OECD – Guidance for the development of synthesised texts.  Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Measures to Prevent. BEPS BEPS ACTION 15

OECD – Guidance for the development of synthesised texts.  Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Measures to Prevent. BEPS BEPS ACTION 15. The OECD Secretariat has prepared this Guidance for the development of synthesised texts to facilitate the interpretation and application of tax agreements modified by the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (hereafter the “MLI”). The Secretariat is grateful to several jurisdictions for their input to the guidance. This Guidance has been prepared to provide suggestions to Parties to the MLI for the development of documents they could produce to help users of the MLI to understand its effects on tax agreements it covers and modifies (the “Covered Tax Agreements”). The objective is to present in a single document and for each covered tax agreement: the text of a Covered Tax Agreement, including the text of relevant amending instruments; the elements of the MLI that have an effect on the Covered Tax Agreement as a result of the interaction of the MLI positions of its Contracting Jurisdictions; and information on the dates on which the provisions of the MLI have effect in each Contracting Jurisdiction for the Covered Tax Agreement. Such documents would be referred to as “synthesised texts”. To ensure clarity and transparency for the application of the MLI, Parties that intend to develop documents setting out the impact of the MLI on their Covered Tax Agreements should be as consistent as possible. This Guidance sets out a suggested approach for the development of synthesised texts. The Guidance also suggests sample language that could be included in the synthesised texts. At this stage, the sample language includes: a sample general disclaimer on the synthesised texts; a sample disclaimer on the entry into effect of the provisions of the MLI; for each MLI Article, “sample boxes” of the provisions of the MLI that could modify the covered tax agreements; and sample footnote texts on the entry into effect of the provisions of the MLI. This Guidance exists as a tool for members of the ad hoc Group of the MLI and they may use this tool to develop their own approach taking account of legal constraints and existing practices. It is also expected that third parties, including publishers and advisors, will also develop synthesised texts. To ensure clarity on the application of the MLI and to maximise consistency in the development of tools to ease the understandings of the MLI, it would be helpful for third parties to follow the approach set out in this Guidance. The OECD Secretariat therefore intends to make the Guidance available to a wider audience in 2018. The Guidance may be updated in future years on the basis of real-life experiences with developing synthesised texts. (November 2018).

OECD – Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: Entry into effect under Article 35(1)(a)

OECD – Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: Entry into effect under Article 35(1)(a). Note by the OECD Secretariat. 1. This note, prepared with the assistance of the OECD Directorate for Legal Affairs, seeks to clarify the interpretation and application of Article 35 of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the MLI) on the entry into effect of the provisions of the MLI. 2. The question which has arisen on Article 35(1)(a) is this: when will the MLI have effect for taxes withheld at source where the latest of the dates of entry into force of the MLI for a pair of Contracting Jurisdictions is on 1 January of a given calendar year?(…)

OECD – International Compliance Assurance Programme. Pilot Handbook. Working Document

