The G20 needs to go structural, social, and green! With fiscal and monetary policy room nearly exhausted, structural reforms are the best choices, sometimes the only choice. The OECD battle cry in this regard has been unchanged since 2008: “go structural!”.
Engagement of developing countries in the international tax agenda, including on BEPS, is imperative, in particular to ensure they receive appropriate support to address the specific implementation challenges they face. The input received from developing countries has been fed directly into the development of the BEPS Action Plan.
In an increasingly interconnected and globalised world, the need for global standards has never been stronger or more urgent. Their implementation can ensure the right environment to level the playing field, to avoid a race to the bottom, to bolster healthy and fair competition and ultimately, to build strong, resilient, and inclusive economies.
"We have to transition to more transparent, multilateral mechanisms. Thanks to your hard work, taxation is finally catching up with globalisation, making it more redistributive, harnessing its potential for social progress and justice, making people’s lives better. People sometimes forget that this is what taxation, indeed what economics is all about.", said the OECD Secretary-General at the Global Forum.
Transparency in tax is fundamental to healthy public finances and maintaining citizens’ trust in public and private institutions. Considerable progress at both the national and international levels has taken place.
As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approach their expiry date, we must focus our efforts on ensuring a brighter, more inclusive and sustainable future for all. We face a plethora of common issues: growing inequalities; changing consumption patterns and population dynamics; increasing natural resource scarcity; and ongoing illicit financial flows.
Through the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project (BEPS), and the OECD's work to establish a single global standard for the automatic exchange of information, the OECD and the global community are reforming an international tax system which had not kept pace with changing times, and in doing so, restoring integrity, coherence and effectiveness to it.
International tax evasion and avoidance has been a headline issue for more than 5 years. In a context of economic and social hardship, these behaviours understandably raised questions about the fairness and integrity of our tax systems. As a result, since the crisis, the OECD has been partnering with the G20, bringing together technical expertise and political leadership, to address those issues.
Today, your governments – and many of our Partners – have taken another major step forward by adopting the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters. More than 60 jurisdictions are now committed to implementing what the G20 recognises as the single, global standard. And more are expected to join soon!
We need to fight distortions to competition that can arise from tax avoidance, just like we do from other forms of government intervention, such as regulation, said OECD Secretary-General.