Many partner countries of German development cooperation face tremendous challenges when it comes to the introduction and implementation of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) recommendations which are aimed at addressing tax avoidance. Having recognised this, German development cooperation commissioned the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) to develop a Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Assessment Tool (B.A.T.).
The tool helps partner countries identify their country-specific base erosion and profit shifting priorities among those suggested either by the OECD BEPS Action Plan or further identified BEPS issues considered to be important for developing countries. Apart from identifying those priorities, the tool, applied by an assessment team, assesses the specific challenges a country faces with regard to strategy, legislation, organisational set-up, staff skill sets and experience, and IT infrastructure requirements based on a standardised methodology. Based on the findings of this assessment, an action plan including potential priorities and a timetable is developed.
The first and very successful application was realised in Zambia with support from the Zambian Ministry of Finance, the Zambia Revenue Authority and the GIZ Good Financial Governance Programme in Zambia. The assessment report, but probably even more important the assessment process itself, were considered very useful because the public officials collecting the necessary information obtained an in-depth understanding of their own status quo and the BEPS recommendations. The recommendations now serve as a starting point for further capacity development measures. Currently, a second application of the tool is being realised in Benin. Furthermore, it is being refined with the support of a technical advisory group consisting of experts from different international organisations.