OECD – Consultation document – PREVENTING ABUSE OF RESIDENCE BY INVESTMENT SCHEMES TO CIRCUMVENT THE CRS

OECD – Consultation document – PREVENTING ABUSE OF RESIDENCE BY INVESTMENT SCHEMES TO CIRCUMVENT THE CRS (19 February 2018 – 19 March 2018). 1. More and more jurisdictions are offering “residence by investment” (RBI) or “citizenship by investment” (CBI) schemes. These are schemes that allow foreign individuals to obtain citizenship or temporary or permanent residence rights in exchange for local investments or against a flat fee. 2. Individuals may be interested in these schemes for a number of legitimate reasons, including greater mobility thanks to visa-free travel, better education and job opportunities for children, or the right to live in a country with political stability. 3. At the same time, they can also offer a backdoor to money-launderers and taxevaders. In this regard, information released in the market place and obtained through the OECD’s CRS public disclosure facility, highlights the abuse of RBI and CBI schemes to circumvent reporting under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). 4. The OECD is looking into this matter as part of its CRS loophole strategy. This document (1) assesses how these schemes can be exploited in an attempt to circumvent the CRS; (2) identifies the types of schemes that present a high risk of abuse; (3) reminds stakeholders of the importance of correctly applying relevant CRS due diligence procedures in order to help prevent such abuse; and (4) explains next steps the OECD will undertake to further address the issue, assisted by public input. 5. Public input is sought both to obtain further evidence on the misuse of CBI/RBI schemes and on effective ways for preventing such abuse. Such input will be taken into account in determining the next steps that will be taken. Interested parties are invited to send their comments on this consultation draft by 19 March 2018 at the latest by email to CRS.Consultation@oecd.org in Word format (in order to facilitate their distribution to government officials). They should be addressed to the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division, OECD/CTPA. Comments in excess of ten pages should attach an executive summary limited to two pages.

OECD – EFFECTIVE INTER-AGENCY CO-OPERATION IN FIGHTING TAX CRIMES AND OTHER FINANCIAL CRIMES THIRD EDITION. Part I: Analysis, Key Findings and Recommendations Part II: Country Information

OECD – EFFECTIVE INTER-AGENCY CO-OPERATION IN FIGHTING TAX CRIMES AND OTHER FINANCIAL CRIMES THIRD EDITION. Part I: Analysis, Key Findings and Recommendations Part II: Country Information. 1. Financial crimes are growing in sophistication and criminals accumulate significant sums of money through offences such as drug trafficking, investment fraud, extortion, corruption, embezzlement, tax evasion and tax fraud. The nature of financial crime means that the same activity may violate a number of different laws. Different government agencies may be involved at various stages of tackling financial crimes, including the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences and the recovery of the proceeds of crime. Tax offences are often intrinsically linked to other financial crimes as criminals fail to report their income from illicit activities for tax purposes. Conversely, criminals may over-report income in an attempt to launder the proceeds of crime. The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) has explicitly recognised the linkages between tax crimes and money laundering by adding tax crimes to the list of designated predicate offences for money laundering purposes in the 2012 update of its Recommendations.

OECD – BEPS ACTION 13. Guidance on the Implementation of Country-by-Country Reporting

OECD – BEPS ACTION 13. Guidance on the Implementation of Country-by-Country Reporting. All OECD and G20 countries have committed to implementing country by country (CbC) reporting, as set out in the Action 13 Report “Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting”. Recognising the significant benefits that CbC reporting can offer a tax administration in undertaking high level risk assessment of transfer pricing and other BEPS related tax risks, a number of other jurisdictions have also committed to implementing CbC reporting (which with OECD members form the “Inclusive Framework”), including developing countries. Jurisdictions have agreed that implementing CbC reporting is a key priority in addressing BEPS risks, and the Action 13 Report recommended that reporting take place with respect to fiscal periods commencing from 1 January 2016. Swift progress has been made in order to meet this timeline, including the introduction of domestic legal frameworks and the entry into competent authority agreements for the international exchange of CbC reports. MNE Groups have likewise made preparations for CbC reporting, and dialogue between governments and business is a critical aspect of ensuring that CbC reporting is implemented consistently across the globe. Consistent implementation will not only ensure a level playing field, but also provide certainty for taxpayers and improve the ability of tax administrations to use CbC reports in their risk assessment work. The OECD will continue to support the consistent and swift implementation of CbC reporting. Where questions of interpretation have arisen and would be best addressed through common public guidance, the OECD will endeavour to make this available. The guidance in this document is intended to assist in this regard. Some questions and answers refer to articles of the Model Legislation related to Countryby-Country Reporting contained in the Action 13 Report (“Model Legislation”). Such references do not mean that countries’ domestic legislation should follow word-for-word the provisions in the Model Legislation. As indicated in paragraph 61 of the Action 13 Report “jurisdictions will be able to adapt this model legislation to their own legal systems, where changes to current legislation are required”. Countries’ domestic legal framework should however, be substantively consistent with the Model Legislation. Updated February 2018.  

