International review for October

International review for October

Tim Sarson’s latest summary of international developments.

Tim Sarson

Partner, UK Head of Tax Policy

KPMG in the UK


The publication of new Pillar 1 (profit allocation and nexus) and Pillar 2 (global minimum taxation) blueprints by the OECD as part of its plans to modernise taxation of the digital economy, dominated headlines in the tax world during October, with the OECD now aiming to reach a consensus by mid-2021. The economic analysis published alongside the proposals suggests the reforms could generate an increase in corporate income tax revenues by $50 billion–$80 billion. The UK Government is pressing ahead with its Brexit plans announcing a new streamlined freeports regime. Governments around the world continued to offer support to taxpayers in response to COVID-19, with October seeing extensions to wage support schemes in the UK and the Netherlands. There were also rumoured changes to planned reform of the Swiss withholding tax regime, and further guidance published on a new withholding tax in India which applies to e-commerce operators.

In the latest of his regular articles for Tax Journal*, Tim Sarson looks back at some of the interesting developments that unfolded over the past month in the international tax arena. This article includes updates on the following:

  • Taxation of the digital economy – OECD blueprints for Pillar 1 and Pillar 2;
  • COVID-19 developments;
  • Updates to the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions;
  • UK freeports;
  • India’s new withholding tax applicable to e-commerce operators; and
  • Swiss withholding tax reform.

* First published by Tax Journal on 30 October 2020. Reproduced with permission.

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