The 10th plenary meeting of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) took place in Beijing, People’s Republic of China (PRC), from 11 to 13 May 2016. The FTA brings together the tax commissioners of 44 tax authorities from the leading global economies to share best practices in tax administration, and to agree common directions on global tax collaboration. This was the first meeting of the FTA since the release, in October 2015, of BEPS 2015 Deliverables on global tax reform and their November 2015 endorsement by the G20. Consequently, the FTA meeting had a key focus on planning the implementation of the BEPS deliverables, as well as parallel new initiatives on tax information exchange. This was alongside efforts to harness technology to a greater degree in tax administration, and efforts to assist developing countries to upgrade their tax capacity.
Given that it is the national tax commissioners who will ultimately effect the implementation of the BEPS program, the Beijing FTA meeting is a key event in aligning BEPS implementation agendas across countries. In this regard, a number of important action points emerged from the FTA meeting, including China’s adherence to a global agreement on exchanging Country-by-Country (CBC) tax reports. In addition, as the FTA meeting considered a wide range of other global collaboration initiatives beyond BEPS, the outputs of the meeting provide a useful ‘stock take’ on the state of play of current global tax initiatives. Insofar as the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) of the PRC, as host of the meeting, was eager to showcase recent and upcoming China tax initiatives, the FTA meeting also provides useful information on the direction of travel of Chinese tax policy and administration.