IBX-Jakarta. Jurisdictions continue to make progress in addressing harmful tax practices through the implementation of the international standard under BEPS Action 5. This progress is evident in the release of new results on preferential tax regimes and substantial activities in no or only nominal tax jurisdictions.
Preferential tax regimes
At its October 2023 meeting, the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) reached new conclusions on four regimes as part of the implementation of the BEPS Action 5 minimum standard on harmful tax practices. The regimes in Hong Kong (China) and the United Arab Emirates were found to be not harmful and two regimes in Albania and Armenia have now been abolished.
With the conclusion of this work, the total number of regimes reviewed by FHTP has now reached 322 with over 40% of those regimes being (or in the process of being) abolished. A breakdown of the outcomes of the FHTP’s work is set out below:
Annual monitoring of substantial activities in no or only nominal tax jurisdictions
As part of the standard on substantial activities requirements in no or only nominal tax jurisdictions, the FHTP undertakes an annual monitoring exercise to assess whether the standard operates effectively in practice. This exercise started in 2021 and the FHTP has now agreed on the conclusions for the third monitoring year.
Recommendations for substantial improvement were made for one jurisdiction (Anguilla) and four jurisdictions (Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados and the Turks and Caicos Islands) had areas where a need for focused monitoring was identified. No issues were identified for Bahrain, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey. The FHTP also concluded that since the introduction on 1 June 2023 of its corporate income tax rate of 9%, the United Arab Emirates is now no longer a no or only nominal tax jurisdiction.
The next annual monitoring exercise for no or only nominal tax jurisdictions will take place in the second half of 2024. More information on BEPS Action 5 on harmful tax practices can be found at https://oe.cd/bepsaction5.