OECD TAX AND DEVELOPMENT. PRINCIPLES TO ENHANCE THE TRANSPARENCY AND GOVERNANCE OF TAX INCENTIVES FOR INVESTMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. Many countries, developed and developing alike, offer various incentives in the hope of attracting investors and fostering economic growth. Yet there is strong evidence that calls into question the effectiveness of some tax incentives for investment, including in particular tax free zones and tax holidays. Indeed, ineffective tax incentives are no compensation for or alternative to a poor investment climate and may actually damage a developing country’s revenue base, eroding resources for the real drivers of investment decisions – infrastructure, education and security. There is a significant regional competitiveness dimension too, as governments may perceive a threat of investors choosing neighbouring countries, triggering ‘a race to the bottom’ that make countries in a region collectively worse off.


OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 28 – DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN “NORMAL” AND “EXCESS” RETURNS FOR TAX POLICY. This paper explores the practical challenges tax policy analysts face when trying to apply differential taxation to “normal” and “excess” returns. The distinction between these two elements is being increasingly used in tax policy. The problem is that there is no clear definition for a “normal” return. While it is often equated to a risk-free return, or the return available on a ten-year government bond, many commentators agree that it should incorporate a risk element. The typical rationale for applying differential taxation stems from the desire to achieve neutral taxation, i.e. minimise the real economic responses of taxpayers due to the wedge taxation imposes between before-tax and after-tax returns. A set of important questions are raised for tax policy analysts to consider. Two crucial factors that make the distinction challenging are heterogeneity and uncertainty. Given the potential for unintended consequences, this is an important issue that warrants more discussion and thought. Reynolds, H. and T. Neubig (2016).

United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries (2017)

United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries (2017). This second edition of the United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries (the Manual) is intended to draw upon the experience of the first edition (2013) including feedback on that version, but it is also intended to reflect developments in the area of transfer pricing analysis and administration since that time. At the Ninth Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters in October 2013, a Subcommittee was formed with the task, among others, of updating this Manual. The mandate of the reconstituted Subcommittee on Article 9 (Associated Enterprises): Transfer Pricing in relation to this Manual was as follows: Update and enhancement of the United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, The Subcommittee as a Whole is mandated to update the United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, based on the following principles: ¾ That it reflects the operation of Article 9 of the United Nations Model Convention, and the Arm’s Length Principle embodied in it, and is consistent with relevant Commentaries of the U.N. Model; ¾ That it reflects the realities for developing countries, at their relevant stages of capacity development; ¾ That special attention should be paid to the experience of developing countries; and ¾ That it draws upon the work being done in other fora. In carrying out its mandate, the Subcommittee shall in particular consider comments and proposals for amendments to the Manual and provide draft additional chapters on intra-group services and management fees and intangibles, as well as a draft annex on available technical assistance and capacity building resources such as may assist developing countries. The Subcommittee shall give due consideration to the outcome of the OECD/Group of Twenty (G20) Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting as concerns transfer pricing and the Manual shall reflect the special situation of less developed economies. The Subcommittee shall report on its progress at the annual sessions of the Committee and provide its final updated draft Manual for discussion and adoption at the twelfth annual session of the Committee in 2016. The Committee at its twelfth session recognized that the Subcommittee’s mandate had been met and approved the proposed update to the Manual. The Manual is improved, and made more responsive to issues of current country concern and also more in tune with rapid developments in this area, including those relating to the OECD/ G20 Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting mentioned in the Subcommittee mandate. It was decided by the Subcommittee, and agreed by the Committee, that the Manual was not the best place for a draft annex on available technical assistance and capacity building resources such as may assist developing countries, as mentioned in the mandate. This was considered better addressed by a webpage updated and managed by the UN Secretariat. The changes in this edition of the Manual include: ¾ A revised format and a rearrangement of some parts of the Manual for clarity and ease of understanding, including a reorganization into four parts as follows: h Part A relates to transfer pricing in a global environment; h Part B contains guidance on design principles and policy considerations; this Part covers the substantive guidance on the arm’s length principle, with Chapter B.1. providing an overview, while Chapters B.2. to B.7. provide detailed discussion on the key topics. Chapter B.8. then demonstrates how some countries have established a legal framework to apply these principles; h Part C addresses practical implementation of a transfer pricing regime in developing countries; and h Part D contains country practices, similarly to Chapter 10 of the previous edition of the Manual. A new statement of Mexican country practices is included and other statements are updated; ¾ A new chapter on intra-group services; ¾ A new chapter on cost contribution arrangements; ¾ A new chapter on the treatment of intangibles; ¾ Significant updating of other chapters; and ¾ An index to make the contents more easily accessible The Foreword to the First Edition of this Manual, which is included below, remains relevant as to its substance. In particular, its recognition that: “While consensus has been sought as far as possible, it was considered most in accord with a practical manual to include some elements where consensus could not be reached, and it follows that specific views expressed in this Manual should not be ascribed to any particular persons involved in its drafting. [Part D]1 is different from other chapters in its conception, however. It represents an outline of particular country administrative practices as described in some detail by representatives from those countries, and it was not considered feasible or appropriate to seek a consensus on how such country practices were described.

