Category: Base Erosion & Profit Shifting

Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela Signs Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters into Law

President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela signed into law today the implementation of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC), which allows for sharing tax information multilaterally on request with the 107 jurisdictions that are part of the convention and provides a common legal basis for cooperation… – Continue reading

ECOFIN approves Malta Presidency’s compromise solution on tax avoidance practices

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna presented amendments to rules against tax avoidance practices within the ECOFIN Council today, amounting to a compromise solution which was accepted. The solution provides rules regarding corporate hybrid mismatches and third countries. The Council agreed its position on rules aimed at closing down ‘hybrid mismatches’ with… – Continue reading

Irish FM Criticizes EU’s BEPS Response

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has criticized the EU’s proposals for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) and public country-by-country (CbC) reporting as “against the BEPS consensus.” In a speech to an event on corporation tax, Noonan said that the consensus over the OECD’s BEPS proposals must hold and… – Continue reading

Is a register of beneficial ownership of companies coming?

As part of the global transparency push, the G20 has committed to implement rules requiring the disclosure of beneficial ownership of legal entities (in addition to automatic exchange of financial account information and the BEPS related transparency measures). On 13 February 2017, Treasury released a consultation paper dealing with part… – Continue reading

Diverted Profits Tax introduced into Parliament

The Government has introduced the Diverted Profits Tax Bill 2017 and the 35 page Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2017 into Parliament to implement the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT), as one of its first Parliamentary items of business in 2017, indicating the priority attached to this measure…. – Continue reading

Ireland Updates Guidance On Tax Ruling Info Exchange

The Irish tax agency has updated its guidance on the automatic exchange of information on tax rulings between EU member states. Changes have been made to the Tax and Duty Manual to set out Revenue’s arrangements for implementing Council Directive (EU) 2015/2376 and the OECD’s framework for the compulsory spontaneous… – Continue reading

Switzerland to vote on corporate tax unification

Swiss voters will vote next week on whether to reform corporate tax and remove the reduced tax rates that Switzerland currently grants to multinational firms. Voters will be asked whether they accept the federal law that was adopted by Switzerland’s national council in June 2016 “with a view to enhancing… – Continue reading

BEPS big bang complexity for income tax treaties – on a delayed fuse

The OECD made its end-November 2016 deadline to release the text of the multilateral treaty to give effect to the BEPS Actions which involve changes to tax treaties, see here. The 49 page treaty text, which is commonly referred to as the multilateral instrument or MLI, and 85 page explanatory… – Continue reading

Abusive Tax Structures, Make Way For Budget 2017’s Transfer Pricing Combat Weapons

Among other things, Union Budget 2017 will be remembered for two firsts – the introduction of secondary adjustment and thin capitalisation rules. Both are transfer pricing provisions which will have a far-reaching impact on corporates. Secondary Adjustment Since the concept of secondary adjustment is introduced for the first time in… – Continue reading

OECD seeks feedback on tax treaty dispute resolution

The OECD is seeking taxpayer input on the tax treaty dispute resolution process in a second tranche of countries and is seeking comments on the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Sweden. Improving the tax treaty dispute resolution process is identified as a priority… – Continue reading

India: OECD’s Additional Guidance On The Implementation Of Country-By-Country Reporting

A key outcome of the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation’s (OECD’s) final Report on Action Plan 13 (Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country reporting) is the commitment of OECD and G20 countries to introduce Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting along with the associated master file and local file documentation for large Multinational… – Continue reading

The end of international tax planning?

