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AOTCA AND THE ULAANBAATAR DECLARATION OF TAX PROFESSIONALS

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By: Euney Marie Mata-Perez on September 20, 2018

The Asia-Oceana Tax Consultants’ Association (AOTCA) International Tax Conference held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia just concluded on September 13, 2018.

Panels of international speakers from various jurisdictions spoke on the history, challenges, development and other aspects of tax avoidance and general anti-tax avoidance rules (GAARs) in their various jurisdictions.

The conference, attended by over 300 tax consultants from the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, was proudly and wonderfully hosted by the Mongolian Association of Certified Tax Consultants.

At the meeting of the General Council held the day before the conference, I was elected as president of the association for the term 2018 to 2020. This is the first time that a Filipino, representing the Tax Management Association of the Philippines, and someone from Southeast Asia, was given the opportunity to lead AOTCA.

Another historic event at the conference was the signing of the Ulaanbaatar Declaration between AOTCA, the Confédération Fiscale Européenne (CFE) of Europe and the Western African Union of Tax Institute (WAUTI) of Africa. This declaration establishes a new international framework which brings in tax advisors from Asia, Europe and Africa to a wider global platform, under the Global Tax Adviser’s Platform (GTAP).

AOTCA is an association of tax consultants, lawyers and professionals which seeks to promote mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship among its members, as well as to contribute to its members’ business expansion and growth related to taxation.

Its founding in 1992 was attributed to the existence of the CFE, the international organization for tax advisors in Europe with a long history since 1959.

From it first historic meeting in Tokyo, Japan in 1992 which was attended by 10 tax professional bodies from the Asian and Oceanic regions, AOTCA has expanded to embrace 19 leading organizations or professional bodies from 13 countries, which include Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and associate members from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Its members represent around 300,000 tax professionals in the region. The Tax Management Association of the Philippines is the Philippine member.

Because of increased globalization, tax professionals cannot be limited by national boundaries. To be effective as tax consultants, they must adopt a global viewpoint and be aware of global developments.

AOTCA, in cooperation with other international tax bodies, including the GTAP, assists its members in fulfilling the demands created by these changes through the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas among them.

At this year’s AOTCA International Tax Conference, the focus was tax avoidance and the development of GAARs in their respective jurisdiction. It has been recognized globally that aggressive tax planning has resulted in erosion of taxable base in various jurisdictions.

In response to this, states adopted the base erosion projects or the BEPS. This led to the development of GAARs in various countries.

The Philippines is catching up in the field of general tax avoidance. Among the proposed revisions of the TRABAHO bill (as discussed in my article published on August 23, 2018) is the amendment of Section 50 of our Tax Code, to adopt some general anti-tax avoidance rules.

Beyond exchanging ideas to promote their businesses, however, tax advisors also play a key role in their countries’ tax systems. They can assist their respective governments in the framing of tax legislation and policies, as well as in promoting taxpayers’ rights.

There is thus no doubt that AOTCA, in cooperation with its members and partners, like CFE and WAUTI through the GTAP, plays a crucial role in the international tax arena.

It is thus both a privilege and a challenge to lead this organization.

Euney Marie J. Mata-Perez is a CPA-Lawyer and the Managing Partner of Mata-Perez, Tamayo & Francisco (MTF Counsel). She is a corporate, M&A and tax lawyer. She is the newly-elected President of the Asia-Oceana Tax Consultants’ Association. This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you have any question or comment regarding this article, you may email the author at info@mtfcounsel.com or visit MTF Counsel’s website at www.mtfcounsel.com

From the The Manila Times Website  September 20, 2018

https://www.manilatimes.net/aotca-and-the-ulaanbatar-declaration-of-tax-professionals/443295/

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