An autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance


The Multilateral Instrument: A developing country perspective

Publication date

Jan, 2018


NIPFP Working Paper No. 220


Suranjali Tandon


Action point 15 of the BEPS program mandated developing a Multilateral Instrument to modify bilateral tax treaties. A country signing this instrument will be able to modify all treaties, where other contracting parties have also notified the same. This would allow countries to simultaneously and therefore swiftly adopt measures to tackle BEPS in a large number of treaties. Based on the country positions submitted to the OECD as on 30th August 2017, this paper makes an attempt to assess this instrument that has succeeded in bringing about the desired changes. A unique database is constructed on the basis of these country positions. Using this database, the paper shows that the benefit of the MLI may be limited in so far as the application of the optional Articles is concerned. In so far as developing countries are concerned, it is found that the gains to these countries may be limited. The adoption of the minimum standards may be the limited success achieved by the instrument.

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