Posted: 21 Oct. 2020

Finding opportunity in the midst of uncertainty - Deloitte’s 2020 global BEPS survey report

Deloitte’s 2020 global BEPS survey on the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative and the next wave of Global Tax Reset provides valuable insight into the strategies of some of the world’s largest multinational companies in the face of changes to the international tax framework. The survey gauges the attitudes of multinational and Swiss tax leaders towards the expected impact on their organisations of increased media, political, and activist group interest in tax and investigates how multinationals are addressing the impacts of the OECD’s Pillar One and Pillar Two projects and the challenges of a changing global tax landscape.

What's on the minds of tax leaders – global and Switzerland key findings

Our survey suggests the impacts of the BEPS project and other tax reform initiatives will be felt for the foreseeable future as more measures begin to take effect and are embedded into local laws.

Tax governance remains high on the Board’s agenda

  •  71% of global respondents and 65% of Swiss respondents are concerned about media coverage and political and activist group interest in corporate taxation. Consequently, C-suite involvement in organisations’ tax strategies has remained consistently high in recent years.
  •  60% of companies globally and 50% of Swiss companies have implemented additional corporate policies and procedures in response to increased scrutiny of corporate taxation.

Taxation of the digital economy remains a ‘hot topic’

  • 44% of global respondents and 40% of Swiss respondents expect a global consensus to lead to changes in taxation of the digital economy.
  • 31% of tax globally and 55% of Swiss tax leaders have been actively engaged in the OECD’s Pillar One/ Pillar Two project consultation.
  • More than half of global respondents (62%) and Swiss respondents (65%) are concerned that the OECD’s Pillar One / Pillar Two project may lead to an increase in their corporate tax liability.

Cross-border coordination has room to improve

  • Only 23% of tax leaders globally and 35% of Swiss tax leaders agree that most tax administrations will interpret the changes to the Transfer Pricing Guidelines in a consistent manner.
  • 57% globally and 55% in Switzerland agree or strongly agree that their organisation is concerned about lack of guidance from tax authorities about the Principal Purpose Test (PPT).

Businesses are slowly securing additional resources to deal with BEPS-related changes

  • Despite the unprecedented degree of change in tax laws worldwide, only 32% of organisations globally and 30% of Swiss companies have secured (or plan to secure) additional resources/headcount for their tax group.
  • Only 24% of global respondents and 5% of Swiss respondents have or intend to co-source or outsource further tax group functions due to BEPS-related changes.
  • Increased investment in tax-related technology appears more prominent; 47% companies globally and 50% Swiss companies have increased their investment in technology to cope with the volume of BEPS-related changes.

The impact of COVID-19

The survey was conducted before COVID-19 spread across the globe. The findings therefore reflect the pre-pandemic views or plans of respondents.

Research scope

Conducted in early 2020, Deloitte’s seventh annual global BEPS survey, which involved 296 global tax leaders in 38 countries, focused on multinational tax leaders’ experiences with BEPS and the next wave of Global Tax Reset, including the impact of implementation and consequential developments within their organisations.

Download the Deloitte’s 2020 global survey FULL REPORT

Which tax policies have the most bearing on Switzerland’s long-term success? Where do government and businesses have the greatest scope to boost Switzerland’s competitiveness, productivity and progress? Learn more in our latest Deloitte Power up Switzerland publication.

Blog contributor: Michelle Chan, Marketing Lead, Tax & Legal Switzerland

If you would like to discuss more on this topic, please do reach out to our key contacts below:

Key contacts

Reto Gerber

Managing Partner, Tax and Legal Deloitte Switzerland

Martin Krivinskas

Partner, Transfer Pricing

Salim Damji

Partner, Transfer Pricing

Daniel Stutzmann

Partner, International Tax