The European Commission has just presented a legislative proposal for public country-by-country reporting of tax information.
- The press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1349_en.htm
- A European Commission memo: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-1351_en.htm
- The text of the proposal is not yet available. Please check again the DG Taxud website for updates.
The main features of the proposal are:
All multinationals (EU and non-EU companies) with a global annual turnover exceeding € 750 million that have branches or subsidiaries in the EU would be required to publicly disclose information on:
- the nature of the group´s activities,
- the number of employees,
- the total net turnover made, which includes the turnover made with third parties as well as between companies within a group,
- the profit made before tax,
- the amount of income tax due in the country as a reason of the profits made in the current year in that country,
- the amount of tax actually paid during that year, and
- the accumulated earnings.,on an annual basis.
Reporting should also include explanations on discrepancies between the amounts of income tax actually paid and income tax accrued.
The information has to be provided for each EU member state in which the multinational operates. For non-EU countries, aggregated information may be provided.
The proposal provides for stronger transparency requirements for companies' activities in countries which do not observe international standards for good governance in the area of taxation. Reportedly, this is a last-minute addition in reaction to the controversy around “Panama Papers”. These third countries will be determined using a common EU screening process that has been announced as part of the Anti-Tax Avoidance Package of 28 January but still needs to be developed.
The information will have to be available for at least 5 years on the company´s website and in an EU business register.
Country by country reporting to tax administrations by multinationals (also applying the € 750 million turnover threshold, in accordance with the OECD BEPS 13 Recommendations) has already been proposed by the Commission on 28 January, as part of its Anti-Tax Avoidance Package. That proposal also provides for exchange of this information among member states. A political agreement on that proposal in the EU Council has already been reached on 8 March 2016.