Janet Yellen, who took oath as the 78th Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury on January 26, held a discussion with counterparts in France, Germany and the UK on digital economy taxation.
The update revisits the guidance issued by the OECD Secretariat on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tax treaties in April last year.
According to the update, Ireland will seek to implement interest limitation rules in accordance with the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) standard; legislate for new international tax transparency rules for digital platforms; legislate for reverse hybrids aspect of ATAD anti-hybrid rules; adopt the authorized OECD approach for transfer pricing of branches; and consider actions that may be needed in respect of outbound payments from Ireland and our wider withholding tax regime.
On October 12, 2020 the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework (IF) released the Report on Pillar One Blueprint. This is a working document that presents the IF’s current thinking on the scope and application of changes to the international tax system to address the Tax Challenges Arising from Digitalization. Specifically, the OECD is seeking broader consensus and approval for its proposals before moving forward further into a more detailed design.
The toolkit aims to help countries implement effective transfer pricing documentation requirements so that they can protect their tax bases, reduce profit shifting, and raise much-needed revenues for the recovery phase.
For Estonia, the BEPS MLI will enter into force on May 1, 2021.
In a release issued on January 14, the USTR said that the each one of these digital services taxes discriminates against US companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international taxation, and burden or restricts US commerce.
Access to submit DAC6 reports shall be available in the coming days, the tax authority said.
The meeting will be held virtually and will be open to the public.
The Blueprints reflect the convergent views of the Inclusive Framework on many of the key policy features, principles and parameters of both Pillars, and identify remaining technical and administrative issues as well as policy issues where divergent views among Inclusive Framework members remain to be bridged.
The US Trade Representative said that it has decided to suspend the tariffs in light of the ongoing investigation of similar DSTs adopted or under consideration in ten other jurisdictions.
The meeting will be held on January 14-15, 2021.
Barbados has ratified the BEPS MLI covering 31 of its tax treaties.
Maltese tax authority issues key guidance on DAC6 reportable cross-border arrangements. The guidance explains key concepts with the help of illustrations.
The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs, has announced that it will repeal the DAC6 reporting requirement in 2021 and replace it with the OECD’s mandatory disclosure rules (MDR).
The announcement was made after completion of the negotiations between the UK and the EU on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
In a letter sent to stakeholders on December 31, HMRC said that reporting under DAC6 will still be required for a limited time, but only for arrangements which meet hallmarks under Category D, in line with the UK’s obligations under the FTA.
Category D sets out specific hallmarks concerning automatic exchange of information and beneficial ownership.
The International Tax Enforcement (Disclosable Arrangements) (Amendment) (No. 2) (EU Exit) Regulations, 2020 – laid before the House of Commons on December 30 – state that “(5) For the purposes of these Regulations, the DAC is to be read as if— (h) in Annex IV, Part 1 [the Main Benefit Test] and hallmark categories A, B, C and E in Part II were omitted.”
In the coming year, the UK will consult on and implement the OECD’s MDR as soon as practicable, to replace DAC6 and transition from European to international rules, HMRC told stakeholders.
Comments on the draft Circular on DAC6 must be submitted to the Italian tax authority by January 15, 2021.
The Tax and Duty Manual Manual on DAC6 has been updated in a number of respects. The updates are set out in Appendix V.
The guidance on transfer pricing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic represents the consensus view of the 137 members of the OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS.
Germany and Pakistan have deposited their instrument of ratification for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI).
The public consultation meeting will be held virtually on January 14-15, 2021.
81 jurisdictions are now fully in line with the BEPS Action 5 minimum standard.
The MNE’s suitability for ICAP will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The MNE may propose for participating tax administrations it wishes to involve in its ICAP risk assessment, which will be subject to the participating tax administrations’ agreement.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore stated that some jurisdictions have implemented unilateral measures to address the tax challenges of digitalization adding that “companies may have incurred additional taxes overseas due to such measures.”
Canada states that Denmark’s reservation “exceeds the scope of cases for which a reservation may be made under that provision.”
Richard Minor has joined the US Council for International Business (USCIB) as its International Tax Counsel.
Around 85 percent of the MAPs concluded for transfer pricing cases in 2019 fully resolved the issue, which reflects an improvement in the collaborative approach taken by competent authorities.
DAC6 has been implemented into Maltese legislation by virtue of legal notice L.N. 342 of 2019.
Comments must be received by December 14.
The exact meeting times during this band of dates and the modalities of the meetings will be advised shortly.
The Suggested Approach is aimed at helping African countries that are considering implementing digital service tax to tax transactions of highly digitalized businesses.
In July 2020, the General Court annulled the Commission’s 2016 decision concluding that Ireland granted illegal State aid to Apple through selective tax breaks.
For Jordan, the BEPS MLI will enter into force on January 1, 2021.
