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.


OECD WORK ON TAXATION 2018-2019. Tax is at the heart of our societies. A well-functioning tax system is the foundation stone of the citizen-state relationship, establishing powerful links based on accountability and responsibility. It is also critical for inclusive growth and for sustainable development, providing governments with the resources to invest in infrastructure, education, health, and social protection systems. Across the whole range of policy issues facing governments today, tax finds itself playing a central role, whether it is about collecting sufficient resources to fund the infrastructure of a society or acting as a policy lever to reflect attitudes and choices about such diverse areas as climate change, gender equality, education, health. The OECD and its Centre for Tax Policy and Administration have worked tirelessly to shepherd these issues and provide a focal point for an inclusive conversation that leads to world class standards and effective implementation, always recognising the full range of contexts and constraints faced by countries. We have achieved great success in tackling tax evasion through the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (which has more than 150 members) – it is estimated that by June 2018, jurisdictions around the globe have identified EUR 93 billion in additional revenue (tax, interest, penalties) as a result of voluntary compliance mechanisms and other offshore investigations put in place since 2009. Moreover, the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project now has over 115 members in its BEPS Inclusive Framework, all working together to ensure that tax is paid where value is created. In the midst of this great transformation of the international tax environment taxpayers and governments raised the issue of uncertainty in tax matters from the perspective of businesses and tax administrations. In response to the call from G20 Leaders, the OECD and the IMF have produced a report identifying the sources of uncertainty in tax matters. The OECD is working with governments to develop tools to promote greater tax certainty in order to to provide a stable environment that will foster economic growth. These gains, however, need to be cemented and new challenges are emerging that demand even greater emphasis on the collaborative environment we have fostered, whether this is about the digitalisation of the economy, promoting domestic resource mobilisation in developing countries or using tax policy to advance important social goals such as climate change, gender equality or healthier communities. I look forward to our tax work continuing to deliver tangible results, and co-operating with other international and regional organisations to help governments create the resilient, stable and sustainable environment needed for more inclusive growth.


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 transactions. 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. Hellerstein, W., S. Buydens and D. Koulouri (2018).


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 – EXPLANATORY STATEMENT TO THE MULTILATERAL CONVENTION TO IMPLEMENT TAX TREATY RELATED MEASURES TO PREVENT BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING. 1. The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the Convention) is one of the outcomes of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “BEPS Project”) i.e. tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid. 2. The BEPS Action Plan was developed by the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) and endorsed by the G20 Leaders in September 2013. It identified 15 actions to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in a comprehensive manner, and set out deadlines to implement those actions. Action 15 of the BEPS Action Plan provided for an analysis of the possible development of a multilateral instrument to implement tax treaty related BEPS measures “to enable jurisdictions that wish to do so to implement measures developed in the course of the work on BEPS and amend bilateral tax treaties”. 3. After two years of work, the CFA, including all OECD and G20 countries working on an equal footing, produced the Final BEPS Package, which was endorsed by the OECD Council and the G20 Leaders in November 2015. The Final BEPS Package, in the form of reports on each of the 15 actions accompanied by an Explanatory Statement, gives countries and economies the tools they need to ensure that profits are taxed where economic activities generating the profits are performed and where value is created, while at the same time giving businesses greater certainty by reducing disputes over the application of international tax rules and standardising compliance requirements. It was agreed that a number of the BEPS measures are minimum standards, meaning that countries have agreed that the standard must be implemented. 4. Implementation of the Final BEPS Package will require changes to model tax conventions, as well as to the bilateral tax treaties based on those model conventions. The sheer number of bilateral treaties (more than 3000) would make bilateral updates to the treaty network burdensome and time-consuming, limiting the effectiveness of multilateral efforts.