1. The International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP) is a programme for a multilateral cooperative risk assessment and assurance process. It is designed to be a swift and coordinated approach to providing multinational groups (MNE groups) willing to engage actively, openly and in a fully transparent manner with increased tax certainty with respect to certain of their activities and transactions, while identifying areas requiring further attention. ICAP does not provide an MNE group with legal certainty as may be achieved, for example, through an advance pricing agreement, but gives assurance where tax administrations participating in the programme consider a risk to be low. 2. This handbook contains information on a pilot for ICAP, which commences in January 2018 including tax administrations from eight jurisdictions (the participating tax administrations): Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The information contained in this handbook will be revised based on experiences gained in the pilot, and will be used as the basis for an ICAP Operating Manual, which will describe in detail the process to be applied beyond the pilot. 3. The process of the pilot can be summarised as follows. • In advance of the pilot launch, a number of MNE groups have been identified, which have headquarters in the jurisdictions of one of the eight participating tax administrations. It has been agreed with the MNE group which jurisdictions of participating tax administrations will be covered by its ICAP risk assessment (i.e. these will be the covered tax administrations). All MNE groups and participating tax administrations will be invited to participate in a Participant Orientation Event, to be held in Washington DC in January 2018, hosted by the IRS. • Following the Participant Orientation Event, MNE groups participating in the pilot will be invited to provide a package of documentation, the content of which is set out in this handbook. Depending on the approach agreed between the MNE group and the tax administration in its headquarter jurisdiction (the lead tax administration), this package may be delivered by the MNE group (i) to each covered tax administration directly, or (ii) to the lead tax administration, which shares the package with other covered tax administrations through existing tax information exchange agreements. Approximately six weeks after the documentation package is provided, a kick-off meeting will be held between the MNE group and all covered tax administrations, to discuss the documentation package and ensure a common understanding of its content and the process to be followed. • The covered tax administrations then conduct an assessment of the transfer pricing risks and permanent establishment risks (the covered risks) posed by the MNE group, based on the information contained in the documentation package and other information held by the covered tax administrations. This will begin with a high level initial risk assessment (a Level 1 risk assessment) but may be extended to more in-depth risk assessment (a Level 2 risk assessment) if required. The covered tax administrations will seek to gain assurance that the MNE group poses no or low risk for each of the covered risks, within the timeframes described in this handbook. At the end of the risk assessment process, and subject to domestic requirements and processes, each covered tax administration will issue an outcome letter to the MNE group, which will set out each of the covered risks where the tax administration has been able to gain assurance, and any identified tax risks that remain. • The ICAP process and the pilot is based on a collaborative working relationship between the MNE group and covered tax administrations, built on transparency, cooperation and trust. Throughout this process, the lead tax administration will engage in regular and timely communication with the MNE group to ensure it is kept abreast of the status of its risk assessment and any issues as they arise. (2018).


OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 39. SIMPLIFIED REGISTRATION AND COLLECTION MECHANISMS FOR TAXPAYERS THAT ARE NOT LOCATED IN THE JURISDICTION OF TAXATION. A REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT. This paper reviews and evaluates the efficacy of simplified tax registration and collection mechanisms for securing compliance of taxpayers over which the jurisdiction with taxing rights has limited or no authority to effectively enforce a tax collection or other compliance obligation. Although the experience of jurisdictions in addressing this problem has involved primarily consumption taxes, that experience, and the lessons that can be learned from it, are applicable as well to other tax regimes that confront the same problem. Many jurisdictions have implemented (and are in the process of implementing) simplified registration and collection regimes in the business-to-consumer (B2C) context for taxpayers that are not located in the jurisdiction of taxation. Although the evidence regarding the performance of the simplified regimes adopted by jurisdictions is still quite limited, the best available evidence at present (in the European Union) indicates that simplified regimes can work well in practice and a high level of compliance can be achieved since there is a concentration of the overwhelming proportion of the revenues at stake in a relatively small proportion of large businesses and since the compliance burden has been reduced as far as possible. It also indicates that the adoption of thresholds may be an appropriate solution to avoid imposing a disproportionate administrative burden with respect to the collection of tax from small and micro-businesses in light of the relatively modest amount of revenues at stake and that a good communications strategy is essential to the success of a simplified regime (including appropriate lead time for implementation). In sum, simplified registration and collection regimes represent an effective approach to securing tax compliance when the jurisdiction has limited or no authority effectively to enforce a tax collection or other compliance obligation upon a taxpayer.


The Chinese government has launched a series of Value-added Tax (“VAT”) reforms over the past few years to align its VAT system with internationally accepted principles, and to adapt to the economic development in China and the world at large, with an aim to modernize the country’s governance system and administration capabilities. On 1 July 2014, the multiple VAT rates of 6%, 4% and 3% (for small-scale VAT payers) were simplified and unified into a single rate of 3%. On 1 May 2016, the Business Tax (“BT”)-to-VAT reform was rolled out nationwide wherein BT on taxable services was replaced by VAT, such that input tax credit could be fully available along all cycles of value chains in order to avoid the cascading effect of BT. On 1 July 2017, the 4-tier VAT rates of 17%, 13%, 11% and 6% were simplified and unified into the 3-tier rates of 17%, 11% and 6%. All the above measures were made to continuously develop a simpler, clearer and more scientific VAT system.


