Insights

Insights

US Tax Reform

The new US Presidential administration and Congress have created much speculation and anxiety about how tax reform will proceed and who will be most affected by the result. Baker Tilly in the US is dedicated to keeping you abreast of significant tax reform proposals and enacted legislation.

IFRS Foundation Amends IFRS Constitution  

The Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation have amended the IFRS Foundation Constitution to implement changes based on their 2015 Review of Structure and Effectiveness (2015 Review). 

European Commission Proposes New Rules for the Recovery and Resolution of Central Counterparties 

The European Commission (Commission) has proposed a framework for the European Union (EU) of new rules for central counterparty (CCP) recovery and resolution, the purpose of which is to ensure that failure of CCPs can be dealt with effectively to avoid overall risk to the system.

IPSASB Staff Publishes Background Paper on Emissions Trading Schemes 

The staff of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) have developed Emissions Trading Schemes Staff Background Paper (Background Paper). The Background Paper discusses different types of government interventions on controlling greenhouse gases and the economic impacts arising from them.

SEC Chair White Calls for SEC to Continue Pursuit of High-Quality, Globally Accepted Accounting Standards

Mary Jo White, outgoing Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), issued a public statement urging the SEC to continue to pursue high-quality, globally accepted accounting standards. Chair White believes that this is imperative for the protection of US investors and companies and the strength of the markets.

EFRAG Endorses IFRS 4 Amendments for Use in EU

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has formally endorsed the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 4, Insurance Contracts, issued in September 2016, for use across European Union (EU) member states. The IASB issued the amendments, Applying IFRS 9 Financial Instruments with IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts (Amendments), to address concerns arising from implementing IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, before the replacement insurance contracts standard. These concerns include temporary volatility in reported results.

IASB Issues Exposure Draft on Annual Improvements to IFRS

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued its exposure draft, Annual Improvements to IFRS Standards 2015-2017 Cycle, proposing amendments to three standards as part of its annual improvements process. The exposure draft includes proposed amendments to International Accounting Standard (IAS) 12, Income Taxes; IAS 23, Borrowing Costs; and IAS 28, Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures. Comments are due by 12 April 2017.

FASB Clarifies the Definition of a Business 

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-01, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business. 

UK Prime Minister Set Out Government’s 12 Negotiating Objectives for Brexit

On 17 January 2017 UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, set out the Government’s 12 negotiating objectives for leaving the European Union (EU). 

IOSCO Calls for Focus on the Impact of New Accounting Standards

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a Statement on Implementation of New Accounting Standards (IOSCO Statement) related to the compliance by issuers of financial statements with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) on accounting for revenue, financial instruments, and leases.

IFRS Foundation Proposes Update to IFRS Taxonomy 2016 for Common Practice

The IFRS Foundation has published proposed Updates to the IFRS Taxonomy 2016: Common Practice (Proposed Update). The comment deadline for the Proposed Update is 15 February 2017.

FASB Releases the 2017 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy 

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has released the 2017 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy (2017 Taxonomy), subject to final approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

ESMA Updates Q&A on Investor Protection  

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has updated its Market in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID II/ MiFIR) with new Questions and Answers (Q&As) on the implementation of investor protection topics. 

IOSCO Issues Guidance on Improving Quality of Benchmark Reporting

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published its Guidance on Statements of Compliance with the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks (Guidance). IOSCO developed the Guidance to improve the quality of financial benchmarks, as well as to increase both the consistency and quality of reporting by benchmark administrators with their compliance with IOSCO’s Principles for Financial Benchmarks (Principles).

European Commission Adopts Equivalence Decisions for Non-EU Jurisdictions 

The European Commission (Commission) has reached decisions on the equivalence of the regulatory regimes for central counterparties (CCPs) and trading venues from certain non-EU countries to the European Union (EU) under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

European Supervisory Authorities Consult on Big Data

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has launched a public consultation about the potential benefits and risks of Big Data for consumers and financial firms to determine whether any further regulatory or supervisory actions may be needed.

TCFD Recommendations for Climate Related Disclosures Released

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has published its first set of recommendations, which focuses on voluntary, decision-useful, climate-related disclosures required as part of mainstream financial filings.

Analysis and Commentary: E(U)-Commerce

It's fair to say that the world of taxation and e-commerce are not the easiest of bedfellows. Nowhere is this truer than in the European Union (EU), where a fragmented yet supposedly harmonised value-added tax regime currently acts as a disincentive to cross border e-commerce. All that, however, might be about to change, and hopefully for the better.

MEPs Call for Say in Brexit Negotiations 

European Parliament President Martin Schulz has called for MEPs to be fully involved in Brexit negotiations with the UK.

IMF Urges Indirect Tax Shift for Spain

Spain has room to increase tax revenues without hampering economic growth prospects by targeting exemptions and inefficiencies in the tax system, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

FASB Issues Technical Corrections and Improvements ASU

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-19, Technical Corrections and Improvements.

SEC Approves 2017 PCAOB Budget and Accounting Support Fee

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the 2017 budget of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the related annual accounting support fee.

India and US to Conclude First Bilateral APA

India's Finance Minister has revealed that India and the US have "reached an understanding" to conclude the first bilateral advance pricing agreement (APA) between the two countries.

IMF 'Sees Merit' In Belgium Corporate Tax Cut

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended that Belgium could reduce its rate of corporate tax within a wider tax reform plan that should aim to remove distortions from the business tax system.

