Sunday 14, May 2017 by Georgina Enzer

MoF holds workshop on tax treaty issues and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Following its commitment to adopt international standards related to the exchange of information for tax purposes and to decrease tax evasion around the world; the Ministry of Finance (MoF), in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), recently held a workshop on tax treaty issues and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), in its premises in Dubai.

The workshop was headed by HE Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations, in the presence of Majid Ali Omran, Director of International Financial Relations Department, officials from MoF, representatives from federal and local entities as well as representatives from entities that have significantly invest in the UAE and abroad.

HE Khalid Al Bustani stressed the importance of complying with the tax agreements as they enhance transparency in tax administration and reduce tax evasion around the world. These elements are considered a priority precisely after the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

“The Ministry of Finance complies with international standards and the OECD/G20 BEPS initiative to enhance financial transparency, exchange of information for tax purposes between countries, on a country-by-country basis,” HE Al Bustani said. “BEPS issues are of global concern, and require international cooperation to refrain multinational companies from evading their tax obligations in light of differences in systems and policies across countries. The UAE has continued its commitment to implement international systems and policies to meet tax justice and maintain a sustainable fiscal position, while enabling the private sector to manage and grow its investments.”

The UAE has signed an agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC), the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), to activate the system of exchange of tax information in accordance with the Common Reporting Standards (CSR), and is currently working on automating the exchange of tax information by 2018. The country has also signed 104 agreements on the avoidance of double taxation, eight agreements on the exchange of information for tax purposes, in addition to an agreement with the US on FATCA.

G20 and OECD developed an action plan to implement the necessary measures with regards to BEPS. The plan includes 15 steps to tackle BEPS and counter harmful tax practices more effectively, prevent tax treaties from being used improperly as a basis for tax avoidance, as well as ensure cooperation between countries on exchanging information for tax purposes. Since the first meeting of the inclusive framework to tackle BEPS held in Kyoto in June 2016, 95 countries have signed on the proposed action plan, and a number of countries have implemented the BEPS minimum standards.

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