Sharing economy

OECD Model Rules for sharing and gig economy platforms

In July 2020, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted Model Rules for the automatic exchange of information (AIA) on natural persons and legal entities that earn their income by offering services via online platforms. In June 2021, the Model Rules were expanded. The Model Rules are not binding for the countries.

In view of the increasing number of natural persons and legal entities that earn their income by offering services via online platforms, many countries have taken measures to ensure the correct taxation of this income. These include, for example, withholding tax regimes or obligations to exchange information between tax authorities and online platforms. Due to a lack of harmonisation, these unilateral measures lead to disproportionately high costs for the relevant sectors because they have to be aware of and implement a large number of regulations. The OECD Model Rules were therefore created to provide a globally standardised set of rules.

The Model Rules provide for a regular exchange of information about service providers on online platforms. The information that is to be exchanged must be collected by the online platforms of the respective country and transmitted to the tax authorities of that country. These authorities then forward the information to the tax authorities of those countries with which a corresponding AEOI agreement exists. In particular, this concerns the rental of immovable property such as holiday homes and personal services, e.g. transport services.

The Model Rules define the information to be exchanged for online platforms. They include identification information of the providers (e.g. name, address, tax identification number, etc.) and financial information (income generated by the respective providers). This AEOI is not binding for the countries (no minimum standard).

SIF has looked into the possible introduction of the OECD rules. Work via internet-mediated platforms is still not very widespread in Switzerland (see Federal Statistical Office press release of 19 Mai 2020). Introducing the OECD Model Rules would incur considerable costs for the online platforms concerned. At the same time, the additional tax receipts will probably be small. Moreover, Switzerland as a data provider is unlikely to play a major role internationally. SIF has therefore concluded that it would be premature to introduce the OECD Model Rules in Switzerland at this time. It is monitoring national and international developments in this regard and, should the situation change, it will re-examine whether to introduce the Rules.

OECD, July 2020 “Model Rules for Reporting by Platform Operators with respect to Sellers in the Sharing and Gig Economy

Last modification 23.07.2021

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