On July 21-22, 2018, finance ministers and central bank heads of the G20 held their annual meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The OECD Secretary General, Angel Guirria, presented several reports at the meeting, including one that summarizes work by the BEPS Inclusive Framework from July 2017 to June 2018 (the “2018 Progress Report”).
In conjunction with BEPS Action 11 on analyzing the impact of BEPS, Section 3.4.4 of the 2018 Progress Report says that members of the BEPS Inclusive Framework have agreed to provide aggregated country-by-country (CbC) report figures to the OECD. The OECD will then review the data to ensure any confidential tax information is removed, before publishing it in a new Corporate Tax Statistics dataset in 2019.
Editor’s Note: Until now, the Action 11 final report has been a sleeper among the BEPS recommendations, but it will gain importance in the near future as the OECD collects and publishes various tax data broken down by country, including from aggregate CbC report filings.
This will allow countries to better measure the impact of BEPS practices on their tax revenues. To address the challenge of scare relevant data and limitations on existing data covered by the Action 11 final report, “a series of new data collection processes and analytical tools have been developed [by the OECD] and are now being put in place.” (Section 3.3 of 2018 Progress Report)
The OECD is already compiling information for the Corporate Tax Statistics dataset, which it plans to release in November 2018 (Section 3.3 of 2018 Progress Report). As mentioned above, the OECD plans to add the CbC reporting “aggregated and anonymized” figures for 2016 to the database sometime in 2019. Annex C of the 2018 Progress Report says that members of the BEPS Inclusive Framework have agreed to provide the following CbC report data to the OECD for the dataset:
- Table 1: Where do the business activities of MNEs take place?
- “For each jurisdiction, the total of each of the variables (i.e., income, taxes and business activities) pertaining to that jurisdiction on all CbCRs filed will be reported.”
- Table 2: What are the tax rates paid by MNEs?
- “MNEs will be categorised according to the overall tax rate they face, and MNEs with total profits that are negative or zero will be included in a separate category.”
- Table 3: What is the relationship between tax rates and the business activities of MNEs?
- “The third table will provide an overview of MNE activities based on the tax rate faced by MNEs in the jurisdictions where they operate.”
The OECD Corporate Tax Statistics dataset “may provide indications of the extent of the misalignment of taxes, income, and business activity.” (Annex C of 2018 Progress Report)
Under BEPS Action 13, the OECD was charged with the development of rules regarding transfer pricing documentation to enhance transparency for tax administration, taking into consideration the compliance costs for business. In response to this requirement, the BEPS Action 13 final report recommends a new three-tiered standardized approach to transfer pricing documentation. In particular, multinational enterprises (MNEs) would be required to prepare and submit the following three transfer pricing documents (subject to certain thresholds):
- A master file containing “high-level information” about their global business operations and transfer pricing policies that would be made available to all relevant tax administrations.
- A local file containing detailed transactional transfer pricing documentation that is specific to each country, disclosing (1) material related-party transactions, (2) the amounts involved in such transactions, and (3) the analysis of the transfer pricing determinations made with regard to such transactions.
- An annual CbC report when the MNE group’s annual consolidated group revenue is at least €750 million, to (1) report the number of employees, stated capital, retained earnings, and tangible assets in each jurisdiction in which they do business; (2) identify each entity within the group doing business in a particular jurisdiction; and (3) provide an indication of the business activity in which each entity engaged.
The OECD has recommended that the CbC reporting requirements be implemented for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, subject to a review of these requirements in 2020.
The OECD recommended the annual CbC reports be filed in the jurisdiction of the tax residence of the ultimate parent entity and shared between jurisdictions through the automatic exchange of information on a government-to-government basis under one of the following:
- The OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
- Bilateral tax treaties.
- Tax information exchange agreements.
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