The Third G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 21-22 July. Included in various clauses of the Communiqué, and with joint OECD/G20 and OECD/IMF reports, topics like international tax cooperation, transparency and BEPS, the digital economy, cryptocurrencies, and the future of work remained a prominent part of the G20 agenda.

Third Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors – Communiqué

Following this year’s theme of ‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development’, member countries asserted that they will continue using all policy tools to support strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and that fiscal policy ‘should be used flexibly and be growth-friendly, prioritise high quality investment, while enhancing economic and financial resilience and ensuring debt as a share of GDP is on a sustainable path’.

Clause 11 of the Communiqué relates directly to the support for a globally fair, sustainable, and modern international tax system. Member countries reaffirmed the importance of the worldwide implementation of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) package; of addressing the impacts of the digitalisation of the economy on the international tax system by 2020; and of satisfactory implementation of internationally agreed tax transparency standards, as well as their support for enhanced tax certainty and tax capacity building. Collaboration, transparency and tax certainty are also identified as issues for further action.

G20 Menu of Policy Options for the Future of Work

The policy document was developed by the G20 Framework Working Group, with the purpose of  providing  a  menu  of  policy  options  for  G20  Finance  Ministers  and  Central  Bank  Governors  to  consider  in  the  areas  of  tax,  public  expenditure  and  transfers,  competitive  conditions,  and  measurement  and  data.  Where  useful,  opportunities  for  international  common  efforts,  coordination,  and  knowledge  sharing  are  also  identified.  The G20 Framework Working Group notes that these policy options should be underpinned by sound macroeconomic policies to achieve a successful and inclusive digital transformation.

It contains 80 proposals relating to tax systems, public expenditure, competition conditions and data measurement—acknowledging that G20 member countries are already taking actions to address these issues—and provides 68 examples of policies already being carried out by different countries.

The Menu was endorsed by the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

(Source: G20 Argentina 2018)

OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS: Progress Report July 2017-June 2018

The report, developed by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS, presents the current state of play in progressing its mandate, covering the period from July 2017 to June 2018. It outlines the major developments in dealing with the tax challenges of the digitalised economy and the entry into force of the Multilateral Legal Instrument, and shows how countries are progressing in the implementation of the BEPS package.

(Source: OECD)

OECD/IMF Report on Tax Certainty – 2018 Update

The report responds to the request from the G20 Leaders to follow-up on a first report presented in March 2017 identifying the sources of uncertainty in tax matters. It presents approaches to improve certainty, which range from improving the clarity of legislation, increasing predictability and consistency of tax administration practices, to effective dispute prevention and resolution. While the 2017 report focused on tax certainty in G20 and OECD countries, and recognising that the issue is also of particular importance for developing countries, the 2018 update report also focusses on initiatives that can support them to enhance tax certainty.

The report was originally published as Annex 3 to the OECD Secretary-General Tax Report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which was issued on 22 July 2018 after the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

(Source: OECD)


On the Australian agenda

Treasurer Scott Morrison asserted that, sharing the focus for Argentina’s Presidency this year, his discussions at the Meeting would cover the future of work in the face of technological change, crypto-assets and technological innovation in the financial sector, and how Australia can ensure a fair and modern international tax system. He further stated his plan to use the tax session to call for continued discussions on a multilateral solution to the tax challenges of the digital economy, affirming that the G20 needs to work together to ensure that large digital multinationals pay their fair share of tax.

(Source: Media release)

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