Fiscal transparency as a new strategic area of your business ?

the 02 October 2017 – Emmanuelle DEGLAIRE – Right

© DR – Emmanuelle Deglaire, professor of taxation, centre for research LegalEdhec, EDHEC Business School.

The 31 December next, it will be too late ! The companies located abroad, the consolidated annual turnover is greater than or equal to $ 750 million, be subject to a fine of 100 000 euros if they have not filed their statement country-by-country to this date.

More known under its English acronym (CBCR-Country-By-Country Reporting), this new declaratory obligation is to the event at the national level of the profound transformation of the international taxation.

In effect, the G20 of London in 2009, in formally declaring war on tax havens, has opened a new era of tax transparency.

And in eight years (only), the international community has been in running order for that these pious wishes are materialized. Before I discuss the details of this new requirement, declarative, take the time to look back at its genesis.

Since 2009, we are witnessing at the international level a harmonious choreography where the G20, ballet master, decides on the main orientations. The OECD is in the front of the stage by the Project BEPS (Base Erosion & Profit Shifting), this huge reflection project collaborative on the international taxation of tomorrow.

With its head, the French Pascal Saint-Amans, the OECD consults, in both States, companies and their boards ; and brings together, both the countries said rich countries in the developing world ; propose concrete solutions directly applicable and grows up to monitor their implementation by States, a veritable corps de ballet and grouping of the dancers… more or less motivated, the european Union is hesitant to not push through his instructions and its member States to behave in first class.

But, it must be acknowledged that this harmony tax news has stimulated the political class to two levels : the first is economic, the crisis has weakened the budget of the States ; consequently, any new tool of tax revenue is welcome. The second is that the adherence of the citizens, startled by these excesses sudden fiscal transparency surmédiatisés : the Luxleaks, the Panama Papers or, more recently, the Footleaks. The thing is so heard, it is a transparency widespread, which should now govern the planet.

The statement country-by-country between in this framework, and requires large groups to communicate to the tax administration a list of data including the turnover, the profit before tax, the amount of the tax due, the amount of tax actually paid, the share capital, the number of employees or the amount of assets to each of their foreign entities.

This instrument of fiscal transparency has for first vocation to guide the research in the case of a fiscal control. Indeed, noting in the table for that entity of the group generates a turnover of several million with less than ten employees, the team of auditor will then know where to look for a potential malfunction of the transfer pricing policy of the group.

To this day, this informative document is written to the destination of the tax administration. It will then, automatically, to its counterparts in the other States signatories of the multilateral agreement ad hoc developed by the OECD, or on request, to other States with which bilateral commitments to information exchange have been signed. But the european Union has already raised the hope that such a document could be made public in the future.

And for France, the Sapin law II passed in December 2016 provided very explicitly before it can be sanctioned. Considering the disproportionate, the constitutional Council has marked a pause in the momentum toward the requirement of fiscal transparency absolute. However, in some countries, the advertising of the tax information is already in the standard. One thinks here, for example, in Finland that applies this rule to individuals as to businesses.

Fiscal transparency is therefore technically possible and the Finnish companies have managed to adapt to it. So why not anticipate the constraint and regulatory to come in to do the evolution of mentalities an axis of competitiveness. That the business is BtoB or BtoC, mid-size or a large group, the strategy will be to adjust. But the moment is without a doubt ideal for to bring the question of the reputation for tax purposes in the communication strategy of your company and tax transparency constitutes a real instrument of this strategy. The Confédération fiscale européenne has understood and goes so far as to propose a Fair Taxpayer Label ! Then, after the Made in France, when the Taxed in France ?

By Emmanuelle Deglaire, professor of taxation, centre for research LegalEdhec, EDHEC Business School

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