As urgent reshaping of the international tax system has risen up the geopolitical agenda, the OECD’s tax reforms announced in January 2019 are proceeding at a rapid pace. The proposals set out to go “beyond the arm’s length principle”, introducing elements of unitary taxation and formulary apportionment, with the aim of redistributing taxing rights to the countries where real economic activity takes place.
To date, however, there has been little public analysis of the likely effects of these reforms and questions have been raised as to whether the current proposals are comprehensive enough to provide the drastic changes the international tax system needs to keep up with the changing landscape of multinational companies.
This one-day virtual conference hosted by the Tax Justice Network brought together international experts including speakers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four (G24), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank (WB) and the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) to provide technical analyses of the current proposals and consider the following questions:
- How do the current reforms compare to alternative proposals tabled by other international institutions and civil society organisations?
- What are the implications of the reforms for lower-income countries, particularly on tax bases, as well as those of OECD members?
- How far do the suggested reforms achieve their intended goals of redistribution of taxing rights and tightening up on tax avoidance?
- What are the political challenges within the OECD reform? And, looking to the future, what potential is there for involvement in the decision making process from other international bodies such as the United Nations?