OECD Secretary-General Tax Report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Saudi Arabia. July 2020. Since I last reported to you in February 2020, the world has undergone a cataclysmic change. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily life as countries attempt to protect the health of their citizens and mitigate the economic fallout from the ongoing crisis. In responding to this crisis, the tax agenda is more relevant than ever. First, fiscal measures – in particular tax-related measures – have played and will continue to play a critical role as countries continue to navigate their way through the COVID -19 crisis. Following a request of Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency, the OECD outlined measures taken by countries in its report Tax and Fiscal Policy in Response to the Coronavirus Crisis: Strengthening Confidence and Resilience, presented during the virtual meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, on 15 April 2020. Effective tax policy responses in the recovery phase will provide countries with essential tools to face the upcoming challenges arising from the current crisis. The OECD stands ready to deliver tax policy recommendations by spring 2021. Second, there remains a pressing issue that has been on the table for more than seven years: reaching a multilateral, consensus-based solution to the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy among st the 137 members of the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS (the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework). Although practical challenges as a result of the pandemic have inevitably affected the pace of progress, technical work on a solution continues to progress well under both Pillar One (establishing a new nexus and reallocating taxing rights) and Pillar Two (ensuring a minimum level of taxation). Since January, and the adoption of an outline of Pillar One based on an OECD Secretariat proposal for a Unified Approach, 11 building blocks have been developed technically by the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework. Work on Pillar Two has also progressed well, with the aim of delivering blueprints for each Pillar for the October meeting of G20 Finance Ministers. Failure to reach an agreement comes with serious risks of escalating tax and trade tensions, which would further undermine the global economy. Contrary to what has been reported publicly, all members are committed to the current negotiation even though some are of the view that a pause at the political level is needed. We encourage you all to remain fully engaged and advance the work so that, when the COVID-19 crisis is over and some of the electoral deadlines have passed, a political agreement can be reached. We look forward to delivering a detailed blueprint of Pillar One in October, embedding needed simplification measures to the architecture of the Pillar that was agreed in January 2020. This blueprint could serve as the basis for both a public consultation, so that all stakeholders can input and comment, and a final round of negotiation with a view to agreeing a consensus based solution. The work to finalise Pillar Two is also well advanced and is increasingly relevant as public tolerance of tax avoidance by companies is expected to reach an historic low in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. By ensuring that a minimum level of tax will be paid on all profits made by multinational enterprises, Pillar Two offers another powerful tool to address BEPS and also establishes a floor to tax competition. Work is underway to finalise the technical design of Pillar Two, which will be submitted to the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework at its plenary meeting in October 2020. Reaching a solution to the tax challenges arising from digitalisation will only be achieved with your strong leadership and clear political support. International co-operation is needed more than ever to provide tax certainty to businesses during very uncertain times and to prevent an unnecessary exacerbation of the already daunting economic challenges posed by the pandemic.