The BEPS MLI will enter into force for both countries on January 1, 2021.
More than 2,500 bilateral relationships for CbC exchanges are now in place.
The new tax treaty implements the minimum standards in accordance with the OECD’s project on base erosion and profit shifting.
As part of the obligation to implement the European-wide mechanism to counter base erosion and profit shifting, the German Federal Ministry of Finance circulated a draft law on 10 December 2019 (hereafter referred to as “draft law”). Besides conforming to the requirement as directed by the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, the draft law brings about the modification to the current transfer pricing legislation of both the Foreign Tax Act (Außensteuergesetz) and the Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung), and it introduces topics not previously codified into the legislation in accordance with the BEPS concepts introduced by the OECD. The draft law takes a strict stance on businesses’ actual conducts rather than their contractual arrangements.
The data, released on July 8, is a major output based on the country-by-country reporting requirements for MNEs under the BEPS project.
By Husam Shareef (Partner, CTL Strategies, Maldives)
On June 10, 2020, the Maldives tax administration, Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA), issued the country’s first transfer pricing regulation. The Regulation is made pursuant to the new Income Tax Act, which came into effect from January 1, 2020. The Regulation sets out the rules to be followed by enterprises that are required to maintain transfer pricing documentation and stipulates the criteria which exempt enterprises from maintaining such documentation. The Maldives has had a corporate tax regime since July 18, 2011, however, this is the first time that taxpayers are required to follow a specific transfer pricing documentation requirement.
By Maurício Barros (Partner at Gaia Silva Gaede Advogados in São Paulo, former Taxpayer-Appointed Judge at the São Paulo Taxes and Fees Court – TIT/SP (2014-2019) and a former Visiting Professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation and at the Mackenzie Presbiteryan University) & Luiz Guilherme de Medeiros Ferreira (Tax lawyer, São Paulo and Member of the Tax Litigation Commission at the Brazilian Bar Association)
Amid the covid-19 pandemic and the imminent financial crisis of companies, Draft Bill (DB) 2358/2020, drafted by Deputy João Maia, is making its way through the Brazilian Congress. If it becomes law, it will institute a digital services tax (DST) in Brazil, like similar taxes levied in other countries.
By Nishit Parikh (Partner, Sudit K Parekh & Co LLP, India)
India-Mauritius Tax Treaty has had its fair share of controversy in India. This saga continues even today, as recently Authority for Advance Ruling (‘AAR’) in India rejected a Foreign Private Equity player’s claim for Tax Treaty benefit considering the entire arrangement to be for tax avoidance.
Companies engaged in undesirable tax planning can apply for individual support if they satisfy two tax-related conditions concerning business location and transactions.
Gurría was responding to recent statements and exchanges regarding the ongoing negotiations to address the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy.
By Catherine O’ Meara (Partner, Matheson, Dublin)
The ability to claim relief from double taxation for transfer pricing adjustments is increasingly important as taxpayers face audits worldwide. The Irish Revenue Commissioners (“Revenue”) have recently issued new guidelines for taxpayers seeking correlative adjustments (“CA Guidance”) in Ireland for transfer pricing adjustments by tax treaty partner jurisdictions.
By Luís Eduardo Schoueri (Full Professor of Tax Law at University of São Paulo & Senior partner at Lacaz Martins, Pereira Neto, Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados) & Mateus Calicchio Barbosa (PhD Candidate and M.Sc. at University of São Paulo & Tax partner at Lacaz Martins, Pereira Neto, Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados)
It is said that in every crisis lies an opportunity. If the quote means that possibilities may emerge, in the tax realm taxpayers also have a new momentum to the danger component of the notion. In Brazil, outdated – not to say dangerous – tax alternatives have been put on the table to meet the recent budgetary needs. Certain wealth and capital taxes on both companies and individuals, despite previous and frustrated propositions since mid-90s, have been discussed while the government seeks a way out of an unprecedented public debt in the years to come.
By Kelechi Ugbeva (Managing Partner, Blackwood & Stone, Nigeria)
Existing global tax rules such as, the arm’s length principle and principle of physical presence may not be robust enough to accommodate the peculiarity of digital activities and digital taxation. To this end, the OECD has come up with a few proposals on how digital activities may be taxed.
The guidance states that the OECD’s Multilateral Instrument on BEPS adopted in Finland on February 13, 2019, must be taken into account when applying tax treaties.
The measure will apply to financial flows to countries with a corporate tax rate of under nine percent and to countries on the EU blacklist, even if the Netherlands has a tax treaty with them.
The amendments generally apply from July 1, 2019.
These ten trading partners are: Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
The Bill seeks to give effect to five key changes to the way the digital economy is currently taxed, to better capture value created into the tax system.
