The broad Canadian concept of series should not inform the implicit concept of series in the MLI’s PPT

A key component of the principal purpose test in the MLI references obtaining a benefit as “one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction that resulted directly or indirectly in that benefit.” In this regard, the authors conclude:

[W]hile the expression “arrangement or transaction” as used in the PPT is broad enough to include a series of transactions, for this purpose a “series” must be given its ordinary and natural meaning (i.e., pre-ordained or pre-ordered transactions that can be construed as a single composite transaction)… [and] the extended meaning of series under the ITA, as set out by the SCC … should not be relevant … .

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Michael N. Kandev and John J. Lennard, “Interpreting the Expression “Arrangement or Transaction” in the Principal Purpose Test of the MLI,” International Tax (Wolters Kluwer CCH), June 2019, No. 106, p. 1 under Treaties – MLI – Art. 7(1).