BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) - managing the impact on your business

The OECD’s agenda on taxation of the digital economy evolved from, and continues, the work undertaken in the original BEPS project launched in 2013. What started as an initiative to tackle tax avoidance has morphed into reshaping the international tax landscape, from the way profits are allocated between countries to new obligations for documentation, reporting and disclosure, giving tax authorities unprecedented insight into corporate information.

How we can help you

Changes in international tax law can be complex, and even if additional tax liabilities are not created, multinational enterprises will be subject to an increased compliance burden.

We can support you in understanding the rules and how they apply to your business. We are practical and provide clear direction when assessing the impact of the rules, as well as in helping you take steps to comply with them.

We can advise across the wide range of requirements under the BEPS framework. This can include supporting impact assessments, identifying risks, reporting in the UK and internationally, meeting data requirements and fulfilling compliance obligations. We are adaptive to businesses’ needs, as part of their strategy to address the rules.

Specifics areas where we can support

Our approach is multi-faceted and tailored around your needs as an organisation. We can support on all aspects of the BEPS framework. Many organisations are currently focused on Pillar Two. Our approach to Pillar Two support might typically entail:

  • Undertake an impact assessment to determine high-risk areas and identify the potential impact on compliance requirements and cash tax.
  • Assistance with safe harbour review, including the transitional CBCR safe harbour and whether a CBCR report constitutes a qualifying CBCR report for the purposes of a particular territory for Pillar Two purposes (for further details), to define the scope of your compliance obligation.
  • Support with modelling ETR and cash tax impact, using our own model or helping to build your own.
  • Assistance with addressing specific accounting complexities, or providing assurance over work already undertaken by your organisation.
  • Identify the need for remedial action (if required) to avoid any potential risk of double taxation, including restructuring and simplification of the legal and operating structure.
  • Identification of legal and operational restructuring opportunities to address cash tax impact.
  • Implementation support for any identified strategies, including analysis of local and Pillar Two tax impact.
  • Tracking of local implementation and interpretation of the Pillar Two rules.
  • Assess the impact of compliance and design a roadmap to implement a plan for Pillar Two compliance.
  • Preparation and filing of a Global Information Return (GIR) and the other Pillar Two related returns and notifications in relevant jurisdictions.
  • Determination of governance, processes, controls, and data gathering for Pillar Two readiness and compliance.
  • Compliance, reporting and implementation support (full outsourcing, co-sourcing, review).
  • Support with preparation and filing of CBCR (for further details)
  • Technology solution assessment and implementation.
  • Ongoing governance and monitoring.
  • Determine financial statement disclosure requirements and define group policies.
  • Preparation of quarterly safe harbour and Pillar Two computations based on full year forecasting for financial statement reporting and use in wider business planning.
  • Communication with the board of directors and stakeholders. Preparation of board presentations on the impact of Pillar Two, to keep your organisation informed.
  • Provision of education or training for your tax teams, accounting teams and other stakeholders.


Why work with us?

We have a dedicated global team made up of International Corporate Tax, Tax Accounting and Tax Technology experts who can advise and assist with planning for Pillar Two compliance. With global support, we provide consistency and a joined-up approach to Pillar Two.

We deliver pragmatic advice which is relevant to your organisation. As BDO is not tied to one technology platform, we can work with you to find a solution that is tailored to you. Our flexible approach reflects the dynamic organisations we work with.


An overview of the framework

On 5 October 2015, the OECD issued final reports for the 15 anti-BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) actions that will fundamentally change the course of international taxation.

The BEPS framework is being implemented globally, with the UK being one of the many countries legislating to bring the framework into force.

In 2021, 137 countries in the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (IF) (subsequently increased to 145) reached a landmark agreement on a further approach to reform the international tax framework in response to the increasing challenges relating to taxation of the digital economy, an in particular the increasing ability for businesses to access markets remotely, creating tension in a framework built on the concept of "tax by physical presence", and the so-called "race to the bottom" on corporate tax rates as countries compete for inward investments.

The OECD is coordinating the multilateral consensus approach with the framework designed to ensure that multinational enterprises (MNEs) pay a fair share of tax where they operate and that they pay a minimum corporate tax through a two-pillar approach.

Pillar One is intended to address the challenges posed by remote access to markets in an increasingly digital economy and has two parts. The first part (Amount A) is designed to realign taxing rights with where value is perceived to be created, with rules intended to ensure that a portion of a group’s revenues are taxed in the jurisdiction where goods or services are used or consumed. Amount A will only apply to groups with worldwide revenues in excess of €20 billion that also realise a profit margin of at least 10%, with 25% of the profits exceeding the 10% threshold reallocated to market jurisdictions. This is expected to apply to approximately 100 businesses globally, although global implementation efforts have experience various challenges.

The second part (Amount B) is intended as a simplified and streamlined approach to the application of the arm’s length principle to in-country baseline sales and marketing activities. Amount B is intended to reduce transfer pricing disputes and compliance costs, and will be relevant for all businesses operating internationally, irrespective of size.

Pillar Two imposes a minimum effective rate of tax on profits of multinational enterprises, in each jurisdiction in which they operate. The Pillar Two framework applies to multinational groups, including all constituent entities in those groups, with global revenues above €750 million.

The framework imposes a top-up tax on profits arising in jurisdictions where the effective tax rate, as determined under a complex set of principles, is below 15%.

For UK tax purposes, the Pillar Two rules are included within Finance Act (no.2) Act 2023 and come into effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2023.

Another consequence of the evolution of the digital economy and digitised businesses is the proliferation of taxes levied by individual countries on digital rather than physical presence, i.e., digital service taxes (DSTs), over the past several years. Many countries view DSTs as a mechanism to raise revenue.

Part of the OECD’s two-pillar approach is the removal of all unilateral DSTs and similar measures and a commitment by countries not to introduce such measures in the future. Certain multilateral agreements have been reached on transitional measures to repeal DSTs and mechanisms to address double taxation issues that could arise under Pillar One and existing DSTs, however ongoing delays to Pillar One are creating tension in application of these measures.


Global Tax Outlook 2023

Welcome to the 2023 edition of BDO’s Global Tax Outlook.

Tax has an ever increasingly important role to play in how the globe, region, and each country, confronts the turbulence in the global economy over the coming years. Global Tax Outlook 2023 reveals some clear trends, threats, and opportunities, that are emerging in the tax-world.


Read more

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