CROSS-border taxation in current times is poised for significant changes. Tax is key in foreign ventures. Absent tax strategies and foreign tax leakages would erode margins and return of investment. Although international tax-efficient strategies to mitigate capital gains tax (CGT), withholding tax (WHT) and the risk of creating a taxable… – Continue reading

Programme to challenge tax evasion on a global level under establishment: deputy minister of finance

The programme includes measures to combat base erosion and profit shifting, based on four main measures that can challenge exploitation of tax agreements, monitor developing international tax work rules, and ensure a more transparent environment. Egypt was chosen by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in a conference… – Continue reading

Mauritius joins global efforts to curb profit shifting by MNEs

In a significant step, Mauritius will soon start automatically sharing of tax information with India and other countries as part of global efforts to curb multinational companies from profit shifting activities. The development also comes months after the island nation, long perceived to be a jurisdiction for alleged illegal fund… – Continue reading

GAO-17-103, International Taxation: Information on the Potential Impact on IRS and U.S. Multinationals of Revised International Guidance on Transfer Pricing, January 27, 2017

What GAO Found In 2015, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) issued revised guidelines, including 15 actions to help reduce base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) of multinational enterprises (MNEs). One action focuses on transfer pricing guidance with the intent of aligning MNE profits with the location of… – Continue reading

OECD consults on developing countries transfer pricing toolkit

The OECD is seeking feedback on a draft toolkit designed to assist developing countries in work on transfer pricing, which specifically addresses the ways developing countries can overcome a lack of data on ‘comparables’, or the market prices for goods and services transferred between members of multinational corporations The toolkit… – Continue reading

New transfer pricing requirements in Latin America under BEPS

Several countries in Latin America have established new transfer pricing documentation obligations associated with the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative. In this new year, Mexico, Colombia and Peru have included in their local legislation new documentation requirements that follow a three-tiered approach: country-by-country (CbC) report, master file,… – Continue reading

Bermuda – the world’s former ‘No.1 tax haven’ – joins fight against multinationals

Bermuda – the world’s former “top tax haven” – has joined the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s fight against multinational profit shifting. Bermuda disputes it is a tax haven despite companies such as Apple and Google in the past being accused of using the British overseas territory to minimise… – Continue reading

OECD’s MLI: will tax treaty benefits apply to private equity investors?

The OECD recently released a public discussion draft entitled the “BEPS Action 6 Discussion Draft on non-CIV examples” to clarify when investors like private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds should be entitled to tax treaty benefits. The release of the 2017 Discussion Draft is timely, given that… – Continue reading

BEPS – Germany on the way to limit the tax deductibility of royalties

A new legislative approach of the German tax authorities leaked last December 19 will have a significant impact on the tax deductibility of royalties owed to related persons being subject to a preferential back end tax regime for IP not being in compliance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and… – Continue reading

Multilateral Instrument: The new dilemma of foreign investors

MUMBAI: The Multilateral Instrument (MLI), a new global tax avoidance agreement, that is in the process of being signed by 100 countries, is now causing a lot of anxiety among foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). MLI is an agreement put out by OECD, the intergovernmental economic organisation, to stop Base Erosion… – Continue reading

International tax-avoidance rules may override GAAR, other tax treaties

There is a possibility that the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR, on taxes) and the tax treaties signed by the government with those of Mauritius, Singapore and Cyprus, and even other nations such as Netherlands, could be overtaken by another event. These could, say experts, be partially or fully overridden by… – Continue reading

German Multinationals Fear Disclosure of Global Tax Reports

Multinational companies headquartered in Germany worry that when they report their global tax and profits for 2016, some countries will leak their country-by-country reports to the press. German parents of multinational groups with annual consolidated group revenue of at least 750 million euros ($797 million) are required to file, with… – Continue reading

Tackling aggressive tax planning

THERE was a time when a tax professional would confidently tell you that tax avoidance would not get you in trouble. You might be bending the rules a little to minimise your tax liability, but as long as you followed the letter of the law, you would be fine. On… – Continue reading

Plans for Australia to adopt a ‘Google tax’ welcomed by advocacy group

Coalition’s proposed diverted profits tax could capture billions in revenue from multinationals using profit-shifting practices, says Tax Justice Network One of the biggest critics of multinational tax avoidance has welcomed the Coalition’s proposed “Google tax”, saying a similar tax in the UK looks likely to increase corporate tax payments by… – Continue reading

