On 1 February 2017, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published documents detailing the processes for review of countries’ implementation of two of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project (BEPS) minimum standards. These relate to the compulsory spontaneous exchange of information amongst tax authorities of:
- tax rulings (the ‘transparency framework’), in accordance with Action 5, and
- country-by-country reports (CbC reports), in accordance with Action 13.
These annual reviews encourage comments on a country’s implementation of the respective standards from its peers in the BEPS Inclusive Framework, currently comprising around 100 countries. The peer review and monitoring process for the transparency framework will be conducted by the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP); the process for CbC reports will be conducted by an ad hoc ‘CbC Reporting Group’, comprising delegates of both OECD Working Party 6 and Working Party 10 under the aegis of the Inclusive Framework.
‘Terms of reference’ include each of the elements that a jurisdiction needs to demonstrate it has fulfilled in order to show proper implementation of each standard. The ‘methodology’ contemplates collecting the data points relevant to the peer review by using standardised questionnaires sent to the reviewed jurisdiction as well as to the peers.
The OECD does not specifically seek business and civil society groups’ participation in the formal evaluation processes. However, the publication of the upcoming review schedules would enable interested parties to provide information either to tax administrations or to the OECD Secretariat. The documents note that the final annual reports summarising the findings and recommendations will ultimately reflect only the views of each jurisdiction reviewed and its peers.