OECD – EXPLANATORY STATEMENT TO THE MULTILATERAL CONVENTION TO IMPLEMENT TAX TREATY RELATED MEASURES TO PREVENT BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING
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.