OECD – IMPROVING CO-OPERATION BETWEEN TAX AUTHORITIES AND ANTI-CORRUPTION AUTHORITIES IN COMBATING TAX CRIME AND CORRUPTION. This report was prepared jointly by the World Bank Group’s Governance Global Practice and the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, and was developed within the OECD Task Force on Tax Crimes and Other Crimes. This report has been prepared by Graeme Gunn and Emma Scott, under the guidance of Anders Hjorth Agerskov, Melissa Dejong, and Mark Johnson. Introduction 1. Countries around the globe are facing a common threat posed by increasingly complex and innovative forms of financial crime. By exploiting modern technology and weaknesses in local legislation, criminals can now covertly move substantial sums between multiple jurisdictions with relative ease and great speed. As a consequence, criminal activity such as tax evasion, bribery and other forms of corruption are becoming ever more sophisticated. Meanwhile, law enforcement structures have, in many cases, not evolved at the same speed and the international community has struggled to keep up with this threat. 2. While viewed as distinct crimes, tax crime and corruption are often intrinsically linked, as criminals fail to report income derived from corrupt activities for tax purposes, or over-report in an attempt to launder the proceeds of corruption. A World Bank study of 25 000 firms in 57 countries found that firms that pay more bribes also evade more taxes. 1 More broadly, where corruption is prevalent in society, this can foster tax evasion. A recent IFC Enterprise Survey found that 13.3% of businesses globally report that “firms are expected to give gifts in meetings with tax officials”, with the frequency of this ranging across countries from nil to 62.6%. 2 3. The links between tax crime and corruption mean that tax authorities and law enforcement authorities can benefit greatly from more effective co-operation and sharing of information. Tax authorities hold a wealth of personal and company information such as income, assets, financial transactions and banking information, that can be a valuable source of intelligence to anti-corruption investigators. Similarly, anticorruption authorities can provide tax administrations with important information about ongoing and completed corruption investigations that could assist a decision to reopen a tax assessment, initiate a tax crime investigation, or more generally promote integrity among tax officials. The investigation into Brazilian majority-state-owned oil company, Petrobras, initiated in 2014, is a prime example of this. Civil tax auditors played a critical role in this transnational corruption investigation by analysing suspects’ tax and customs data and sharing this with the police and public prosecutor as permitted by law. As a result, officials were able to uncover evidence of money laundering, tax evasion, and hidden assets, and to track financial flows. While criminal investigations and prosecutions are still ongoing, as of August 2018, the operation has resulted in dozens of charges against high profile public officials and politicians and billions of dollars in criminal fines, tax penalties, and recovered assets. 4. However, there remains significant room for improvement in co-operation between tax authorities and anti-corruption authorities. Despite success stories, anecdotal evidence provided by many jurisdictions involved in this report suggests that reporting and information sharing between authorities often occurs on ad-hoc basis rather than systematically. This is reinforced by the OECD’s 2017 study on the Detection of Foreign Bribery, which provides that only 2% of concluded foreign bribery cases between 1999 and 2017 were detected by tax authorities.3 5. These issues are at the heart of the current global agenda. In 2015, the United Nations agreed 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including a specific target of substantially reducing corruption in all of its forms. 4 The World Bank and OECD strongly support these goals and recognise the importance of dealing with corruption and tax evasion at a policy and technical level. In this context, for many years, international organisations including the OECD and World Bank have been active in supporting countries to strengthen their legal and institutional frameworks for the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of tax crime and corruption, and the recovery of the proceeds of these crimes. In 2012, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recognised these links by including corruption, bribery, and tax crimes in the list of designated predicate offences for money laundering purposes in its International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation. 5 6. In 20096 and 20107 , the OECD issued two Council Recommendations calling for greater co-operation and better information sharing between different government agencies involved in combating financial crimes. These are supported by the Oslo Dialogue, an initiative which encourages a whole of government approach to tackling all forms of financial crime. 8 As part of this initiative, in 2017, the OECD published its third edition of Effective Inter-Agency Co-operation in Fighting Tax Crimes and Other Financial Crimes (the Rome Report) which analyses the legal gateways and mechanisms for inter-agency co-operation between authorities responsible for investigating tax and other financial crimes. At the same time, the OECD published Ten Global Principles for Fighting Tax Crime, the first report of its kind which allows countries to benchmark their legal and operational frameworks for tackling tax crime, and identify areas where improvements can be made. 7. The OECD continues to advance practical tools and training to combat tax crime and corruption. OECD Handbooks on Money Laundering Awareness and Bribery and Corruption Awareness provide practical guidance to help tax officials identify indicators of possible criminal activity in the course of their work. In 2013, the OECD International Academy for Tax Crime Investigation was launched in co-operation with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza to strengthen developing countries’ capacity to tackle illicit financial flows. In 2017, a sister Academy was piloted in Kenya and will be formally launched in Nairobi, in late 2018. In July 2018, OECD and Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP) signed a MoU to establish a Latin American centre of the OECD Academy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the first programme planned for late 2018. 8. The World Bank is also helping strengthen developing countries’ capacity to stem tax evasion. In 2015, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched the Joint Initiative to Support Developing Countries in Strengthening Tax Systems to give greater voice to developing countries in the global debate on tax issues. 9 Through this joint initiative, the World Bank and the IMF are assembling a set of tools and guidance aimed at addressing developing economy needs. As part of this work, the World Bank has also partnered with the governments of Norway and Denmark to launch the Tax Evasion Initiative to enable enforcement agencies in developing countries to more effectively combat tax crimes and other financial crimes. Under the Tax Evasion Initiative, the World Bank is developing a set of tools, including a handbook on tax evasion schemes and red flags for tax investigators and auditors, as well as a methodology for assessing the performance of criminal tax investigation units which is currently being piloted. 9. In researching, developing, and publishing this joint report on the legal, strategic, and operational aspects of co-operation between tax authorities and anti-corruption authorities, the World Bank and OECD aim to complement their existing work and advance the shared objective of improving the capacity of all countries to effectively combat financial crime. Published: 22 October 2018.


