THE MULTILATERAL CONVENTION TO IMPLEMENT TAX-TREATY RELATED MEASURES TO PREVENT BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING (MLI)
The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI) is one of the outcomes of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the "BEPS Project"). It is an agreement negotiated under Action 15 of the BEPS Project. Implementation of the Final BEPS Package will require changes to the bilateral tax treaties. Bilateral updates to the treaty network would be a very burdensome and time-consuming exercise, thus the MLI is seen as the solution as it allows jurisdictions to swiftly amend their double taxation avoidance agreements to implement the tax treaty related BEPS recommendations.
Malaysia was involved in the development of the MLI with more than 100 jurisdictions in the Ad Hoc Group. The negotiation of the MLI text was concluded on 24 November 2016 in Paris. The first signing ceremony was held on the 7th of June 2017 whereby 67 countries and jurisdictions signed the MLI, covering 68 jurisdictions (including Hong Kong).
In line with Malaysia's commitment in meeting the internationally agreed tax standards and the implementation of BEPS Action Plans, Malaysia, represented by the Honourable Deputy Finance Minister I, YB Dato' Wira Othman Aziz signed the MLI at the OECD headquarters in Paris on 24th January 2018 along with Barbados, Cote d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Panama and Tunisia. At the time of signature, a list of expected reservations and notifications pursuant to Articles 28(7) and 29(4) of the MLI was deposited.
The latest list of Signatories and Parties to the MLI may be found here.
The MLI entered into force on 1st July 2018 after the deposit of instruments of ratification by five jurisdictions.
The table bellows lists the treaties which will be modified by the MLI based on the countries position as of February 2021:
The number of treaties modified by the MLI could change if more of Malaysia's tax treaty partners sign and ratify the MLI and list their treaty with Malaysia.
Based on the current MLI positions or jurisdictions that have not signed the MLI, Malaysia treaties not modified by MLI include:
The MLI contains both minimum standard and optional provisions. Malaysia's positions are as follows:
The MLI will modify Malaysia's treaties if both treaty partners share the same position on the provisions of the MLI. The extent to which the MLI will modify these treaties will depend on the final positions at the time of ratification of MLI of both countries. Guidance will be issued to assist taxpayers in understanding how the MLI modifies the operation of the particular tax treaty.
The MLI has been gazetted on 4th August 2020 through P.U. (A) 224. Malaysia has deposited the instrument of ratification on 18 February 2021. The MLI for Malaysia will enter into force on 1 June 2021. Generally, the provisions will take effect after the expiration of a period of six calendar months from the latest dates on which the MLI enters into force for each of the Contracting States.
Malaysia's positions on the MLI can be found here. Please visit the OECD website for further information on MLI.