OECD Environment Working Papers n° 88: COMPETITIVENESS IMPACTS OF THE GERMAN ELECTRICITY TAX

OECD Environment Working Papers n° 88: COMPETITIVENESS IMPACTS OF THE GERMAN ELECTRICITY TAX. Proposals to increase environmentally related taxes are often challenged on competitiveness grounds. The concern is that value creation in certain sectors might decline domestically if a country introduces environmentally related taxes unilaterally. Furthermore, environmental goals might not be reached if pollution shifts abroad. A competing view argues that properly implemented environmentally related taxes foster innovation, thereby boosting productivity and competitiveness. Empirical research is needed to gain insight into the strength of these various effects. This paper provides evidence on the short-term competitiveness impacts of the German electricity tax introduced unilaterally in 1999. Germany’s manufacturing sector uses significant amounts of electricity, and to counteract potential negative effects on competitiveness, relief was provided: firms using more electricity than specified thresholds benefitted from reduced electricity tax rates. The tax reduction amounted up to EUR 14.6 per megawatt hour, about 80% of the full tax rate. When measured as an effective rate on the carbon content in the average unit of electricity, the electricity tax translates into EUR 44.4 per tonne of carbon dioxide, indicating the magnitude of the tax. The econometric analysis – a regression discontinuity design – shows no robust effects in either direction of the reduced electricity tax rates on firms’ competitiveness. Firms subject to the full tax rates, but otherwise similar to firms facing reduced rates, did not perform worse in terms of turnover, exports, value added, investment and employment. The analysis questions the relevance of the tax reduction for competitiveness reasons and suggests that it could be gradually removed. The energy use threshold, above which a reduced tax rate applies, could be raised over time and competitiveness impacts monitored. (…) The German electricity tax was introduced in 1999 with the goal of improving energy efficiency and allowing a lowering of labour costs. The new electricity tax increased the price on electricity, thus providing incentives to reduce electricity-use. The revenues are utilised to lower social security contributions, and thereby overall labour costs. The electricity tax is levied on electricity-use as an ad-quantum excise duty. The current full rate is EUR 20.5 per MWh. Compared to the average yearly wholesale price for electricity, which ranged from about EUR 30 to EUR 65 per MWh between 2003 and 2010 (EEX, 2014), the tax rate is significant in size. It implies an effective tax on the carbon content in the average unit of electricity of EUR 44.4 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2). Although this calculation boldly assumes that the generation mix of electricity would not change, if the tax was levied on CO2 instead of on electricity, it gives an alternative indication of the significance of the electricity tax. The government, which was concerned that the electricity tax could harm the competitiveness of the most energy-intensive firms, took at least two measures. First, it introduced the electricity tax in several steps until the full rate was reached in 2003, giving firms time to adjust to higher electricity prices. Second, it provided relief to manufacturing sectors through reduced tax rates. The reduced tax rates apply from certain thresholds of electricity-use onwards. While every electricity-user has to pay the same tax rate for any use below the threshold, firms in the manufacturing sector are eligible for a reduced marginal tax rate for any use above the threshold. Table 1 provides an overview of the development of the full and reduced marginal tax rates, as well as the electricity-use thresholds for reduced marginal tax rates. The electricity tax is an indirect tax that is levied on the supply of electricity. Consequently, every firm pays the full tax rate when it settles the invoice of the electricity provider. The tax reduction scheme is implemented through reimbursement. Firms whose electricity-use exceeds the threshold may request reimbursement from the local tax and customs agency. Flues, F. and B. Lutz (2015).

OECD – INTERNATIONAL COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE PROGRAMME. PILOT HANDBOOK. WORKING DOCUMENT

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 – COMPILATION OF COMMENTS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE DISCUSSION DRAFT ON MANDATORY DISCLOSURE RULES FOR ADDRESSING CRS AVOIDANCE ARRANGEMENTS AND OFFSHORE STRUCTURE

OECD – COMPILATION OF COMMENTS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE DISCUSSION DRAFT ON MANDATORY DISCLOSURE RULES FOR ADDRESSING CRS AVOIDANCE ARRANGEMENTS AND OFFSHORE STRUCTURES. On 11 December 2017, interested parties were invited to provide comments on a discussion draft on model mandatory disclosure rules. The model rules are intended to target promoters and service providers with a material involvement in the design, marketing or implementation of CRS avoidance arrangements or offshore structures. The proposed rules would require such intermediaries to disclose information on the scheme to their national tax authority. The rules contemplate that information on those schemes (including the identity of any user or beneficial owner) would then be made available to other tax authorities in accordance with the requirements of the applicable information exchange agreement. 18 January 2018.

OECD – INCLUSIVE FRAMEWORK ON BEPS. PROGRESS REPORT JULY 2016-JUNE 2017.

