OECD releases updated Transfer Pricing Guidelines, additional guidance on Country-by-Country Reporting

On July 10, 2017, the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD) released the 2017 edition of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (the Guidelines).  The 2017 edition incorporates a number of revisions the OECD has made to the Guidelines as part of its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project since their last publication in 2010.

Specifically, the 2017 edition includes revisions introduced under BEPS Actions 8-10 (Aligning Transfer Pricing Outcomes with Value Creation) and 13 (Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting), revised guidance on safe harbors, and conforming changes to other parts of the Guidelines.

Additionally, on July 18, 2017, the OECD released additional updated guidance on the implementation of CbC reporting under BEPS Action 13 (the CbC guidance).  Action 13 is one of the four BEPS Actions that contain “minimum standards,” and CBC reporting is a recommendation that all countries in the OECD, as well as many other countries, have committed to implement or already have implemented.

What does this mean for Switzerland?

Switzerland does not maintain specific rules and regulations with respect to Transfer Pricing. However, in Circular letter No. 4 (March 19, 2004), the Swiss Federal Tax Authorities advises the Cantonal Tax Authorities to follow the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines to assess Transfer Pricing aspects and to apply the arm’s length principle.

Although the Transfer Pricing documentation requirements stipulated in BEPS Action 13 (and described in detail in the new OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines) were not incorporated into Swiss Tax Law, foreign countries have already released or will release regulations to adapt the Master File / Local File approach in their local law. Swiss parent companies will be “forced” by foreign law to prepare appropriate Transfer Pricing Documentation to avoid any adverse implications (e.g. penalties).

On June 16, 2017, the Swiss parliament decided to introduce Country-by-Country regulations (CbC) into domestic law. Hence, particularly Swiss domestic companies, with consolidated revenues of at least CHF 900 million, will be required to file a CbC report for financial year 2016 (on a voluntary basis to avoid any adverse implications such as penalties in countries which have already incorporated CbC regulations into their domestic law) but latest for financial year 2018.

Companies are well advised to take into consideration the new OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines to establish and defend their intercompany transactions along the new guidance and to carefully assess their Transfer Pricing compliance obligations.

Read more in our Tax Insights from Transfer Pricing

Partial revision of the Swiss VAT law: at least 30’000 foreign established businesses will have, in principle, to register for VAT in Switzerland

Swiss VAT Law imposes new obligation on foreign companies

As of January 1st, 2018 / January 1st, 2019, the partial revision of Swiss VAT Law will directly impact the foreign established companies operating in Switzerland

Please check out our technical flyer on the subject to find out more about these changes:

 

Do you want to know more about the new Swiss VAT obligations impacting foreign business or e-commerce business?

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss about your situation, your projects and more particularly the related VAT consequences in Switzerland or abroad.

We would be more than happy to discuss with you about the potential impacts, benefits, risks, costs, optimizations and obligations resulting from such changes.

Patricia More, Associée TVA, PwC Genève
+41 58 792 95 07 / patricia.more@ch.pwc.com

Olivier Comment, Directeur TVA, PwC Lausanne
+41 58 792 81 74 / olivier.comment@ch.pwc.com

“Royalty Restrictions“ in Germany

11 July 2017

Germany has recently introduced new rules that will restrict the tax deductibility of related-party cross-border royalty payments if these payments are benefiting from a low taxation triggered by a harmful preferential tax regime in the country of the recipient.

Based on these new rules, such royalty expenses incurred after 31 December 2017 will no longer be fully deductible in Germany if the relevant income is subject to an effective tax rate of less than 25%:

In detail

For example, if the royalty income is subject to a preferential 10% effective tax rate, 60% of the royalty payments would not be deductible at the German taxpayer level.

However, if a recipient of cross-border royalty payments is subject to the regular tax rate (i.e. no preferential tax regime applies), the royalty restriction rule is not applicable, even if the effective tax rate is less than 25%.

Furthermore, patent box regimes which comply with the OECD “nexus” approach (i.e. under foreign law the preferential tax rate is only granted following an OECD-compliant “nexus” approach) are exempt from the new rule. A patent box of this kind is likely to be introduced in Switzerland in the context of tax package 17 (former corporate tax reform III).

