OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 32: LEGAL TAX LIABILITY, LEGAL REMITTANCE RESPONSIBILITY AND TAX INCIDENCE. THREE DIMENSIONS OF BUSINESS TAXATION. This paper examines the role of businesses in the tax system. In addition to being directly taxed, businesses act as withholding agents and remitters of tax on behalf of others. Yet the share of tax revenue that businesses remit to governments outside of direct tax liabilities is under-studied. This paper develops two measures of the contribution of businesses to the tax system: (i) legal tax liability and (ii) legal remittance responsibility. Legal tax liability is defined as the sum of taxes that are imposed on businesses directly (e.g., corporate income tax), whereas legal remittance responsibility is the sum of taxes that businesses remit on behalf of others in the economy (e.g., tax on the wages of employees, sales and value-added taxes). This paper considers both measures for 24 OECD countries using data from the OECD’s Revenue Statistics database and additional information gathered from OECD member countries. Care should be taken in interpreting both measures, which should be understood against the backdrop of the issue of economic incidence. Economic incidence refers to the fact that the burden of a tax is not necessarily borne by the person on whom the tax is imposed under legal statute. For example, a tax imposed on capital owners may either be absorbed or shifted onto others in the economy, such as consumers or workers. Economic incidence will vary according to many factors, such as type of tax, country, and labour and product market structures. Recognising the importance of this issue for policymakers, the paper reviews the empirical literature on the economic incidence of taxation and summarises the estimates by tax category. Some of the key findings of the paper include: · Businesses play an important role in the tax system, both as taxpayers and as remitters of tax on behalf of others. Governments often rely upon businesses to remit taxes imposed on others for reasons of administrative ease – arising from the economies of scale of taxing fewer large entities – and improved tax compliance. · The results show that businesses remit an important share of tax revenue to governments. This takes two forms: legal tax liabilities imposed directly on businesses (which account for 33.5% of total tax revenue in 2014, on average, across the 24 OECD countries analysed) and taxes remitted on behalf of others (45.3% of total tax revenue, on average, across the same set of countries). · While businesses benefit in certain ways through their involvement in the tax collection process (e.g., the cash flow benefit), their remittance responsibilities also entail compliance costs. The analysis of businesses’ overall role in remitting taxes to governments should include not just their legal tax liabilities, but also the compliance costs incurred on account of their legal remittance responsibilities. · However, consideration of both the legal tax liabilities and legal remittance responsibilities of businesses does not necessarily provide evidence of who actually bears the burden of these taxes. In this regard, these two measures of the contribution of businesses to the tax system should take account of the crucial issue of economic incidence. · This paper finds that the majority of empirical studies of economic incidence focus on the corporate income tax, where a wide-ranging review of the literature finds that it is likely that at least 30% of the corporate income tax is shifted onto labour. · While there has been much research undertaken on the economic incidence of the corporate income tax, this paper calls for additional future empirical work on the economic incidence of other taxes. The paper highlights two additional issues. First, though there is little empirical evidence available concerning the economic incidence of compliance costs, the channels through which tax burdens are passed on to others in the economy likely also apply to compliance costs. Finally, there is recent evidence that economic incidence may vary depending upon which entity is assigned responsibility for remitting a tax. More empirical research is needed in both of these areas. Milanez, A. (2017).


OECD – ITALY’S TAX ADMINISTRATION. A Review of Institutional and Governance Aspects. 1. Italy is currently undertaking a series of critically important reforms to improve its long-term growth prospects. The current Government has set out its ambitious reform agenda across many policy areas including education, civil justice, public administration and taxation. Certain reforms have already been made, others are under way and more are in the pipeline. Expectations of effective and decisive government actions are high, in particular regarding the tax system. 2. In this context, and following a request of the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan, the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration has carried out a review of the organisational structure and institutional arrangements of Italy’s tax administration, with a focus on the Agenzia delle Entrate (the Revenue Agency) and the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (the Customs Agency). The review also highlights certain critical issues related to tax compliance and collection which emerged in the course of the work. 3. Several meetings were held with the Italian authorities, namely the Minister of Economy and Finance and the heads and senior managers of the Italian institutions involved in tax administration. Meetings were also held with labour unions, stakeholders and experts in tax matters, including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their consultants, to gather a broad range of views on Italy’s tax administration (see Annex A for the list of authorities, stakeholders and experts met). 4. A draft of this report was provided to the Italian authorities in January 2016 to check the factual descriptions’ accuracy and finalised shortly afterwards.


