Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Posts tagged ‘US proposed regulations’

Finland: CbC Surrogate search

Finland has proposed its new country-by-country (CbC) reporting requirements, having an effective date of 1/1/2017, as further summarized in EY’s Global Tax Alert provided for reference.  Other countries have legislated CbC 2016 effective dates, thus a Finland multinational that does business in other countries requiring a 2016 effective date CbC report will be looking to adopt a surrogate country for its 2016 tax year.

This delay in effective date, while the intention may have been to help Finnish headquartered multinationals, presents significant complexities for their 2016 CbC reporting requirements.  However it does the provide the Finnish / US tax authorities another year to ensure reporting processes are in place to review, and exchange, CbC information.

This legislation mirrors the US proposed regulations (i.e. Final Regulations yet to be issued), which delays the effective date past 2016.

This complexity, although anticipated by the OECD’s BEPS Actions in identifying a surrogate mechanism, understates the practical uncertainties that loom ahead.  For example, some issues are called into question:

  • Will the choice of a surrogate country lock in their CbC requirements, as would be the case if its present headquarter jurisdiction adopted CbC for 2016?  Or could other countries that have add-on CbC requirements, such as Mexico’s intercompany transactional detail, claim/assert that their local requirements could apply in a surrogate situation since the headquarter jurisdiction is not subject to the CbC automatic exchange of information?
  •  The search for a surrogate country will entail the review of treaty exchange mechanisms to reduce additional CbC filings, and complexities, in other countries.
  • The identification of a surrogate will require review of CbC legislation by every country to ensure that a surrogate’s reporting / information exchange satisfies the literal reading of statutory requirements.  This comprehensive review, that may not have been required by a US or Finnish multinational due to extensive exchange of information legislation, will need to be read in the broadest sense to avoid penalties.
  • The identification of a surrogate has not been expressly anticipated by other countries that have proposed CbC legislation, apart from addressing the non-applicability of automatic exchange of information requirements for CbC reporting.

Post BEPS complexity increases with delayed reporting years for CbC reporting.  It may take some time to fully understand all the nuances and complexities of surrogate reporting to ensure potential CbC disclosures are timely met and penalties avoided.

With these complexities becoming reality, countries should clarify CbC reporting in their respective jurisdiction by CbC surrogates.  


Click to access 2016G_CM6162_TP_Finnish%20Government%20submits%20CbC%20reporting%20proposal.pdf

CbC: US proposed Reg’s – a question of timing

The US Treasury has released proposed Regulations setting forth details for country-by-country (CbC) reporting by US-based multinationals.  A link to the proposed Reg’s is provided:

Click to access 2015-32145.pdf

The proposed Reg’s have been issued for comment, and two significant timing issues arise in the current version:

  1. Final Regulations would not take effect until tax years beginning after publication in the Federal Register, which would be 2017 for calendar-year taxpayers.
  2. The CbC report would be submitted to IRS with the US corporate income tax return, due Sept. 15.

Although the proposed Reg’s are conformed to the OECD model and have been purposeful in its comments on confidentiality and the exchange of information provisions for CbC reporting, the timing mismatch for the 2016 tax year presents a complexity that hopefully will be overcome in the Final Regulations.  If no changes are made to the effective date, the 2016 tax year would be a dysfunctional method of reporting around the world, based on whom are considered surrogate entities or determining which countries have rules that provide for direct submission to their tax authorities absent a US requirement.  

Additionally, the submission of the CbC report by Sept. 15 accelerates the year-end timing envisioned by the OECD.  This acceleration should be expected by multinationals, thereby leaving less time to coordinate and review the information via developing an efficient and sustainable CbC reporting process.



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