Gibraltar and UK Prepare for Brexit Negotiations

Ministers from Gibraltar and the United Kingdom recently met to develop plans for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

Ryan Confirms Corporate Tax Reform Talks With Trump

Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) said he and President-elect Donald Trump "agree on the same goals" for US tax reform.

UK Consults On Draft Finance Bill 2017

The UK Government has released draft legislation to implement measures announced in previous budgets and the Autumn Statement.

McDonald's to Shift Tax Base to UK

McDonald's has confirmed that it is restructuring some of its operations so that it will pay tax on most of its non-US royalties in the United Kingdom instead of in Luxembourg.

Netherlands Extends Deadline Under County-by-Country Reporting Regime

The Netherlands has extended until no later than 1 September 2017, the deadline for multinational corporations to notify domestic authorities as to which entity will file a country-by-country report.

IASB Publishes Clarifications to IFRS Standards

The International Accounting Standards Board has issued amendments to several International Financial Reporting Standards and an Interpretation of the IFRS Interpretations Committee.

IASB Publishes IFRS Taxonomy Update 2

The International Accounting Standards Board has published IFRS Taxonomy Update 2 to the IFRS Taxonomy 2016.

EU Reaches Agreement on Shareholder Vote on Directors’ Compensation

Negotiators from the European Commission (Commission), Council of the European Union (Council) and members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have reached an informal agreement on rules that give shareholders the right to vote on remuneration policy for company directors. Before becoming effective, the new rules will need to be formally approved.

European Commission Adopts New Rules on Regulation of Commodities Markets

The European Commission (Commission) has adopted new rules designed to strengthen the regulation of commodities markets and curb price speculation. The new rules are also intended to ensure that firms active on these markets are regulated appropriately.

UK Lawmakers Seek Reassurances from HMRC

UK lawmakers have called on HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to ensure that it continues to provide adequate customer service and take an international lead on tackling multinational tax avoidance, despite the pressure the tax agency faces.

American Expats Lobbying for Residence-Based Taxation

In a recent proposal, American Citizens Abroad (ACA) has set out a detailed description of its proposal for the enactment of residency-based taxation (RBT), rather than the existing citizenship-based taxation (CBT) system, for American expats.

UK Issues Policy Paper on Thin Cap Changes

The UK tax authority has explained changes to the rules on the tax deductibility of corporate interest expense, which will be effective from 1 April 2017.

US Manufacturers Set Out Tax Reform Priorities

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has issued a new white paper that points to US tax reform as the "one single issue that could have the greatest positive impact on manufacturing overall".

FASB Proposes Targeted Improvements for Liabilities and Equity

The FASB intends the amendments in the proposed ASU to reduce both complexity and reporting burdens in applying FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 480, Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity, for certain financial instruments with characteristics of liabilities and equity. Comments are due by 6 February 2017.

ESRI Estimates Impact of Common Consolidated Corporation Tax Base on Ireland

The introduction of an EU-wide common consolidated corporation tax base (CCCTB) could result in Ireland's potential economic output being 1.5% lower than would otherwise be the case, according to modelling by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

UK Financial Firms Pay Record US$90bn In Tax

The UK's financial services sector paid a record GB£71.4bn (US$93.4bn) in tax in the year to 31 March 2016, a 7.4% increase on the figure for the previous year.

US Congress Urged Not to Pass Online Sales Tax Bill

On 6 December, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), Americans for Tax Reform, Heritage Action For America and FreedomWorks wrote to the members of Congress calling on them to oppose any attempt to pass US internet sales tax legislation, such as the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), before the end of this year.

OECD Documents Dramatic Indirect Tax Shift

Tax revenues collected in advanced economies have continued to increase from last year's all-time high, with taxes on labour and consumption now accounting for a substantially greater share of total tax revenues, according to new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) research.

Trump Pushes Plan for Tariffs on US Corporate Departees

On 4 December, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to reiterate the proposal he made during his election campaign to impose a substantial tariff on imports from US multinational companies that move their production facilities abroad.

Spain to Hike Corporate Tax Burden

The Spanish Government announced a revenue-raising Budget on 2 December that will increase the tax take from corporations.

Asian Nations Discuss BEPS Implementation

More than 50 delegates from 16 countries and four international organisations gathered on 30 November 2016, in Manila, Philippines, to participate in the first regional meeting in the Asia-Pacific region under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) new inclusive base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project framework.

EU Announces Massive Overhaul to EU Digital VAT Rules 

The European Commission on 1 December unveiled a series of measures to improve the value-added tax (VAT) environment for ecommerce businesses in the EU. The proposals are intended to enable consumers and companies – in particular start-ups and small and medium sized entities (SMEs) – to buy and sell goods and services more easily online.

Switzerland and South Africa to Automatically Exchange Tax Information

Switzerland and South Africa have agreed to automatically exchange tax information from 2019.

Australia to Legislate for Diverted Profits Tax

The Australian Government has released draft legislation for the implementation of the proposed Diverted Profits Tax (DPT).

UK Releases Preliminary VAT Gap Statistics

The UK's value-added tax gap – the amount lost due to evasion and avoidance – is expected to be broadly the same for the 2015-16 tax year as in 2014-15, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

More Nations Sign up to OECD's Inclusive BEPS Framework

A further three countries have committed to participate in international base erosion and profit shifting discussions from the start of next year under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) new ‘inclusive framework’ for countries.

US Business Urges Trump to Slash Corporate Tax Rate

The businesses and associations that make up the RATE (Reforming America's Taxes Equitably) Coalition have written to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to focus on cutting the US corporate tax rate in 2017.

