The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting at Paris on 7th June, 2017 on behalf of India.
More than 65 countries, including India, signed the Convention. More countries are expected to sign the Convention in coming days.
The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD / G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “BEPS Project”) i.e., tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid. The BEPS Project identified 15 actions to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in a comprehensive manner.
India was part of the Ad Hoc Group of more than 100 countries and jurisdictions from G20, OECD, BEPS associates and other interested countries, which worked on an equal footing on the finalization of the text of the Multilateral Convention, starting May 2015. The text of the Convention and the accompanying Explanatory Statement was adopted by the Ad hoc Group on 24 November 2016.
The Convention enables all signatories, inter alia, to meet treaty-related minimum standards that were agreed as part of the Final BEPS package, including the minimum standard for the prevention of treaty abuse under Action 6.
The Convention will operate to modify tax treaties between two or more Parties to the Convention. It will not function in the same way as an amending protocol to a single existing treaty, which would directly amend the text of the Covered Tax Agreement. Instead, it will be applied alongside existing tax treaties, modifying their application in order to implement the BEPS measures.
The Convention will modify India’s treaties in order to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and base erosion and profit shifting strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out and where value is created.