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Since the London Summit in April 2009, the OECD has been the linchpin of a major overhaul of the international tax architecture, whose aim is fighting against tax evasion, ending bank secrecy and tax havens, as well as addressing massive tax avoidance by multinational corporations.

 

GLOBAL FORUM ON TRANSPARENCY AND EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION FOR TAX PURPOSES

 

The work of the Global Forum on Transparency and the Exchange of Information for Tax, hosted and supported by the OECD, has been critical to achieve the remarkable progress in the realm of international tax transparency and information exchange. The Global Forum was restructured in September 2009 in response to a G20 request to strengthen the implementation of these standards and to launch an ambitious peer-review process of national legislation in the realm of tax transparency.

The Global Forum now has 130 members and 15 observers, with over half its members being developing countries. It has completed the reviews of jurisdictions laws’ and their compliance with the international standard for the vast majority of its member jurisdictions. Its focus has now turned to the review of practice, where a 2-phase review process is being undertaken for all Global Forum members. A final rating will be given to each jurisdiction once these reviews have been completed for all. Learn more about the Global Forum.


AUTOMATIC EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

G20 countries have shown growing interest in promoting automatic information exchange as a tool to improve international tax compliance. Beginning in June of 2012, the OECD has worked on the Automatic Exchange of Information within the context of the G20. At the Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, the new global Common Reporting Standard for AEoI was endorsed with countries to begin implementation as soon as possible, with a deadline at the end of 2018. The Leaders’ communiqué issued from Turkey reaffirms the importance of this initiative, as well as the commitment to fully implement AEoI by the previously agreed upon deadline. The Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, jointly developed by the OECD and Council of Europe, provides an effective multilateral platform for widespread adoption and use of automatic exchange of information. The Convention was updated and opened to all countries at the request of the G20, and the amended Convention provides for all possible forms of administrative co-operation between states. The Convention contains strict rules on confidentiality and proper use, and permits automatic exchange of information. All G20 countries have signed or committed to sign the amended Convention and have consistently encouraged all countries to join.

Even before its actual implementation, the impacts of AEoI are already being realised: €48 billion in revenues has been voluntarily disclosed thus far in 2015, against €37 billion last year. That makes the AEoI an economically sound choice, as well as a quantum leap to creating a more transparent and fair tax system. Learn more about Automatic Exchange of Information.


BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING (BEPS)

Undertaken at the request of the G20, the work to tackle base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) is based on the 2013 G20/OECD BEPS Action Plan, which identified 15 actions to curb international tax avoidance. The package of measures is structured around three fundamental pillars: introducing coherence in the domestic rules that affect cross-border activities; reinforcing substance requirements in the existing international standards, to ensure alignment of taxation with the location of economic activity and value creation; and improving transparency, as well as certainty for businesses and governments.

BEPS is a global problem which requires global solutions. For the first time ever in tax matters, OECD and G20 countries worked together on an equal footing. More than a dozen developing countries have participated directly in the work and more than 80 non-OECD, non-G20 jurisdictions have provided input.

The BEPS package, which was endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers during their meeting of 8 October in Lima, equips governments with the domestic and international instruments needed to tackle BEPS. G20 Leaders followed in suit to endorse the BEPS package during their summit on 15-16 November in Antalya, Turkey.

The Antalya Leaders communiqué also called on the OECD “to develop an inclusive framework by early 2016 with the involvement of interested non-G20 countries and jurisdictions which commit to implement the BEPS project, including developing economies, on an equal footing.” This demonstrates a commitment for a rapid, widespread and consistent implementation of these measures with all interested countries and jurisdictions, on an equal footing‎.


DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILIZATION (DRM)

The topic of Domestic Resource Mobilization was emphasized as a pillar in the G20 Multi-Year Action Plan, adopted at the 2010 Summit in Seoul. Since then, the OECD has been working with other IOs to ensure developing countries will be in a position to benefit from the new international tax environment (LIDCs pilots for Automatic Exchange of Information, toolkits for an effective use of tax incentives, access to quality transfer pricing comparability data, etc.). Together we have developed dedicated initiatives such as Tax Inspectors without Borders (in partnership with UNDP) and partnerships with other IOs (IMF, WBG, RDBs) and regional tax organisations (e.g. ATAF). Our Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative received strong support from the G20 Leaders at the Saint Petersburg Summit, and is currently being rolled out as of July 2015. Learn more about this DRM initiative.

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OECD CONTRIBUTIONS TO G20