Recently, Professor Peter Kavelaars wrote a column in a Dutch tax journal (WFR 2021/139) addressing the bias of
excessive focus on BEPS. He pointed out that developing countries are not really taken seriously under the BEPS
program. Such is, in his view, not surprising since – despite its G-20 mandate – the OECD drives the BEPS project,
and that institute is by origin formed by rich countries. He explores eight flaws and the first two relate to the dominant
position of the rich countries with OECD/BEPS. The OECD runs the project, but only represents 38 of the richest countries of this planet.
The initiative came even from less countries: the G7 (though later supported by the G-20). Kavelaars argues that the United Nations (UN) needs to have a seat at the table. And he is not the only one, see also for instance Jeff Sachs ((78) Jeffrey Sachs’ speech at the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit (full speech) -YouTube). It is an interesting suggestion and could in any case help to give more serious attention to the interests of
developing countries and (thus) increase the credibility of the BEPS project and the OECD. it is also a well -deserved
credit to the efforts of the UN tax experts committee!
Flaws three to five as recognized by Peter Kavelaars relate to the denial in the OECD proposals of earlier ideas from
the UN. Subsequently he recognizes two flaws in the Dutch governmental tax policies that are detrimental for
countries from the global south.
Another important flaw (number eight) mentioned by Kavelaars is about the importance of a solid tax system in the
countries in the global south. He mentions explicitly the need for quality of the tax laws and regulations, but also the
execution of these laws and regulations by the Revenue Services. He reflects on the activities of IMF and World Bank
but also puts the spotlight on the Capabuild initiative. He calls for broad support for Capabuild as it can be an
important element to try and fix this flaw. We wholeheartedly agree!