12/12/2014 - On 10-11 December, officials from fourteen developing countries discussed ways to maximise benefits from their recent commitment to enhanced engagement in the BEPS Project.
The workshop forms part of the broader strategy for deepening engagement of developing countries in the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, which was launched on 12 November and welcomed by the G20 Leaders in Brisbane.
Participants from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Croatia, Georgia, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Vietnam and the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), discussed their upcoming participation in the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) and the BEPS technical working groups and how to ensure that the outcomes of the BEPS Project meet the needs of developing countries, also in light of policy and administration environment.
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Participants agreed on the pressing need to reform the international tax rules "as soon as possible" and considered how to most effectively participate in the upcoming meetings, as well as the support required to ensure effective implementation of the BEPS measures. Raffaele Russo, Head of the BEPS Project, underlined the importance of internal coordination among tax policy and administration officials, the use of central contact points and the identification of priority actions as useful ways to become effectively engaged.
A number of interventions emphasised the need to reach a balance between attracting FDIs to support infrastructure investment critical for steady and resilient growth, and collecting corporate income tax and ensuring compliance. They requested that outputs were practical and easy to implement, with support required to ensure increased awareness at all levels.
In addition to the direct participation of developing countries, and building on the successful regional consultations of 2014, five regional networks of tax administration and tax policy officials will be set up, in co-operation with international and relevant regional tax organisations. Logan Wort, Executive Secretary of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), emphasised the importance of "seizing this opportunity to steer the dialogue" with developing countries and considered the role of regional tax organisations instrumental in that respect.
Participants noted that capacity building shall focus on practical guidance on implementation and administration and welcomed the preparation of toolkits in a number of areas of the BEPS Project, as well as related issues which developing countries have identified as significant, such as wasteful tax incentives and availability of quality comparability data for transfer pricing purposes.
Addressing BEPS is high on the global political agenda and solutions must be globally relevant. Following the input from more than 80 countries in the first stage of the Project, direct participation of developing countries will bring them to the heart of the Project.
For more information on developing countries participation in the BEPS Project, please contact [email protected].