Volume 44 (2016) / Issue 11
The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) package developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20 countries along with developing countries includes a number of measures that, in order for the measures to become fully effective, require changes to be made to the tax treaties of the states involved in the project. As a renegotiation of the tax treaties on a treaty-by-treaty basis would take years, the OECD has initiated the development of a multilateral instrument intended to swiftly implement tax treaty changes agreed on as part of the BEPS Project. Negotiation of the instrument is currently going on and involves about 100 states. This article sets out to describe the background of the multilateral instrument and aims to discuss some difficulties that need to be overcome if the instrument is to become a reality. Furthermore, it aims to provide a high-level analysis of what the instrument may mean in the short and long term.
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