It should however be noted that tax package 17 and therefore an
OECD-compliant Swiss patent box will probably not be introduced before 2020. Consequently, German royalty payments incurred between 1 January 2018 and the introduction of such a patent box in Switzerland could be subject to the new German royalty restriction rule if such royalties benefit from a Swiss preferential tax regime. The following regimes in Switzerland should be investigated in particular to establish whether or not they qualify as harmful preferential tax regimes:

  • Nidwalden IP Box
  • Mixed companies
  • Holding companies
  • Principal companies

An investigation into the impact of the new German limitation rules is recommended in order to determine their impact and to decide whether restructuring should be conducted before 1 January 2018.

In summary, there is still some uncertainty about how the new rules will be interpreted and applied. However, for now it can be assumed that all Swiss preferential regimes may potentially cause issues under the German royalty restriction rule.

There are, however, certain planning ideas which can help mitigate and/or reduce such issues. These solutions may depend on the very specific circumstances of your group and we advise you to have them analysed by your PwC tax consultant on a case-by-case basis.

For a more detailed discussion of how this might affect your business, please contact:

Armin Marti
Partner, Leader Corporate Tax
Tel. +41 58 792 43 43
armin.marti@ch.pwc.com

Stefan Schmid
Partner, Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 44 82
stefan.schmid@ch.pwc.com

Roman Brunner
Partner, Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 72 66
roman.brunner@ch.pwc.com

Urs Brügger
Partner, Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 45 10
urs.bruegger@ch.pwc.com

Reto Inauen
Senior Manager, Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 42 16
reto.inauen@ch.pwc.com

EUDTG Newsletter May – June 2017

EU direct tax law is a fast developing area. This presents taxpayers, in particular groups and multinational corporations that have an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) presence, with various challenges.

The following topics are covered in this issue of EU Tax News:

CJEU Cases

  • Belgium: CJEU judgment in X concerning the Belgian fairness tax
  • Belgium: CJEU judgment in Van der Weegen and Pot concerning the tax exemption applicable to income from savings deposits
  • France: CJEU judgment in AFEP concerning the French contribution tax
  • Luxembourg: CJEU judgment in Berlioz concerning exchange of information upon request

National Developments

  • Austria: Administrative High Court disallows import of foreign (final) losses despite transfer of place of management
  • Germany: Federal Fiscal Court refers §6a RETT Act to CJEU as potential State aid
  • Germany: Federal Fiscal Court denies deduction of final losses according to EU law
  • Italy: Amendments to the NID and Patent Box Regime: conversion into law with revisions
  • Poland: Ministry of Finance publishes warning on aggressive tax planning structures
  • Spain: Supreme Court issues preliminary ruling about tax on activities that affect the environment
  • Switzerland: Federal Council presents basic parameters of the renewed planned tax reform
  • United Kingdom: Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery decision on the Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees

EU Developments

  • EU: ATAD II Directive formally adopted
  • EU: European Commission proposes mandatory disclosure rules for intermediaries
  • EU: ECOFIN Council of 23 May 2017: agreement on Double taxation dispute resolution mechanism in the EU
  • EU: ECOFIN Council of 16 June 2017: Main results
  • EU: European Parliament PANA Committee issues draft report and draft recommendations
  • EU: Public CBCR: European Parliament ECON and JURI Committees adopt joint report
  • Italy: EU Tax Commissioner Moscovici concludes that Italian flat tax for high net worth individuals does not appear to constitute harmful tax competition
  • Spain: European Commission starts infringement procedure on state liability for breach of EU law

Fiscal State aid

  • EU: European Commission and China start dialogue on State aid control
  • EU: European Commission adopts annual Competition Policy Report for 2016
  • Hungary: Advertisement Tax Act aligned to comply with EU State aid rules
  • Spain: CJEU judgment on tax exemptions for Catholic Church
  • United Kingdom: CJEU judgment on the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association

 

Read the full newsletter

 

This EU Tax Newsletter is prepared by members of PwC’s international EU Direct Tax Group (EUDTG).

Further information about our service offerings in EU taxes: www.pwc.com/eudtg


Contact

Armin Marti
Partner Tax & Legal Services, Leader Corporate Tax Services
+41 58 792 43 43
armin.marti@ch.pwc.com

Anna-Maria Widrig Giallouraki
Senior Tax Manager
+41 58 792 42 87
anna-maria.widrig.giallouraki@ch.pwc.com

Liechtenstein has signed an additional DTA with Monaco

On 29 June 2017 the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein issued a press release stating that Liechtenstein has signed an additional Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Monaco. The DTA between Liechtenstein and Monaco is intended to increase the legal certainty for investors and strengthen the close cooperation between the two countries.