OECD – MULTILATERAL CONVENTION TO IMPLEMENT TAX TREATY RELATED MEASURES TO PREVENT BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING. The Parties to this Convention, Recognising that governments lose substantial corporate tax revenue because of aggressive international tax planning that has the effect of artificially shifting profits to locations where they are subject to non-taxation or reduced taxation; Mindful that base erosion and profit shifting (hereinafter referred to as “BEPS”) is a pressing issue not only for industrialised countries but also for emerging economies and developing countries; Recognising the importance of ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out and where value is created; Welcoming the package of measures developed under the OECD/G20 BEPS project (hereinafter referred to as the “OECD/G20 BEPS package”); Noting that the OECD/G20 BEPS package included tax treaty-related measures to address certain hybrid mismatch arrangements, prevent treaty abuse, address artificial avoidance of permanent establishment status, and improve dispute resolution; Conscious of the need to ensure swift, co-ordinated and consistent implementation of the treatyrelated BEPS measures in a multilateral context; Noting the need to ensure that existing agreements for the avoidance of double taxation on income are interpreted to eliminate double taxation with respect to the taxes covered by those agreements without creating opportunities for non-taxation or reduced taxation through tax evasion or avoidance (including through treaty-shopping arrangements aimed at obtaining reliefs provided in those agreements for the indirect benefit of residents of third jurisdictions); Recognising the need for an effective mechanism to implement agreed changes in a synchronised and efficient manner across the network of existing agreements for the avoidance of double taxation on income without the need to bilaterally renegotiate each such agreement; Have agreed as follows: (…).

OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 19: Taxation of Dividend, Interest, and Capital Gain Income

OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 19: Taxation of Dividend, Interest, and Capital Gain Income. This paper provides an overview of the differing ways in which capital income is taxed across the OECD. It provides an analytical framework which summarises the statutory tax treatment of dividend income, interest income and capital gains on shares and real property across the OECD, considering where appropriate the interaction of corporate and personal tax systems. It describes the different approaches to the tax treatment of these income types at progressive stages of taxation and concludes the discussion of each income type by summarising the different systems in diagrammatic form. For each income type, the paper presents worked calculations of the maximum combined statutory tax rates in each OECD country, under the tax treatment and rates applying as at 1 July 2012. These treatments and rates may have changed since this date and the paper should not be interpreted as reflecting the current taxation of capital income in OECD countries. (…) Many individuals, especially employees and pensioners, do not generate capital income from their own business activity, but they may have capital income from holding funds in deposit accounts or bonds, or from the ownership of shares or real property. The tax systems applied to these forms of income differ within and across OECD countries according to the nature, timing and source of the revenue, and the income level and characteristics of the income-earner. As a first step toward a comparative, descriptive analysis of the differing regimes for the taxation of capital income in OECD countries, this paper provides an analytical framework which summarises the different types of tax systems applied to three simple types of capital income earned by resident individuals in a domestic setting: · Dividend income from ordinary shares; · Interest income from cash deposits and government bonds; and · Capital gains realised on real property and shares. The paper uses this framework to describe the different types of tax systems that can apply to these types of income, noting those used in each OECD country and considering, where appropriate, the interaction between corporate and personal taxation. It calculates the maximum statutory combined tax burden on each income type: tracing the impact of different tax treatments from pre-tax income, through the relevant corporate and personal tax systems, to the post-tax income received by a representative individual. The descriptions of the different progressions are supplemented with diagrammatic and algebraic presentations and worked examples for each country. The tax rates presented in this paper represent the maximum possible burden on capital income under the relevant tax systems and statutory rates, rather than the effective tax rates on these different income types. At the individual level, the paper assumes the taxpayer to pay the highest marginal rate of tax and does not consider personal circumstances, such as the existence of family tax credits, that may reduce effective income tax rates. At the corporate level, the impact of deductions or tax planning in reducing effective tax rates is also not considered. Two related OECD work streams will calculate effective tax rates on capital income: the first will consider effective tax rates on corporate income, including the impact of tax planning; and the second, effective tax rates on savings income at the individual level for a broader range of tax payers and savings opportunities than this paper. The paper’s descriptions and analysis are somewhat stylised in order to distil the main features of what are often complex tax regimes, but it provides an overview of: · The differing ways in which dividends, interest and capital gains are taxed; · How far the relative taxation of dividends, interest, and capital gains varies in each country and from country to country; and · The differing ways in which so-called double taxation of dividends (and possibly, capital gains) at corporate and individual levels is attenuated. (Michelle Harding)


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).