Technology, considered as a factor of production, has virtually been adopted in all sectors of the economy in order to enhance productivity, enlarge market reach, and reduce operational costs. The adoption of technology is demonstrated by the spread of broadband connectivity in businesses, which in almost all countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) is universal for large enterprises and reaches 90% or more even in smaller businesses.
The six member states are: Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and the Netherlands.
By Ramon Tomazela Santos (Partner, Mariz de Oliveira e Siqueira Campos Advogados)
The taxation of large technology companies has been at the center of the global debate in recent years, as their disruptive business models allows the exploitation of the market of a country without a physical presence. The underlying assumption surrounding the debate is that the application of current tax rules to companies operating in the digital economy has led to a misalignment between the place where profits are taxed and the place where value is created, due to the growing relevance of interaction and engagement with a user base for digital business.
India’s Union Budget for the fiscal 2020-21 was announced in February 2020 and the tax proposals, after undergoing some important changes, were approved by the Indian Parliament and received Presidential assent on March 27, 2020. With this, the annual exercise of amending India’s tax law was completed, and the tax changes are effective from April 1, 2020.
On the tax front, some significant amendments have been made – such as widening the scope of digital tax, abolition of dividend distribution tax, more stringent tax residency rules for non-resident Indians etc.
We have analyzed here the key international tax changes impacting non-residents (MNEs and others having Indian business or nexus).
The Guidance notes that it is unlikely that the COVID-19 situation will create any changes to an entity’s residence status under a tax treaty.
On February 11, 2020, the OECD released its Final Report, Transfer Pricing Guidance on Financial Transactions, (Final Guidance), which was simultaneously incorporated into the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines. With respect to inter-company loans, the new Chapter X of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines is not limited to considerations for interest rate pricing, but also includes a framework for assessing the instrument’s accurate delineation as debt. Going forward, taxpayers with lenders or borrowers in OECD countries should consider this new guidance and augment their documentation accordingly. Below are some of the items that these taxpayers should consider to offer a proactive defense of potentially scrutinized areas.
By Luis Schoueri (University of Sao Paulo; Lacaz Martins, Pereira Neto, Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados)
There is no divine truth about what the Arm’s Length Standard (ALS) actually means. Its content can only be determined by a decision, which can be reached by a court or by means of political consensus. There is no international tax court with jurisdiction to promote harmonization among countries on the content of the ALS and all efforts in this direction are made by means of negotiation. Such decisions affect not only the extent to which double (non-)taxation will be avoided, but also concern the country to which income is allocated, which may render the issue controversial where countries present distinct patterns of capital in- and outflow.
The Government is introducing from April 1, 2020, a new two percent digital services tax on the revenues earned by certain digital businesses.
By Géry Bombeke (Partner, Baker McKenzie, Brussels)
On February 25, 2020, the Belgian Tax Administration published a new transfer pricing Circular (Circular 2020/C/35) (TP Circular) summarizing the post-base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and reflecting the tax authority’s views thereon.
Comments must be received by May 27.
The new treaty will be effective from January 1, 2021.
The Budget proposes to restrict net interest expense deductions to 30% of earnings for assessment years starting January 1, 2021.
The reports highlight how well these jurisdictions are implementing BEPS Action 14 minimum standard on making tax treaty dispute resolution more timely, effective, and efficient.
International Tax Authority informs BVI Constituent Entities, that are part of Multinational Entity Group, that it will soon be ready to receive filings for CbC reporting.
The report would include CbC financial filings for the information, including profits, taxes, employees, and tangible assets – that these corporations already provide to the IRS on an annual basis.
The definition of “significant global entity” to include members of large business groups headed by private companies, trusts, partnerships, investment entities, and individuals.
The OECD analysis shows that Pillar Two could raise a significant amount of additional tax revenues.
The report contains guidance on how the accurate delineation analysis applies to the capital structure of an MNE within an MNE group.
Comments must be received by March 6, 2020.
The “safe harbour” issue is included in the list of remaining work, but a final decision on this issue will be deferred until the architecture of Pillar One has been agreed upon.
The webcast will be held on January 31, 2020, at 14:00-15:00 (CET).
The BEPS MLI will enter into force for these two countries on May 1, 2020.
The deadline for filing country-by-country reports and master files is December 10-23, 2020.
The BEPS MLI will enter into force for Liechtenstein on April 1, 2020.
The additional interpretative guidance contains complete set of guidance concerning the interpretation and operation of BEPS Action 13 issued so far.
The tax treaty will become effective after both countries have completed their respective domestic procedures.
By Professor William Byrnes (Texas A&M University School of Law)
The OECD will hold a public consultation meeting on December 9.
French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, termed the US’ proposed action as unacceptable.
The Commission may bring the cases before the Court of Justice of the EU if Austria and Ireland do not act by February 1, 2020.
International tax veteran Brian Abbey has joined Global Tax Management as Managing Director, International Tax.