Snapchat opts for London over Dublin for international HQ

Move could be a worrying indicator of investment trends post-Brexit, post-Beps Snap, the company behind Snapchat, has opted to open its new new international headquarters in London, rather than Dublin, Amsterdam or Luxembourg, bucking a trend which for decades has seen US multinationals book their international sales in one of… – Continue reading

Cyprus: Country-By-Country Reporting Under Base Erosion And Profit Shifting Action 13

Cyprus signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for the Automatic Exchange of Country-by Country Reports between its member states on 1 November 2016 after approval by the Council of Ministers at its meeting held on 28 September 2016. Following publication in the government gazette… – Continue reading

Worldwide: The OECD’s Conquest Of Domestic Tax Codes: Understanding The Costs And Consequences Of The BEPS Project

Authored by IFC Media Recent global events from the release of the Panama Papers to a series of high-profile inversions have given international tax regulators both rhetorical ammunition and public support to execute a global crackdown on multinational tax planning. The goal is to increase total taxes paid by global… – Continue reading

Three More Nations Commit To BEPS Minimum Standards

A further three countries have committed to participate in international base erosion and profit shifting discussions and implement minimum standards, under the OECD’s new “inclusive framework” for countries. The OECD confirmed on January 6 that the three territories are: Bermuda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kazakhstan. This brings the total number of… – Continue reading

Hong Kong Needs Measured BEPS Response: Report

Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) has issued a paper setting out key recommendations for the Government to consider in the area of international tax law. The paper, which was issued on December 29, 2016, recommends that the Government should issue clearer guidance on appropriate transfer pricing methodologies for… – Continue reading

Switzerland: Federal Council Adopts Dispatch On Exchange Of Country-By-Country Reports

On 23 November 2016, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the Multilateral Agreement on the exchange of Country-by-Country Reports (CbCRs) and draft federal implementing legislation. The proposal is aimed at implementing the minimum standard of the G20 countries and the OECD to combat base erosion and profit shifting… – Continue reading

German Government Targets Offshore Tax Avoidance

The German Government has adopted draft anti-avoidance legislation intended to make it more difficult for domestic taxpayers to avoid tax through the use of “mailbox companies in tax havens.” The draft bill, approved by the Cabinet on December 21, contains more stringent reporting obligations for German taxpayers with foreign financial… – Continue reading

Singapore Goes The Mauritius Route, Loses Right To Tax Equity Capital Gains Arising In India

Starting April 1, 2017, India will have the right to tax capital gains arising on Indian equity shares sold by a Singapore resident. The governments of India and Singapore have amended the double taxation avoidance treaty between the two countries, in line with the changes India recently made to a… – Continue reading

Mauritius: Joint Statement By The FSC & The FSPA

The Mauritius IFC: Driving Growth in Africa As a jurisdiction of substance, the Mauritius International Financial Centre (Mauritius IFC) has been instrumental in driving quality investments in Africa, leading to sustained growth and prosperity across the continent. It is therefore with deep regret that we take note of the misperceptions… – Continue reading

Apple, Netflix, MS and IBM may have to pay `google tax’

The `Google tax’ could soon ensnare the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Apple and Netflix, which provide online services in India. Cloud computing companies and content providers with customers in the country may be needed to pay equalisation levy on their revenue from the next financial year as… – Continue reading

Multinational CFOs increasingly view tax as reputational risk

Tax directors and CFOs at multinational companies are facing increasing numbers of tax audits, and are becoming concerned about the impact of public perception of their tax planning on their company’s reputation, according to research by Taxand. Its fifth annual global survey of CFOs, tax and finance directors across Europe,… – Continue reading

MOF rejects claim of Singapore as tax haven

A recent report has revived claims Singapore is a tax haven but the Singapore Government and experts here reject the label emphatically. They say the report contains inaccurate assertions and fails to recognise recent steps here to crack down on tax evasion. The Republic ranked fifth on a list of… – Continue reading

