Country-by-country reporting

 

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The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan adopted by the OECD and G20 countries in 2013 recognised that enhancing transparency for tax administrations by providing them with adequate information to assess high-level transfer pricing and other BEPS-related risks is a crucial aspect for tackling the BEPS problem.


The BEPS Action 13 report (Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting) provides a template for multinational enterprises (MNEs) to report annually and for each tax jurisdiction in which they do business the information set out therein. This report is called the Country-by-Country (CbC) Report.


In accordance with the guidance note on the implementation of transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country reporting in February 2015 (hereafter the "February 2015 Guidance"), the CbC Reporting Implementation Package consists of (i) model legislation which could be used by countries to require the ultimate parent entity of an MNE group to file the CbC Report in its jurisdiction of residence including backup filing requirements and (ii) three model Competent Authority Agreements that could be used to facilitate implementation of the exchange of CbC Reports, respectively based on the:

  1. Multilateral Convention on Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters
  2. Bilateral tax conventions and,
  3. Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs).
 

The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (the "Convention"), by virtue of its Article 6, requires the Competent Authorities of the Parties to the Convention to mutually agree on the scope of the automatic exchange of information and the procedure to be complied with. Against that background, the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of CbC Reports (the "CbC MCAA") has been developed, based on the Convention and inspired by the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (the "CRS MCAA") -  concluded in the context of the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard. In addition, two further model competent authority agreements have been developed for exchanges of CbC Reports, one for exchanges under Double Tax Conventions and one for exchanges under Tax Information Exchange Agreements.


The purpose of the CbC MCAA is to set forth rules and procedures as may be necessary for Competent Authorities of jurisdictions implementing BEPS Action 13 to automatically exchange CbC Reports prepared by the Reporting Entity of an MNE Group and filed on an annual basis with the tax authorities of the jurisdiction of tax residence of that entity with the tax authorities of all jurisdictions in which the MNE Group operates.


In March 2016, the OECD released its standardised electronic format for the exchange of CbC Reports between jurisdictions – the CbC XML Schema – as well as the related User Guide


As jurisdictions have moved into the implementation stage, some questions of interpretation have arisen. In the interests of consistent implementation and certainty for both tax administrations and taxpayers, the OECD has issued guidance to address four key questions. Firstly, it provides guidance on transitional filing options for MNE Groups that voluntarily file in the jurisdiction of residence of the ultimate parent entity where such voluntary filing is permitted; secondly on the application of CbC reporting to investment funds; thirdly on the application of CbC reporting to partnerships; and finally on the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on the agreed EUR 750 million filing threshold.



 

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