Weekly Round-Up
15 June
Digital Economy Taxation Discussed at OECD International Conference
During the recent OECD  International Tax Conference  in Washington, DC, Pascal Saint-Amans (Director of the OECD's Centre for Tax Policy and Administration) clarified that the OECD "will seek to achieve consensus among countries on these contentious tax issues by 2020, not 2019." 

During the conference, the Co-Chairs of the OECD's Task Force on the Digital Economy also discussed the OECD's interim report on the digital economy, but offered "no new announcements on the status of country negotiations." [ More Information ]
PwC Explores the Impact of Digital Economy on Jobs and Investments
Will Morris (PwC's Deputy Global Tax Policy Leader) wrote a recent blog post on the impact that digital taxation will have on jobs and investments. His article, entitled, "Beyond Revenue: Digital taxation impacts jobs and investments. Here's how,”  looks at how the results from a recent PwC survey "demonstrate that we need to think about digital tax issues not just in the context of tax collection, but also more broadly in what their impact will be on markets, consumers, and research & development (R&D). In other words, digital tax is important to the whole economy, not just businesses." [ Full Article ]
IMF Releases New  Working Paper  on Taxing Extractive Resources
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently released  Working Paper 18/130: Progressive Taxation of Extractive Resources as Second-Best Optimal Policy  by Jean-Francois Wen.

Abstract: " The paper provides a critical review of the literature on the concept of progressivity in the taxation of petroleum and mineral resources and offers a fresh perspective on its purpose and measurement. Regressive taxes, such as royalties, exist to satisfy policy objectives other than revenue maximization, such as achieving early revenues, while rent-based or profit-sensitive fiscal instruments must be designed with progressive marginal rates to maximize government revenues. Hence, the emphasis should be placed on tax rate progression of the direct taxation of profit or rent, rather than progressivity in the overall government take. However, as regressive taxes, by their very nature, tend to be distortionary, the optimal degree of progression in the rent- or profit-tax rates must take these distortions into account. The central ideas are illustrated with a simple analytical model in which a second-best optimal tax rate schedule on profit is characterized in the presence of the tax distortions caused by the regressive taxes. Some practical implications of the analysis are discussed." [ Full Paper ]
Qatar to Join International ATF Guarantee Chain
The World Customs Organization (WCO) recently announced that "As of 1 August 2018, the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry will become the 77th guaranteeing organization member of the ATA international guarantee chain administered by the International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation (ICC WCF)." [ More Information ]
Countries Unable to Agree on Global Transfer Pricing Standards
Following the recent OECD  International Tax Conference  in Washington, DC,  reported that "countries working on an OECD-led effort to create uniform transfer pricing rules for related-party financial transactions are having a difficult time reaching agreement" and that the OECD draft, "slated for release this summer, will highlight country disagreements rather than propose new standards." [ Continue reading ]
IMF Article IV Consultations
The IMF released  Country Report No. 18/156 , including the Press Release, Staff Report, and Executive Director Statement, following Article IV Consultations with Angola. The  Report  notes that Angola's economy is under stress due to the lower oil prices, and that "fiscal expansion and pegged exchange rate" before the August 2017 elections have "led to a further erosion of fiscal and external buffers." [ Full Report]

At the end of May, the IMF's Executive Board concluded the Article IV Consultation with Bangladesh, commending the "authorities on their sound macroeconomic policies which have contributed to robust growth, a significant reduction in poverty, and improvement in social indicators." [ Full Statement]

South Africa
Following Article IV Consultations with South Africa, the IMF released the  Staff Concluding Statement  for the 2018 mission, noting that "turning the economy around toward strong and inclusive growth will require swift implementation of a bold reform agenda. Reforms in product and labor markets must span all sectors of the economy, and implementation carried out expeditiously." [ Full Statement]
Liberia Becomes 122nd Jurisdiction to Join the Multilateral Convention
The Liberia Revenue Authority recently signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, making it the 122nd jurisdiction to join the "leading instrument for boosting transparency and combating cross-border tax evasion." More information on the Convention is available on the OECD's website.