Next week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will host some 650 senior tax officials and private sector representatives from over 103 countries at a conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of an instrument it says *“plays a crucial role in removing tax-related barriers to cross border trade and investment.”*

The conference will be held 8-9 September at OECD headquarters, and will mark the achievements of what is now known as the **OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital**.

The OECD views its Model Tax Convention as the basis for negotiation and application of bilateral tax treaties between countries and says it is designed to assist business while helping to prevent tax evasion – thereby ensuring the full and fair enforcement of tax laws in a globalized economy. The Convention provides agreed guidance on how treaties should be applied, and in the event of disputes, courts frequently refer to these guidelines as the authorative interpretation of bilateral tax treaties.

Half a century ago, when the **Fiscal Committee of the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC)**, which became the OECD a few years later, published a first draft of the model, there were only a few dozen such agreements in force between governments. Today, more than 3,000 tax treaties in force around the world are based on the OECD Model, which is regularly updated. The conference will coincide with publication of the latest update.

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría will open the conference at 9.00 a.m. on Monday, 8 September with a speech underscoring the importance of tax treaties in eliminating obstacles to cross border trade and investment.