No Dutch Tax Cuts Despite Tax Revenue Windfall

The Dutch Government has announced that its budget deficit will be much lower than expected this year thanks to strong tax revenue growth.

China to Challenge Trump Tariffs at WTO

During a press conference on 23 November, China's deputy international trade representative Zhang Xiangchen said that China would use World Trade Organization (WTO) Tariff rules to counter the tariffs threatened by US President-elect Donald Trump.

Economic and Social Research Institute: Brexit to Hit UK-Europe Trade

If the UK's trading relationship with the European Union (EU) reverts to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules post-Brexit, the impact on trade with individual EU member states will depend on the volume and nature of the merchandise traded, Ireland's Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has said.

UK Corporate Interest Expense Changes to Yield GB£5bn

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond emphasised the efforts the Government is taking to ensure multinationals pay the right amount of tax.

IAASB Adopts Amendments on Auditor Focus on Legal and Regulatory Non-compliance

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has published International Standard on Auditing 250 (Revised), Consideration of Laws and Regulations in an Audit of Financial Statements, as well as conforming amendments to other International Standards.

Analysis and Commentary: JAM Tomorrow

One of the most significant announcements in the United Kingdom Government's Autumn Fiscal Statement was that in future, in the interests of stability and certainty, there would no longer be an Autumn Fiscal Statement.

Trump Advised to Repeal FATCA

The deVere Group, a financial consultancy, has urged US President-elect Donald Trump to repeal the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which, it argued, has had a severe impact on foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and on American citizens living abroad.

French President Hopeful Fillon Pledges Tax Cuts

Francois Fillon, one of the two remaining candidates standing for the right to lead France's main centre-right party in the 2017 presidential elections, has proposed major tax cuts for businesses and individuals if he becomes French President.

Switzerland-Liechtenstein DTA Enters Into Force

The double taxation agreement (DTA) between Switzerland and Liechtenstein will enter into force on 22 December 2016, and will be effective from 1 January 2017.

EU Reaches Agreement on Conflict Minerals Regulation

The European Commission has brokered an agreement on a European Union Regulation on conflict minerals.

FASB Proposes Amendments to the Scope of Share-Based Payment Modification Accounting 

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued proposed Accounting Standards Update, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting.

FASB Amends Presentation of Restricted Cash in the Cash Flow Statement

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash.

PCAOB Approves 2017 Budget and 2015-2019 Strategic Plan 

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has approved its 2017 fiscal-year budget of approximately US$268.5m, subject to approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It has also approved its 2016-2020 strategic plan. The strategic plan serves as the foundation for the budget and guides the PCAOB's operations.

SEC Approves Plan to Create Consolidated Audit Trail 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a national market system (NMS) plan to create a comprehensive database to enable regulators to track all trading activity in US equity and options markets. This database, called the consolidated audit trail (CAT), was created by the US national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is expected to make tracking trading activity more thorough and efficient.

ESMA Issues Public Statement on Implementation Issues for IFRS 9 

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the Public Statement, Issues for consideration in implementing IFRS 9: Financial Instruments (Public Statement). The Public Statement highlights the need for consistent, high-quality implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 and the need for transparency on its impact.

ESMA Requests Delay in Central Clearing for Small Financial Counterparties

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the final report, On the clearing obligation for financial counterparties with a limited volume of activity (Report). The Report includes ESMA’s proposals to the European Commission regarding application of the clearing obligation to financial counterparties with a limited volume of activity in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

ESMA Finalises Technical Advice on Rules for Financial Benchmarks 

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued its final report to the European Commission (Commission), Technical advice under the Benchmarks Regulation (Advice), concerning future rules for benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts under the Benchmarks Regulation adopted in 2016. The Commission will draft the final rules for benchmarks, expected to be effective by 1 January 2018. 

IFAC Reports on the Role of Accountancy in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals  

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released its report, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—A Snapshot of the Accountancy Profession's Contribution (Report) that discusses the role of the accountancy profession in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Goals) developed and adopted by the United Nations (UN) at a summit in New York in 2015 and that became effective in January 2016.

IASB Publishes Its Work Plan 2017-2021 Feedback Statement on the 2015 Agenda Consultation 

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published conclusions from its 2015 Agenda Consultation on its Work Plan for 2017 to 2021. Responses from stakeholders called for more timely action on completing the Conceptual Framework and outstanding standards, including the revised International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 4, Insurance Contracts. These items, expected to be completed in 2017, will be the IASB’s top priorities.

FASB Proposes Clarifications to Determining the Customer in Service Concession Arrangements

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Service Concession Arrangements (Topic 853) Determining the Customer of the Operation Services. Comments are due by 6 January 2017.

FASB Amends the Accounting for Intra-Entity Transfers of Assets 

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-16, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Intra-Entity Transfers of Assets Other Than Inventory. 

IFRS Foundation and European Securities and Markets Authority to Co-operate on IFRS in the European Union 

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation have entered into an updated set of protocols, IFRS Foundation and ESMA statement of protocols for co-operation on International Financial Reporting Standards (Revised) (Statement of Protocols). Under the Statement of Protocols, ESMA and the IFRS Foundation will co-operate more closely on the development of IFRS by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and in support of the consistent application of IFRS across the European Union.

IFAC Forms Joint Venture to Build Strong Information Technology Infrastructures for Emerging Professional Accountancy Organisations in Africa

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has announced a joint venture between IFAC, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to develop guidance on building strong information and communications technology systems for professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) in Africa.

