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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

06 - Policy report: Update on Multilateral Instrument

Document number 06
Date 18 May 2017
Type Policy report

Update on Multilateral Instrument


Report with recommendations to add additional countries to New Zealand’s list of double tax agreements covered by the Multilateral Instrument.

Report number: IR2017/320, T2017/1363


PDF (321 KB; 3 pages)
DOCX (160 KB; 3 pages)


Tax policy report: Update on Multilateral Instrument

Date: 18 May 2017 Priority: High
Security level: Restricted Report no: T2017/1363

Action sought

  Action sought Deadline
Minister of Finance Agree to the recommendation in this report 25 May 2016
Minister of Revenue Agree to the recommendation in this report 25 May 2016

Contact for telephone discussion (if required)

Name Position Telephone
Carmel Peters Policy Manager, Inland Revenue [Withheld under section 9(2)(a) of the Official Information Act 1982]
Jess Rowe Senior Policy Advisor, Inland Revenue
Steve Mack Principal Advisor, The Treasury


18 May 2017

Minister of Finance
Minister of Revenue

Update on Multilateral Instrument

1. On Monday 15 May 2017, Cabinet approved New Zealand’s signature of the OECD’s Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the Multilateral Instrument or MLI). CAB-17-MIN-0241 refers.

2. Cabinet also approved New Zealand’s expected notifications and reservations, which included a list of 34 double tax agreements (DTAs) that New Zealand nominated to be covered by the MLI. T2017/1004; IR2017/260 explains why these 34 DTAs were chosen.

3. Jurisdictions’ positions on the MLI are still subject to change. To allow New Zealand to respond to treaty partner’s changing positions, Cabinet authorised the Minister of Finance and Minister of Revenue to approve any changes to the notifications and reservations as a result of developments in other jurisdictions’ positions.

4. Yesterday OECD advised that Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates have joined the Ad Hoc Group on the MLI.

5. Accordingly, we recommend that you approve adding New Zealand’s DTAs with these two countries to our list of nominated DTAs in New Zealand’s expected notifications and reservations.

6. We do not yet know if these countries will list their DTAs with New Zealand. But by adding them to New Zealand’s list, it means that if they sign the MLI and nominate their DTA with New Zealand, our DTAs with these countries will be modified to contain the improved BEPS provisions.

7. The final expected notifications and reservations must be provided to OECD no later than 26 May to allow processing before signature of the MLI on 7 June 2017. Changes can be made after signature, but this would be procedurally unusual. Therefore, we recommend that addition of the Papua New Guinea and United Arab Emirates DTAs is made in the final version submitted to OECD by 26 May 2017.

Recommended action

We recommend that you agree that New Zealand adds our double tax agreements (DTAs) with Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates to our list of nominated DTAs in New Zealand’s expected notifications and reservations to be provided by 26 May 2017.

Agreed/Not agreed   Agreed/Not agreed


Steve Mack
Principal Advisor
The Treasury

Carmel Peters
Policy Manager
Policy and Strategy
Inland Revenue

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Finance

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Revenue