COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY REPORTING | COMMON TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS | HISTORY 

 

COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY REPORTING

Recently, the OECD, together with the BEPS Associates, has attained a further major step towards increasing tax transparency: The implementation package on Country-by-Country Reporting for Action 13 of the BEPS project, published on 8 June 2015, foresees that tax authorities will automatically exchange key indicators (such as profits, taxes paid, employees and assets of each entity) of Multinational Enterprise Groups with each other, therewith allowing tax authorities to make risk assessments as to the transfer pricing arrangements and BEPS-related risks, which may then serve as a basis for initiating a tax audit. 

 

 

COMMON TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS

Over the past 20 years the OECD has designed and updated standards for the automatic exchange of the income types found in the OECD Model Tax Convention, with a view to ensuring that information can be captured, exchanged and processed quickly and efficiently in a cost-effective manner.


With the release of the CRS in 2014, it is expected that countries will rely on the CRS for the automatic exchange of information in many instance, once the CRS and the related reporting formats are implemented.
Until the CRS becomes a reality, countries continue using the OECD Standard Transmission Format (STF 2.2 ). As also the older SMF format is still in use, bridging programmes between the two standards are available and regularly updated.

 

The current formats are:

 

This bridge will be the last one to be provided by the OECD since the SMF is in the process of being phased out.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF AEOI

   

THE EARLY DAYS

1997

 

For many years, the OECD has taken a leading role in developing policy and technical solutions for the exchange of information. For more than a decade, countries have been relying on the OECD Standard Magnetic Format (SMF) for exchanging tax information.

 2003

 

Since the adoption of the EU Savings Directive in 2003 as the first multinational automatic exchange of information programme, a lot of progress has been made in terms of increasing international co-operation in tax matters and global tax transparency.

2010

 

  With the adoption of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) by the United States Congress in 2010 and against the background of the global financial crisis, a significant political momentum for putting in place a global automatic exchange standard developed. 

2012

  In 2012 the five major European countries (the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Germany) agreed with the United States on a reciprocal exchange of FATCA information under Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) concluded between the United States and each of the five countries. In the same year the OECD presented a report on the automatic exchange of tax information, highlighting a broad range of existing programmes and recommending future action. The report was endorsed by the G20 at their Los Cabos summit. 
     

 

2013

 

DEVELOPING AND COMMITING TO THE CRS

At the same time, the G20 showed an increased interest in putting in place a global AEOI standard, which in September 2013 leads to a formal request to the OECD to develop a common reporting standard.

     
2014  

By February 2014, the OECD agreed on the text of the Common Reporting Standard, which was shortly followed by a commitment by 44 “early adopter” jurisdictions to implement the CRS, as well as a ministerial declaration by OECD members and 14 other jurisdictions to the same end.

In June 2014 the full CRS, including the commentaries and the XML Schema, was approved by the OECD and was subsequently endorsed by the G20 in September 2014.

With the CRS being developed, the Global Forum initiated a commitment process among its members. As a result of that process 94 jurisdictions are now committed to implementing the CRS by 2017 or 2018 and ensuring the effective automatic exchange of information with their respective relevant exchange partners.

In December 2014, the EU adopted the text of the Standard by amending the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC2).

     
   

THE INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK

A further major step for putting in place the international legal framework was taken with the signing of the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (CRS MCAA) in October 2014, which operationalises the automatic exchange of information under the CRS on the basis of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Currently, over 60 jurisdictions have signed the CRS MCAA.

   

 

   

IMPLEMENTING THE CRS

In addition to the international legal framework, domestic implementation of the CRS in the committed jurisdictions is now progressively becoming a reality. A first major milestone in this respect was the approval of the amended EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC2) in December 2014.

     
2015  

Simultaneously, both the OECD and the Global Forum are playing an active role in ensuring a timely and uniform implementation of the CRS across the globe. In that respect, a series of workshops for government officials are being organised throughout 2015, technical implementation assistance is provided to a broad range of jurisdictions and a number of pilot projects for implementing the CRS are underway.

In addition, the OECD has published the first edition of the CRS Implementation Handbook in August 2015, which provides a practical guide to implementing the CRS to both government officials and financial institutions and includes a comparison between the CRS and FATCA, as well as a regularly updated list of Frequently Asked Questions.

     
2016
and beyond
 

At present, the Global Forum is undertaking a review of the confidentiality rules and practices in place in committed jurisdictions, as to ensure that the automatic exchange of CRS information takes place in a secure environment.

 

MONITORING THE CRS

With the implementation of the CRS being underway, the Global Forum is now taking up work for putting in place a peer review process for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of the automatic exchange of information in jurisdictions, once the CRS has been implemented.

     

 

Further reading

 

FURTHER WORK BY THE OECD ON AEOI

1997 – OECD Recommendation on the Use of Tax Identification Numbers in an International Context
2001 – OECD Recommendation for the Use of a Model Memorandum of Understanding for Automatic Exchange
2012 – Automatic Exchange of Information: What it is, How it works, Benefits, What remains to be done
2012 – Keeping it Safe: OECD Guide on Confidentiality
2013 – A Step Change in Tax Transparency