Jacinto-Henares is a new entry this
2015 was a busy year for Kim Jacinto-Henares, commissioner
of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines. Her
country became a member of the global forum on BEPS, it was
invited to participate in the work of the Committee on Fiscal
Affairs, the OECD group that sets the organisation's tax
agenda, and the commissioner became a member of the UN
Committee of Tax Experts.
On top of that, she was nominated by her government to be
one of the vice-chairpersons of OECD Working Party 15, the
group set up to negotiate the multilateral instrument to
incorporate the BEPS recommendations into existing bilateral
"Not only were we busy here with domestic revenue
mobilisation, but I found myself out of the country a lot," she
The commissioner believes agreement on the multilateral
instrument will be possible for the 44 countries that
participated in the BEPS negotiations, but is not sure about
any other jurisdiction.
"All the other countries are not bound by the instrument,"
she says. "Will other countries agree to it? It won't be a
problem for the 44, but there is a lot to be discussed."
She adds that the talks on the multilateral instrument
cannot be used to go back over what was agreed by the BEPS
working parties: "We fought over every comma, every period. You
cannot go back."
The Philippines did not commit to implement anything that
emerged from the BEPS process. "We participated on the very
clear understanding that we would not be bound by it," says
Jacinto-Henares. "We would not have agreed to participate if we
were bound. We didn't want to be in the same situation with
exchange of information, where an agreement was made and we
were bound by it, finding ourselves on blacklists and the like.
We don't want to be surprised in the future. This was made very
clear to everyone: you made the agreement not us."