EFRAG Report Shows Increase in Goodwill Impairment Across Europe

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has published the report, What Do We Really Know About Goodwill and Impairment? A Quantitative Study (Report), evaluating the evolution of accounting for goodwill and goodwill impairment in Europe. Although EFRAG has not requested answers to specific questions, it is requested that constituents provide comments on the report by 31 December 2016.

IOSCO Reports on Frameworks to Strengthen Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published its Report on Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets (Report), which identifies possible regulatory approaches to strengthen corporate governance in emerging market jurisdictions and align such regulatory frameworks with internationally recognised standards. 

India and Cyprus Revise Tax Treaty

On 18 November, India and Cyprus signed an agreement to revise their double tax agreement.

Switzerland Agree Automatic Tax Info Exchange with Three States

Switzerland has agreed to automatically exchange tax information with Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay.

Large US Firms Seek IRS Reassurances On CbC Reporting

The Large Business and International (LB&I) Subgroup advisory panel to the Internal Revenue Service is calling for actions to ensure the confidentiality of tax-related information reported under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) country-by-country (CbC) reporting framework.

Australian Firms Urge Corporate Tax Cut

Jennifer Westacott, the Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, has warned that Australia risks being left behind in the global race for investment if it retains its high company tax rate.

Trump Confirms US Withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership

President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that, during his first day in office, he will withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty.

UN Double Tax Treaty May Soon Include LOB Article

The United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters is to discuss potential amendments to the UN Model Tax Convention (UN MTC), building on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's work on base erosion and profit shifting.

Hungary Plans EU's Lowest Corporate Tax

Hungary's Minister for National Economy, Mihaly Varga, has announced the Government's decision to slash corporate tax to below 10% from next year.

Analysis and Commentary: A Triumvirate of Tax Reformers

Anybody who has followed tax legislative developments (or the lack of them) at federal level in the United States would tell you that tax reform was looking like an increasingly unobtainable goal in the final years of President Obama's term, with Congress riven by partisan disagreement. The result of the 8 November election, however, promises to change the landscape dramatically.

India and US Resolve 100 Mutual Agreement Procedure Cases

India and the US have confirmed they have now resolved over 100 international tax disputes involving INR50bn (US$736m) under the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) framework.

Brady Says US Tax Reform Will Be Revenue-Neutral

House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady has indicated that the US tax reform that he expects to propose early in 2017 will "break even", on a dynamic scoring basis, which accounts for additional revenue from increased economic growth.

US Discusses Apple Ruling Response with Irish Finance Minster

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has told Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan of his concern that the European Commission is retroactively applying "a sweeping new state aid theory".

IRS Guides on Payroll Taxes or Residents Abroad

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released two new International Practice Units (IPUs) on payroll taxes payable by US citizens and resident aliens working abroad for a US employer, and on the requirement for the payment of those taxes by similar individuals who are self-employed.

ATO Hails Court Win Over Companies' Tax Residence

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has welcomed a High Court ruling against arrangements that it had said were simply intended to circumvent Australian tax.

Moscovici: EU Spearheading Tax 'Revolution'

Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici says the European Commission has achieved something of a "tax transparency revolution" in its fight against tax avoidance and evasion.

Brady Planning 'Big, Bold' US Tax Reform Under Trump

Although President-elect Donald Trump's new transition website contains, to date, only a general statement on tax reform, House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R – Texas) said ambitious reform is planned.

ACCA Calls for Calm on UK BEPS Response

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, the head of taxation at the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), has said the UK should follow the crowd in its response to base erosion and profit shifting, rather than leading the crowd, following the Brexit vote.

Ibec Calls for Irish Government Action on Brexit Risks

Irish business group Ibec has called on the Government to introduce a comprehensive package of new measures to "head off the worst consequences of Brexit and increased global uncertainty."

Draft legislation released to impose GST on imports of low value goods into Australia

The Australian Government has released exposure draft legislation to give effect to the announcement in the 2016-17 Federal Budget to extend the goods and services tax (GST) to offshore supplies of goods valued at AU$1,000 (US$750) or less where the goods are imported by Australian consumers.

Isle of Man Legislates for Central Beneficial Ownership Database

The Isle of Man Treasury has launched a consultation on a Bill that would introduce a central database of beneficial ownership by 30 June 2017.

Australia Hails 2016 Tax Filing Figures

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has said that "tax time" 2016 saw the highest ever levels of online filing.

UK Firms Seeking Irish Commercial Property After Brexit Vote

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland's (SCSI's) latest commercial property survey shows a 30% rise in inquiries from firms looking from relocate from the UK following June's Brexit vote.

Ireland Appeals Apple Ruling

Ireland has appealed the European Commission's US$14.5 billion ruling against Apple. In August, following an in-depth state aid investigation launched in June 2014, the Commission concluded that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple have substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991. ''This selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it gives Apple a significant advantage over other businesses that are subject to the same national taxation rules,'' it contended.

Irish Economy to Receive Brexit Blow

The UK's exit from the European Union will have a "severe" impact on the Irish economy, according to modelling published by the Irish Finance Department.

UK and Colombia in Double Tax Deal

The UK and Colombia signed a double tax agreement (DTA) on 2 November, which is intended to support trade and investment by capping withholding tax on cross-border income.

Complex Four-Rate Goods and Services Tax for India

India's GST Council, formed of representatives from both the central Government and the states, has agreed that goods and services tax should be introduced with four rates.

