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OECD launches tax avoidance mandatory disclosure plan

AS PART of its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, the OECD has launched a public consultation on Action 12 – the mandatory disclosure of tax avoidance strategies by multinational companies.

The 83-page draft document provides examples of various disclosure regimes in place in member countries, setting out recommendations for a modular design for the framework. In particular, it puts forward rules aimed at catching international tax schemes.

“Access to such information, especially if this can be obtained at an early stage, provides the opportunity to respond quickly to tax risks either through timely and informed changes to legislation and regulation or through improved risk assessment and compliance programmes,” the OECD notes in the document.

The consultation is set to conclude on 30 April, while work on the BEPS Action Plan is to be completed by September 2015.

A public consultation meeting on Action 12 will be held in Paris at the OECD Conference Centre on 11 May 2015.

In September last year, the OCED published the main plank of its BEPS recommendations in seven separate reports focusing on the digital economy; hybrid mismatch arrangements; harmful tax practices; tax treaty abuse; transfer pricing and intangibles; transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country reporting and; the feasibility of developing a multilateral instrument on base erosion and profit-shifting.

The recommendations were hailed as a significant shift toward co-ordinated international action against such activity – which is predicated on exploiting discrepancies between different jurisdictions’ tax codes – and tilting the balance of power towards the G20’s tax authorities.

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