OECD – INCLUSIVE FRAMEWORK ON BEPS. PROGRESS REPORT JULY 2016-JUNE 2017. The OECD/G20 Project to address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) was launched following a request by G20 Leaders in June 2012 to identify the key issues that lead to BEPS. The OECD’s February 2013 report, Addressing BEPS, became the basis for the 15-point BEPS Action Plan which was endorsed by the OECD Council, as well as by G20 Leaders at their July 2013 Summit in Saint Petersburg. Organised around three pillars, the objectives of the Project were to (i) reinforce the coherence of corporate income tax rules at the international level, (ii) realign taxation with the substance of the economic activities, and (iii) improve transparency. As a result of an ambitious work programme that was completed in only two years, the BEPS package of 15 measures was delivered in October 2015. The package of measures was developed by 44 countries including all OECD and G20 Members participating on an equal footing, as well as through widespread consultations with more than 80 other jurisdictions in addition to input from stakeholders including business, academics and civil society. In parallel, based on a 2014 survey of the top priority  BEPS-related issues facing low income countries, the OECD had begun work with other international organisations on a series of toolkits for low capacity countries to try to address these issues in a practical way. The Inclusive Framework on BEPS – In September 2015, the G20 Finance Ministers called on the OECD to build “a framework by early 2016 with the involvement of interested non-G20 countries and jurisdictions, particularly developing economies, on na equal footing”. The G20 Leaders reiterated this request in their November 2015 communiqué: To reach a globally fair and modern international tax system, we endorse the package of measures developed under the ambitious G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. Widespread and consistent implementation will be critical in the effectiveness of the project, in particular as regards the exchange of information on cross-border tax rulings. We, therefore, strongly urge the timely implementation of the project and encourage all countries and jurisdictions, including developing ones, to participate. To monitor the implementation of the BEPS project globally, we call on the OECD to develop an inclusive framework by early 2016 with the involvement of interested non-G20 countries and jurisdictions which commit to implement the BEPS project, including developing economies, on an equal footing. In February 2016, the proposed architecture of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS (“the Inclusive Framework”) was endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers, and its inaugural meeting was held in Japan in June 2016. Today, 100 countries and jurisdictions have joined the Inclusive Framework, and, having all committed to implement the BEPS package, are now progressing the Inclusive Framework’s mandate, which is to: i. Review the implementation of the 4 BEPS minimum standards; ii. Gather data for the monitoring of the other aspects of implementation, including under BEPS Actions 1 (on the tax challenges of the digital economy) and 11 (on measuring and monitoring BEPS); iii. Finalise the remaining technical work to address BEPS challenges; and iv. Support jurisdictions in their implementation of the BEPS package, including by providing further guidance on the standards and by developing toolkits for low income countries. This report – This report by the Inclusive Framework on BEPS presents the current state of play in progressing its mandate, covering the period from July 2016 to June 2017. Part 1 of the report sets out the progress made in implementation of the BEPS package, including the four minimum standards, and also highlights the impact on BEPS activities that these measures are already having. Part 2 outlines the work of the Inclusive Framework in this 12-month period: the establishment of the peer review processes, the ongoing standard-setting work and delivery of guidance on implementation, as well as the assistance being delivered, often in partnership with other international organisations and regional bodies, to ensure all countries and jurisdictions are supported in the BEPS implementation process.

OECD – BACKGROUND BRIEF. Inclusive Framework on BEPS

OECD – BACKGROUND BRIEF. Inclusive Framework on BEPS. The international tax landscape has changed dramatically in recent years as a result of economic challenges, and new standards have been developed to enable countries protect their revenue bases. With a conservatively estimated annual revenue loss of USD 100 to 240 billion due to base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), the stakes are high for governments around the world. With the political support of the G20 Leaders, OECD and G20 countries have taken joint action to address the weaknesses within the international tax system that create opportunities for BEPS. Working with other countries, they have developed a comprehensive package of measures to tackle BEPS: the BEPS package. Countries and jurisdictions are now working together on implementing the BEPS package consistently on a global basis, and to develop further standards to address remaining BEPS issues. To these ends, the decision making body for the OECD’s tax work – the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) – had been opened up to interested countries and jurisdictions in order to put in place an Inclusive Framework on BEPS. The Inclusive Framework on BEPS held its first meeting on 30 June – 1 July 2016 in Kyoto, Japan, and the second on 26 – 27 January 2017 in Paris, France. Members of the framework work on an equal footing to tackle tax avoidance, to improve the coherence of international tax rules, and to ensure a more transparent tax environment. In particular, the framework: – develops standards in respect of remaining BEPS issues; – will review the implementation of agreed minimum standards through an effective monitoring system; – monitors BEPS issues, including tax challenges raised by the digital economy; and – facilitates the implementation processes of the Members by providing further guidance and by supporting development of toolkits to support low-capacity developing countries. Joining the Inclusive Framework offers the opportunity to interested countries and jurisdictions to participate in the BEPS related work on an equal footing with other OECD and G20 countries. Being part of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS will facilitate the implementation, as well as the peer review processes of the Members, by providing them further guidance and support, including guidance covered by the Platform for Collaboration on Tax established among the IMF, the OECD, the UN and the World Bank Group.