Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS
On 07 JUNE 2017, 68 jurisdictions signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS (the MLI) during a signing ceremony hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Eight other jurisdictions expressed their intent to sign the MLI in the near future. The signing ceremony marks another key milestone in the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, in particular with respect to the implementation of the treaty-related BEPS minimum standards. At the time of signature, signatories submitted a list of their tax treaties in force that they would like to designate as Covered Tax Agreements (CTA), i.e., to be amended through the MLI. At this stage, it is expected that over 1,100 tax treaties will be modified based on matching the specific provisions that jurisdictions wish to add or change within the CTAs nominated by the signatories.
Together with the list of CTAs, signatories also submitted a preliminary list of their reservations and notifications (the MLI positions) in respect of the various provisions of the MLI. The definitive MLI positions for each jurisdiction will be provided upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of the MLI. The OECD has published on its website the list of signatories and country-specific files containing an overview of the CTAs and reservations and notifications as filed as of 7th June by those countries.
Furthermore, as part of the options contained in the MLI, jurisdictions can opt into mandatory binding arbitration, an element of BEPS Action 14 on dispute resolution. Of the 68 jurisdictions that signed the MLI, 25 opted in for mandatory binding arbitration.
Endnote & Countries Lists
68 jurisdictions signed the MLI, as of 07 JUNE 2017:
Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China (People’s Republic of), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hong Kong (China), Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay.
Few jurisdictions signed a letter expressing their intent to sign the MLI, as of 07 JUNE 2017:
Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Estonia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nigeria, Panama, Tunisia.
The OECD expects that this provision will apply to more than 150 existing tax treaties.
Switzerland will implement the BEPS minimum standards into its tax treaties either within the framework of the Multilateral Convention or by means of the bilateral negotiation of double taxation agreements. See the press release of the Ministry of Finance of Switzerland of 7th June 2017.