Financial controllers:
Get ready for BEPS Pillar 2

The world of finance and tax is always evolving, and staying informed is crucial for financial controllers. This BEPS Pillar 2 guide explains this new important topic in international taxation.

What is BEPS Pillar 2?

BEPS Pillar 2 is a global taxation initiative, aimed at ensuring multinational companies pay a minimum effective rate of tax on profits in all countries, irrespective of where they have their headquarters. The goal is to address issues arising from the digitalization of the economy. This involves ensuring that taxes are paid in the locations where economic activities occur and value is generated.

Why is this relevant to Financial Controllers?

BEPS Pillar 2 is not just a concern for tax managers or CFOs. Financial controllers, given their pivotal role in budgeting, forecasting, and reporting, will undoubtedly be impacted by this initiative. These controllers are also responsible for gathering the right data from group entities and converting that data into information. Having a sound understanding of BEPS Pillar 2 will enable controllers to engage in more meaningful discussions with their tax managers, ensuring alignment in financial strategy and compliance.

Why is this relevant right now?

BEPS Pillar 2 is currently at the forefront of global taxation discussions, aiming to ensure that multinational enterprises pay a consistent minimum level of tax, regardless of their operational jurisdiction. As the OECD has recommended that the rules become effective in 2024, companies face pivotal timelines to align their tax strategies.

Many aspects of Pillar Two will come into effect for bookyears starting in January 2024, while certain additional impacts will take effect in 2025. This phased implementation highlights the importance and urgency for businesses to understand and follow the new BEPS Pillar 2 rules, as they will become increasingly important in the global financial landscape.

What is it all about?

In today's complex global economic landscape, multinational enterprises (MNEs) face an intricate web of tax regulations. The OECD, recognizing the challenges posed by the digital economy and aggressive tax planning strategies, introduced the GloBE (Global Anti-Base Erosion) model rules, an innovative approach aiming to reshape international taxation.

For financial controllers, understanding the GloBE rules and its components is crucial, as it has significant implications for financial reporting, forecasting, and strategic planning.

At the core of the GloBE rules is the Income Inclusion Rule (IIR). This rule fundamentally changes how income from foreign branches or controlled entities is treated. If an entity's Effective Tax Rate (ETR) falls below the specified minimum threshold, the parent company, upon consolidating its accounts, must account for the additional tax liability in its home jurisdiction. Thus, the IIR effectively bridges the gap between local tax rates and the global minimum standard, ensuring a level playing field.

The Effective Tax Rate (ETR) is thus a key metric in the GloBE Proposal. Financial controllers should prioritize understanding how the ETR is computed under GloBE, as it serves as a benchmark against which entities are assessed. A comprehensive grasp of the ETR calculations will not only ensure compliance but will also aid in strategic tax planning.

While the IIR serves as a foundational layer, the Undertaxed Payments Rule (UTPR - effective in 2025) adds another layer of complexity. It will apply after the IIR and serve as a backstop to the IIR. When not all top-up tax is allocated under an IIR, the liability to account for the top-up tax is shifted to the jurisdiction where the constituent entities are located.

The rule results in the group entities paying their share of the top-up tax remaining after the IIR. The share of the top-up tax is calculated based on a formula, in proportion to the relative share of assets and employees.

However, the GloBE framework acknowledges the limitations and potential gaps that might still exist even with the IIR and UTPR in place. The Subject to Tax Rule (STTR) is designed to address these nuances.

The STTR grants countries (developing countries and IF countries with effective tax rates below 9%) the authority to impose additional taxes on certain payments to related parties, especially if those payments aren't adequately taxed in the recipient's jurisdiction. This rule emphasizes the need for controllers to be diligent in their transactional analysis, ensuring that cross-border payments are in line with the new global standards.

In conclusion, the GloBE model, with its intricate set of rules, heralds a new era in international taxation. Financial controllers are at the forefront of navigating these changes, ensuring that MNEs remain compliant while optimizing their global tax positions. It's a challenging yet rewarding task, solidifying the role of financial controllers as strategic partners in the ever-evolving world of global finance.

Learn how to get ready for BEPS Pillar 2

Our upcoming webinar is tailored to provide you with the insights you need, paving the way for informed discussions with your tax managers.

We understand that delving into international tax regulations might seem daunting. That's why we're hosting an exclusive webinar for our valued customers: "Deep Dive into Tax Pillar 2".

Join us and equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of BEPS Pillar 2.

When: December 14, 2023 | 10:00 AM CET

Clarifying terms used:

GloBE (Global Anti-Base Erosion) Proposal: The GloBE Proposal is the core of Pillar 2, aiming to ensure that multinational enterprises (MNEs) pay a minimum level of tax regardless of where they operate. This is achieved by proposing a set of rules to prevent corporations from shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions.

Income Inclusion Rule (IIR): This rule ensures that income of foreign branches or controlled entities is taxed at a minimum rate. If an entity's effective tax rate is below the minimum rate, the parent company would be required to pay the difference in their home jurisdiction. This guards against profit shifting to low-tax jurisdictions.

Undertaxed Payments Rule (UTPR): If there is low taxed income beneficially owned by a ultimate parent entity that is not brought into charge under an IIR then the low-taxed income is subject to the back-up mechanism of the UTPR. The charge will be shifted to the applicable jurisdictions.

IF Countries: The OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS brings together over 135 countries and jurisdictions to collaborate on the implementation of the BEPS Package.

Subject to Tax Rule (STTR): This rule addresses issues where payments between related parties are not adequately taxed in the recipient jurisdiction. It allows IF countries to impose source-based taxation (e.g., withholding taxes) on certain payments to related parties that are not subject to tax at a minimum rate in the recipient jurisdiction.

Effective Tax Rate (ETR): ETR is the actual tax rate paid by a corporation after considering all deductions, credits, and other tax provisions. Under Pillar 2, the ETR of an entity will be crucial in determining whether the Income Inclusion Rule would apply, i.e., if the entity's ETR is below the globally agreed minimum rate.

Understanding these terms is essential for grasping the nuances of BEPS Pillar 2 and its implications for multinational businesses. The proposal aims to create a more level playing field and prevent tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

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