Singapore Adds to Transfer Pricing Requirements 

On 3 November 2016, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) released details of a new form that certain companies will be required to file from the 2018 assessment year to report their related-party transactions.

Update to UK Code of Conduct for Tax Professionals

The leading UK accountancy and tax bodies in the UK have released updated guidance on the standards expected of tax advisers and agents.

Ireland Eases Rules for Royalty Tax Withholding Waiver

Companies eligible for the waiver from the requirement to withhold tax upon the payment of a royalty to a non-resident company will no longer have to receive advance clearance from the Irish Revenue.

UK Urged to Bolster HNWI Tax Compliance Work

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) raised a record £416m from its compliance work focused on high net worth individuals in 2015-16, says a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) on the work of its specialist unit for these taxpayers.

Kuwait to Introduce VAT from 2018

Kuwait will join Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in applying a value-added tax from 2018, local reports of a recent conference confirmed.

Apple Sees Additional EU Tax as US Creditable

Apple Inc. has stated that it expects to be able to offset against US taxation any additional corporate tax it may pay due to the European Commission's (EC's) state aid claim.

Moscovici Calls for Irish Support for CCCTB Proposal

European Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has said he hopes there can be a "serene, constructive" discussion with the Irish Government on proposals for the relaunch of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) initiative.

MEPs Back EU CCCTB Relaunch

Members of the European Parliament (MEP) welcomed the European Commission's proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) in a recent debate with Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

Swiss Government Makes Case for Corporate Tax Reform

The Swiss Federal Council has announced its support for the proposed changes to Switzerland's corporate tax framework, known as Corporate Tax Reform III (CTR III), ahead of a referendum on the issue due to take place early next year.

FASB Proposes Additional Revenue Recognition Corrections

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Technical Corrections and Improvements to Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Additional Corrections.

FASB Releases Proposal on Hedging Activities

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued for public comment a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities. This proposed ASU would make directed improvements to the accounting guidance for hedging activities. Comments are due by 22 November 2016.

IASB Issues Amendments to IFRS 4

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued ‘Applying IFRS 9 Financial Instruments with IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts’ to amend International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 4, Insurance Contracts. The amendments provide entities with options for dealing with potential issues that might arise from implementing IFRS 9, before they are able to implement the final IFRS on accounting for insurance contracts. The new insurance Standard, which will replace IFRS 4, will have a different effective date to IFRS 9, this may give rise to a temporary volatility in reported results.

IFAC Report Discusses the Role of Accountants in Global Economic Growth 

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a report, The Role of SMPs in Providing Business Support to SMEs: New Evidence (Report), highlighting the accountancy profession’s role in serving small and medium-sized entities (SMEs). The Report states that accountants working in small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) remain the most trusted advisors for SMEs, notes that SMEs power the global economy and also states that the accountancy profession has a significant role in the activities of SMEs.

FASB Proposes Changes for Long-Duration Contracts Issued by Insurance Companies

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Financial Services - Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts. The comment deadline is 15 December 2016.

IAESB Publishes Guidance on Professional Entry Requirements

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has published Implementation Support Materials to assist in implementing the revised International Education Standard (IES) 1, Entry Requirements to Professional Accounting Education Programs (2014).

EU Relaunches Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base Plan

On 25 October the European Commission released its proposals for the relaunch of its common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) initiative and announced two other corporate tax reform measures – on hybrid mismatches and dispute resolution.

Five More Countries Sign Country-by-Country Reporting Multilateral Deal

A further five countries have signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for the automatic exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports, bringing the total number of signatories to 49.

UK's Making Tax Digital Initiative Burdensome: ATT Survey

Just 10% of accountants in a recent survey said that the UK tax agency's Making Tax Digital (MTD) reforms will result in cost savings.

European Commission to Move Forward with Common Tax Base Proposals

The European Commission will publish its proposal for a Common Corporate Tax Base next week. It is expected to include a proposal to adopt a uniform tax base in all member states for companies with a total group revenue of over €750m (US$822.98m).

Schumer has International Tax Reform Plans for 2017

Charles Schumer (D – New York), who would probably be Majority Leader if Democrats become the largest party in the Senate after the upcoming US elections, has said that international tax reform would be one of his priorities in 2017.

US Treasury Issues Revised Debt-Equity Rules

On 13 October, the US Department of Treasury released final Section 385 anti-earnings stripping debt-equity regulations that are intended to reduce the benefits of corporate tax inversions.

UK Tax Advisers Concerned About New HMRC Powers

Tax experts are warning that UK government proposals to penalise ‘enablers’ of tax avoidance schemes are too widely drawn and could result in some taxpayers and businesses being unable to get expert advice on complicated and often unclear areas.

Analysis and Commentary: Ireland at the Crossroads

For a number of reasons – many tax-related – Ireland is at a critical juncture in its recent economic history.

ESMA Publishes Extract of Decisions on IFRS Financial Statements

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an extract of enforcement decisions on financial statements prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). 

EU to Replace Audit Oversight Body

The European Commission has established the Committee of European Auditing Oversight Bodies (CEAOB) under the European Union’s (EU’s) Audit Regulation and Directive (Directive) to serve as the EU’s audit oversight body. The CEAOB replaces the European Group of Auditors’ Oversight Bodies (EGAOB). 

