With tax reform high on the agenda in Washington, what are the implications for multinational companies? To help executives and policy makers keep up in this fast-moving area, USCIB convened its fifth annual tax conference earlier this month in Washington, D.C., focusing again on the work of the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This 2011 OECD International Tax Conference, which took place June 6 and 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel, provided a unique opportunity for the U.S. business community to interact with key representatives from the OECD Center for Tax Policy and Administration, as well as senior tax officials from the U.S. and other OECD countries. The OECD and itsBusiness and Industry Advisory Committee
(BIAC), part of USCIB’s global network, joined in organizing the event.
“As the volume, speed and complexity of international business continues to grow, global firms need clear, consistent and stable tax rules more than ever,” said Bill Sample, corporate vice president for worldwide taxation with Microsoft Corp. and chair of USCIB’s Taxation Committee. “The OECD is the recognized leader in promoting a tax system to facilitate multinational business and dispute resolution.”
Key topics addressed at the sold-out event included: the latest developments affecting permanent establishments, transfer pricing and intangibles; how countries are working together to improve tax compliance and cooperation; the relevance of the recent revision of the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises for tax planning; and how the OECD works with new members and non-members on tax matters.
Speakers at the event included:
- Jeffrey Owens, head of the OECD’s Center for Tax Policy and Administration
- Steven Miller, deputy commissioner of the IRS for services and enforcement
- Pamela Olson, a partner with Skadden Arps and former assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax policy
- Thomas Barthold, chief of staff of the Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation
- Manal Corwin, deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for international tax affairs
- Masatsugu Asakawa of the Japanese finance ministry, incoming chair of the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs
“Informed, ongoing dialogue with the OECD secretariat and with OECD member states is crucial for global companies,” according to Carol Doran Klein, USCIB’s vice president and international tax counsel. “The fact that this year’s conference took place against the backdrop of potentially far-reaching tax reform in the United States only adds to its importance.”
Attendees applauded the substance and organization of this year’s tax conference. “As always, the event was interesting, well-organized and flawlessly executed,” said Linda H. Fernandez of Eli Lilly.
Conference supporting organizations included the International Fiscal Association – USA Branch, the International Tax Policy Forum, the National Foreign Trade Council, the Organization for International Investment, the Tax Council Policy Institute, the Tax Executives Institute and the Tax Foundation.
Staff contact: Carol Doran Klein