OECD/UNDP – Tax Inspectors Without Borders. Annual Report 2017/18

OECD/UNDP – Tax Inspectors Without Borders. Annual Report 2017/18. This Annual Report from Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) covers the period May 2017 to April 2018. TIWB’s practical and results-oriented approach to supporting domestic resource mobilisation is proving increasingly relevant in a fast moving international environment. TIWB is contributing to the United Nations’ Financing for Development agenda, and supporting progress towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also underpinning the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) actions, strengthening developing countries ability to effectively tax multinational enterprises (MNEs), while offering increased certainty and predictability to taxpayers. TIWB increasingly operates in close partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders and partners. Demand for TIWB is growing. There are 29 programmes currently operational and 7 have been completed, together exceeding the target of 35 programmes by April 2018 set by the TIWB Governing Board. Over 20 programmes are in the pipeline. New South-South opportunities are being identified, with India, Nigeria, and South Africa now offering expertise. These developments are, in part, due to increased active participation from Partner Administrations (those providing experts), with 11 countries deploying their serving tax officials and a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) managed roster of 40 tax audit experts up and running. To date, USD 414 million in increased tax revenues is attributable to TIWB and TIWB-style support offered in partnership with the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the World Bank Group (WBG). TIWB represents excellent value for money with over USD 100 in additional tax revenues recovered for every USD 1 spent on operating costs. Whilst revenue impact is important, in the last year TIWB has gathered evidence of other long-term outcomes, including on skills transfer, organisational change and taxpayer compliance. The TIWB Secretariat has developed new tools to help with the measurement challenge. In 2017, an Experts’ Roundtable and a Stakeholders’ Workshop, involving stakeholders from 28 countries and 6 international and regional organisations, gathered lessons on how TIWB’s unique role could be strengthened and how the target of 100 tax expert deployments by 2020 should best be achieved. A mentorship programme was proposed. Other lessons include the finding that TIWB programmes with full access to taxpayer information have advantages over anonymised case reviews and can help with tax reforms by illuminating possible legislative shortcomings in international taxation. The importance of a whole-of-government approach by Partner Administrations, which could improve the efficiency of expert deployment processes with institutionalised funding arrangements, was also highlighted. The partnership between the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UNDP, which delivers TIWB, is becoming stronger with an agreed division of labour. UNDP country offices are able to facilitate national-level discussions on domestic resource mobilisation (DRM), raise awareness and build national support for TIWB programmes. The TIWB Secretariat has launched its first e-newsletter and community of practice for its Experts. TIWB has also updated its multilingual website. The year ahead will see the TIWB Secretariat pursue the implementation of the 2016- 2019 Objectives (Annex A). Priorities will include cementing partnerships with regional tax organisations, expanding the scope of TIWB to new areas such as tax and crime, continuing to build South-South programmes and building a pool of industry expertise to assist developing countries address audit challenges in key business sectors. A major international conference on TIWB and possible future directions is being considered for 2019.


OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 37 – UNINTENDED TECHNOLOGY-BIAS IN CORPORATE INCOME TAXATION: THE CASE OF ELECTRICITY GENERATION IN THE LOW-CARBON TRANSITION. This paper shows that corporate income tax (CIT) provisions can lead to different effective tax rates for different technologies producing the same output but having different cost structures, under otherwise identical CIT provisions. The paper develops a framework for analysing the sources of the differences in effective tax rates and adapts existing models to calculate and compare forward-looking average effective tax rates for carbon-neutral and carbon-intensive electricity generation technologies. Considering CIT provisions for cost recovery in 36 OECD and partner economies, it finds that most tax systems calibrate the treatment of capital costs in a way that produces technology-neutral results when investments are debt-financed. This is because most tax systems offset the fact that deductions for capital costs are based on nominal (rather than real) capital costs by allowing deductibility for the full nominal (rather than real) cost of debt. In contrast, when an investment is equity-financed, the capital cost deduction may effectively be seen to be inadequate in the typical circumstance where the cost of equity is not deductible. As a consequence, immediate deductibility of variable costs but not of capital costs implies that average effective tax rates are relatively high for capital-cost-intensive electricity generation when investment is financed via equity. Since low carbon electricity generation tends to be relatively capital-intensive, this result can be seen as a form of unintentional misalignment of the CIT system with decarbonisation objectives. Whether or not there is an overall bias against carbon-neutral technologies in the CIT system, abstracting from technology-specific tax incentives, depends on several other parameters, such as countryspecific fiscal depreciation schedules and the sources of finance. (…) This paper has benefited from support, comments and suggestions provided by Nils Axel Braathen, David Bradbury and Giorgia Maffini at the OECD and by Delegates of the Joint Meetings of Tax and Environment Experts and of Working Party No. 2 on Tax Policy Analysis and Tax Statistics. The authors would like to thank the following experts for their very insightful feedback on earlier versions of the paper: Matt Benge (New Zealand Inland Revenue), Edith Brashares (U.S. Department of the Treasury), Graeme Davis (Department of the Treasury, Australia), Marc Séguin (Department of Finance, Canada), Øystein Bieltvedt Skeie (Ministry of Finance, Norway), Christian Thomann (Ministriy of Finance, Sweden) and Christian Valenduc (Ministry of Finance, Belgium). The paper is part of a broader set of OECD projects on tax policy, the environment and technology choice in a low-carbon transition. (Luisa Dressler, Tibor Hanappi and Kurt van Dender).

OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 40 – Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world

OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 40 – Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world. This paper, Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world, has been prepared in support of Argentina’s G20 Presidency. While this paper is focused on taxation policy, it forms part of a broader contribution that the OECD has made in support of Argentina’s G20 presidency. Against a backdrop of increased inequality and persistently low productivity growth, this paper considers the challenges and opportunities confronting policy makers in a rapidly changing world as a result of globalisation, technological change and the changing world of work. The paper focusses on: · The impact of the tax system on the market distribution of income, by supporting employment, skills investments, and labour market formality. · How shifting tax mixes towards growth-friendly taxes can be combined with measures to improve progressivity, particularly through base-broadening and through removing inefficient and regressive tax expenditures. · Ways in which personal income taxes and social transfers can foster inclusive growth by raising the efficiency and equity of labour and capital income tax systems. · How tax policy can foster business dynamism and productivity, including through support for investment and innovation, and can raise efficiency by continuing to combat BEPS. · How tax capacity can be raised, and how tax administration can be strengthened, including through international co-operation The paper provides tax policy advice and recommendations to support governments in their pursuit of tax and transfer policies conducive to inclusive growth, while supporting innovation and increased productivity growth; preserving the revenueraising capacity of the tax system; and ensuring the sustainability of public spending. (Pierce O’Reilly).

OECD – Model Mandatory Disclosure Rules for CRS Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures

OECD – Model Mandatory Disclosure Rules for CRS Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures. 1. The purpose of these model mandatory disclosure rules is to provide tax administrations with information on CRS Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures, including the users of those Arrangements and Structures and those involved with their supply. Information disclosed pursuant to the application of these model rules can be used both for compliance purposes and to inform future tax policy design. These rules should also have a deterrent effect against the design, marketing and use of arrangements covered by the rules. 2. The model rules require an Intermediary or user of a CRS Avoidance Arrangement or Opaque Offshore Structure to disclose certain information to its tax administration. Where such information relates to users that are resident in another jurisdiction it would be exchanged with the tax administration(s) of that jurisdiction in accordance with the terms of the applicable international legal instrument. 3. The mandatory disclosure rules do not affect the substantive provisions of a jurisdiction’s CRS Legislation or impact on any reporting outcomes under the CRS. Rather these rules are information gathering tools that seek to bolster the integrity of the CRS by deterring advisors and other intermediaries from promoting certain schemes. The rules seek to accomplish this by providing tax administrations and policy makers with information on schemes, their users and suppliers, for use in compliance activities, exchange with treaty partners and tax policy design. 4. Consistent with the concepts on mandatory disclosure articulated in the BEPS Action 12 Report the model rules are not limited to situations of non-compliance with the tax law (including the rules on CRS reporting). Thus, a disclosure under the rules does not necessarily imply a violation of any tax rule and will not always result in the tax administration taking compliance action in respect of a disclosed Arrangement. Equally, the fact that a tax administration does not respond to a disclosure does not imply any acceptance of the validity or tax treatment of the Arrangement by the tax administration. Jurisdictions implementing these model rules would need to take into account domestic specificities in their own CRS Legislation and the interaction of these model rules with existing anti-avoidance rules. OECD (2018).

OECD – REFORMS OF FISCAL RELATIONS IN BRAZIL: Main issues, challenges, and reforms

OECD – REFORMS OF FISCAL RELATIONS IN BRAZIL: Main issues, challenges, and reforms. Ana Luisa Fernandes and Pricilla Santana (2018). 1. This document is submitted to delegates for information and discussion at the 14th annual meeting of the OECD Network on Fiscal Relations across Levels of Government. It supports the discussion of the roundtable session on fiscal federalism reforms, presenting proposed reforms of fiscal relations in Brazil. 2. Brazil is a three-tiered federation since the Federal Constitution of 1988 decentralised the political power and strengthened federalism, turning the municipalities into a member of the federation with administrative and political autonomy. The federal pact is based on the distribution of power and assignments among the levels of government established by the Constitution. Due to this division, Brazil is characterized by a relatively high degree of political and fiscal decentralisation compared to other countries (Ter-Minassian and de Mello, 2016). 3. Tax assignment in Brazil is clearly defined in the Constitution, and most of the transfers to subnational governments (SNGs) are made according to non-discretionary constitutional rules. On the other hand, there are competition and overlap in the division of some attributions, such as the provision of health and education services. 4. The purpose of this document is to introduce one of the main issues regarding fiscal relations in Brazil and discuss possible reforms. The second section gives an overview of the fiscal relations and their main difficulties and challenges. The third section presents the reforms that have been recently implemented or are being carried out to address the problems presented. Finally, in the fourth section, possible complementary reforms to the previous ones are discussed. (…) CONCLUSION. 58. Brazil is a federation with a relatively high degree of decentralisation. Its tax burden and indebtedness are also high compared to its peers; thus, there is not much room for tax revenue increases. A reform to improve the subnational governments’ finances should focus on reducing the budgetary rigidity by decreasing the mandatory expenditure and procyclical mechanisms, such as earmarked revenues. 59. Another important measure is to improve the accounting standardisation and enforce the Fiscal Responsibility Law. In this sense, progress has been made, such as the reformulation of the Fiscal Adjustment Program and the implementation of the Matrix of Accounting Balances. An important additional measure would be the construction of the Fiscal Management Board. Moreover, for a transparent and effective control of the indebtedness of the states, reforms have been made such as the revision of the analysis of payment capacity and the establishment of a limit for new loans with an objective rule based on the states’ fiscal scenario.

OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism N. 21. Decentralisation in a Globalised World –

OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism N. 21. Decentralisation in a Globalised World – Consequences and Opportunities. Globalisation accompanied by the growing importance of information technology and knowledge-based production pose challenging problems for federations. We summarise the difficulties that traditional decentralised federations face in addressing problems of competitiveness, innovation and inequality brought on by globalisation. Adapting to these challenges involves rethinking the roles of various levels of government and rebalancing them appropriately. On the one hand, responding to inequality enhances the policy role of the federal government. On the other hand, state and local governments must respond to the imperative of providing education and business services to equip citizens and firms to compete in the knowledge economy. Perhaps most important, large urban governments are best placed to provide the physical and social capital to support innovation hubs. A key challenge for fiscal federalism is to facilitate the decentralisation of responsibilities to urban governments. This entails new thinking about revenue decentralisation, policy harmonisation and the structure of intergovernmental transfers so that cities can implement their policies effectively and accountably. Boadway, R. and S. Dougherty (2018).


OECD – MODEL PROTOCOL FOR THE PURPOSE OF ALLOWING THE AUTOMATIC AND SPONTANEOUS EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION UNDER A TIEA. Background. At present, both Article 6 and 7 of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (the “Multilateral Convention”), as well as Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention foresee the possibility of automatically and spontaneously exchanging information between Contracting Parties. However, the current Model TIEA, which was published in April 2002, does not provide for such forms of exchange. As the Multilateral Convention is now the most comprehensive and wide-ranging legal instrument for internationally exchanging information, it is expected that jurisdictions would in most cases choose to put in place the exchange of information, including under the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (the “Standard”), on the basis of the Multilateral Convention. There may, however, be instances where jurisdictions wish to implement the automatic and the spontaneous exchange of information on the basis of a TIEA (e.g. the exchange of information with dependent and associated territories or where a developing jurisdiction and a developed jurisdiction wish to put in place the automatic exchange of information). As the current Model TIEA does not provide for such forms of exchange, and most of the TIEAs currently in place reflect this approach, appropriate model wording for allowing the automatic and/or spontaneous exchange of information under a TIEA in these instances is herewith made available.