From 26 to 28 March 2019, the Forum on Tax Administration (“FTA”), met in Chile and agreed an agenda focused on tax certainty, enhanced tax co-operation and the collective challenges of digital transformation (Link). The FTA was created in 2002, and is a forum on tax administration for Commissioners from 53 OECD and non-OECD countries, including members of the G20. The idea is to create a forum through which Commissioners can identify, discuss and influence relevant global trends and develop new ideas to enhance tax administration around the world.
At this year’s plenary, the Forum focused on four priorities:
- Delivering on BEPS and tax certainty;
- Improving tax co-operation;
- Supporting the continued digitalisation of tax administrations; and
- Building capacity for developing countries.
One of the main efforts on improving tax co-operation is said to be the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). The Forum’s outcome communique states, that on the CRS and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) information has been successfully and securely exchanged through the FTA-procured Common Transmission System. Going forward, the large-scale ongoing exchanges under the CRS will enable to assure tax on a significant asset base in a way never before possible (Link).
To further deliver tax certainty, the FTA agreed on launching an expanded pilot of the international compliance assurance program (“ICAP 2.0”). ICAP is a novel approach where taxpayers and tax administrations work co-operatively and multilaterally in close to real time to undertake risk assessment and assurance of key international tax risks. ICAP 2.0 builds on the experiences from the smaller initial pilot launched in 2018. 17 member tax administrations have agreed to participate in ICAP 2.0, up from the 8 tax administrations already involved in the first pilot. The initial eight participants Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will now expand to include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, and Poland. Several other FTA members are actively considering joining at a later stage.