On August 29, 2016, we posted OECD Adds 5 More Countries To Its CbC Automatic Exchange Agreement where we discussed that on June 30, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced that 5 new countries have signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for the automatic exchange of tax information.
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On July 25, 2016, we posted Tax Havens Coming Clean and Becoming Transparent where we discussed that the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has issued an e-Tax Guide on the territory’s general anti-avoidance rule in Section 33 of the Income Tax Act. The guide, issued on July 11, 2016, explains the three tests to determine whether the GAAR should apply.
On May 5, 2016, we posted Possible CbC Optional Reporting for 2016 Under Consideration by US Treasury, which discussed that the Treasury and IRS were working towards a solution that would allow optional country-by-country (CbC) reporting for 2016. Also, more work would be needed to ensure that allowing optional filing for 2016 in the US would be effective in obviating the need for local filing. The Treasury and IRS also requested that U.S. multinational corporations (MNCs) to engage in the global debate to ensure optional CbC reporting will be enough to protect U.S. MNCs from becoming subject to secondary reporting requirements.
An article from Stikeman Elliot includes the following:
For CRS purposes, the term ‘reportable person’ generally refers to a natural person or entity that is resident in a reportable jurisdiction (excluding Canada and the United States) under the tax laws of that jurisdiction, or an estate of an individual who was a resident of a reportable jurisdiction under the tax laws of that jurisdiction immediately before death, other than: (i) a corporation the stock of which is regularly traded on one or more established securities markets; (ii) any corporation that is a related entity of a corporation described in clause (i); (iii) a governmental entity; (iv) an international organization; (v) a central bank; or (vi) a financial institution. See definitional subsection ITA 270 (1).
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has asked the G20 governments to approve its proposed three-step formula for deciding which international financial centers are to be blacklisted as non-cooperative.
According to an OECD announcement on May 12, 2016 global tax transparency forum, Panama, Vanuatu, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Nauru have now formally committed to share financial account information automatically with other countries using the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). This raises to 101 the number of jurisdictions committed to implement information sharing in accordance with the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard.
In February, we discussed the growing sentiment that the U.S. is the new tax haven, a notion underpinned by the increasing number of international families moving their assets out of traditional offshore jurisdictions and into trusts in certain states in the U.S. We also discussed that some level of secrecy is still available in the U.S. because Washington has not signed up to the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for international information exchange, preferring instead its own Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Speaking at a April 28,2016 transfer pricing symposium held by the University of San Diego School of Law, Robert Stack, US Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary (International Tax Affairs) addressed the “gap-year” issue arising from the implementation of CbC reporting in some jurisdictions for tax years beginning on or after 1 Read more
On April 12, 2016 the European Commission presented a proposal that would require all large Multinational Enterprises with operations in the European Union to Publicly Disclose certain tax-related information for all their entities in the EU and in designated tax havens on a country-by-country (CbC) basis.
The European Commission has indicated that it will establish a common EU list of tax haven jurisdictions as soon as possible. Read more
Government officials from around the world have called on the OECD to convene a special project meeting of the Joint International Tax Shelter Information and Collaboration (JITSIC) Network to explore possibilities of co-operation and information-sharing, identify tax compliance risks and agree collaborative action, in light of the “Panama Papers” revelations.