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OECD 18th Tax Talk Webcast — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

On 4 March 2021, the OECD hosted its 18th Tax Talk webcast, during which members of the OECD Secretariat provided updates on the OECD's international tax work. The webcast agenda included the following topics:

  1. Update on the G20 developments
  2. BEPS 2.0 update on Pillar One and Pillar Two
  3. Tax Policy
  4. COVID-19 response – tax treaties and transfer pricing
  5. BEPS implementation and tax transparency
  6. Tax and crime
  7. Forthcoming publications

On the topic of BEPS 2.0, the speakers summarized the state of play on the two-pillar approach. The speakers referred to the OECD Secretary-General Report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and noted the letter sent by US Treasury Secretary Yellen. They also described the aim of reaching agreement during an Inclusive Framework meeting that will take place shortly before the G20 meeting to be held on 9 July 2021. In addition, they noted that the BEPS 2.0 project will be discussed during the next G20 Finance Ministers meeting, which will be held on 7 April 2021.

It is worth noting that the G20 Finance Ministers and Bank Governors meeting referred to was held on 26 February 2021 under the Italian Presidency. According to the press release of the meeting, the G20 committed to endeavor to achieve a global and consensus-based solution on the two-pillar reform of the international tax rules, the so-called digital tax or BEPS 2.0 project, by mid-2021. It was also reported that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated during the meeting that the US is "no longer advocating for safe harbor implementation" of Pillar One and "will engage robustly to address both pillars of the OECD project, the tax challenges of digitization and a robust global minimum tax."

The OECD speakers also highlighted upcoming deliverables, including an OECD-IMF report on carbon pricing (April 2021), an updated report on tax policy in response to the COVID-19 crisis (April 2021), an updated public database of tax policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis across the OECD and G20 (spring 2021), a new tax reporting framework for crypto-assets (2021), updates to the BEPS minimum standards (2021) and updates to the common reporting standard (2021/2022).

With respect to Action 13 (Transfer pricing documentation and Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting), the OECD's Secretary-General Report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors noted that jurisdictions continue to introduce CbC reporting filing obligations for MNEs, with currently over 90 jurisdictions having introduced these obligations. Also, following the 2020 review of the CbC reporting standard, the report states that agreement on the changes to be made to the standard should be reached later in 2021.

The OECD report to the G20 and the OECD webcast provided a broad update on the full range of the current and future G20/OECD tax work. The information provided makes clear that this is an important time in many aspects of this tax activity, including the work on the BEPS 2.0 project, which the OECD Secretariat described as the biggest priority, as well as the work on addressing climate change and other environmental challenges and on exchange of tax information around the world.