A global treaty override? The new OECD multilateral tax instrument and its limits
On June 7, 2017, 68 countries met in Paris for the official signing ceremony for a new multilateral tax instrument (MLI). The text and commentary of the MLI were published in November 2016 by the OECD, which stated:
The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS will implement minimum standards to counter treaty abuse and to improve dispute resolution mechanisms while providing flexibility to accommodate specific tax treaty policies. It will also allow governments to strengthen their tax treaties with other tax treaty measures developed in the OECD/G20 BEPS Project … The new instrument will transpose results from the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project (BEPS) into more than 2000 tax treaties worldwide. A signing ceremony will be held in June 2017 in Paris.
The OECD went on to explain that:
The multilateral convention was developed over the past year, via negotiations involving more than 100 jurisdictions including OECD member countries, G20 countries and other developed and developing countries, under a mandate delivered by G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at their February 2015 meeting … The OECD will be the depositary of the multilateral instrument and will support governments in the process of its signature, ratification and implementation. A first high-level signing ceremony will take place in the week beginning 5 June 2017, with the expected participation of a significant group of countries during the annual OECD Ministerial Council meeting, which brings together ministers from OECD and partner countries...
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