International Taxation

Since the London Summit in April 2009, the OECD has been at the forefront of fighting against tax evasion, ending bank secrecy and tax havens, and addressing tax avoidance by multinational corporations. OECD contributions to the G20 on tax have helped to reform, reshape and modernise the international tax architecture.

The OECD Secretary-General presents a report to G20 Finance Ministers and Leaders to update them on the progress of the international tax co-operation.

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Costing governments an estimated 100-240 billion USD in lost corporate income tax revenues per year, tackling BEPS effectively is a global issue, requiring a coherent global approach.

For the first time ever in international tax matters, OECD and G20 countries worked together to develop the OECD/G20 BEPS Project to equip governments with domestic and international instruments needed to tackle tax avoidance.

At the request of G20 Leaders in 2015, the OECD established the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS, now covering over 125 members representing a wide diversity of economic profiles, including a significant number of developing countries. All of the members participate on an equal footing. They are committed to implementing the BEPS measures, to undertake peer reviews concerning the BEPS minimum standards, and to finalise the remaining standard-setting work, in particular in relation to transfer pricing.

Addressing the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy

Although OECD’s focus remains on ensuring the implementation of the BEPS measures, major efforts are now concentrated on addressing the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.

Drawing on analysis from a Policy Note published in January 2019 and informed by a public consultation held in March 2019, a Programme of Work adopted on 28 May 2019 lays out a process for reaching a new global agreement for taxing multinational enterprises. It was presented by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría to G20 Finance Ministers for endorsement during their 8-9 June ministerial meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.

Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

Established in the early 2000s, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of information for Tax Purposes has served its members (originally only consisting of OECD countries) in addressing the risks to tax compliance posed by non-cooperative jurisdictions. In 2009, in response to the G20’s call to strengthen implementation of the standards, the Global Forum now covers over 150 members on equal footing and, through its in-depth peer-review process, monitors countries’ progress in implementation.

In 2014, the Global Forum adopted the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (the AEOI Standard) developed by the OECD working with G20 countries. To deliver a level playing field the Global Forum launched a commitment process under which 102 jurisdiction have committed to its implementation in time to commence exchanges in 2017 or 2018. With exchanges under the AEOI Standard having now commenced amongst almost 90 jurisdictions there has been a major shift in international tax transparency and the ability of jurisdictions to tackle offshore tax evasion.

Tax Certainty

In the context of international taxation, concerns over uncertainty in tax matters and its impact on cross-border trade and investment heightened. At the request of G20 Leaders in Hangzhou, the OECD and the IMF explored the nature of tax uncertainty, its main sources and effects on business decisions and outlines a set of concrete and practical approaches to help policymakers and tax administrations shape a more certain tax environment.

A first report was delivered to G20 Finance Ministers in March 2017 and follow-up reports were presented in July 2018 and June 2019.