IOSCO and CPMI Publish Report on the Financial Risk Management and Recovery Practices of CCPs and Consults on Further Guidance

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) have published the report, Implementation monitoring of PFMI – Level 3 assessment – Report on the financial risk management and recovery practices of 10 derivatives CCPs (CCP Report) and the consultative report, Resilience and recovery of central counterparties (CCPs): Further guidance on the PFMI (Consultative Report).

PCAOB Enters into Co-operative Agreement with German Oversight Authority

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has announced that it has entered into a co-operative arrangement with the new German Auditor Oversight Body (AOB). The agreement permits co-operation in the oversight of audit firms subject to the regulatory jurisdictions of both regulators.

IIRC Appoints Next CEO

The Board of Directors of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), has announced the appointment of Richard Howitt, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), as its next CEO. Mr Howitt will step down from his role as an MEP to succeed outgoing CEO Paul Druckman on 1 November 2016.

European Commission Publishes Report on 2015 Activities of IFRS Foundation 

The European Commission (Commission) has published the report, Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Activities of the IFRS Foundation, EFRAG and PIOB in 2015 (Report). The Commission issued the Report to the European Parliament (Parliament) and the Council of the European Union (Council) in accordance with the requirements of a regulation of the European Union (EU) which came into force in April 2014. The regulation also extended the EU programme to support the activities of the IFRS Foundation, European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) in the field of financial reporting and auditing for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020. 

ESMA Consults on Trading Obligation for Derivatives

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the Discussion Paper, The Trading Obligation for Derivatives under MiFIR (Discussion Paper).The comment deadline is 21 November 2016. 

FASB Issues Proposal to Change the Premium Amortisation of Purchased Callable Debt Securities

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update, Receivables - Nonrefundable Fees and Other Costs (Subtopic 310-20): Premium Amortization on Purchased Callable Debt Securities. The proposed amendments would affect entities that purchase callable debt securities at a premium. Comments are due by 28 November 2016.

EU's Vestager: No Problem with Irish CIT Rate

"We have no problem with the 12.5% corporate tax rate in Ireland", the EU's Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has said.

Singapore Issues Guidance on Country-by-Country Reporting

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has published detailed guidance on the implementation of a new country-by-country (CbC) reporting requirement in the territory.

Norway to Cut Corporate Income Tax

The Norwegian Government plans to cut corporate income tax and increase the tax contribution of the finance industry as part of its 2017 Budget.

Costa Rica Ups Transfer Pricing Requirements

Costa Rica has published new transfer pricing documentation requirements effective from the 2015 fiscal year.

Ireland Steadfast on Apple Ruling

By appealing against the European Commission's (the Commission) decision that Ireland provided selective tax treatment to Apple, the Government "is taking the necessary course of action to vigorously defend the Irish position," Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

Analysis and Commentary: Vexed About Brexit and VAT

The upheavals to the global economic and political order that many thought would be brought about by the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union appear not to have materialised. Indeed, for the most part, it seems as though it's business as usual. However, it is undeniable that taxpayers with interests in the UK are still facing massive uncertainty, and no more so than in the area of value-added tax.

IOSCO Consults on Liquidity in Corporate Bond Markets 

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) sought public comment on its consultation report, Examination of Liquidity of the Secondary Corporate Bond Markets (Consultation Report). IOSCO undertook this work in response to the concerns of some market participants. The comment deadline closed on 30 September 2016.

Vestager: State Aid Rules Enforce Equal Opportunities

The European Union's (EU's) state aid rules do not prevent governments from applying a low tax rate to every company, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said.

IPSASB Publishes Amendments on Impairment of Revalued Assets 

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published Impairment of Revalued Assets (Amendments to International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) 21, Impairment of Non-Cash-Generating Assets, and IPSAS 26, Impairment of Cash-Generating Assets). The effective date of these amendments is 1 January 2018.

IPSASB Publishes Revised Employee Benefits Standard 

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) 39, Employee Benefits. IPSAS 39 will replace the existing standard, IPSAS 25, Employee Benefits, effective 1 January 2018. The IPSASB encourages users to early adopt IPSAS 39.

IPSASB Consults on Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published the Consultation Paper, Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments (Consultation Paper). Comments are due by 31 December 2016.  

UK Issues Apprenticeship Levy Regulations

Draft regulations that cover how employers will calculate, report, and pay their Apprenticeship Levy liability have been issued by the UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs, for consultation.

EU to Create List of Non-Co-operative Tax Jurisdictions

The European Commission has confirmed plans to draw up a pan-EU list of non-co-operative tax jurisdictions.

No Breakthrough in US-Vestager State Aid Talks

Meetings in Washington between leading US tax-writing lawmakers and European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager have found no common ground regarding the European Commission's intention to proceed with its state aid investigations against American multinationals.

Netherlands Announces Tax Plan

The Dutch Government has announced that it is to take steps to simplify aspects of the tax regime and the administration of taxes.

Irish Stock Exchange Calls for Business Friendly Tax Reforms

The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) has called on the Government to reform the tax system to encourage businesses to expand.

Vestager Defends EC Apple Tax Ruling

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said that the recent ruling that Apple received selective tax treatment from the Irish authorities is "about restoring fair competition".

Ireland to Keep Tabs on Existing Tax Rulings

The Irish Government has proposed that the tax agency will undertake a full review of tax rulings every five years.

Hammond: UK Must Remain Competitive Post-Brexit

The UK "is open for business and is committed to building strong trade and investment ties with key partners beyond the EU, including [with] China and the US," Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

Australia Singles Out Multinational Profit Shifting Arrangements

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published two new taxpayer alerts that warn against international profit shifting by multinational companies.

