OECD releases public discussion draft on the multilateral instrument to implement the tax treaty related BEPS measures and asks the public for input

Written by Jonas Van de Gucht 1 June 2016


On 31 May 2016, the OECD released its public discussion draft on Action 15 (Development of a Multilateral Instrument to Implement the Tax Treaty related BEPS Measures) of the BEPS Action Plan.

Action 15 of the OECD’s BEPS Action Plan called for the development of a multilateral instrument in order to allow countries to swiftly amend their tax treaties to implement the tax treaty related BEPS recommendations. To this end, an ad hoc Group (including 96 countries as well as a number of non-state jurisdictions and international organisations) was established on 27 May 2015 with the objective of developing the multilateral instrument by 31 December 2016. The purpose of the multilateral instrument is to modify existing tax treaties to implement the tax treaty measures developed through the BEPS project, and the mandate does not include changing the substance of BEPS outputs or creating new measures not previously developed during the BEPS project.

As part of the development of the multilateral instrument, the public is now invited to submit its comments on technical issues identified in the discussion draft. The draft text of the multilateral instrument is subject to intergovernmental discussions and remains confidential. Therefore, comments should be focused solely on technical issues of implementation and on issues related to the development of a MAP arbitration provision. In particular, comments are requested with respect to:

  • technical issues that should be taken into account in adapting the BEPS measures (e.g. existing provisions that serve the same purpose as or are similar to the BEPS measures and that would need to be replaced or retained, modifying bilateral treaties in multiple authentic languages as the multilateral instrument is expected to be concluded in English and French);
  • the approach to be taken in developing the optional provision on mandatory binding MAP arbitration;
  • the types of guidance and practical tools that would be most useful to taxpayers;
  • mechanisms that could be used to ensure consistent application and interpretation of the instrument.

Comments and input should be sent by e-mail no later than 30 June 2016 to Multilateralinstrument@oecd.org in Word format. All comments received will be made publicly available. Commentators may be invited to a public consultation meeting (scheduled to be held in Paris at the OECD Conference Centre on 7 July 2016) if they indicate such a preference to speak in support of their comments.

Read the OECD’s public discussion draft here.

Read the OECD’s press release on public consultation here.

For more insights on BEPS and to understand the implications for your organisation, please contact jonas.van.de.gucht@be.pwc.com or your local PwC contact.