IGF-OECD PROGRAM TO ADDRESS BEPS IN MINING TAX INCENTIVES IN MINING. MINIMISING RISKS TO REVENUE. In a world of mobile capital and profits, many developing countries use tax incentives in the hope of attracting domestic and foreign investment. Their effectiveness, however, has often been disputed, not least in relation to the mining sector, which involves location-specific resources that cannot be moved. Tax incentives are also costly, leading many countries to forgo vital revenues in exchange for often illusive benefits. Nonetheless, governments may determine that they would still benefit from introducing tax incentives for the mining sector because of some specificities in their jurisdiction. For example, changing tax arrangements may appear easier to deliver than other investment promoting actions such as infrastructure. In such cases, tax incentives need to be carefully designed to be effective (that is, they achieve their policy objective) and efficient (the policy goal is achieved at the minimum cost to government revenue).


IGF-OECD PROGRAM TO ADDRESS BEPS IN MINING. LIMITING THE IMPACT OF EXCESSIVE INTEREST DEDUCTIONS ON MINING REVENUE. Globally, there is a major change underway to combat tax base erosion under the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) process. Raising tax revenue is especially important for developing countries. Strong tax systems are central to financing development, and there is increased recognition of the importance of external support in building those systems. While real progress has been made on increasing tax revenues in low-income countries over the past two decades, in many countries revenue remains well below the levels needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and secure robust and stable growth. Like other sectors of the economy, there are tax base erosion risks in the mining sector that can hinder domestic resource mobilisation (DRM), particularly from the operations of multinational enterprises (MNEs). About this practice note Tax systems that provide income tax deductions for interest without making any similar provision for equity create an incentive for the use of debt. While this is true of all industries, this note examines the particular base erosion risks from the use of debt by mining MNEs. This note responds to a concern of many developing countries that MNEs use debt “excessively” in mineral-producing countries (called “host countries” in this note for brevity) as a mechanism to shift profits abroad. This issue was one of the focus areas of the BEPS process. It was also identified as being of high priority for developing countries at an informal workshop on DRM from mining, hosted by the OECD in October 2016. Who is this practice note for? This note is for policy-makers and tax authorities in capacity-constrained developing countries where mining is occurring. Its aim is to assist countries with very limited resources to combat tax BEPS. It prioritises simplicity and ease of administration as policy objectives. It provides references to deeper analysis available to assist developing countries to navigate particular issues on interest deductibility wherever possible. For economic ministers and policy advisers, there is also a wider policy question of how countries strike a balance between tax base protection and encouraging inward investment. The decisions made on policies to limit base erosion have direct implications for the overall investment environment, and these policy issues are highlighted wherever possible. (…)