Time for 'Fair Tax' From Multinationals: Dijsselbloem

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told multinational companies to “get ready" to pay their taxes "in a fair way."

Analysis and Commentary: Common Cause or Common Folly?

The common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) may have had more launches than the Apollo space program, but the European Commission (the Commission) is determined that corporate tax base rules across the EU should be harmonised, and the controversy over Apple's tax affairs in Ireland has provided it with an opportunity to push the idea once more.

Slovenia to Hike Corporate Income Tax

Slovenia will increase corporate tax by 2% and reduce personal income tax for middle-income taxpayers in 2017, the Government has announced. 

OECD Pushes for More Certainty in International Tax Rules

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurría has stressed the need for policy makers to provide a certain tax environment for businesses, to maintain trade and investment.

UK Non-Dom Tax Rule Change Could Prompt Exodus

The UK Government could lose substantial tax revenue if its proposed new rules for non-doms prompt too many wealthy individuals to leave the country, international law firm Pinsent Masons has warned.

EU State Aid Probe Should Trigger US Tax Code Reform

In an op-ed published on 13 September in The Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has suggested that the European Union's state aid investigations should provide impetus for the US Congress to act on business tax reform in the United States.

Further UK Corporate Tax Cut Off the Cards

The UK's new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has hinted that he will abandon his predecessor George Osborne's plan to cut corporation tax to below 15%.

Singapore Tax Official Sets Out BEPS Response

Singapore is to take a three-pronged approach to implementing the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations, Singapore's Senior Minister for Law and Finance, Indranee Rajah, has said.

Irish Parliament Backs Apple Ruling Appeal

The Irish Parliament has backed a government motion in favour of an appeal against the European Commission's decision that tax rulings given to Apple constituted illegal state aid.

IAASB Consults on Work Plan for 2017-2018

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has issued the survey consultation document, The IAASB’s Work Plan for 2017‒2018 and Continuing Relevance of Its Strategic Objectives (Survey). Survey comments are due by 30 September 2016.

IAASB Publishes Working Group Paper on Emerging Forms of External Reporting

The Integrated Reporting Working Group (Working Group) of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has published the discussion paper, Supporting Credibility and Trust in Emerging Forms of External Reporting: Ten Key Challenges for Assurance Engagements (Discussion Paper). Comments on the Discussion Paper are due by 15 December 2016.

ESMA Finalises Standards on Sanctions and Measures under the Market Abuse Regulation

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued its final implementing technical standards (ITS) under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), the Final Report, Draft Implementing Technical Standards on sanctions and measures under Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 on market abuse.

IFAC Publishes Recommendations to G20 on Restoring Trust and Increasing Transparency 

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a set of recommendations it made to the G20 in advance of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in China on 4 – 5 September 2016. The recommendations, Trust and Integrity: The Accountancy Profession’s Call for Action by the G20 (Recommendations) focus on creating sustainable, inclusive growth to benefit both organisations and individuals.

Analysis and Commentary: Share and Share Alike

Just when the world's tax authorities were starting to get to grips with taxing the nebulous world of the digital economy, a new evolution has taken place to confound the taxman once more: the sharing economy.

EU Looks for Corporate Tax Harmonisation: Report

The Slovak Presidency of the European Union (EU) is to recommend that European tax rules be more harmonised, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

Businesses Fear Breakdown in BEPS Consensus

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has expressed concern about the possible broader implications of the European Commission's (EC's) ruling against Apple.

Indian States Approve GST Legislation

India's proposed goods and services tax is one step closer to introduction, with the completion of ratification procedures by more than half of India's states.

Israeli Court Issues FATCA Injunction

The Supreme Court of Israel recently issued an interim order preventing the Israeli Government from transferring personal financial data to the US Internal Revenue Service under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

UK Opens Door to Public Country-by-Country Reporting

The UK Government has accepted an amendment to the Finance Bill to allow the Treasury to propose that multinationals publish their country-by-country reports in the future.

UK Pursuing New Free Trade Deal Network

The UK's Prime Minister, Theresa May, will use the G20 summit to hold exploratory talks with a number of countries on the possibility of new, post-Brexit bilateral free trade agreements.

Irish Revenue Reacts to Commission's Apple Ruling

The Irish Revenue has issued a statement in response to the European Commission's conclusions in its investigation into a tax ruling handed by the Irish Government to technology giant Apple.

Apple Tax Ruling Prompts Bipartisan Criticism in US

The European Commission (the Commission) ruling requiring Ireland to recover €13bn (US$14.5bn) in supposedly illegal tax breaks from Apple has been condemned by members of both parties in the United States Congress.

India's Explains GST Administrative Procedures

The Indian Government has released answers to frequently asked questions about the new goods and services tax regime, discussing the administrative requirements that are likely to accompany the levy.

Geneva to Slash Corporate Tax Rate

Swiss canton Geneva has announced plans to gradually reduce its headline corporate tax rate from 24.2% to 13.49%.

Apple Responds to Irish Tax Rulings Decision

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the European Commission's ruling, outlawing its corporate tax arrangements in Ireland for a 10-year period, "has no basis in fact or in law" and will be appealed by the company.

Apple's Irish Tax Ruling Outlawed

The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13bn (US$14.5bn) to Apple.

Ireland to Appeal European Commission's Apple Tax Ruling Decision

Ireland's Department of Finance has responded to the European Commission's conclusions of its investigation into a tax ruling handed by the Irish Government to technology giant Apple, stating that the full amount of tax was paid in this case and that no state aid was provided.

