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OECD releases discussion draft on BEPS action 11

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The OECD invites comments by 8 May 2015 on a discussion draft for action 11 of the BEPS action plan, which looks at collection and analysis of data on base erosion and profit shifting by multinational companies.

Action 11 involves the establishment of methodologies to collect and analyse data on BEPS and the actions to address it, specifically to develop recommendations regarding indicators of the scale and economic impact of BEPS and ensure that tools are available to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and economic impact of the actions taken to address BEPS on an ongoing basis. The OECD says this will involve developing an economic analysis of the scale and impact of BEPS (including spillover effects across countries) and actions to address it. The work will also involve assessing a range of existing data sources, identifying new types of data that should be collected, and developing methodologies based on both aggregate (e.g. FDI and balance of payments data) and micro-level data (e.g. from financial statements and tax returns), taking into consideration the need to respect taxpayer confidentiality and the administrative costs for tax administrations and businesses.

This discussion draft sets out the context and background to the work on Action 11, and includes chapters that focus on three key areas as follows:

  • an assessment of existing data sources relevant for BEPS analysis, describing the available data and their limitations for undertaking an economic analysis of the scale and impact of BEPS and BEPS countermeasures;
  • providing potential indicators of the scale and economic impact of BEPS and their various strengths and limitations; and
  • setting existing empirical analyses of BEPS and proposes two complementary approaches to estimating the scale of BEPS.

Comments should be submitted by 8 May 2015 at the latest by email to, and should be addressed to David Bradbury, head of tax policy and statistics division, OECD/CTPA.

Heather Self (Pinsent Masons) said that the OECD was wrong to treat the need for accurate data as ‘just another action item’.

‘I find it staggering that so much resource is being put into solving a problem without defining the size and scale of the problem first,’ Self said. ‘There are perceptions that BEPS is a major issue, but a distinct lack of evidence – and therefore a risk that any “solution” is worse than the problem.’

Meanwhile, OECD secretary general Angel Gurría said that ‘we are now in the decisive stages of the G20/OECD BEPS project’. In a speech at last week’s G20 meeting in Washington DC, he said: ‘In Lima, six months from now, at our dinner dedicated to discussing the G20 tax agenda, I will be presenting to you the full package of 15 BEPS deliverables agreed by consensus between the 44 members of OECD and G20. With just six months to go, there remain a few important items to finalise.’