The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have formed a joint platform to intensify their cooperation on tax issues and develop new tools and standards for tackling tax base erosion and evasion
The Platform for Collaboration on Tax will focus particularly on building effective tax systems in developing countries, the partners said in a statement.
The platform will help the organisations strengthen their capacity-building support, deliver jointly developed guidance, and share information on operational and knowledge activities as well as formalise discussions on the design and implementation of standards for international tax matters.
The organisations aim to support governments better in addressing the tax challenges they face by providing a framework for producing concrete joint outputs and deliverables under an agreed work plan, strengthening dynamic interaction between standard setting, capacity building and technical assistance and sharing information on activities more systematically.
"This effort comes at a time of great momentum around international tax issues," the four organisations said in a statement.
“Strengthening tax systems – policy and administration – has emerged as a key development priority,” they added.
The group aims to develop appropriate policies for the taxation of multinational enterprises.
One of the first tasks is to deliver "toolkits" to developing countries, which are designed to help them implement the measures developed under the G20/OECD BEPS project and on other international tax issues, so they can act against corporations using accounting tactics like profit shifting and transfer pricing between countries to lower their tax bills.
The platform will also support interested developing countries wishing to participate in the implementation of the BEPS package and input into future global standard setting on international taxation.
The initiative also aims to help emerging market countries to develop policies for the "informal" sectors of their economies that operate in cash transactions outside the tax system.
Platform members will hold regular meetings with representatives of developing countries, regional tax organisations, banks and donors.
The announcement follows a leak of 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, earlier this month, that exposed the shell companies and tax havens used by some of the world’s most rich and powerful individuals to conceal their wealth.