Australia: "Country-by-country" bill introduced

Country-by-country bill in Australia

A “country-by-country” (CbC) bill was introduced into Parliament today as part of a larger package of legislation, the Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance Bill, 2015. The bill includes CbC, master file and local file requirements (CbC reports) and penalty provisions. The government intends for the provisions to be enacted before the end of 2015.

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Overview

A related “explanatory memorandum” estimates that some 800 to 1,200 multinational entities (MNEs) and between 30 to 50 Australian based MNEs would be affected by the CbC reporting requirements. The focus of the CbC reports would be on alleged information asymmetries between MNEs and the tax authorities. 

While there would be transfer pricing documentation “overlaps”—that is, overlaps with the new CbC report, master file and local file requirements, and the existing transfer pricing recordkeeping rules—this overlap would be left to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to address as part of the ATO’s consultation on implementation.

The explanatory memorandum further indicates that an entity would not have a “reasonably arguable” position in relation to a transfer pricing matter merely by reason of providing the CbC reports to the Commissioner.

The primary mechanism for delivering a master file and a local file to the ATO would be via an electronic interface between taxpayers and the ATO.  In the long term, the primary mechanism to deliver CbC reports would be via tax authority exchange of information protocols.

 

For more information, contact a tax professional with KPMG’s Global Transfer Pricing Services practice in Australia:  

Jane Rolfe | +61 3 9288 6341 | janerolfe@kpmg.com.au

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