Trust Bloomberg Tax for the international news and analysis to navigate the complex tax treaty networks and global business regulations.
By Ben Stupples
Countries are pushing back the deadline for multinational companies to submit their first global tax reports in a sign that governments may be struggling to implement the required filing systems.
In a bulletin published Nov. 23, the Australian Taxation Office said it extended its deadline until Feb. 15. In a Nov. 24 brief, meanwhile, the Irish Revenue said companies will have until the end of February to submit their first global tax reports to the government.
Known as country-by-country reporting, the filings are the most widely adopted policy from the OECD’s 15-action project to curb tax avoidance from multinationals. The measure aims to provide a clearer picture of companies’ operations for each country in which they are active. Most countries that adopted the policy for a company’s 2016 accounts still have a deadline of Dec. 31, 2017.
While the Australian Taxation Office gave no reason pushing back its deadline until next year, the Irish Revenue cited an issue with its electronic filing system for the country-by-country reports. Revenue expects to receive a standard module from the European Commission by mid-December, and the Irish system will stay open until Feb. 28.
The commission’s standard validation module is part of the “software implementation” rules agreed among the OECD’s members, a Revenue spokeswoman told Bloomberg Tax in a Nov. 27 email. The late changes to the country-by-county reporting format include a provision to allow multinational groups to cite their commercial name in additional to their legal one, she added.
Press offices for the ATO and European Commission didn’t return requests for comment.
Under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s guidance, multinationals should file country-by-country reports within 12 months of the fiscal year in question.
As a result, countries that introduced the policy for a company’s 2016 accounts originally expected to receive the data by the end of the 2017 calendar year. Country-by-country reporting only applies to companies with annual group revenues of at least 750 million euros ($890.9 million).
Alex Cobham, chief executive the Tax Justice Network, the main advocacy group behind country-by-country reporting, told Bloomberg Tax that he was surprised by the deadline delays.
There is some “flexibility” to comply with the base erosion and profit shifting project, he said. But as the organization is committed to collecting data as part of the project to measure its progress, delays in countries receiving relevant data may have a “knock-on effect,” he added.
The European Commission cites its validation module as part of the required technology for European Union member states to exchange data with each other, according to an April 2015 meeting summary.
Companies filing country-by-country reports will typically submit them to the tax authority of their headquarter jurisdiction. Under agreements to share the data, the authority will then exchange the reports with its overseas counterpart in each jurisdiction where the company has activity.
With assistance from Ali Qassim.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Stupples in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Penny Sukhraj at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)