Monaco ratifies international tax convention

Monaco has ratified the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. The ratification underlines Monaco’s commitment to fighting tax evasion and avoidance. It also means the principality has taken another important step in implementing the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, developed by the… – Continue reading

Government planning action to target multinationals over tax

The Government is planning unilateral action to crack down on tax dodging by multinational companies, including changing the law, amid growing concern about fairness. Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse said proposals outlined in a cabinet discussion document tabled last month would see Inland Revenue properly armed to tackle the problem and… – Continue reading

Ireland Rejects Oxfam’s Tax Haven Claims

Ireland’s Ministry of Finance, the EU and several other governments have emphatically rejected claims by Oxfam International that the countries are tax havens, with Ireland insisting its corporate tax laws are “fully compliant” with international best practices when it comes to transparency and information exchange. The Irish government said the… – Continue reading

Richards accuses Oxfam of ‘serial errors’

Finance minister Bob Richards has expressed dismay at Oxfam’s claim that Bermuda is the world’s worst corporate tax haven. And the Progressive Labour Party joined him to condemn the report as “extremely disappointing”. Mr Richards pointed to “serial errors” in the global charity’s report on offshore centres, which found that… – Continue reading

Rate Competition Is New International Tax Planning Reality

Lower corporate tax rates around the world are expected to play an important part in multinational companies’ tax planning in 2017, with a rate as low as 15 percent on the table in the U.S. and countries such as the U.K. planning to maintain or lower their current rates. A… – Continue reading

International taxation changes could ‘pose a major challenge’ to Malta’s iGaming sector

Changes in the way international taxation is collected, thanks to recommendations made by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) could “pose a major challenge to the sustainability and profitability” of many iGaming operations in Malta. This information came to light through a report issued by Country Profiler on… – Continue reading

Pak-China avoidance of double taxation treaty inked

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan and China signed third protocol to the avoidance of double taxation agreement that would allow a Chinese bank and a state-owned investment fund to avail income tax exemption on interest income from loans for energy projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman… – Continue reading

ICC welcomes adoption of OECD Multilateral Convention

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) welcomes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD)’s release last week of a multilateral convention which allows for swift implementation of a series of tax treaty measures encompassed in the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The release follows the conclusion… – Continue reading

Cayman commits to BEPS rules to counter EU blacklist

Also commits to country-by-country reporting Cayman has committed in principle to a project reforming the application of tax rules in cross-border business to combat the erosion of tax bases and the artificial shifting of profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions. Developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, base… – Continue reading

EU Mulls ‘Substance Test’ to Determine Zero-Rate Tax Havens

European Union member countries are considering a “substance test” to determine whether a country or jurisdiction with a zero corporate tax rate qualifies as a tax haven that doesn’t reflect “real economic activity.” After a host of EU member countries rejected in early November the use of a zero corporate… – Continue reading

Australia’s Google Tax may be the second in the world but it’s too early to tell if it’s the ‘toughest’

When introducing the draft legislation for the Diverted Profits or so-called “Google Tax”, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed it would: …reinforce Australia’s position as having amongst the toughest laws in the world to combat corporate tax avoidance. Australia is the second country to introduce this type of tax, after the… – Continue reading

Multilateral Treaty Not Simple, But Clear: OECD’s Saint-Amans

The OECD’s ground-breaking multilateral tax treaty, which will potentially amend thousands of bilateral tax treaties, will add “another layer” to treaty administration—but actual changes to bilateral agreements will be clear to both tax administrations and multinational companies, the organization’s tax chief said. Taxpayers and tax administrations “will know what the… – Continue reading

Ukraine officially joins BEPS project

On November 22, 2016, the Minister of Finance of Ukraine handed an official letter on Ukraine’s accession to the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) plan to the Secretary-General of OECD. Being the final stage in the process of joining the project, Ukraine is to become a member of the… – Continue reading