Press Center

 Statement by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew at the G-20/OCED BEPS Press Conference


10/9/2015

LIMA - Good morning.  Let me begin by thanking our G-20 hosts, Deputy Prime Minister Yýlmaz, OECD Secretary-General Gurria, and the beautiful city of Lima for their gracious hospitality these past few days.  
 
In particular, the working dinner last night arranged by our hosts with ministers and governors was very productive as we discussed an issue that is important to us all: the critical need to fix our tax rules to address erosion of our corporate tax base.
 
That’s why I’m delighted to be here today as we formally accept the deliverables from the G-20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, or BEPS, project that addresses international rules governing the taxation of company profits—which was released earlier this week.
 
The project began over two years ago as an effort to examine issues surrounding the erosion of our collective corporate tax base.  A full range of issues contribute to BEPS, including tax competition among countries and tax planning by multinationals, to name just two.  This project examined the complex issues relating to BEPS and produced a clear set of deliverables on an ambitious timeline, thanks to great effort and coordination across a broad range of stakeholders.  
 
There is wide agreement that these recommendations should be successful when implemented in cooperation, and that countries should avoid unilateral action inconsistent with the process. 
 
We are also encouraged that a consensus was reached on BEPS across the entire G-20 and that non-G-20 developing countries also participated in the work. 
 
The United States is proud to have played a leading role in developing the BEPS recommendations.  We were able to advance our ideas in key areas such as limiting interest deductions and pushing for improved dispute resolution among countries. We are already engaged in the process of BEPS implementation, including country by country reporting by large multinational firms, and will continue to work to advance this important agenda. 
 
As we turn to this work of implementation and monitoring, we must ensure that we are building fair and efficient tax administration regimes around the world to implement the new rules and ensure that tax administration is not inhibiting foreign direct investment and global growth.  
 
That’s why we were proud at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July to announce a commitment to double resources for our Office of Technical Assistance, which will help build capacity for effective tax administration in countries around the world.
 
Finally, I want to stress our commitment to find a constructive way to have more inclusive tax discussions which incorporate the concerns and policy positions of both developing and developed countries.  When we met in Addis, many developing countries highlighted a strong desire to participate in the tax discussions, and we must and will be responsive to those concerns.  
 
Thank you. 
 
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