for or exploitation of offshore natural resources.

In a number of jurisdictions, a distinction is made between business income and personal services or self-employment income, depending on the nature of the services (e.g. professional services) and/or the organisational structure through which they are provided (e.g. company or individual). Where the services income is characterised as personal services income or self-employment income, different tax treatment applies. Such treatment may include different rates of taxation, different source rules, or different thresholds for source taxation. In a few countries, including Japan. Korea and Portugal, personal or professional services income is subject to withholding tax, while other services income is treated as business income.

While the majority of countries do not distinguish services income from other business income, there is a significant minority of jurisdictions in which income from the provision of services generally is treated as a separate category of income that is subject to different rules from other categories of business income. For example, in jurisdictions such as Brazil, Chinese Taipei and Italy income derived by a non-resident SP from the provision of services is subject to withholding and is taxed on a gross basis, while other business income is included in ordinary income and taxed on a net basis. Argentina and Venezuela apply a withholding tax to an amount of presumed profit based on the category of services from which the income is derived. In several countries, including Chile, the Czech Republic. India, Mexico, Peru and Spain, services income derived through a PE is taxed in a similar way to other business income, but a final or interim withholding tax is imposed on income from sendees that are not provided through a PE.

As noted above, international transportation services or entertainment services are frequently treated as special categories of services, the income from which is subject to different tax rules. These rules may include exemption from source taxation, taxation on a deemed profit, or withholding tax.

 

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