**Recent OECD Initiatives in International Taxation**

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) concluded a two-day conference on international tax policy in Washington on Friday. The event was organised by the OECD, BIAC and the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), in association with a range of other groups.

The meeting brought together over 100 senior tax executives, representatives of the legislative and executive branches, and key participants from the OECD’s international tax group.

A variety of problems – double taxation, unresolved tax disputes, uncertainty in the application of international tax rules, heavy compliance burdens – can act as barriers to the expansion of cross-border trade and investment. These risks, combined with today’s more competitive fiscal environment, have placed international considerations at the centre of tax reform in most industrialized countries. The OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs, working with business through BIAC, has for many years developed globally acceptable international tax rules to address these issues, including mechanisms to monitor their application and to resolve disputes when they arise.

The conference was opened by U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Constance A. Morella, who noted the unique role played by the OECD in setting global tax standards and welcomed the involvement of U.S. business in setting these rules. *”This meeting provided a unique opportunity to strengthen this relationship,”* she said.

USCIB President Thomas Niles highlighted the value of the OECD’s work on a broad range of international taxation issues and the value of the business community’s involvement in these efforts. *”BIAC plays an essential role in working with the OECD to ensure that global tax standards reflect the realities of today’s complex business environment,”* he said. * “We hope that this meeting will help to deepen the engagement of leading U.S. companies in this important work.”*

Mr. Niles further said the OECD’s ongoing efforts to update its Model Tax Convention and Transfer Pricing Guidelines, including work to enhance dispute resolution processes, remain major priorities for business. *”In addition, other OECD work on tax policy remains is high on the business agenda, including efforts to enhance the transparency of tax systems to prevent their misuse for criminal activities,”* stated Mr. Niles.

The conference was organized in cooperation with the International Fiscal Association, the National Foreign Trade Council and the Organization for International Investment. Other supporting organizations included the European-American Business Council, the Information Technology Association of America and the Securities Industry Association.

Founded in 1962, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee represents the major industry and employers’ organisations in the 30 OECD member countries. It brings their views to bear on the OECD’s policy-making process. USCIB serves as it U.S. affiliate.

Based in New York, USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including BIAC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.