« Behaviour which was Considered both Legal and Normal in the Past will no Longer be Accepted »

Par Robert Robillard - 10 mars 2016

This blogpost originally appeared on rbrt.ca.

These were (some) of the words of OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría included in the OECD invitation to every country and jurisdiction « interested » to join the global efforts to close international « tax loopholes », as it was issued on February 23, 2016. The « interested parties » then gathered on March 1-3 and issued another communiqué.

The February 23, 2016 communiqué indicated:

« This new forum will provide for all interested countries and jurisdictions to participate as BEPS Associates in an extension of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA). As BEPS Associates, they will work on an equal footing with the OECD and G20 members on the remaining standard-setting under the BEPS Project, as well as the review and monitoring of the implementation of the BEPS package.

[…]

“Drawing on the G20’s leadership, countries worldwide are working closer than ever to shut down the loopholes that facilitate tax avoidance,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “The plan we are presenting today will create the largest and most inclusive forum for discussions and decisions on implementing the BEPS measures and ensuring a stronger and fairer international tax system. It is another strong signal that behaviour which was considered both legal and normal in the past will no longer be accepted.”

The framework’s mandate will focus on the review of implementation of the 4 BEPS minimum standards, in the areas of harmful tax practices, tax treaty abuse, Country-by-Country Reporting requirements for transfer pricing and improvements in cross-border tax dispute resolution. It will also ensure ongoing data gathering on the tax challenges in the digital economy and measuring the impact of BEPS, as well as monitoring implementation of the remainder of the BEPS package and finalising the remaining BEPS standard-setting work, notably as concerns work on tax treaties and transfer pricing. »

In a State governed by the rule of law, any form of taxation that is not based on legal grounds would be worrisome, to put it mildly…

This may in fact « signal » a good time to lighten up on tax rhetoric and get back to the practicalities of international taxation as it applies to a tax regime composed of sovereign states, which are all determined to keep, if not increase, their share of the tax pie.

The library on BEPS and Transfer Pricing is available here.

Robert Robillard, Ph.D., CPA, CGA, Adm.A., MBA, M.Sc. Econ., M.A.P.
Senior Partner, RBRT Inc.
514-742-8086; robertrobillard « at » rbrt.ca
www.rbrt.ca

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