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White Papers

The IBFD’s Knowledge Centre regularly releases White Papers, which result from extensive research conducted by IBFD’s research staff. These Papers aim to enlighten the international tax community on matters of significant interest. Although all relevant aspects were critically analysed, your feedback is always welcome.


External contributions that meet IBFD’s quality standard are also welcome. Should you wish to submit a white paper for publication please contact Bérénice Herisson by email or by phone +31-20-554 0327.

To download one of IBFD’s free White Papers on various international tax-related topics, click on the links provided to register. You will gain direct access to the IBFD Tax Research Platform. Note: If you do not have an account yet, you will be invited to register. Your Personal Details page must be complete in order to get access.

White Papers currently available:




Taxation of the Digital Economy – the EU’s outlook


In this paper, the authors describe and comment on the European Commission’s two proposals for taxation of digital activities in the European Union and its recommendation to Member States on amending their tax treaties with third countries.

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Tax-Related Identity Theft


In this paper, the author describes tax-related identity theft, references recent cases of the crime, offers prevention recommendations and outlines the prescribed procedure for victims.

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Does the Tax Sector Need Blockchain?

Blockchain is frequently praised as a technological innovation that can be the panacea for all of the world's problems. In this paper, the author critically examines the usefulness of blockchain technology in the tax sector.

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Halfway towards Consensus or Chaos? Taxation of the digital economy at the crossroads

On 16 March 2018, the OECD presented its long-awaited interim report of the tax challenges arising from digitalization. The OECD stated that there is no consensus among countries on whether and to what extent changes to the current tax regime are needed; however, an agreement should be reached by 2020. In this White Paper, the author provides some comments on the recently issued interim report.

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Implementing the OECD/G20 BEPS Package in Developing Countries — An assessment of the priorities, experiences, challenges and needs of developing countries

This White Paper announces a report that IBFD prepared for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as part of its research and advisory work for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the report is to identify the priorities, experiences, challenges and needs of developing countries when implementing BEPS recommendations, specifically partner countries of German Development Cooperation (GDC), in order to assess where capacity building assistance is most needed. The report is divided in two main parts – a desk study and a survey study. The survey targeted GDC partner countries and was conducted in July and September 2017.

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Definitive system of reduced VAT rates – Too much freedom?

The recent proposal of the European Commission would greatly liberalize the system of reduced VAT rates. Although this approach is in line with the planned definitive VAT system, there are still questions of both a political and technical nature that need to be considered during future consultations.

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Revenue Losses due to VAT Gaps – A Study of Selected African Countries

This White Paper seeks to identify some of the causes of the VAT gap and proposes tools to ameliorate the VAT gap.

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BEPS in Latin America (Part I): A review of the implementation of minimum standards and the peer review process

This White Paper reviews the progress made by Latin American countries that have joined the Inclusive Framework in respect of the implementation of the BEPS minimum standards and the status of the peer review process they are subject to.

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Corporate Income Tax Reform in Latvia

The author provides a brief outline and analysis of the corporate income tax (CIT) reform in Latvia. The new CIT Law follows the Estonian CIT system, where CIT is paid on distributed profits. The classical system is abolished.

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Major Tax Developments of 2017

This White Paper summarizes some of the major tax developments of 2017. The authors discuss, among others, the US tax reform, the Brexit progress, the Paradise Papers, the Multilateral Instrument and the EU blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions.

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Prospects for a post-Brexit customs cooperation

This paper examines the vision of the United Kingdom and of the European Union in their respective approaches to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Customs Union.

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New Chinese Rules on Special Tax Investigation Adjustments and Mutual Agreement Procedures

This White Paper reviews the recently released SAT Announcement [2017] on special tax adjustments and mutual agreement procedures.

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Will Trump’s Tax Reform Make America Great Again?

On 26 April 2017, the White House unveiled the core principles of Trump’s tax reform, which is meant to be “one of the biggest tax cuts in American history” and “the most significant tax reform since 1986”. This White Paper explains and comments on the reform proposal. 

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OECD Multilateral Convention: Flexibility versus the BEPS Project

The release of the OECD Multilateral Convention has revealed that states may decide to disregard many treaty-related measures of the OECD/G20 BEPS Project despite being signatories to it. This paper will look at the reasons behind such an astonishing degree of flexibility, not only in regard to the potential effectiveness of the Multilateral Convention but also in regard to its underlying objectives.

The text of the OECD Multilateral Convention (2016) is available and searchable on the IBFD Tax Research Platform.

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Trump’s Tax Plan

In this paper, the author provides a brief outline and analysis of Trump’s tax plan and draws comparisons with the tax plan proposed by House Republicans.
With the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump at hand, there is considerable interest in and apprehension about his innumerable campaign promises. For this paper, the author limits his focus to Trump’s tax-related proposals, which include a reduction of the corporate income tax rate and a consolidation of the individual income tax brackets.

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US Treasury Department expresses concerns with European Commission’s State aid investigations

This white paper outlines the main concerns that the US Treasury Department has expressed with regard to the European Commission’s new approach in its State aid investigations of transfer pricing rulings issued by EU Member States.

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Tax Rulings and State Aid Investigations: The Apple Case

Since June 2013, the European Commission has been investigating the compatibility of tax rulings granted by the Member States with EU State aid law. On 30 August 2016, it concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to EUR 13 billion to Apple. This White Paper examines and comments on the Commission’s policy on State aid, specifically with regard to the Apple case.

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European Union: Blacklists as a tool to fight tax avoidance

Blacklists are a commonly used instrument in the fight against tax avoidance. The European Union recognized the need for a uniform EU framework for addressing tax good governance concerns with third countries and initiated the development of a common EU list of noncooperative jurisdictions. This white paper provides a brief explanation of the EU policy on combating tax avoidance by means of blacklists.

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EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive – Overview and some prospective effects

On 12 July 2016, the Council of the European Union adopted the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (the Directive). The implementation of the rules in the Directive will have several tax consequences at the EU level. This paper provides some brief technical background, describing the adopted rules and their prospective effects.

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Tax Treaties: Time for a New Approach?

The author revisits the question of whether tax treaties are necessary, and the possible alternatives to the current bilateral regime. The scholarship of distinguished academics and prominent practitioners, on whether the present treaty architecture adequately meets the demands of the modern-day business and investment landscape, is parsed.

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