The work on BEPS Action 14, the OECD has announced, continues with the publication of the fourth round of stage 1 peer review reports. Each report assesses a country’s efforts to implement the Action 14 minimum standard as agreed to under the OECD/G20 BEPS Project.

The reports of Australia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand and Portugal published on 30 August contain over 130 targeted recommendations that will be followed up in stage 2 of the peer review process. A document addressing the implementation of best practices is also available for each jurisdiction that opted to have such best practices assessed. The peer review reports incorporate MAP statistics from 2016 and 2017, as reported under the recently developed MAP Statistics Reporting Framework.

These stage 1 peer review reports continue to represent an important step forward to turn the political commitments made by members of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS into measureable, tangible progress. Many countries are already working to address deficiencies identified in their respective reports. The OECD will continue to publish stage 1 peer review reports in accordance with the Action 14 peer review assessment schedule. In total, 29 peer reviews have been finalised, with 8 more pending approval. The sixth batch of Action 14 peer reviews were launched in August with 8 more countries beginning their peer review process.

(Source: Press release)

Best practices: Australia

Australia has provided information and requested feedback by peers on how it has adopted best practices. In that regard, the Forum on Tax Administration Mutual Agreement Procedure (FTA MAP) agreed on an optional best practices feedback form that peers have used to provide feedback on Australia’s adoption of the best practices.

The country’s peer review document contains a general overview of the adoption of twelve best practices and comments by peers on the adoption of these best practices.

Part A: Preventing Disputes

  • Best practice 1. Implement bilateral Advance Pricing Arrangement programmes
  • Best practice 2. Publish mutual agreements of a general nature
  • Best practice 3. Provide guidance on Advance Pricing Arrangements
  • Best practice 4. Develop “global awareness” of the audit/examination functions

Part B: Availability and access to Mutual Agreement Procedure

  • Best practice 5. Implement appropriate administrative measures to facilitate recourse to Mutual Agreement Procedure
  • Best practice 6. Provide access to Mutual Agreement Procedure for bona fide taxpayer-initiated foreign adjustments
  • Best practice 7. Provide guidance on multilateral Mutual Agreement Procedures
  • Best practice 8. Provide for suspension of collection procedures for pending Mutual Agreement Procedure cases

Part C: Resolution of Mutual Agreement Procedure Cases

  • Best practice 9. Permit taxpayers to request multi-year resolution of recurring issues through the Mutual Agreement Procedure
  • Best practice 10. Publish explanation of the relationship between the Mutual Agreement Procedure and domestic remedies
  • Best practice 11. Provide guidance on consideration of interest and penalties in Mutual Agreement Procedure
  • Best practice 12. Include Article 9(2) of the OECD Model Tax Convention in tax treaties

Part D: Implementation of Mutual Agreement Procedure agreements.

(Source: Australia report)

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