The past year saw fundamental changes in the global tax system, particularly concerning tax havens and tax avoidance, research conducted by Taxand, an international network of tax advisories, shows. According to the organisation's 2014 Tax Milestone Survey, government-led clampdowns on tax planning activity characterised the past year, as authorities around the globe aimed at decreasing business-related tax avoidance among businesses. A push for greater transparency was made in several countries, including the US, Switzerland and France.

Another trend that defined 2014, according to Taxand, concerned the implementation of the base erosion and profit sharing (BEPS) initiative by members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). BEPS targets abuse of transfer pricing of goods, especially by multinational companies, and was highlighted as the main development in the past year by tax advisors from China and Spain, especially with regards to crossborder transactions.

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The third major trend of 2014, concerns VAT reforms. The past year saw a VAT increase in Luxembourg, which impacted individuals and real estate investors, as well as an expansion of VAT reform in China to include hotels, banking and construction sector, Taxand experts highlight.

“Multinationals appear to be caught up at the centre of this complex tax landscape and must ensure they have a voice in determining the future of the global tax system before they are stuck with it for many decades to come,” Frederic Donnedieu de Vabres, Taxand's chairman warned upon release of the survey.