Filing Country-by-Country Reports (CbCR) for 2016 tax year is due until 31 December 2017 for multinationals with financial years beginning on 1 January of the calendar year. Some companies are struggling to file correctly as the exchange of CbCR between countries is far from clear, agreed or confirmed.
Exchange of CbCR today and in the future
Based on the Swiss country list for the exchange of CbCR, the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) intends to generally exchange CbCR with jurisdictions included on the list from the 2018 tax year, and exchange will thus occur from 2020.
Limited exchange for voluntary CbCR filings by Switzerland for FY2016 data
Only a quite limited number of states will receive CbCR through the Swiss exchange mechanism (see Swiss country list with reduced number of recipient countries) regarding voluntary CbCR filings submitted in Switzerland in respect of FY2016.
OECD’s call: cut-off at 31 December 2017
The OECD has established a deadline of 31 December 2017 as the cut-off date for the exchange mechanism. Accordingly, the SIF will only exchange CbCR with countries for which an automatic exchange relationship has been activated by this date. The SIF has confirmed that the list is regularly updated and that additional countries may still be added before 31 December 2017.
Taxpayers’ call: What to do
If necessary, companies may perform a cut-off sooner rather than later, allowing for enough time to complete any local administrative requirements for filing.
To ensure compliance with local CbCR requirements, we recommend that taxpayers filing under the Ultimate Parent Filing regime in Switzerland take the following steps:
- File CbCR in Switzerland by 31 December 2017.
- Verify which countries have active exchange relationships with Switzerland based on information provided by the SIF website.
- Verify where local filing requirements are established for the remaining countries in which the Group operates based on information provided by the OECD website.
For the countries where no automatic exchange is in place for the FY2016 voluntary filing period in Switzerland (see SIF’s country list) and local filing of CbCR for FY2016 data is required, the group should consider one of the following approaches:
- File locally in each jurisdiction where this is required; or
- Select another jurisdiction with a greater number of exchange partners for surrogate filing. The group would also need to submit the appropriate local notifications stating that CbCR would be submitted in this other location.
- In any case, the filing entity must correct the XML schema to state the updated filing entity/jurisdiction.
- An additional local filing must be envisaged in other jurisdictions which also do not accept an automatic exchange with the surrogate filing jurisdiction.
Some multinationals may choose to file on time and according to the local implementation of Action 13 of the BEPS project with the competent authority in the jurisdiction of the Ultimate Parent as proposed by the OECD and nowhere else.
It’s not the multinational’s burden or fault if CbCR isn’t exchanged with other jurisdictions in which it operates and with which exchange should generally happen but does potentially not for FY2016 CbCR due to delays in implementation.
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