The first meeting of the IOTA Forum on Implementation of Measures to counter Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) was held on 11 - 13 October 2017 in Bern, Switzerland. The main purpose of the Forum is to provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences between IOTA member tax administrations in the implementation of the BEPS Action Plan. 52 participants from 28 IOTA member countries gathered in the Forum to discuss and share strategies and the practical application of working methods and tools developed to effectively counter BEPS.
The meeting also provided an opportunity to delegates to identify best practices in the implementation of the BEPS Action Plan and to build up a network of officials specialising in the practical implementation. The Forum will develop practical guidance and approaches to help member tax administrations in the implementation of BEPS measures, with a special focus on the four minimum standards (harmful tax practices, tax treaty abuse, country-by-country reporting, dispute resolution).
Presentations were delivered on the following subjects:
-’Effective Treatment of Tax Rulings Subject to the Exchange Between Tax Administrations’ by OECD, Sweden and Slovakia;
-’Institutional Arrangements and Structural Solutions for Optimising the MAP-Process’ by Italy, Belgium and Switzerland;
-’Incorporating ‘Country-by-Country Reporting’ Mechanism into Internal Rules and Procedures’ by OECD, Georgia, Switzerland and Finland,
-’Solutions for Data Gathering and Appropriate Use of Information from ‘Country-by-Country Reports’ by Spain and Norway.
Each session was followed by group discussions where participants shared their countries’ experiences and approaches and tried to find practical solutions to the challenges of implementing the BEPS measures. The discussions showed that close cooperation between the tax and IT departments was of paramount importance, in particular with regard to the exchange and appropriate use of CbC reports.
The last part of the Forum focused on practical approaches to engage with the business community with a view to providing tax certainty and reducing administrative costs and burdens. Presentations by representatives from the business industry and the Federal Tax Administration of Switzerland were followed by a panel discussion with interventions from the floor.
Further information about the Forum, including all presentations is available here for IOTA members.