Expansive tax policy role for Inclusive Framework, BEPS implementation on Day 3 Congress menu

The most eagerly awaited & star-studded panel at IFA Congress did not disappoint. The troika of Mr. Pascal Saint-Amans (OECD Tax Policy Director), Mr. Robert Stack (Dy. Asst. Secy, US Treasury ) and Mr. Akhilesh Ranjan (Senior Indian IRS officer) had a lot of BEPS & tax policy insights for the audience to ponder over. The big headline from the panel discussion - possibility of OECD's 'Inclusive Framework' forum taking on a more expansive tax policy role in the near future and potentially working on non-BEPS areas as well. The panel also deliberated extensively on CbC reporting, G-20's role in tax policy and tax transparency. 
Click here to read the riveting discussions around tax policy on day 3 of IFA Madrid Congress.

Apple ruling drives IFA Congress Day 2 as EU, USA officials trade sharp blows

The highly controversial EU ruling on Apple raised the temperatures several notches at the Feria de Madrid where the IFA Congress is underway. As senior European Commission & USA Treasury representatives came face to face for the first time post the $14bn penalty slapped by the former on American company Apple, there were no words minced and no quarters conceded. While European Commission official Mr. Karl Soukup termed the judgment as one based on economic reality while senior US Treasury official Mr. Robert Stack lambasted the ruling as a "colossal blunder."  Well known tax experts Mr. Philip Baker & Ms. Carol Dunahoo joined in on the debate with a lot more straight talk as tax professionals were left pondering the possibility of a looming "tax war."
The plenary session on 'The notion of tax and the elimination of international double taxation or double non- taxation' discussed the different practices being followed in different countries relating to scope of Article 2 or new levies / charges introduced by the Government, which may or may not amount of ‘income tax’ under the treaties.  Such levies, they opined, would lead to serious risk of economic double taxation.

Click here to read the summary of an action packed Day 2 at IFA Congress.

MAP 'tsunami', Corporate response to BEPS dominate Day 1 at IFA Congress

The Monday morning proceedings got underway with the Plenary session - ’Dispute Resolution Procedures in International Tax Matters' where the outsized focus was on Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP) and how to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. The panel led by Mr. Michael Danilack (former US Competent Authority) and Mr. Achim Pross (OECD) deliberated on the following aspects of MAP - need for a firm commitment to timelines, improving process efficiencies, concerns over denial of MAP access in certain cases, the ever growing inventory of cases and resource crunch at the Government/Competent Authority level.

The second session moderated by Mr. Peter Barnes featured some of the top Corporate tax directors and their responses to the BEPS Action Plans. Mr. Christian Kaeser (Siemens) pointed out that Panama leaks wasn't about Corporates but since companies don't vote and politicians have to get elected, that drives the agenda. Another panelist advised the regulators - "Don't go after the money. Go after behaviour."

Click here to read our session wise summary of Day 1 proceedings at the Madrid Congress. 

Porus Kaka declares open IFA Madrid Congress, acknowledges globalized anger against current system

It was another spectacular Opening Ceremony to kick-off the 70th Congress of IFA in the land of Real Madrid! As always the proceedings began with the cultural touch, followed by IFA President Porus Kaka's opening address where he warned of the "globalized anger" against the entrenched systems. 

Click here to read more on the IFA Congress Opening Ceremony that was attended by over 2200 delegates at the impressive venue - Feria de Madrid. 

From the President's Desk

It is with great pride that I welcome the delegates and Taxsutra readers to the 70th IFA Congress that opens in Madrid today. With more than 2000 participants, Madrid will have perhaps the largest International Tax gathering in its history...


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