For the Press
The OECD’s base erosion and profit-shifting (BEPS) project was launched by the G-20 in 2013 to address the sources of BEPS, a term that refers to multinational companies’ tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low-or no-tax locations in which there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid.
The G-20 leaders were forced to make BEPS an urgent political priority because of the growing perception from the media and public that multinationals are using sophisticated international tax planning techniques to avoid paying their “fair share” in corporate taxes. The G-20 leaders tasked the OECD with developing an action plan to address BEPS in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. In July 2013 the OECD released a 15-point action plan to address various sources of BEPS, including abuse of tax treaties and transfer pricing rules, the use of hybrid mismatch arrangements, and aggressive tax planning.
The OECD set three deadlines under which the necessary work for each action item had to be completed: September 2014, September 2015, and December 2015. For each action item, the OECD issued discussion drafts containing proposed changes to the OECD’s model tax treaty, changes to the OECD’s transfer pricing guidelines, or measures that individual governments could introduce under their domestic law. Each discussion draft was followed by a written comment period and public meeting with interested stakeholders; the OECD revised the proposals based on those consultations and issued a paper with final recommendations. The OECD submits a progress report to the G-20 finance ministers and leaders at their meetings and summits.
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