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Some other developments since then

There have been some major developments since the original paper in 2010 that we did not predict.

 

BEPS and the tax environment

 

The OECD launched an Action Plan to tackle international tax avoidance at the request of the G20 Finance Ministers in July 2013. This will have a major impact on cross-border real estate investors. At the time of the launch, many commentators were very sceptical about the ability of the OECD to deliver on this. We said at the time that we thought that this hugely underestimated the determination to move this forward. The BEPS Action Plan provided for 15 actions. The OECD published the first seven elements of its Action Plan in

September 2014. All 15 Action plans in updated form were published by the OECD On 5th October 2015 and were adopted by the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Lima on 9th October 2015. Even without the attention from the Panama

revelations, the BEPS initiative had very significant momentum.

 

The most innovative step was through Action Plan 15, "Developing a Multilateral Instrument". This is possibly the most significant aspect of the whole BEPS initiative. One of the major challenges facing the BEPS project is the volume of

work that would be required to implement changes to the more than 3,000 Bilateral double tax treaties in existence. The original Action Plan 15 paper considered the practicality of addressing this through a single multi-lateral instrument to which countries could sign up. It is therefore designed to accelerate the implementation of the proposals set out in the other actions rather than to introduce new measures.

 

In the European Union, BEPS was implented through the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD I) in 2016. This was amended to extend the scope to cover hybrid instruments in ATAD II whic came into effect from 1st January 2020.

 

 

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