G20 Leaders' Summit
Session 2 - Delivering global economic resilience: Taxation
Remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD
Brisbane, 16 November 2014
(As prepared for delivery)
The tax agenda in the G20 sits at the heart of the social contract. It is about rebuilding trust among our citizens and about securing the resources for governments to deliver on their mandate.
Since 2009, we have moved from 40 rather dysfunctional treaties to exchange tax information to 3000 today. Only three weeks ago, under the German leadership in Berlin, at the meeting of the Global Forum on Exchange of Tax Information, more than 93 jurisdictions, including almost all financial centers, committed to implement, by 2018, the Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of tax information (AEOI). 51 of them signed an agreement to do so by 2017, the so called “early adopters”.
It is working already. In the last five years, some 37 billion euros have been collected from “voluntary” disclosure programmes. More will follow.
And in just one year, we delivered the first 7 measures to combat Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) agreed by 44 countries, including all G20 members; 8 more will be ready next year. These agreements are already changing the incentives for both companies and countries on tax issues, as shown by the elimination of the “double Irish”. Others will follow. We need to ensure that taxes are paid where profit is generated.
The measures you agreed on are powerful. They will allow us to deter treaty abuse, neutralise hybrid mismatches, demand country by country reporting by multi-nationals, develop an approach to the tax challenges of the digital economy and automatically exchange tax rulings. By the way, Jean-Claude Juncker, we welcome your decision to implement in the European Union, the Agreement on tax rulings. We arrive stronger to this Summit thanks to the understanding reached between UK and Germany on “patent boxes”. I commend their efforts. This is the other part of Action 5 of the BEPS project. Others should follow.
We are now fully engaging with developing countries, both by direct participation in the BEPS project and by capacity building through our “Tax Inspectors Without Borders” and by the work of some IGOs. Let’s stay well coordinated to maximize the outcomes. The ultimate test of our efforts is to make it work for developing countries, all the more so as we build a post 2015 development framework.
At last year’s Summit, President Obama said: “Tax is the G20 at its best”. Today, in Brisbane, thanks to your commitment, we can say that taxation is finally catching up with globalisation.