General Reporters: Stephen Shay (USA) and Allison Christians (Canada)
Chair of the Plenary Session: Robert Danon (Switzerland)
The G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) initiative, aiming at “fixing” the international tax system on the basis of coherence, substance and transparency, is currently implemented around the globe. Relying on latest developments, Subject 1 will provide participants with an instigating comparative analysis of the implementation of BEPS in various regions. The discussion will begin in the internal market and will look at the impact of BEPS for European Member States and their relations with third countries. The relation and consistency of BEPS with European law and developments such as the (re)evolution of state aid rules shall also be considered from a policy perspective. Next, the panel will contrast the national responses to BEPS in different jurisdictions, looking in particular at the US, Latin American countries, India and the Asian region. In the end, the panel will assess whether the BEPS project has kept its promises and will formulate recommendations for future multilateral initiatives.
General Reporter: Sergio André Rocha (Brazil)
Chair of the Plenary Session: Luís Eduardo Schoueri (Brazil)
Although optimists agree that the future world will be unique, most of them tend to disagree how to achieve it. In this sense, regarding transfer pricing issues, many proposals of reform are being elaborated or even implemented to solve the current problems, not only limited to BEPS actions. In order to discuss the future of transfer pricing, the panel will present and debate (i) the foundations and problems of the current regime, (ii) the recent developments that such paradigms have brought in terms of transfer pricing methods as well as (iii) the main practical problems under debate and (iv) the divergent proposals within different jurisdictions to solve them.
Chair: Carmel Peters (New Zealand)
This seminar will deal with the tax implications of dividing functions or activities in different contracts, a technique that is very common specially in multinational businesses. Contract splitting is a technique a corporate group uses to avoid the existence of a permanent establishment in the source state, and oftentimes to change the impacts of businesses as, for example, splitting supply of materials and supply of corresponding installation services. It generally involves the artificial division of aspects of a contractual arrangement with a third party that state into separate contracts between the members of the group. The purposes of this panel is to analyse international tax implications of fragmentation of contracts, specially taking into consideration BEPS recommendations, the impacts of the Multilateral Instrument of Treaty Interpretation and changes in laws occurring in different countries.
Chair: Armando Lara Yaffar (Mexico/UN)
2017 is the year in which the Automatic Exchange of Financial Information, based on Common Reporting Standards (CRS) starts, and it is key to analyse and discuss issues related to CRS implementation, interaction of CRS and FATCA and impacts on taxpayers' rights. This seminar will bring all these discussions, walking participants through the most significant issues of this new world of globalisation of tax authorities.
Chair: Sam Maruca (USA)
Cost sharing and cost contribution arrangements (CCAs) are reality in multinational groups. Understanding the international tax implications of such type of arrangement is key to proper compliance. This seminar will address the past and future of CCAs, with special focus on whether CCAs will remain a viable (and worthwhile) planning vehicle, considering (1) the impact of the OECD's Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) revisions to the Transfer Pricing Guidelines and transfer pricing documentation requirements, and (2) rate competition and international tax reform generally.
Chair: Bruno Gibert (France)
APA have been since the end of the 90's considered as essential to provide tax security in the field of transfer pricing. APA legislations and programs have been implemented in numerous States to allow that evolution and guidelines have been developed at international level to insure consistency, in particular by the OECD and the EU. More recently, two contradictory events took place: on one hand, the increased international focus on transfer pricing, particularly resulting from BEPS, renders even more necessary to provide tax security, on the other hand , the increasing focus on transparency, also particularly resulting from BEPS and from EU law, has shed a suspicion on the use of APAS and endangered the security they provide. This Seminar will provide an overview of the situation of the APA in different jurisdictions and debate the current challenges and potential future developments of this instrument.
Chair: Wolfgang Schön (Germany)
IFA/OECD Seminar is one of the permanent Plenary sessions at IFA Congresses, resulting from fruitful and long standing relationship between IFA and the OECD, and has always brought interesting discussions and updates on the most significant work developed by the OECD along the last 12 months, and also comments on trends and next steps.
Chair: Ricardo Escobar (Chile)
At times of economic stress for governments around the globe, there is significant pressure to collect more taxes. This is reflected on more aggressive activity by tax authorities, law makers as well as judges. Individuals as well as corporate taxpayers are faced with stronger views not only with respect to whether their conduct is in accordance with the letter of the law, but with the “spirit” of the law. Lately, the question put by some politician and the media on the face of some taxpayers is whether their behavior regarding taxes in specific countries and around the world is immoral. Seminar F will discuss some of the issues at stake in all these four different but interconnected arenas: tax administration; legislature; courts, and the political and public field. The panel shall debate on how, by way of judicial and legislative changes to the law, a vaguer border of expected behavior by taxpayers has been gradually drawn. This will be contrasted with traditional principles of legality in tax law, as well as usual principles of legality and expected certainty with respect to acts of State.
Chair: Joachim English (Germany)
This seminar will focus on indirect tax implications of cross-border B2B trade in services. We will discuss causes of and remedies for international double taxation and double non-taxation, the potential for tax planning as well as international efforts to limit it, and compliance issues. To that effect, we will take stock of current national approaches towards identifying the place of taxation for B2B supplies of services, identify the shortcomings of an uncoordinated approach, and discuss to OECD efforts to streamline proxies that ensure that VAT/GST is levied at the place where the services are used. Particular attention will be given to the relevance of the permanent establishment concept in a VAT/GST context. We will also examine the pros and cons of relying on transfer pricing adjustments inspired by the direct tax arm's length principle in order to curb tax planning opportunities by multinationals. Finally, we will explore different avenues for tax collection and tax auditing, and the role that new technologies could play in this regard.
Chair: Daniel Gutmann (France)
Permanent Seminar in all IFA Congresses, the Recent Developments Seminar brings the hottest and freshest topics that impact international taxation in different countries. The program of this Seminar is normally decided no more than one month before the Congress to make sure that it really honours its name: recent developments.
Chair: Raquel Novais (Brazil)
FX effects bring to the attention issues on computation and allocation of income among distinct players in an international setting. Exposure to FX risks is also an important element to be considered upon reporting the financial position of a company to its stakeholders and creditors. FX is an embedded component of all international transactions in which transactions are nominated in more than one currency. This Seminar will debate the main tax consequences of Foreign Exchange Effects in international arena.
Chair: Pasquale Pistone (IBFD/Italy)
IFA/EU is a permanent Seminar of IFA Congresses that aims at discussing international tax measures adopted by the European Commission in recent times, as well as impacts of such measures on European and non-European businesses. Last year brought unprecedented developments for direct taxation in the European Union. Besides the approval of the anti-avoidance directive (ATAD), the EC proposed several directives and released important decisions on state aid in tax matters. Significant developments could also be recorded at the level of interpretation by the Court of Justice. 2016 also set a new pace for future developments in EU direct taxation. In this context, the IFA/EU seminar will address a selected number of issues, taking into account the implications within the internal market (namely CC(C)TB and dispute resolution) and in relations with third countries (among others, hybrids and tax havens)