OECD ECONOMIC POLICY PAPER N. 16 – THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF BREXIT: A TAXING DECISION. The Economic Consequences of Brexit: A Taxing Decision Membership of the European Union has contributed to the economic prosperity of the United Kingdom. Uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum has already started to weaken growth in the United Kingdom. A UK exit (Brexit) would be a major negative shock to the UK economy, with economic fallout in the rest of the OECD, particularly other European countries. In some respects, Brexit would be akin to a tax on GDP, imposing a persistent and rising cost on the economy that would not be incurred if the UK remained in the EU. The shock would be transmitted through several channels that would change depending on the time horizon. In the near term, the UK economy would be hit by tighter financial conditions and weaker confidence and, after formal exit from the European Union, higher trade barriers and an early impact of restrictions on labour mobility. By 2020, GDP would be over 3% smaller than otherwise (with continued EU membership), equivalent to a cost per household of GBP 2200 (in today’s prices). In the longer term, structural impacts would take hold through the channels of capital, immigration and lower technical progress. In particular, labour productivity would be held back by a drop in foreign direct investment and a smaller pool of skills. The extent of foregone GDP would increase over time. By 2030, in a central scenario GDP would be over 5% lower than otherwise – with the cost of Brexit equivalent to GBP 3200 per household (in today’s prices). The effects would be larger in a more pessimistic scenario and remain negative even in the optimistic scenario. Brexit would also hold back GDP in other European economies, particularly in the near term resulting from heightened uncertainty would create about the future of Europe. In contrast, continued UK membership in the European Union and further reforms of the Single Market would enhance living standards on both sides of the Channel. April 2016.

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 discusses how the key challenge for jurisdictions seeking to exercise their taxing rights over taxpayers that are not located in the jurisdiction of taxation can be addressed by the use of simplified registration and collection mechanisms. The problem considered by this report – how to collect tax from taxpayers that are not located in the jurisdiction of taxation – is a problem encountered by any tax regime where the jurisdiction asserts taxing rights over a tax base but this jurisdiction has limited power to compel the taxpayer to remit the tax. Although the experience of jurisdictions in addressing this problem has involved primarily consumption taxes, in particular value added taxes (VAT) and retail sales taxes (RST), that experience (and the lessons that can be learned from it) is applicable as well to other tax regimes, whether involving direct or indirect taxes, that confront the same problem. This paper considers two principal approaches to addressing the problem: · Jurisdictions may seek to enlist some other participant involved in the transaction or activity that generates the tax base over which it asserts taxing rights, and over whom it does have enforcement authority to collect the tax or otherwise satisfy the taxpayer’s compliance obligation (e.g., withholding taxes). To this regard, it is shown that, although customers and intermediaries can, in some circumstances, play an important role in the collection of the tax (for example the business customer located in the taxing jurisdiction in the context of a business-to-business transaction or e-commerce marketplaces in the context of business-to-final consumer digital sales), they may be much less efficient in other contexts. Indeed, according to the OECD work (the International VAT/GST Guidelines and the BEPS Action 1 Report Addressing the Challenges of the Digital Economy), customer collection is generally regarded as an inappropriate approach to indirect tax collection in the business-to-consumer (B2C) context given its low level of compliance and its associated costs of enforcement. For analogous reasons, it is also generally recognised that withholding taxes (for example on payment as part of options to address the broader direct tax challenges of the digital economy) are not an effective mechanism for tax collection in the B2C context. · As an alternative, jurisdictions may adopt a taxpayer registration and collection mechanism, and, in light of the absence of enforcement authority over the taxpayer, may seek to make compliance sufficiently easy or attractive to induce taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations. The paper then reviews the simplified registration and collection regimes that jurisdictions have implemented or are about to implement. It is generally recognised that this alternative is more appropriate in the B2C context. Many jurisdictions have implemented (and are in the process of implementing) simplified registration and collection regimes in the B2C context for taxpayers that are not located in the jurisdiction of taxation in the VAT and RST area. Although the evidence regarding the performance of the simplified regimes adopted by jurisdictions is still quite limited, because these regimes generally have only become operational on a widespread basis recently, the best available evidence shows that these simplified regimes work well in practice. According to the most significant experience i.e. the experience in the European Union, a high level of compliance can be achieved and substantial levels of revenue can be collected 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. Against that background, it is highly likely that an even greater number of jurisdictions will embrace simplified collection regimes in the future, especially in light of the growth of the digital economy and more particularly, B2C digital transactions1 . In the VAT area, simplified registration and collection mechanisms issues are dealt with in the International VAT/GST Guidelines and the Report on Mechanisms for the Effective Collection of VAT/GST. This paper also notes that compliance costs for small and micro-businesses can be relatively high compared to the proportion of revenues collected from such businesses and that the adoption of thresholds may be an appropriate solution to avoid imposing such a disproportionate administrative burden in light of the relatively modest amount of revenues at stake. It also points out that a good communications strategy is essential to the success of a simplified regime (including appropriate lead-time for implementation). The exchange of information and international administrative co-operation should also play a significant role in both encouraging taxpayers to comply and detecting non-compliance. (OECD, 2018, Walter Hellerstein, Stéphane Buydens, Dimitra Koulour).


