OECD/Platform for collaboration on tax – PCT Progress Report 2018 – 2019

OECD/Platform for collaboration on tax – PCT Progress Report 2018 – 2019. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in 2015 has prompted multilateral organizations to expand their work on domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) in countries, particularly developing countries, 1 including through rapidly growing portfolios of tax-related activities. In this context, the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) was established in 2016 to bring together the experiences and expertise of the four largest multilateral organizations active in tax matters (International Monetary Fund [IMF], Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], United Nations [UN], and World Bank Group [WBG]) to enhance cooperation on domestic revenue issues. Over the last three years, the Platform has helped exploit complementarities and synergies among its Partners in their work on tax, while fully respecting the governance mandates and policy positions of each organization. This report provides an update of the work of the PCT during 2018-19. The PCT previously reported on its progress in 2017.2 Going forward, the PCT plans to provide updates on an annual basis to its governing bodies and interested stakeholders.3 Section II of this report provides an update of the PCT work plan. In February 2018, the PCT held its first global conference on taxation and the SDGs. In their closing statement, Partners committed to 14 actions for enhancing coordination, cooperation and collaboration in their work on tax in support of the SDGs (Box 1). To meet the commitments set out in the 14 Action Items, the PCT has begun with the implementation of a comprehensive work plan. The work plan consists of three main work streams: (1) coordination of DRM capacity development activities; (2) analytical activities; and (3) outreach activities. Then, Section III of the report discusses the early experience with Medium-Term Revenue Strategies (MTRS) and draws preliminary lessons. A brief overview of DRM-related activities of PCT Partners is provided in Section IV. As support for capacity development is scaled up, efficiency and effectiveness only gain more importance. Risks of redundancy, as well as support that outpaces countries’ absorption capacity, need to be managed. By collaborating, synergies in support for capacity development can be exploited and comparative advantages leveraged. Partners have identified complementarities in their mandates, tools and ways of working, which are presented in the Note on Complementarities between the Platform Partners, included as Annex 1. Next steps for strengthening collaboration between Partners are included in Section V of this progress report.

OECD – SIGNATORIES AND PARTIES TO THE MULTILATERAL CONVENTION TO IMPLEMENT TAX TREATY RELATED MEASURES TO PREVENT BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING

OECD – SIGNATORIES AND PARTIES TO THE MULTILATERAL CONVENTION TO IMPLEMENT TAX TREATY RELATED MEASURES TO PREVENT BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING. Status as of 18 June 2019. This document contains a list of signatories and parties to the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Under the provisions of the Convention, each jurisdiction is required to provide a list of reservations and notifications (the “MLI Position”) at the time of signature. The MLI Positions provided for each jurisdiction upon the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval and/or signature are available via the links below.

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

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 – MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING AWARENESS HANDBOOK FOR TAX EXAMINERS AND TAX AUDITORS

OECD – MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING AWARENESS HANDBOOK FOR TAX EXAMINERS AND TAX AUDITORS.  The purpose of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Awareness Handbook for Tax Examiners and Tax Auditors is to raise the awareness level of tax examiners and tax auditors regarding money laundering and terrorist financing. As such, the primary audience for this Handbook are tax examiners and tax auditors who may come across indicators of unusual or suspicious transactions or activities in the normal course of tax reviews or audits and report to an appropriate authority. While this Handbook is not intended to detail criminal investigation methods, it does describe the nature and context of money laundering and terrorist financing activities, so that tax examiners and tax auditors, and by extension tax administrations, are able to better understand how their contributions can assist in the fight against serious crimes. This Handbook is an update of OECD’s 2009 Money Laundering Awareness Handbook for Tax Examiners and Tax Auditors. This update enhances the 2009 publication with additional chapters such as “Indicators on Charities and Foreign Legal Entities” and “Indicators on Cryptocurrencies” relating to money laundering. In a separate chapter, the increasing threat of terrorism is addressed by including indicators of terrorist financing. While the aim of this Handbook is to raise the awareness of the tax examiners and tax auditors about the possible implications of transactions or activities related to money laundering and terrorist financing, this Handbook is not meant to replace domestic policies or procedures. Tax examiners and tax auditors will need to carry out their duties in accordance with the policies and procedures in force in their country. Financial crimes, including tax crimes, money laundering, and terrorist financing, undermine jurisdictions’ political and economic interests and pose a serious threat to national security. Law enforcement authorities working to combat these crimes operate in an environment with limited resources, and advances in technology mean that criminals are using ever more sophisticated methods to avoid detection. Combatting these crimes therefore necessitates a “whole of government approach” where different financial crime authorities can pool their knowledge and skills to collectively prevent, detect, and enforce these crimes. By their very nature, tax crimes are closely linked to other financial crimes and it is well recognised that tax authorities have a central role to play in identifying and reporting money laundering and terrorist financing. While the benefits of reporting and information sharing between tax authorities and anti-money laundering authorities are well recognised, both developed and developing jurisdictions alike face ongoing challenges when it comes to applying this cross-government co-operation in practice. The OECD originally developed this Handbook in 2009 as a practical tool to enhance cooperation between tax authorities and anti-money laundering authorities. This revised Handbook updates the 2009 version with respect to money laundering indicators, and includes, for the first time, material to raise the awareness of tax examiners, auditors, and investigators of issues concerning terrorism financing. There are substantial gains to be made by developing strong legal, institutional, operational, and cultural frameworks for tax authorities to report and share information with authorities responsible for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. Efforts to frustrate these criminal activities start with a firm commitment from political leaders but ultimately end with government officials implementing these policies on the ground. Authorities around the globe are encouraged to make use of this Handbook and adapt it to their jurisdiction’s particular circumstances, taking into account the varying roles that tax administrations have in terms of reporting unusual or suspicious transactions, receiving suspicious transaction reports, and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing offences. Doing so can strengthen the ability of tax examiners and auditors to identify and report money laundering and terrorist financing, thus enhancing the whole-of-government efforts to detect, deter and prevent these illegal and destructive activities.

OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 38 – CORPORATE EFFECTIVE TAX RATES: MODEL DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS FROM 36 OECD AND NON-OECD COUNTRIES

OECD Taxation Working Papers N. 38 – CORPORATE EFFECTIVE TAX RATES: MODEL DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS FROM 36 OECD AND NON-OECD COUNTRIES. This paper presents the new OECD model for the calculation of forward-looking effective tax rates and provides first empirical results based on an OECD survey, conducted in 2016, collecting comparable crosscountry information on corporate tax provisions from 36 OECD and Selected Partner Economies. The empirical results discussed in this paper highlight that an accurate assessment of investment incentives across countries needs to build on a consistent methodological framework capable of covering not only corporate statutory tax rates but also many different rules that affect the tax base such as fiscal depreciation and other deductions or allowances. The OECD corporate effective tax rate model described in this paper provides such a framework; it builds on the theoretical model developed by Devereux and Griffith (1999, 2003) and currently covers 10 asset categories and 36 different corporate tax systems. Empirical results are based on two different macroeconomic scenarios, showing that effective average and marginal tax rates vary widely across asset categories, countries and sources of finance. In addition to the cross-country comparative analysis presented below, the OECD model also enables researchers to conduct further cross-country and within-country analyses of the incentive effects of corporate and personal income taxation. The appendix describes in detail how the OECD model can be used for policy analysis. It includes several examples and illustrates how country-specific policy evaluations can be conducted. (Tibor Hanappi).

OECD TAX AND DEVELOPMENT. PRINCIPLES TO ENHANCE THE TRANSPARENCY AND GOVERNANCE OF TAX INCENTIVES FOR INVESTMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

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

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

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).