Earlier in July 2019, the US Trade Representative opened an investigation into whether the French DST is discriminatory in nature and harms US’ interests.
The tax treaty will enter into force after both countries have completed their respective internal procedures.
Comments must be received by December 16, 2019.
Any proposed tax must be levied on profits and not revenue, Amazon’s Vice President (Global Tax), Kurt Lamp, said.
Comments must be received by December 2.
The protocols contain an anti-abuse clause.
The additional interpretative guidance will help MNE Groups in avoiding common errors made in preparing CbC reports.
Comments must be received by November 12, 2019.
For Denmark the BEPS MLI will enter into force on January 1, 2020.
By Ricardo Rendón (Partner, Chevez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía, S.C., Mexico)
On September 8, 2019, the Executive Branch of the Mexican Government submitted to the Congress Tax Reform for 2020, which includes key tax changes to the country’s tax law primarily inspired by the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.
By Catherine O’ Meara (Partner, Matheson, Dublin)
The Irish Government recently published a Transfer Pricing Rules Feedback Statement, which confirms that changes to the country’s transfer pricing rules and their implementation are forthcoming.
According to the statistics, transfer pricing cases continue to take more time with average time being approximately 33 months (30 months in 2017).
Gurría also described the delivery of the OECD’s BEPS package in 2015 as one of the two “big bang” developments that transformed the global tax landscape in recent years.
The Protocol will be effective for requests for information made on or after the date of entry into force for tax years on or after January 1, 2009.
Amazon is a major UK employer and currently employs over 27,500 UK people. The company said that this number would increase to over 29,500 this year.
The tax authority is considering whether to appeal the decision.
The review reveals that countries have largely adopted their domestic CbC reporting rules in line with the BEPS Action 13 minimum standard.
The proposals would be included in Finance Bill, 2019 and, if enacted, would apply for chargeable periods commencing January 1, 2020.
Mandatory binding arbitration clause is included in the tax treaty protocols to resolve tax treaty disputes.
A former US Treasury international tax Counsel, Brian Jenn, has joined McDermott Will & Emery as its partner.
Jenn will be based out of the firm’s Chicago office.
The BEPS MLI will enter into force in both countries on December 1, 2019.
While members of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS did not yet agree on the conclusions, they committed to work together to deliver a final report in 2020, with an update in 2019.
On July 4, 2018, Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department passed the country’s final Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 6) Bill 2017, (the Amendment Bill).
This Amendment Bill (which became law on July 13, 2018) specified the documentary requirements from a transfer pricing perspective and also introduced measures to address various recommendations under BEPS Action Plans.
Austria proposes to impose a five percent digital tax to close tax loopholes and ensure that large digital corporations are called to account.
For Georgia the BEPS MLI will enter into force on July 1, 2019.
Armenia has newly joined the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on base erosion and profit shifting.
For Ireland, the BEPS MLI will enter into force in May 2019.
Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department has clarified that starting from April 2019, the Department will not accept voluntary filing of a country-by-country (CbC) report for an accounting period ended on or before March 31, 2018.
In India, the 2016 Finance Act introduced a three-tiered transfer pricing documentation regime with a view to aligning the Indian transfer pricing documentation rules with Action 13 of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.
Accordingly, Indian subsidiaries of multinational groups were required to comply with new “master” and “local” files requirements and a new country-by-country reporting requirement from the 2016-17 financial year.
The treaty will be effective from April 1, 2019.
By Anas Salhieh (Senior Tax Executive, Al Tamimi & Company, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Income Tax has published for public comments draft transfer pricing bylaws as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.
Cook Islands has newly joined the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on base erosion and profit shifting.
The new anti-abuse measures entered into force on January 1, 2019.
The BEPS MLI will enter into force for Singapore on April 1, 2019.
The OECD has made 60 jurisdiction-specific recommendations on issues such as improving the timeliness of the exchange of information and ensuring that exchanges of information are made with respect to preferential tax regimes that apply to income from intellectual property.
Important process of ratifying the BEPS MLI is on. In 2019-2020, the provisions will come into effect, says Akhilesh Ranjan.
The legislation is intended to enter into force in July 2019.
According to IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, governments should figure out a world-wide answer on tax.
The legislation seeks to incorporate the OECD’s proposals under Action 5 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project, on countering harmful tax practices, as well as the new EU substance requirements.
France and Germany urged the EU Council to adopt the proposed digital services tax by March 2019.
By Bram Markey (Director, Transfer Pricing, PwC Belgium)
The Belgian tax authority has issued a draft Circular on the 2017 update to the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations.
Qatar is the 85th jurisdiction to sign the BEPS Convention, which now covers nearly 1,500 bilateral tax treaties.
An arbitration clause is included in the new tax treaty to resolve double taxation disputes.
The majority of the Board of Directors’ meetings must be held in Mauritius, or the executive management of the company must be regularly exercised in Mauritius.