OECD – COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY REPORTING. HANDBOOK ON EFFECTIVE TAX RISK ASSESSMENT. Next year will be the first time that tax authorities around the world will receive information on large MNE groups with operations in their country, breaking down a group’s revenue, profits, tax and other attributes by tax jurisdiction. This information has never previously been available to tax authorities and represents a great opportunity for tax authorities to understand the structure of a group’s business in a way that has not been possible before. Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC Reporting) is one of the four minimum standards of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project to which over 100 countries have committed, covering the tax residence jurisdictions of nearly all large MNE groups. And the pace of implementation of CbC Reporting is impressive. As of today, more than 55 jurisdictions have already implemented an obligation for relevant MNEs to file CbC Reports. Jurisdictions have also moved quickly to ensure that CbCRs can be exchanged between tax administrations. To date, 65 jurisdictions have signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and some jurisdictions have entered into bilateral Competent Authority Agreements to operationalise the exchange of CbCRs with specific jurisdictions. With nine months to go until the first CbC Reports are exchanged, over 1 000 exchange relationships between pairs of jurisdictions have already been created.


OECD – INTERNATIONAL COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE PROGRAMME. PILOT HANDBOOK. WORKING DOCUMENT. Introduction to the ICAP pilot 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.


OECD Economics Department Working Papers N. 1375: LOCAL TAXATION, LAND USE REGULATION, AND LAND USE. A SURVEY OF THE EVIDENCE. This paper surveys the theoretical and empirical research on the relationship between local taxation, land use regulation and land use patterns. The findings can be summarized as follows: 1) In more fiscally decentralized settings, sub-national land use regulation and fiscal policies encourage urban sprawl. In contrast, in more centralized settings, restrictive urban containment policies and a lack of local fiscal incentives for land development tend to generate housing shortages. 2) Certain fiscal instruments affect the type and composition of land development, e.g. the share of residential versus commercial development. Removing local fiscal incentives for certain property types reduces the amount of land allocated for that type and increases its price. 3) In more decentralized settings, local land use policies aimed at containing or modifying urban growth are ineffective since mobile individuals can circumvent local restrictions by sorting into nearby jurisdictions that offer the preferred combination of land consumption and public services. 4) Expanding transportation networks enables households and firms to move to suburban areas, prompting the central city population to shrink and encouraging sprawl, particularly near major highways. 5) In fiscally decentralized settings, sub-urbanization is associated with a growing political power of homeowners. Homeowners tend to get fiscal zoning policies enacted – mainly via minimum lot size restrictions – that selectively attract well-off local taxpayers. Fiscal zoning thus imposes barriers to local development and raises property values, while at the same time facilitating sprawl. Overall, fiscal policy and land use regulation strongly interact, and governments must align those policies carefully to achieve land-use objectives effectively.