The DTA is based on the current international OECD standard. It takes into account the results of the OECD/G20 BEPS project, which is intended to prevent tax avoidance in a cross-border context. The exchange of information is regulated based on international standards, whereby the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) will be carried out in accordance with the framework of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA).

We assume that the new DTA with Monaco will be approved this year by the Landtag of the Principality of Liechtenstein, which would allow it to enter into effect as of 1 January 2018.

Contacts

Martin_Meyer_09723
Martin Meyer
PwC | Director
Office: +41 58 792 42 96
Mobile: +41 79 348 36 13
Email
PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH
Austrasse 52 | Postfach | FL-9490 Vaduz

 

 

Bieri_Ralph_70735
Ralph Bieri
PwC | Senior Manager
Office: +41 58 792 72 76
Mobile: +41 79 643 14 37
Email
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG
Vadianstrasse 25a | Neumarkt 5 | 9001 St. Gallen

Poland removes Liechtenstein from its black list

On 9 June 2017 the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein issued a press release stating that Liechtenstein has been removed from the Polish black list of low-tax countries.

Removing Liechtenstein from the black list is a consequence of the signing of the agreement between Liechtenstein and the EU Member States to exchange information on tax matters automatically and upon request. This agreement is in force since 1 January 2016.

The removal from the Polish black list further contributes to strengthening Liechtenstein as a business location. In particular, it helps Liechtenstein based companies in the areas of transfer pricing documentation and controlled-foreign-company regulation. Liechtenstein based companies no longer automatically fall within the scope of these anti-abuse rules. Thus, anti-abuse rules only apply if the specific preconditions based on Polish legislation are fulfilled.

Contacts

Martin_Meyer_09723
Martin Meyer
PwC | Director
Office: +41 58 792 42 96
Mobile: +41 79 348 36 13
Email
PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH
Austrasse 52 | Postfach | FL-9490 Vaduz

 

 

Bieri_Ralph_70735
Ralph Bieri
PwC | Senior Manager
Office: +41 58 792 72 76
Mobile: +41 79 643 14 37
Email
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG
Vadianstrasse 25a | Neumarkt 5 | 9001 St. Gallen

Mandatory disclosure rules for intermediaries proposed by the European Commission

On 21 June 2017, the European Commission (EC) adopted a proposal for a Council Directive on the mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to so called “reportable cross-border arrangements”. The proposal accordingly provides for mandatory disclosure of cross-border arrangements by intermediaries or taxpayers to the tax authorities and mandating automatic exchange of this information among Member States. Its stated objective is to enhance transparency, reduce uncertainty over beneficial ownership and dissuade intermediaries from designing, marketing and implementing harmful tax structures.

Mandatory disclosure for cross-border arrangements

The proposal applies to cross-border arrangements, i.e. an arrangement or series of arrangements in either more than one Member State or a Member State and a third country.

Such arrangements become reportable by intermediaries (or in certain cases by the taxpayers themselves), if they bear at least one of certain generic or specific features (called “hallmarks” and including but not limited to the conversion of income into lower-taxed revenue streams, deductible cross-border payments between related parties where the recipient is resident in a zero or low tax jurisdiction, situations where the intermediary is entitled to receive a fee fixed by reference to e.g. the amount of tax advantage derived, the use of jurisdictions with weak regimes of enforcement of anti-money laundering legislation for identifying the beneficial ownership of legal entities et al).

An intermediary is any person being responsible vis-à-vis the taxpayer for designing, marketing, organising or managing the implementation of the tax aspects of a cross-border arrangement. An intermediary may also be a person who directly or indirectly provides material aid or advice with respect to any of the above activities. Intermediaries are covered by this proposal if incorporated/governed by the laws/resident/registered in an EU Member State.

Next steps

Timing-wise, Member States will need to take the necessary measures to require intermediaries and taxpayers to file information on reportable cross-border transactions that were implemented between the date of the formal adoption of the proposal by the Council and 31 December 2018. The provisions of the proposed measure are set to apply as per 1 January 2019 with the first information being disclosed by the end of the first quarter of 2019 (being 31 March 2019).

