Loyens & Loeff
Multilateral Instrument (MLI)

Multilateral Instrument (MLI)

The multilateral instrument (MLI) implements the treaty related anti-tax avoidance measures of the BEPS project in bilateral tax treaties.

A highly innovative aspect of the BEPS project, the MLI allows for the relatively rapid inclusion in existing bilateral tax treaties of measures against treaty shopping, artificial avoidance of the PE status and hybrid mismatches, as well as improvements of the dispute resolution mechanism. The MLI covers over 70 jurisdictions, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and will have a substantial impact on more than 1,100 existing bilateral tax treaties. 

Our team of experts closely monitors all developments related to the MLI.

 

Launch of multilateral treaty (MLI) to implement BEPS measures

On 24 November 2016, a group of more than 100 jurisdictions concluded negotiations on a multilateral instrument (MLI) that will modify the application of existing bilateral tax treaties to implement the tax treaty measures developed through the OECD/G20 BEPS project. Open for signature by 31 December 2016, the MLI allows for the relatively rapid inclusion in existing bilateral tax treaties of measures against treaty shopping, artificial avoidance of the permanent establishment (PE) status and hybrid mismatches, as well as improvements of the dispute resolution mechanism. Optional provisions of the MLI will only apply between countries if the countries make matching choices. Depending on the ratification process, the potential impact on more than 2,000 existing bilateral tax treaties will be substantial.

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Overview: MLI choices made by the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland

The MLI will modify a large number of existing bilateral tax treaties with anti-tax avoidance measures developed in the OECD BEPS project. The impact of these bilateral choices on a specific tax treaty will also depend on the choices made by the other treaty jurisdiction of that specific tax treaty. We created an overview of the MLI Choices made by The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

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MLI Matching Overview

We prepared an overview showing whether the bilateral tax treaties of the above mentioned four jurisdictions with their most important treaty partners are so-called 'Covered Tax Agreements' (CTA) to which the MLI applies. 

Moreover, an overview sets out the impact of the so-called principal purpose test (PPT) of article 7 of the MLI (MLI PPT) on those CTAs. The PPT is an anti-abuse provision that should deny application of treaty benefits in certain situations. A number of outcomes regarding the PPT are possible between treaty partners.

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