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OECD Tax Talks webcast - 15 December 2017

OECD Tax Talks webcast - 15 December 2017

The webcast gave an update on the OECD’s international tax work.

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The OECD held the latest in its series of Tax Talks webcasts on 15 December 2017, giving an update on the status of its current international tax projects. Describing the current international tax environment as ‘vibrant’ with many significant changes on the horizon, not least US tax reform, the webcast covered topics including: the taxation of the digital economy, trending issues for tax treaties, mutual agreement procedure (MAP) peer reviews and mandatory disclosure. There was also an update of the OECD’s most recent tax revenue statistics.

Highlights from the webinar include:

Digital Economy

Work is now underway in preparation for the publication of the Interim Report on the tax challenges of digitalisation. This report will be presented to the G20 Finance Ministers in April 2018, and follows a successful public consultation in Autumn 2017. The key messages from the public consultation were:

  • A request for the OECD to provide clarity on the relevant definitions and underlying issues;
  • A request for the OECD to undertake empirical research on the types of affected business models and associated value creation;
  • Agreement that implementation to date of changes to the indirect taxation of digitalisation have been largely successful; and
  • A clear preference for long term tax solutions over interim measures, and a request not to attempt to ring-fence the digital economy (as digitalisation is so prevalent across all business models).

Tax treaties – trending issues

Tax treaties are likely to remain high profile in 2018, with a focus on:

  • Understanding what taxes are covered by tax treaties (especially in light of the potential introduction of new taxes to address digitalisation);
  • The thresholds for taxation; the role of tax treaties in facilitating tax certainty; and
  • The entry into force of the multilateral instrument (MLI).

On the date of the webcast (15 December) two signatories to the MLI had ratified the instrument. Once five signatories have ratified the MLI it will enter into force, and the OECD are confident of this happening early in 2018 (indeed on 20 December, a third signatory ratified the instrument). The OECD expect the majority of the 72 signatories to have ratified by the end of 2018.

Peer review updates

These continue with peer reviews of 13 jurisdictions now completed and published, a further eight peer reviews completed and awaiting publication, and the launch at the end of 2017 of the next batch of eight jurisdictions.

Mandatory disclosure

Significant progress has been made on tax disclosure and transparency during 2017. The next focus area is on the development of new tax rules requiring disclosure of CRS avoidance arrangements and offshore structures (stakeholders are invited to comment on proposals by 15 January 2018).

For further information please contact:

Sarah Beeraje

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