IMF/OECD – UPDATE ON TAX CERTAINTY – IMF/OECD Report for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. July 2018. 1. In response to the call from G20 Leaders, the OECD secretariat and IMF staff produced a comprehensive report on tax certainty (OECD/IMF Report on Tax Certainty, the “2017 Report”). This report identified the sources of uncertainty in tax matters and the various tools that taxpayers and governments could use to reduce it from the perspective of businesses and tax administrations in G20 and OECD countries. The G20 has asked for an update of the 2017 Report to be delivered in 2018. 2. The 2017 report highlighted that tax uncertainty creates a risk of discouraging investment. The OECD survey, for example, suggests that businesses find tax certainty in corporate tax and VAT important for investment and location decisions. The major drivers of tax uncertainty for businesses relate to uncertain tax administration practices, inconsistent approaches of different tax authorities in applying international tax standards, and issues associated with dispute resolution mechanisms. To enhance tax certainty, the report identifies a set of concrete and practical approaches and solutions. These include improving the clarity of legislation, increasing predictability and consistency of tax administration practices, effective dispute prevention, and robust dispute resolution mechanisms. While the 2017 report focused on tax certainty in G20 and OECD countries, it was recognized that it is important also for developing countries, even though the tools to enhance tax certainty in those countries would need to be assessed against their weaker enforcement and lower implementation capacities. 3. This update discusses what has happened since the 2017 report. It elaborates first on developments in OECD and G20 countries. Progress is reported on, for example, implementation of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project and developments in dispute resolution, such as mutual agreement procedures (MAP) and arbitration. The update also reports on new initiatives, such as the OECD initiatives to mitigate uncertainty in tax treaties, the IMF initiative to address international taxation issues in its surveillance, developments in the treaty relief and compliance enhancement (TRACE) project, and the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) initiative to improve risk assessment and audit processes. Finally, some initiatives are discussed that were not explicitly mentioned in the 2017 report, but which do matter for tax certainty, such as exchange of information, country-by-country reporting and OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines. 4. The importance of tax certainty for developing countries is reflected in some of the more granular data obtained from the OECD business survey of 2017. Moreover, a workshop in Tanzania in 2017 highlighted the importance of tax certainty for governments in developing countries. Several initiatives are discussed in this update that aim, among others, to enhance tax certainty in developing countries, such as toolkits by the Platform for Collaboration on Tax, Medium-Term Revenue Strategies, the wide array of IMF technical assistance in revenue mobilization (tax policy design, legal drafting, and tax administration), progress made with the tax administration diagnostic assessment tool (TADAT) and the joint OECD/UNDP program on Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB).


OECD SECRETARY-GENERAL TAX REPORT TO G20 FINANCE MINISTERS AND CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS. This report contains two parts. Part I is a report on the activities and achievements of the OECD’s tax agenda, and is made of two subparts: looking back at significant achievements and looking ahead at the further progress needed, in particular through the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS. Part II is a Progress Report to the G20 by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. JULY 2018. (…) Since 2008, the G20 has made the fight against international tax fraud and avoidance a priority. Thanks to the support of Leaders and Finance Ministers, major progress has been achieved, which has demonstrated that international cooperation, in a multilateral framework, can support and strengthen national sovereignty. Transparency has been improved and rules have been changed to realign the location of profits with the place where value is created. The time where multinational enterprises (MNEs) could use tax planning based on a lack of transparency, a lack of substance or the exploitation of cross-border loopholes is over.