Country-by-country reporting approved at G20

Monday, 22 September 2014
The UK and 43 other countries have committed to implementing the OECD's new country-by-country reporting template by next year, forcing multinationals to disclose where their profits are made and whether they are shifted elsewhere.

The commitment was made at the G20 countries' meeting at Cairns, Australia at the weekend.

Although the participants are mostly highly developed economies, the Cairns communiqué and associated reports also address the needs of developing countries, which are accepted as being unable to follow suit in the near term.

The G20 statement thus called for 'a new structured dialogue process, with clear avenues for developing countries to work together and directly input in the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project' in time for the G20 leaders’ summit in November. It called on various international bodies to help develop tools to assist developing economies implement items in the OECD action plan, known as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative.

The group also repeated its commitment to exchanging information automatically between each other and with other countries by 2017 or the end of 2018, subject to their own legislative timetables.

G20 finance ministers are also preparing their response to a key report from the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and the Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, to be presented next year. This will include tougher incentives and implementation processes to deal with those countries which fail to respect Global Forum standards on exchange of tax information on request – the main target being Switzerland, which has still not managed to progress its approval status past the lowest level, Phase One.


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