Bulletin 52

Printable Version

OECD Releases Further Country by Country Reporting Implementation Guidance

As a follow-up of BEPS Action 13, the OECD /G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS has released updated guidance on the implementation and operation of Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR). CbCR is the precursor to taxation in the market country. The new guidance includes the treatment of dividends, the operation of local filing, the use of rounded amounts in Table 1 of an MNE Group’s CbC report and the information that must be provided with respect to the sources of data used.

IRELAND: Deadline looms for entities to report beneficial ownership

Irish corporate entities founded before 22 June 2019 have until this Friday (22 November) to report their beneficial ownership information to the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies.

SWITZERLAND: Old banknotes can be cashed in from 2020

People with Swiss banknotes dating back to 1976 will be able to exchange them for new currency at the Swiss National Bank from 1 January 2020, although notes more than 25-years-old will be discounted by ten per cent from their face value. Currently Switzerland enforces a 20-year time limit on exchanging old banknotes. More than CHF1 billion of notes from 1976 are believed to still be in circulation.

BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP: FATF president urges action against secret shell companies

The new president of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published an editorial column in the Financial Times urging countries to improve their efforts to record beneficial ownership of corporate vehicles. Xiangmin Liu warned that FATF will hold nations accountable for implementing its recommendations for publicly accessible central registries of beneficial ownership data.

UKRAINE: Anti-corruption controls tightened

Ukraine has significantly tightened its institutional anti-corruption controls, extending the disclosure requirements and the list of reportable assets to include trusts and similar entities ultimately beneficially owned by the filer or their family members, as well as cryptocurrencies. The new legislation, which takes effect from 1 January 2020, also widens the net of persons covered.

SWITZERLAND: OECD tax transparency recommendations largely adopted, but will not include non-profits

The Federal Council of Switzerland has adopted the dispatch on amending the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters, with the aim of implementing the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. However, non-profit associations and foundations will not be included in its international agreements for the exchange of account information.

UK: Government reverses policy on corporation tax cuts

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK’s long-planned 2 per cent cut in corporation tax rate, due to take effect on 1 April 2020, will be scrapped if a majority Conservative government is returned at next month’s general election (12 December 2019). Legislation cutting the rate from 19 to 17 per cent has already been enacted, and primary legislation in the next Finance Act will be needed to reverse it. The relief rate for research tax credits will be increased by one percentage point to 13 per cent.

NEW ZEALAND: Further restrictions on foreign investors

The New Zealand government is introducing a new national interest test controlling the sale of ‘sensitive and high-risk assets’ such as farmland to overseas buyers, reinforcing last year’s reform that generally banned foreign buyers from purchasing residential homes. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said that policy had been a ‘huge success’, and promised the new powers will be used ‘rarely and only where necessary’. Associated penalties will rise from NZD300,000 to NZD10 million for foreign corporate investors in any jurisdiction, although some foreign companies that are majority-owned and -controlled by New Zealanders will be exempt. A Bill implementing the changes will be introduced in early 2020.

E&W judicial authority states crypto-assets are to be treated as property

Crypto-assets are to be treated as property under English law, according to a legal statement issued by the Chancellor of the England and Wales High Court, Lord Justice Geoffrey Vos.

OECD notes Panama’s improving transparency compliance, with further recommendations

A new set of country ratings from the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has rated Panama “partially compliant” on tax transparency, while noting further areas for improvement in 2020.

Source: STEP | Malta Institute of Taxation

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