OECD invites others to join anti-tax avoidance plan, but only after the rules have been written

February 23rd, 2016


The OECD’s plan to open BEPS system to developing countries after it has already been designed highlights the need for a truly universal tax body

Ahead of this week’s G20 Finance Ministers meeting, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development announced a proposal to invite non-member countries to join in its anti-tax avoidance system. The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project aims to tackle the problem of corporate tax dodging. Although the invitation for inclusion comes as the global discussion about tax dodging reaches new heights, the bones of the plan have been in place for years, leaving no room for substantive input.

“Inclusion after the fact is a poor substitute for a voice in how the standards are designed,” said Oriana Suárez of the Latin American Network on Debt, Development, and Rights. “Developing countries now being invited into the BEPS system did not have a say while the rules were being set.”

“The OECD is certainly one part of the global fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance, but it’s not well-positioned to be the sole standard bearer for the globe,” added Porter McConnell of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “Having its members speak on behalf of the rest of the world’s countries is patronizing and it’s ultimately ineffective.”

“Again, we’re seeing an attempt by the OECD to get global buy-in for a system that was designed by the few,” said Alvin Mosioma of the Tax Justice Network – Africa. “G77, a group of 134 developing countries, have for years been demanding a stronger voice and a true seat at the table, but the latest OECD proposal fails to respond to this demand.”

“The frustrating reality is that we’ve already seen proposals to create an inclusive intergovernmental UN body for setting global standards, but it has repeatedly been blocked by the same OECD countries that are asking others to join their system,” added Pooja Rangaprasad of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “Despite the latest announcement by the OECD, a UN body continues to be the most effective and inclusive global solution.”


Notes to Editors:

[1] The OECD proposal will be presented to G20 Finance Ministers at their next meeting on 26-27 February in Shanghai, China.

[2] The issue of a UN tax body was subject of negotiations at the 3rd Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015

[3] The BEPS Project, agreed to by G20 Leaders at the 2015 G20 Summit in Turkey, aims to tackle corporate tax avoidance and tax evasion. The plan was developed by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of 34 wealthy countries.


Christian Freymeyer
Financial Transparency Coalition

Written by Financial Transparency Coalition

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing / Flickr User OECD

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