On 8 October 2021, the OECD released a further statement in relation to the BEPS 2.0 proposals, aimed at addressing taxation of the modern digital economy. This is the latest development in the attempts to more equally share the tax revenue relating to digital services that have led to some
Significant progress has been made in the efforts of the OECD to reach international consensus on the BEPS 2.0 proposals. Broadly, the proposals are aimed at addressing challenges relating to taxation of the modern digital economy. The 139 country OECD Inclusive Framework meeting concluded on 1 July 2021, with 130…
From the beginning of the UK’s first lockdown in March of last year we have reported on the impact of the pandemic on individual and corporate tax residence and permanent establishment risk.
In April 2020 the OECD published guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on double tax treaties (DTTs),…
On June 7, 2017, ministers and high-level officials of 68 jurisdictions convened to formally sign the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), originally published on November 24, 2016 (the “Multilateral Instrument,” or “MLI”). The Multilateral Instrument is the product of ongoing efforts by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) to prevent perceived abuse by certain taxpayers and improve coordination between taxing authorities, including through enhanced dispute resolution. The Multilateral Instrument was designed as a mechanism for implementing widespread treaty reform and coordination within the existing network of bilateral double tax treaties – without requiring separate bilateral negotiations between each pair of contracting jurisdictions. (For more background, please see our prior blog post on the MLI here.) The June 7 event was an important intermediate step towards the effectiveness of the MLI, and is a major step forward in providing multinational coordination to the historically bespoke bilateral tax treaty network.
In our previous post published on 6 December 2016 we described the OECD’s BEPS Project in the context of the publishing of the draft Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “Convention”).
One area that the OECD has itself acknowledged requires further consideration is in relation to BEPS Action 6, the final report on which was published in October 2015, which seeks to prevent access to treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances (“treaty shopping”).
The final report on Action 6 included various proposals designed to prevent treaty shopping, including the proposed introduction into double tax treaties of:
- a limitation on benefits (LOB) rule that limits the availability of treaty benefits to entities that meet certain conditions
- a general anti-abuse rule which looks at the principal purpose of the transactions or arrangements in question (the principal purpose test, or PPT),
with the OECD recommending that as a minimum standard either (i) a PPT, or (ii) a PPT with either a “simplified” or “detailed” LOB provision should be adopted.
The European Commission has expressed a general preference for the PPT rather than the LOB provisions. HMRC have indicated that the UK will not adopt the LOB.
The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “Convention”) was released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) on November 24, 2016. The Convention is the latest in an ongoing series of releases related to the OECD/G20 Project addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “BEPS Project”), which is a major and continuing effort described as “aiming to realign taxation with economic substance and value creation, while preventing double taxation.” The Convention is the result of multilateral negotiation by over 100 member states (including the United States and the United Kingdom) and observers. While the Convention will not come into force at all until five countries have formally ratified the Convention, once in force the Convention will come into effect for an existing income tax treaty after both contracting parties to that treaty have signed the Convention and any other required home-country ratification processes are completed. The Convention is accompanied by a detailed explanatory statement describing its provisions. The OECD announced that a signing ceremony for the Convention will be held in June of 2017, although a list of expected signatories has not yet been released.
Continue reading for further background on the Convention and a discussion of issues relating to the Convention’s interaction with existing tax treaties, substantive highlights and timetable for implementation. A complete version of the Convention, and the explanatory statement, are linked here and also can be found on the OECD website, http://www.oecd.org. If you would like to discuss any details of the Convention or its impact on multinational enterprises, please contact any of the authors listed here or any member of the Proskauer Tax Department whom you usually consult on these matters.
Robert Gaut, the head of our UK tax practice and a partner in the London office of Proskauer, spoke on 20th September on a panel at the International Bar Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. The panel was entitled “Practical Issues in Entity Classification and Claiming Tax Treaty Benefits…
Many people will be familiar with the information gathering and reporting requirements the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) places on financial institutions. The first exchanges of information between tax authorities will take place next year, with all CRS jurisdictions exchanging information by 2018. And we are now starting to see how tax authorities expect this information to change the taxpayer/tax authority dynamic.
We wrote in February (European Commission Publishes Anti Tax Avoidance Package) about the draft EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (“ATAD”).
On 21st June 2016, the EU Council agreed on the final text of the ATAD and it will be adopted in the next Council meeting, which is…
Country-by-country reporting (“CBCR”) is one of the OECD BEPS deliverables (under Action 13). It is expected to be a significant tool used by tax authorities’ auditors in evaluating a multinational group’s transfer pricing policies. CBCR will present significant challenges to multinationals groups’ internal tax departments, as the tax departments must reconcile public financial reports to their legal entities’ books and accounts and to local tax returns and country-by-country template reports. CBCR is also expected to be used by journalists and politicians to challenge the tax positions of multinational groups, where information can be accessed publicly.