UPDATE 18/03/2020: To ensure that interested stakeholders have adequate time to participate in the consultation process despite the challenges caused by Covid-19, the OECD has extended the deadline for input on the Model Rules to Monday, 13 April, 18:00 (CEST).
19/02/2020 - As part of the ongoing work of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, the OECD is seeking public comments on the draft Model Rules for Reporting for Platform Operators with respect to Sellers in the Sharing and Gig Economy.
The market of online platforms facilitating the "sharing" and "gig" economies is growing rapidly and is changing many business sectors. As part of that change, tax administrations are considering adapting their compliance strategies to reflect that an increasing number of taxpayers are earning taxable income through such platforms.
The growth of sharing and gig economy platforms presents significant opportunities for tax administrations, as it may bring activities previously carried out in the informal cash economy onto digital platforms, where transactions and related payments are recorded in electronic form. If leveraged in the right way, this can lead to greater transparency and minimise compliance burdens for both tax administrations and taxpayers.
At the same time, certain activities carried out through these platforms may not always be visible to tax administrations or self reported by taxpayers. This is because the development of the gig economy entails a shift from traditional work relations under employment contracts to the provision of services by individuals on an independent basis, which is not typically subject to third-party reporting. These developments present risks of distorting competition with traditional businesses and reducing taxable income.
Against that background, a number of tax authorities have already introduced certain reporting obligations on platform operators to report, while others are planning to introduce similar measures in the near future.
Given, however, that the platforms are facilitating transactions in the sharing and gig economies on a global scale, there are inherent limitations to the effectiveness of domestic reporting rules. In particular, governments may face challenges in terms of the enforcement of domestic reporting requirements when the platform operator is not located in their jurisdiction. At the same time, platforms facilitating transactions in multiple jurisdictions may be confronted with a wide set of permutations of domestic reporting requirements, which may lead to increased costs and potentially harmful barriers to the further development of their businesses.
It is in this light that the OECD is taking forward work on the development of model reporting rules (the Model Rules) that could be adopted by interested jurisdictions on a uniform basis to collect information on transactions and income realised by platform sellers, in order to contain the proliferation of different domestic reporting requirements and to create efficiencies for tax administrations and platform operators alike.
In addition to the Model Rules, the OECD Forum on Tax Administration has developed a Code of Conduct on providing information and support to sellers on their tax obligations while minimising compliance burdens. This Code of Conduct is intended to supplement the Model Rules, in particular in instances where sellers are not subject to reporting under the Model Rules, for instance because the transactions are out of scope or the jurisdiction has not implemented the Model Rules.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION DOCUMENT
This public consultation document (also available in French) contains the current draft of the Model Rules and commentary.
The OECD invites input on the key design features of the Model Rules and commentary, as set out in the document, as well as on any other aspects that respondents consider relevant. Comments are also welcomed on the Code of Conduct contained in Annex B.
The views and proposals included in this document do not represent the consensus views of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) or its subsidiary bodies but are intended to provide stakeholders with substantive proposals for analysis and comment.
Interested parties are invited to send their comments no later than Friday, 20 March 2020, 18:00 (CET) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org in Word format (in order to facilitate their distribution to government officials). All comments should be addressed to the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. Comments in excess of ten pages should attach an executive summary limited to two pages.
Please note that all comments on this public consultation document will be made publicly available, unless specified otherwise. Comments submitted in the name of a collective "grouping" or "coalition", or by any person submitting comments on behalf of another person or group of persons, should identify all enterprises or individuals who are members of that collective group, or the person(s) on whose behalf the commentator(s) are acting.