Advocaten / Avocats / Lawyers

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

International Tax Update: Public Country-by-Country Reporting takes last hurdle in legislation process

Ben Plessers (Tiberghien economics)

Stefanie Van heugten (Tiberghien economics)

On 11 November 2021, the European Parliament approved the implementation of what is commonly referred to as the public country-by-country reporting (CbCR) Directive.1 This formal approval of the European Parliament came after the recent publication of the position of the European Council.

The implementation of public CbCR will impact multinational enterprises that are active in the European Union. More specifically, the public CbCR will be mandatory for multinational groups, whether headquartered in the EU or outside. For any multinational headquartered in a country outside of the EU, the obligation will fall on its subsidiaries or branches in the EU unless the non-EU multinational makes the CbCR group report publicly accessible and indicates which subsidiary or branch in the EU is responsible for the publication of the CbCR on behalf of the "parent" company.

Whereas the information included in the public CbCR is rather comparable to information that is required in CbCR requirements introduced by the OECD further to Action 13 of the BEPS initiative, the key difference is that information will need to be disclosed to the public.

Who needs to file?

The public CbCR will be mandatory for multinational groups, whether headquartered in the EU or outside, with a group revenue of at least EUR 750 million and doing business in the EU. This directly or through subsidiaries or branches.

Some provisions allow multinational groups to be temporarily exempt from reporting requirements, but these are strongly delineated.

When will it be applicable?

Now that the Directive is approved by the European Parliament, it will enter into force on the 20th day following the date of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. EU Member States will have 18 months to transpose the Directive into national law and the rules will apply 12 months after the transposition deadline. Individual Member States may choose to apply the rules at an earlier date.  This means that companies will in principle need to comply with the provisions of the Directive by mid-2024.

Where will it be published?

Multinational groups will have to publish and make accessible their reports in an EU Member State business register and on the companies’ website for a period of five years (using a common template and in a machine-readable format).

What is it about?

Information within 7 key areas on all members of the group (i.e. including non-EU members) needs to be reported on a yearly basis per Member State: nature of the activities, number of employees, net turnover (including related party turnover), profit or loss before tax, tax accrued and paid and the amount of accumulated earnings.

The information to be reported is rather consistent with the current OECD CbCR guidance with the exception for the number of stated capital which only needs to be included in the OECD format. In the EU public CbCR, companies have the option to include remarks and to clarify specific tax information.

Details on economic activity need to be disclosed for every EU Member State where the group is active, as well for each jurisdiction deemed non-cooperative by the EU (i.e. EU tax haven blacklist) or that has spent minimum 2 years on the EU’s “grey” list. Information concerning all other jurisdictions may be reported on an aggregated level.

Where the ultimate parent is not governed by the law of an EU Member State, the reporting will generally have to be done by the EU subsidiaries or branches, unless the ultimate parent publishes a report including those subsidiaries and branches. There is an exception for small subsidiaries and branches, as well as a general exception under certain circumstances whereby the responsibility for the reports will lie with the management of the EU ultimate parent company or otherwise with the management of the EU subsidiary or branch.

Ben Plessers - Senior Manager at Tiberghien economics (ben.plessers@tiberghien.com)

Stefanie Van heugten – Senior Consultant at Tiberghien economics (stefanie.vanheugten@tiberghien.com)

 

Tiberghien’s international tax team will continue to monitor these and other tax developments relevant for Belgium / Luxembourg based multinational enterprises. Our editorial board consists of:

Koen Morbée (International and EU corporate tax, koen.morbee@tiberghien.com);

Michiel Boeren (International and EU corporate tax, michiel.boeren@tiberghien.com);

Ahmed El Jilali (International and EU corporate tax, ahmed.eljilali@tiberghien.com)

Katrien Bollen (HR tax and global mobility, katrien.bollen@tiberghien.com);

Ben Plessers (Transfer Pricing and Valuations, ben.plessers@tiberghien.com);

Gert Vranckx (VAT, customs, excises and other indirect taxes, gert.vranckx@tiberghien.com);

Rik Smet (International and EU corporate tax, rik.smet@tiberghien.com).

 

In case you have further questions on this publication or want to discuss a tax query, please do not hesitate to contact the author(s) or one of the members of the editorial board.


1 Directive amending Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches (09722/1/2021 – C9-0371/2021 – 2016/0107(COD)

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