The EU Council on 28 September 2021 adopted its position at first reading on the proposed directive on the disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches, commonly referred to as the public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) directive, paving the way for its final adoption. The adoption of the Council’s position follows a provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament in June.
In a nutshell, the public CBCR directive aims to enhance the corporate transparency of big multinational companies. It will require certain multinational undertakings with revenue of more than €750 million to disclose publicly in a specific report the income tax they pay. For the first time, non-European multinationals doing business in the EU through subsidiaries and branches will also have to comply with the same reporting obligations as EU multinational undertakings.
The reporting will take place within 12 months of the date of the balance sheet for the financial year in question. The directive sets out the conditions under which a company may defer the disclosure of certain information for a maximum of five years. The proposed directive also stipulates who bears responsibility for ensuring compliance with the reporting obligation.
The proposed directive, first tabled in April 2016, is part of the European Commission action plan for a fairer corporate tax system. The European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on 27 March 2019. Negotiations between the co-legislators started in March 2021 and resulted in a provisional agreement on 1 June 2021, with points such as the transition period and the safeguard clause being finalized.
The next step before the directive can enter into force is the formal approval of the provisional agreement by the European Parliament. The directive will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member states will have up to 18 months from the entry into force of the directive to transpose it into national law.
We are happy to continue the discussion with you regarding the political and sustainability developments that led to an increased momentum in public tax transparency as well as how other Swiss and non-Swiss multinational companies are responding to public tax transparency.
Please let us know via email if this will be of interest to you and we will be glad to schedule a meeting with Charalambos Antoniou, our tax transparency leader.