SC Contribution – Comments on tax certainty for Amount A of Pillar One, 12 June 2022


The BEPS Monitoring Group, 12 June 2022

The BEPS Monitoring Group submitted comments to the OECD on the consultation draft proposals to provide tax certainty for Amount A of Pillar One. Abdul Muheet Chowdhary, Senior Programme Officer of the South Centre Tax Initiative, was a contributor.

The best way of achieving tax certainty is to formulate rules that are simple, clear and objective. The design of Amount A is a major step forward, since it will allocate a portion of the global consolidated profits of multinational enterprises (MNEs) by a formulaic method, in contrast with the current rules. However, Pillar One is designed as an exceptional system that would apply to only a small part of the profits of only around one hundred of the largest and most profitable MNEs, retaining the current defective transfer pricing rules for all other purposes.

For Amount A itself, the small number of MNEs likely to be in scope should make it easier to roll out the system through administrative arrangements coordinated among the tax authorities concerned. Its design makes it easier to provide certainty through administrative arrangements that could and should involve only tax officials. We support the composition suggested in this draft for Review Panels, as well as the Government-Only option for Determination Panels, which provides an appropriate balance of officials from states that would benefit and those that would lose from an Amount A allocation. It is inappropriate, unnecessary, and we believe detrimental to include non-governmental experts, who would inevitably and overwhelmingly be current or retired business advisers who could not be truly independent.

Uncertainty will nevertheless be created in the short run because of the novelty of the system. It should now be recognised that the timescale for Pillar One has been far too ambitious, and to recalibrate the process. The proposals have been developed at great speed and largely under strict secrecy, and they require more effective participation of tax officials particularly from poorer countries, and much greater public scrutiny. A more careful process should aim to design the building blocks for a new approach to taxation of MNEs that could eventually be applied much more widely.

Download the comments here.

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