Australia continues to lead the way after its completion of cloaking new PE rules within its GAAR legislation, thereby avoiding the protection of the double tax treaty network.
A voluntary tax disclosure code concept is in deliberation by the Australian administration for its 2105-16 Budget. This disclosure would be in addition to other disclosures, such as country-by-country (CbC) reporting.
KPMG’s commentary herein provides a snapshot of this potential new trend that should be monitored by multinationals, as countries around the world are also watching this recent development for perceived benefits.
Corporate tax disclosure code: next big thing in tax transparency?
by Stephen Callahan, Director, and James Gordon, Senior Manager, Corporate Tax
The 2015-16 Budget proposals to introduce a multinational (MNE) anti-avoidance rule and to levy GST on cross-border digital services grabbed the immediate headlines in the large business market.
However, arguably the more far reaching tax integrity proposal is the Board of Taxation review into the development of a voluntary code for greater public disclosure of tax information by large corporates.
There is the obvious, and as yet, unanswered question as to exactly which businesses the proposal is directed towards. Nevertheless, some initial thoughts on possible influences in this review include:
The controversy and confusion surrounding tax performance analytics based on financial statement tax
The tension between community expectations on disclosures covering tax, related party transactions and investment in subsidiaries as against the need for concise reporting for capital market purposes.
Debates surrounding what comprises a business’ tax contribution to a country and the measurement of effective tax rates.
Global developments on alternate models for improved tax transparency.
Tax contribution reporting by an increasing number of multinationals.
The relationship, if any, between a voluntary disclosure code and an involuntary tax transparency publications by the ATO.
We await with interest to see the terms of reference of the Board of Taxation review.