The Federal Tax Administration (FTA)has collaborated with the Swiss Tax Conference, EXPERT-suisse and an academic partner to set forth written principles and rules of conduct. These rules are focused upon employees of tax administrations, companies and tax professionals.
The format includes the following highlights:
General principles of conduct
Tax return process
Advance tax ruling
A Code of Conduct is an importance governance tool for tax administrations and multinationals. It represents a baseline of understanding to achieve a fair, efficient and transparent process for all parties. This document would be an excellent opening item of discussion for any audit.
The link for reference is estv.admin.ch, FTA subtag, with tabs on the upper right for different languages.
The UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters concluded their October meeting with several important milestones discussed. A summary of the meeting is provided, and a reference to the Handbook on Selected Issues in Protecting the Tax Base of Developing Countries are provided for reference:
Click to access handbook-tb.pdf
- A new Article was adopted re: fees for technical services that will become a part of the new UN Model Double Tax Convention (DTC).
- A new practical Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries was adopted.
- Subcommittee on Exchange of Information presented a draft “Code of Conduct” that will be updated in the October 2016 session.
- The Committee also welcomed the work of UN DESA’s Financing for Development Office in the area of capacity-building, including the production of a “Handbook on Selected Issues in Protecting the Tax Base of Developing Countries.”
- Two new subcommittees were formed:
- Royalties re: updated Article 12 UN Model and commentary
- Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) to review and propose updates to UN Model
On the heels of the OECD BEPS Guidelines, the UN developments will pave the way for many developing countries that lack the time and/or resources for implementation. Accordingly, additional withholding taxes for services and withholding sources will be revealed to extract monies at source. As a result, the UN initiatives are paramount to monitor and review accordingly.
These initiatives will also provide greater capacity for global disparity, with the BEPS Guidelines and UN changes in periods of transition re: domestic legislative actions around the world.
The European Commission, in its meeting on 27 May 2015, determined that a new Action Plan is needed to address tax abuse and ensure sustainable fisc growth by the Member States. This follows its proposals on the Tax Transparency Package, including automatic exchange of tax rulings, possible public tax disclosure, and a review of the Code of Conduct.
The new Action Plan will look at integrating BEPS actions within the EU, review the digitalized economy, relaunching the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) initiative and further rules for increased transparency.
The KPMG Euro Tax Flash provides a summary of the new proposals.
Click to access etf-249.pdf
It is noteworthy that the EU is proceeding on designed actions in anticipation of, and subsequent to, BEPS actions for the EU Member States. These actions may form a new set of rules similar to, as well as disparate from, the new OECD Guidelines and the rest of the world. Other countries will be following these initiatives for similar adoption at a unilateral level, thereby providing a complex multi-layering of anti-abuse rules, transparency initiatives, and tax bases.
The answers to the struggle for fostering a better business environment in the EU market may be much different from an EU and rest of world perspective.