OECD – Mutual Agreement Procedure Statistics for 2017

The report on BEPS Action 14 (Making Dispute ResolutionMechanisms More Effective) contains a commitment by jurisdictions to implement a minimum standard to ensure that they resolve treaty-related disputes in a timely, effective and efficient manner. All members of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS (IF) commit to the implementation of the Action 14 minimum standard which includes timely and complete reporting of mutual agreement procedure (MAP) statistics pursuant to an agreed reporting framework. The 2017 MAP statistics are reported under this new framework. They cover all the members that joined the IF prior to 2018.


OECD/GLOBAL FORUM ON TRANSPARENCY AND EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION FOR TAX PURPOSES – EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ON REQUEST. HANDBOOK FOR PEER REVIEWS 2016-2020. This handbook is intended to assist the assessment teams and the reviewed jurisdictions that are participating in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) peer reviews and non-member reviews on EOIR under the second round of reviews (2016- 20). It provides contextual background information on the Global Forum and the peer review process under the second round of EOIR reviews. It also contains the key documents and authoritative sources that are the basis of the Global Forum’s peer review process. Assessors should be familiar with the information and documents contained in this handbook as it will assist in conducting proper and fair assessments. This handbook is also a unique source of information for governments, academics and others interested in transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. Background 1. Tax avoidance and tax evasion threaten government revenues throughout the world. Globalisation generates opportunities to increase global wealth but also results in increased risks. With the increase in cross-border flows of capital that come with a global financial system, tax administrations around the world face more and greater challenges to the proper enforcement of their tax laws than ever before. To meet these challenges, tax authorities must increasingly rely on international co-operation based on the implementation of international standards of transparency and effective exchange of information. Better transparency and information exchange for tax purposes are keys to ensuring that corporate and individual taxpayers have no safe haven to hide their income and assets and that they pay the right amount of tax in the right place. 2. The EOIR standard used during the first round of EOIR reviews in 2010 was primarily based on the 2002 Model TIEA and the 2005 version of Article 26 of the Model Tax Convention and Commentary1 . To ensure a level playing field and to respond to the G20’s call to draw on the work of the FATF on beneficial ownership, the Global Forum strengthened its EOIR standard for its second round of review by introducing the FATF concept of beneficial ownership in its assessments, along with other positive changes. The Global Forum adopted the revised Terms of Reference (2016 Terms of Reference) at its annual meeting in Barbados on 28-29 October 2015. 3. The 2016 EOIR Terms of Reference introduces a requirement that beneficial ownership information be available for EOIR purposes in respect of legal persons (e.g. companies, foundations, Anstalt and limited liability partnerships) and legal arrangements (e.g. trusts). The 2016 EOIR Terms of Reference remain based on 2002 Model TIEA, but now refer to the 2012 version of Article 26 of the Model Tax Convention and Commentary, which clarifies, amongst others, that requests on a group of taxpayers not individually identified (“group requests”) are covered under Article 26 of the Model Tax Convention, as long as the foreseeable relevance is sufficiently demonstrated. Other improvements have been introduced regarding the coverage of enforcement measures and record retention periods, foreign companies, rights and safeguards, and the completeness and quality of EOI requests and responses. 4. The first round of reviews was a great success with 125 jurisdictions being assessed and a total of more than 250 reports (phase 1, phase 2 or combined) published in the period 2010-16. Final ratings for [X] jurisdictions were adopted. During the first round of reviews, the reports have shown that the volume of requests has grown substantially – by some estimates more than 60 per cent. The use of EOIR is expected to increase following the implementation of AEOI, as AEOI will serve as a detection tool and EOIR will be required to build up cases against non-compliant taxpayers.