4 multilateral bodies to coordinate tax-evasion battle
April, 21st 2016
Four major multilateral organisations — IMF, OECD, UN and the World Bank Group — have joined hands to set up a new ‘Platform for Collaboration on Tax’ and help developing countries fight tax evasion.
This initiative is significant as it came at a time of great momentum around international tax issues following the massive Panama Papers leak.
The Panama Papers, which involved 11.5 million leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, revealed the offshore banking affairs of several heads of State, politicians, celebrities and public figures.
Among the Platform’s first tasks will be to deliver a number of ‘toolkits’ designed to help developing countries implement the measures developed under the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project and on other international tax issues. The first of these toolkits, focusing on tax incentives, was delivered in November.
The seven remaining toolkits requested by the G20 will be delivered between now and March 2018.
A concept note released on the new Platform said that the overarching aim for cooperation among these four international organisations is to better support governments in addressing the tax challenges they face. The Platform will also support interested developing countries to participate in the implementation of BEPS package. It would also seek to improve awareness to build comprehensive and effective exchange of information mechanisms.
Amid the growing importance of taxation to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a major aim of the Platform is to better frame technical advice to developing countries as they seek both more capacity support and greater influence in designing international rules.
Platform members will hold regular meetings with representatives of developing countries, regional tax organisations, banks and donors. Consultations with business and civil society will be organised as needed.
An era of unprecedented international cooperation on tax matters is now underway, boosted by the progress on exchange of information since 2009 led by the OECD and Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information on tax purposes and more recently the G20/OECD.BEPS project.