Spanish Tax Authorities approve draft regulations on Country-by-Country reporting

Written on 29 Sep 2016

On the 14th of July 2016, Spanish tax authorities made public a draft administrative
order (the Draft) relating to country-by-country reporting (CBCR) obligations.
The Draft includes, together with articles of meagre content, a model tax
return for companies subject to such CBCR obligations in Spain.

The model tax return
proposed (return 231) as Annex One of the Draft is in fact a mere copy of the
OECD templates. Such templates, in turn, had already been incorporated, word
for word and line for line, in the EU legislation dealing with CBCR (Council
Directive 2016/881).

The Draft is disappointing
in its lack of effort to clarify certain concepts covered by CBCR obligations;
such as, for example, how to report in a consistent manner financial data, which
is subject to different interpretations depending on the local accounting rules
or standards involved. In this context, the description of the actual content
of the information to be included in the CBCR is a mere copy of the terms which
had already been enacted in the Spanish Corporate Income Tax Regulations, with
no further attempt to define of any such terms.

Additionally, the
definition of the entities subject to such CBCR obligations in Spain is also a
copy of the provisions already included in the Spanish Corporate Income Tax Regulations.
The Draft includes language to exclude entities from such CBCR duties, for
instance where CBCR has already been completed by another group entity, in a
wording, which is again copied verbatim, although now from Council Directive 2016/881.

Perhaps the point on
which the Draft does “innovate” is in that companies subject to CBCR
in Spain would be required to inform Spanish Tax Authorities of the identity of
the group company responsible for preparing the CBCR information. Such
information would be required before the conclusion of the tax year to which
the CBCR relates. The Draft does not indicate how such filing should be done.
Instead, it only includes a mention whereby Spanish Tax Authorities would
facilitate the submission of such information online through their official
webpage.

Overall, therefore,
the Draft does not contribute to clarifying the many doubts which taxpayers understandably
have in relation to their CBCR duties. The Tax Authorities are certainly
missing an opportunity to help taxpayers in the practical application of these abstract
CBCR concepts.

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