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OECD Reports Progress On Improving Tax Ruling Transparency

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

31 December 2019


The OECD has provided a progress update on jurisdictions' efforts to comply with the BEPS Action 5 minimum standard, which provides, among other things, for the spontaneous exchange of information on tax rulings between countries.

Under the BEPS Action 5 minimum standard, jurisdictions are required to repeal or amend regimes that can facilitate tax base erosion and profit shifting and also spontaneously exchange relevant information on taxpayer-specific rulings. The OECD has also recommended the introduction of more stringent substantial activities requirements in no or only nominal tax jurisdictions to ensure a level playing field. Countries' efforts to adhere to the minimum standard are assessed within peer reviews.

According to a new report, released by the OECD on December 23, 2019 – 2018 Peer Review Reports on the Exchange of Information on Tax Rulings – 68 jurisdictions, of a total of 112 that have been peer reviewed, have implemented frameworks to fully adhere to the Action 5 minimum standard on the exchange of tax rulings. The remainder were provided with recommendations on necessary improvements, such as improving the timeliness of the exchange of information and ensuring that exchanges of information are made with respect to preferential tax regimes that apply to income from intellectual property.

According to the report, the objective of the BEPS Action 5 minimum standard, to improve transparency in tax rulings, is being achieved. At the end of 2018, more than 18,000 tax rulings had been identified and almost 30,000 exchanges of information have taken place to date, the OECD said.

The OECD said first discussions on the effectiveness of the rulings standard, and the format for any further peer review process, will also take place in 2020.

The 563-page report includes specific chapters on each countries' efforts to comply with the standard and any recommendations for improvements.

TAGS: tax | intellectual property | transfer pricing | Tax | BEPS

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