The interpretation of the concept of ‘beneficial ownership’ in the field of cross-border taxation is the subject of dispute among the international community. From 1977 onwards, a major question is how beneficial ownership should be defined for tax treaty purposes. After the concept of beneficial ownership was included in the EU’s Interest and Royalties Directives, the same question arose for the interpretation of the concept from an EU perspective. The authors examined both the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and EU concepts separately from a historical and teleological perspective and attempted to find common grounds for interpretation, especially after the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) judgment in the Danish cases. They conclude their research by suggesting potential ways forward for a better alignment of the OECD’s and EU’s interpretation of the beneficial ownership concept.