Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Posts tagged ‘Action 7’

Multilateral Convention of the OECD; Prime time

After a long waiting period, with many discussions as to its predicted content, the OECD’s Multilateral Convention pursuant to BEPS Action 15 is ready for prime time.  Links to EY’s Global Tax Alert, and OECD’s Explanatory Statement and Multilateral Convention are provided for reference.

The Multilateral Convention is very flexible as to what a country wants, or does not want, within its treaty related provisions to signify its alliance with BEPS Actions.

EY’s Global Tax Alert states: “The tax treaty related BEPS measures covered by the multilateral instrument include (elements of): (i) Action 2 on hybrid mismatch arrangements, (ii) Action 6 on treaty abuse, (iii) Action 7 on the artificial avoidance of the PE status; and (iv) Action 14 on dispute resolution. The substance of the tax treaty provisions relating to these actions was agreed under the final BEPS package released in October 2015. The multilateral instrument does not modify or add to the substance of these provisions. The instrument is solely focused on how to modify the provisions in bilateral or regional tax treaties in order to align these treaties with the BEPS measures.”

Due to the flexibility of the new Convention, this unilateral based process poses many questions as to the consistency of intent for the related BEPS Actions around the world.  It is certain that, in the short term, there will be considerable complexity and varying interpretations of what the Convention means.  Accordingly, the Explanatory Statement and Multilateral Convention are to be reviewed carefully to understand short and long-term trends in this new era of international tax.

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/OECD_releases_multilateral_instrument_to_modify_bilateral_tax_treaties_under_BEPS_Action_15/$FILE/2016G_04025-161Gbl_OECD%20releases%20MI%20to%20modify%20bilateral%20tax%20treaties%20under%20BEPS%20Action%2015.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/tax/treaties/explanatory-statement-multilateral-convention-to-implement-tax-treaty-related-measures-to-prevent-BEPS.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/tax/treaties/multilateral-convention-to-implement-tax-treaty-related-measures-to-prevent-BEPS.pdf:

OECD update

OECD has released discussion drafts on Action 7, attribution of profit to permanent establishments (PEs) and Actions 8-10 (profit splits).

It also requested public review of the document containing conforming changes to Chapter IX (business restructurings) of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines (TPG).

The PE Discussion Draft is not restricted to issues related to PEs that will result from the changes made by the Action 7 Final Report, but also takes into account the results of the work on other parts of the BEPS Action Plan dealing with transfer pricing, in particular the work related to intangibles, risk and capital.  This factor is especially important if countries do not adopt the new Action 5 PE Guidelines in a bilateral tax treaty or via the pending multilateral instrument.  Thus, this section will be all-encompassing and important to understand the drivers, such as key people functions, behind this issue.

The profit split guidance is indicia of a trend for some governments to apply this standard, albeit not from a pure economic/technical perspective.  Therefore, this complex guidance will enhance knowledge of those being asked the question from tax authorities, as well as in developing transfer pricing guidance.

EY’s Global Tax Alert describes these developments in greater detail.

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/OECD_releases_discussion_drafts_on_profit_splits,_attribution_of_profits_to_permanent_establishments_and_conforming_amendments_to_OECD_Chapter_IX_on_business_restructurings/$FILE/2016G_02042-161Gbl_OECD%20releases%20drafts%20on%20profit%20splits,%20attribution%20of%20profits%20to%20PEs%20and%20TPG%20business%20restructuring.pdf

BEPS: APAC Network update

The Asia-Pacific Regional Network on BEPS discussed the impact of BEPS on their region in its meeting on 12-13 February 2015, with over 50 senior tax officials from 21 jurisdictions and international organisations attending.  Attendees included the Asian Development Bank, IMF, US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Study Group on Asian Tax Administration and Research (SGATAR).

Twelve direct participants in the BEPS project consist of Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam.  The discussion summary is included for reference:

http://www.oecd.org/ctp/beps-regional-network-asia-co-chairs-summary-of-discussions.pdf

Discussion Summary:

  • Participants supported the cooperative and inclusive process for developing countries to support the OECD/G20 strategy.
  • All stakeholders, including MNE’s, should be engaged to address BEPS solutions.
  • Recognition of uncoordinated regional efforts addressing interest deductibility (Action 4), PE (Action 7), transfer pricing issues (Actions 8-10), and transfer pricing documentation (Action 13).
  • The introduction of toolkits, further support, and assistance is welcomed, including their participation in the OECD dialogue process.
  • Further guidelines on dispute resolution were requested by business and NGO representatives.
  • Future involvement will focus on additional engagement, participation and collaboration with various partners.
  • Next meeting is scheduled for 16-18 March 2015.

As the BEPS project proceeds to finalize its deliverables this year, the input of this organization and other interested parties will provide a limited window of opportunity to share views and practical suggestions to ensure consistency for taxpayers and tax administrations regionally and globally.  Accordingly, monitoring (including active participation in) future developments will be critical to form Best Practices for taxpayers and tax administrations.

Most importantly, it will be critical to ensure regional participants do not execute unitary legislation prior to release of the final OECD guidelines to ensure the BEPS process is successful.  The timing of such initiatives should also be a priority for the Asia-Pacific Network, its participants and other countries around the world. 

Related posts:

  1. OECD Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) and Toolkit: 30 January 2015
  2. Creation of task force and prior meeting of SGATAR: 1 December 2014
  3. OECD BEPS Strategy for Developing Countries: 13 November 2014

 

 

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