Tax Certainty – OECD and IMF present a joint report to the G20 Finance Ministers

OECD and IMF presented a joint report Tax Certainty to the G20 Finance Ministers at the latter’s meeting in Baden Baden on 17 and 18 March 2017. 

The G20 Finance Ministers acknowledged the report and asked countries to consider implementing the recommendations and asked for a follow up report in 2018 to assess progress.

The G20 Communiqué stated:

“We acknowledge the report on Tax Certainty submitted to us and encourage jurisdictions to consider voluntarily the practical tools for enhanced tax certainty as proposed in that report, including with respect to dispute prevention and dispute resolution to be implemented within domestic legal frameworks and international tax treaties. We ask the OECD and the IMF to assess progress in enhancing tax certainty in 2018.” 

The report includes the conclusions of two surveys carried out towards the end of 2016 involving businesses and tax administrations.

Among the recommendations are:

  • Reduce complexity and improve the clarity of legislation through tax policy and law design;
  • Increase the predictability and consistency of tax administration by timely issue of rulings and technical interpretations;
  • Improve dispute resolution and early issue resolution programmes;
  • Improve the mutual agreement procedures (MAP) by fully implementing the OECD BEPS minimum standards in Action 14 and the use of arbitration where countries agree to do so;
  • Update tax treaties through the use of the Multilateral Instrument which will be open for signature on 7 June in Paris;
  • Simplify and make more effective the withholding tax collection and treaty relief procedures.