Countries are making major progress towards the goal of creating a fairer and more effective international tax system, including increasing efforts to close down loopholes, improve transparency and ensure that multinational enterprises pay tax where they carry out their activities, according to a new OECD report.
The latest Report from OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría to G20 Leaders describes the continuing fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion as one of the major success stories of the G20, founded on enhanced international co-operation. The report updates progress in key areas of OECD-G20 tax work, including movement towards automatic exchange of information between tax authorities and implementation of key measures to address tax avoidance by multinationals.
“Tax issues have been a key priority of the G20 since its inception, and 2017 is the year of implementation,” Gurría said. “In the midst of the backlash against globalisation, we need to deliver on an agenda of inclusive growth. The work of the G20 and the OECD to repair and improve the international tax system so everyone pays their fair share remains one of the most important responses to these challenges, as well as one which is having a concrete impact.”
The report to G20 Leaders highlights progress in each of the areas where OECD has been mandated to boost international co-operation on tax issues. This includes ongoing movement towards greater transparency, principally through the work of the OECD-hostedGlobal Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which now includes 142 members and is managing worldwide implementation of the Common Reporting Standard and the first automatic exchanges of financial account information (AEOI), to take place in September 2017.
Global Forum members have established close to 2 000 bilateral exchange relationships for AEOI. “These efforts are already paying off, with 500 000 people having disclosed offshore assets and around EUR 85 billion in additional tax revenue identified as a result of voluntary compliance mechanisms and offshore investigations,” Gurría said.
Implementation also continues on measures to reduce tax avoidance by multinational enterprises under the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. 101 countries and jurisdictions are now working on an equal footing to set standards and monitor implementation via the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS. The OECD has established a peer review process to assess implementation of the BEPS minimum standards and work continues on pending issues including transfer pricing.
At the same time, countries are considering measures to enhance tax certainty based on the joint OECD-IMF report to G20 Finance Ministers in March, as well as progressing discussions on the complex issues around taxation of the digital economy. An interim report on taxation of the digital economy will be delivered by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS in early 2018, followed by a final report in 2020.
OECD, Tax system, Angel Gurría, G20