The Commission’s proposal will now be sent to the Council and the European Parliament. The Directive needs to be formally adopted by the Council by unanimous vote, after consultation of the European Parliament.

For more detailed information, please refer to the PwC Newsalert from our EUDTG network.

Cooperation between PwC and Noveras Tax Reporting for international Banking Clients

PwC and Noveras Services AG have agreed to cooperate in providing offshore tax reports for banks located in Switzerland and in foreign countries. This cooperation results in the following benefits:

Benefits for Banks:

  • Able to offer truly country-specific, high-quality tax reports to clients
  • No need to build up and maintain tax reporting infrastructure
  • No need to follow tax laws around the world
  • Tax reporting provided even for small numbers of clients
  • Flexible, cost-efficient cooperation

Benefits for Clients:

  • Client receives a high-quality tax report for their offshore account
  • Reports deliver all of the necessary information for client’s tax return in their country
  • Overall lower costs for the client due to saving the expense of local tax support

Statement by the Leaders

  • This unique cooperation ensures several high-quality services (such as highly skilled tax reporting products).
  • The synergy between PwC as leading expert advisor in tax-related topics and a practice-oriented boutique with profound knowledge of wealth management / cross-border banking, IT and international tax law creates a unique market solution.

Find out more

Contact

Dieter Wirth
Partner
+41 58 792 4488
dieter.wirth@ch.pwc.com

Michael Taschner
Senior Manager
+41 58 792 1087
michael.taschner@ch.pwc.com

Swiss Federal Council Adopts Dispatch on AEOI with 41 Jurisdictions

On 16 June 2017, the Swiss Federal Council agreed to adopt the dispatch on the introduction of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) with 41 states and territories. Switzerland will activate the AEOI with each individual state/territory via specific federal decrees within the framework of this dispatch.

This dispatch strengthens Switzerland’s international position, as its AEOI network has extended to most of the G20 and OECD states, in addition to the already existing agreements with 38 states and territories, including all EU member states.

As part of this dispatch, collection of information will begin in 2018 for a first data exchange in 2019. Brazil, China, Liechtenstein, and Russia are notable states included within the list of 41 states and territories.

Please refer to the following link for the Swiss Federal Council’s official media release:

Englishhttps://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-67079.html
Germanhttps://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/dokumentation/medienmitteilungen.msg-id-67079.html

OECD BEPS: Multilateral Instrument signed by Switzerland and 67 other countries

On 7 June 2017, officials from more than 70 countries participated in the signing of the multilateral instrument (“MLI”), which is a result of negotiations of more than 100 jurisdictions. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) aims for a swift implementation of a series of tax treaty measures to update international tax rules and reduce the opportunity for tax avoidance. Impacts for Swiss companies are mainly expected in the field of dispute resolutions.

The MLI is one of the outcomes of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) and has the goal to enable countries to swiftly modify bilateral tax treaties (more than 3’000 worldwide) to include the measures developed in the course of the BEPS work. In this respect, an ad hoc group, consisting of 99 countries, four non-state jurisdictions and seven international or regional organizations participating as observers, developed the MLI. In their negotiations, the ad hoc group focused on the following BEPS measures and how the MLI would need to modify the provisions of bilateral or regional tax agreements. Aiming to swiftly implement those measures, some of which are minimum standards and others representing best practice recommendations only:

  • Hybrid mismatch arrangements in accordance with BEPS Action 2 (best practice recommendation);
  • Granting of treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances under BEPS Action 6 (minimum standard);
  • Amendments to the definition of “permanent establishment” as recommended under BEPS Action 7 (best practice recommendation);
  • Facilitating of access to and resolution of mutual agreement procedures consistent with BEPS Action 14 (minimum standard).

Continue to read in detail in our current newsletter.

If you have questions, please contact your usual PwC contact person or one of PwC Switzerland´s experts named below.

Contacts

Andreas Staubli
Partner
Leader TLS Schweiz
Tel. +41 58 792 44 72
Send E-mail
Armin Marti
Partner
Leader CT Schweiz
Tel. +41 58 792 43 43
Send E-mail
Stefan Schmid
Partner
Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 44 82
Send E-mail
Fabio Dell’Anna
Partner
Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 97 17
Send E-mail
Claude-Alain Barke
Partner
Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 83 17
Send E-mail
Michael Ruckstuhl
Senior Manager
Tax & Legal
+41 58 792 14 94
Send E-mail