|Mohammed Amine Baina is a new entry this year|
Mohammed Amine Baina, a Belgian-educated Moroccan, has held a variety of roles during his illustrious career to date, including head of international cooperation at the Moroccan Ministry of Finance's Department of Taxation as well as various divisional director positions within the department.
He has been actively involved in UN Tax Committee meetings as well as meetings of the OECD Global forum on taxation for years and this active role continued during 2015 when, on May 27, Baina was appointed to the ad hoc group for the development of a multilateral instrument.
The objective of the multilateral instrument being drafted by Baina and his peers is to achieve the coordinated, consistent and swift modification of tax treaties, without replacing or superseding them.
The Moroccan is a vice chair of the group, along with fellow Global Tax 50 entrants Liao Tizhong from China and Kim Jacinto-Henares from the Philippines. Another entrant, the UK's Mike Williams, is the group's chairman.
The ad hoc group comprises 94 members from OECD and G20 countries, developing countries and non-OECD/non-G20 economies, all participating in the work on an equal footing, and Baina's Moroccan roots ensure the group will be keeping the interests of developing countries at heart.
Like many other BEPS action items, nothing like this – creating a multilateral instrument – has been attempted before and those involved have acknowledged the challenges that Williams, Liao, Jacinto-Henares and company face in steering the ad hoc group through its work.
"The first challenge is that the multilateral instrument will need to modify a wide range of tax treaties. While the BEPS work produced agreed changes to the text of the OECD Model Tax Convention, existing treaties do not necessarily follow that language," say Jesse Eggert and Evelyn Lio, senior advisers at the OECD involved in the Action 15 work. "A large part of the work on the multilateral instrument will involve converting the Model language into language that can accomplish its intended purpose regardless of the language of existing tax treaties."
"The provisions of the instrument will also need to make clear which provisions of existing treaties are intended to be modified and which are not, so that the instrument can modify and supersede old provisions where intended, but avoid modifying provisions that are outside of its intended scope," they add, saying that the instrument will need to describe its relationship with existing provisions in ways that provide legal certainty without the need to spell out the individual impact on each of the thousands of treaties to be potentially modified."
The inaugural meeting of the multilateral instrument ad hoc group took place in November and, with the group aiming to conclude the development of the instrument in 2016, Baina and his colleagues are set for another busy year, and one in which their influence on international taxation is set to increase even further.