With the introduction of BEPS Action Items, recently followed by the subjective assent procedures of the Multilateral Instrument, it seems that the aggressiveness of tax administrations to apply current tax laws, and BEPS Actions yet to be enacted, is on the increase. One result of such actions is the continuation, in certain jurisdictions, of tax raids which are unannounced, intense and producing immediate distrust between the parties.
For tax administrations, the question is “Does the necessity of such raids still exist?” and if so, they should be delegated to those that are egregious and potentially criminal in nature after the refusal of the taxpayer to legally comply with prior requests and inquiries.
For MNE’s, a tax raid causes immediate panic at the Business Unit, thus at least one legal or tax contact regionally and globally should be available at any time to address a phone call on necessary action steps that day and going forward. This communication protocol should be common knowledge throughout the global organization to ensure alignment and appropriate steps are immediately taken if a tax raid were to occur.
It is hopeful these circumstances will become less frequent around the world, although learnings can be taken from past experiences to form Best Practices for the future.