The webcast covered a number of recent updates on the BEPS actions and the OECD’s other work.
The OECD held the latest instalment of their Tax Talks webcast series on 5 December 2016. The purpose of these webcasts is to provide an update on the implementation status of the BEPS actions from the OECD’s perspective. The most recent call covered the recent G20 meeting in Berlin, the inclusive framework on BEPS, the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS, Country by Country (CbC) reporting, and tax policy and certainty. There was also a reminder of the final opportunity to complete the OECD’s Business Survey, which will close on Friday 16 December. The results of this survey will remain anonymous, but the key messages received from business are expected to influence the shape of tax policy in the coming years.
The recording of the webcast and a copy of the slides are available on the OECD’s website.
Below, we highlight a selection of the key points.
Update on G20, Berlin
This was the first meeting for the German Presidency of the G20, and included discussions on tax, which covered transparency and exchange of Information on request, BEPS implementation, tax in developing countries, and achieving tax certainty. In addition, the German Presidency requested a refocusing on Tax and the Digital Economy (i.e. BEPS Action 1). They have asked the OECD to report back to the G20 Finance Ministers conference in March 2017 on what is at stake and ideas for the way forward on the digital economy.
Inclusive framework on BEPS
The framework recently welcomed three new members (Macau, Ukraine and Mauritius), and expects to have 100 members by the end of January. They are currently drawing up the terms of reference to start the peer reviews of implementation of BEPS minimum standards, which will cover how to measure the impact of BEPS measures and the impact of legislative changes.
The mutual agreement procedure (MAP) peer review process was launched on 5 December, and the first results are due to be published in 2017. The OECD strongly believe that this will be the game changer for improving dispute resolution, as it will bring the MAP process under the spotlight, with the results being made public and reported to the G20.
For CbC reporting, the OECD have recently published updated guidance on their website, which covers voluntary parent filing and notifications. They have also published country specific information on implementation. For more information on these notifications, please see our article this week.
Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS
The OECD intend for the Convention to facilitate a swift and harmonised implementation of the BEPS measures covered. It is recognised that the Convention is a complex instrument, but the intention is that it will provide transparency.
Various background information was provided on the process for developing the Convention, along with further detail on how it will work in practice, including information on arbitration and the timeline for implementation.
The Convention will be signed in the week commencing 5 June 2017.
Tax policy and tax certainty
This has been stated as a priority of the German Government, who have also emphasised the importance of inclusive growth, to benefit the weaker segments of society. Tax certainty and predictability is critical to investing and promoting growth, and so the OECD is working on a report with suggestions on how to increase predictability, which is expected to be published in May 2017.
The OECD’s Business Survey remains open for interested parties to contribute their views on tax certainty to help support the G20 future tax policy work. This is the last opportunity to comment before the survey closes on 16 December 2016. Individual responses will remain confidential with results expected to be made available in aggregated format and presented to the G20 in 2017.
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