There has been considerable interest in the international tax system, including in our role as auditors and tax advisors - both to corporates and to tax administrators.
We are active participants in these debates at a global, EU and national level.
You can read more about some of the hot topics, and what is happening in each of these around the world today in the sections below.
The G20 and the OECD looked at issues regarding current international tax arrangements in light of increasing public concern. Key areas of focus included: the approaches adopted by large corporates to where they paid tax; measures introduced by certain jurisdictions to improve their competitiveness; the status and conduct of tax havens; and a wider debate about whether international tax arrangements were 'fit for purpose' in light of increased globalisation, the growth of the digital economy, and the increased representation of the service sector in the economy.
The most significant initiative in recent years has been the Base Erosion and Profits Sharing (BEPS) Project. The OECD published ‘final’ reports on the 15 BEPS Action items in October 2015. The BEPS report set out to re-align taxation between countries in accordance with the location of economic activities and value creation.
The UN, IMF, World Bank and OECD are developing toolkits to assist ‘lowest income countries’ to implement the outcomes of the BEPS project, so far as they are relevant to those countries or to address related issues. A framework is being agreed for all countries to participate in further BEPS work on an equal footing.
Read our thoughts on the benefits to be gained from this project.
There has been considerable debate across the EU regarding 'fair treatment' for the payment of tax.
This has included issues regarding the levels of corporate tax paid by multinational companies (in particular where and at what rate this is paid), regarding tax as a competitive tool between countries, the issue of the status of tax havens, and the role by advisers both to tax administrators and to corporates. The European Commission and the European Parliament have both been engaged in initiatives to counter what many see as ‘unfair’ systems. Read our updates on the EU’s plans and actions, including: