21 June, 2017

Spain signs the Multilateral BEPS Convention against fiscal fraud

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The measures to fight against international aggressive tax planning included in the BEPS are related to hybrid instruments, treaty abuse or the artificial elusion of the existence of a permanent establishment, for example.

On June 07, the ceremony to sign the Multilateral Convention to implement BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) measures was held. This instrument pretends implementing, in an efficient and coherent manner, the measures adopted in the BEPS actions, (related to hybrid instruments, treaty abuse or the artificial elusion of the existence of a permanent establishment, for example) without the need of re-negotiating each one of the bilateral existing Double tax Conventions, with which it will co –exist.

✔ The BEPS Project, which fights against profit erosion and the shift of benefits, comprises a set of measures to fight against the international aggressive tax planning.

To implement such measures, it is necessary to modify, with respect to some matters, domestic regulations of each State whereas, with respect to others such as the adoption of anti –abuse clauses or the change of the permanent establishment definition, the international bilateral Treaties to avoid double taxation will need to be changed.

✔ As from its signature, each State will need to follow its internal procedures so that it enters into force.  The Multilateral Convention will enter into force when, at least, five States have completed such internal procedures.

✔ With its entering into force, the Convention will modify, automatically, some of the 93 bilateral Double tax Conventions negotiated and signed by Spain with other States.

✔ For this purpose, the Multilateral Instrument introduces compatibility measures to establish a relation between its contents and the Double Tax Conventions affected, by identifying what provision needs to be substituted or included, if such provision does not exist, in a particular Convention.

In order to achieve greater clarity and legal certainty, it is planned to prepare consolidated texts of the Double Tax Conventions which, although will have no legal effects, will help apply its contents, from the practical point of view.

✔ This is an instrument of major importance to fight against tax fraud through the application of BEPS Actions, specially if we take into account that between 4% and 10% of the global tax collection is lost; that is to say, between 100 and 240 million dollars per year.

(Source: OCDE).

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