The OECD’s Inclusive Framework on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), which includes over 125 countries, is debating four proposals for corporate tax reform, to update the global tax system to the digitalizing economy. Over 2000 pages of public comments have been filed with the OECD and livestreamed, public meetings were recently held in Paris. The “first pillar” of options require significant reforms to legal rules to allocate more taxable profits to market countries, irrespective of corporate physical presence. The debate is interesting, but these negotiations were born out of public outrage regarding fairness—the sense that the pie of corporate profits is not divided equitably between shareholders and governments, or between nations. It’s the financial (and administrative) implications that we need to talk about.
Social media has flourished with increasing digital connectivity. Internet users in the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates spend more than 3 hours per day on social media. Global social media platforms such as YouTube and WhatsApp as well as local ones such as Mxit, an instant messaging application in South Africa, and Odnoklassniki, the Russian version of Facebook, are attracting people's attention. The social interaction aspect of those communication initiatives redefines how individuals, business and government engage with each other.