UK MPs: OECD BEPS Project 'A Sticking Plaster'

New international rules to tackle global tax avoidance will not work properly until tax secrecy is eradicated, says a report released by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Responsible Tax.

CIOT Worried Over UK Interest Deductibility Changes 

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has called on the UK Government to delay by two years the introduction of proposed changes to tax relief for corporate interest expense.

City of London Seeks Continued Access to EU Single Market

Lobby group TheCityUK has called for the UK's financial and related professional services (FRPS) to retain access to the European Union's (EU's) single market post-Brexit.

India's Upper House Finally Agrees to Goods and Services Tax

India's upper house of Parliament has finally endorsed legislation to introduce a goods and services tax in India.

SEC Proposes Rule Amendments to Update Disclosure Requirements

On 13 July 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued proposed amendments to address redundant, duplicative, overlapping, outdated, or superseded disclosure requirements. The SEC believes that the proposed amendments are necessary in view of changes to SEC disclosure requirements and amendments to requirements in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP).

SEC Approves PCAOB Amendments to Rules Relating to Inspections

On 11 July 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments adopted by the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to PCAOB Rule 4003, Frequency of Inspections, which addresses the frequency with which the PCAOB will conduct inspections of different categories of registered public accounting firms.

ESMA Advises on Extension of Funds ‘Passport’ to Non-EU Nations

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Final Advice on AIFMD Passport (Advice) which relates to the possible application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) ‘passport’ to non-EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) in 12 countries outside the European Union (EU).

European Commission Proposes Amendments to Regulations to Support Investment in Capital Ventures and Social Enterprises 

The European Commission (Commission) has proposed amendments to the European Union’s (EU) European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA) and the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) regulations.   

IFAC Releases Research Report Showing Positive Correlation between Business Performance and Use of Accountants

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published the research report, The Relationship between Accountancy Expertise and Business Performance: A Review of the Literature (Report). The Report discusses the role of accountants in private practice and industry and their impact on business performance.

IFAC Publishes Online Profiles of Member Organisations 

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published on its website comprehensive profiles of 62 of its member organisations and the 48 jurisdictions in which these organisations operate.

IESBA Publishes New Standard on Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations 

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has issued a new standard, Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations. The new standard provides a framework to guide professional accountants on the actions to take when becoming aware of potential illegal acts, including non-compliance with laws and regulations, committed by a client or employer. The new standard will be effective from 15 July 2017, with early adoption permitted.

Spain to Raise Corporate Tax

The Spanish Government has outlined plans to increase company tax as it battles to keeps its budget deficit in check.

Ireland Sizes Up Impact of Brexit

"While Ireland's future lies within the European Union (EU), we will work to maintain our excellent bilateral relationship with the UK," Eoghan Murphy, Ireland's Minister of State for Financial Services, has said.

Luxembourg Asked to Respond to McDonald's Ruling Findings

The European Commission is seeking Luxembourg's input regarding its preliminary view that the tax ruling it issued on 17 September 2009, to McDonald's Europe granted state aid that gave the company a selective advantage.

Italians in Northern Italy Pay 'Twice' as Much Tax

Taxpayers in the north of Italy each pay €10,229 (US$11,330) annually, while those in the south (the Mezzogiorno) pay only €5,841, according to CGIA of Mestre, the association of sole traders and small businesses.

Germany Adopts Law on County-by-Country Reporting and Tax Rulings

The German Federal Cabinet has adopted a bill to implement key aspects of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations and the European Union's administrative cooperation directive.

Brady and Hatch Introduce US-UK FTA Resolution

The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Kevin Brady (R – Texas), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R – Utah) have introduced a resolution into the US Congress expressing strong support for discussions on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Analysis and Commentary: BEPS: How the Other Half Live

All those with a stake in the ongoing international tax reforms agree that for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project to be effective, it must be implemented consistently in as many jurisdictions as possible – including in developing nations.

IAASB Publishes Overview on Determining Key Audit Matters

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has added a new document to its Auditor Reporting Toolkit. The document, Determining and Communicating Key Audit Matters (KAM Overview), was developed by the IAASB’s Auditor Reporting Implementation Working Group.

Analysis and Commentary: Gibraltar - Rock-Solid No More?

The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union – Brexit – will be an event that not only affects the UK itself and the European Union, but also several largeThe United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union – Brexit – will be an event that not only affects the UK itself and the European Union, but also several largely self-governing territories which remain constitutionally linked to Great Britain. Many of these are important financial centres, and most have been weighing up the potential impact of Brexit on their finance industries. However, the EU referendum result is giving one of them particular cause for concern: Gibraltar.

MEPs Support Tough New Anti-Avoidance Regime 

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have backed proposals for a package of anti-avoidance measures that includes a tax haven blacklist, sanctions against ‘unco-operative jurisdictions’, and an EU-wide withholding tax.

OECD Seeks Input on Permanent Establishments Profit Attribution and Profit Splits 

On 4 July 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released for stakeholders' comments two discussion drafts as part of its work under the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

IASB Issues Amendments to IFRS 2 Share-based Payment 

On 20 June 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released Classification and Measurement of Share-based Payment Transactions (Amendments to IFRS 2). The release includes narrow-scope amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 2, Share-based Payment, and clarifies the accounting for certain types of share-based Payment transactions.

FASB Issues Amendments on Accounting for Credit Losses on Financial Instruments

On 16 June 2016, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments — Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. ASU 2016-13 addresses the recognition and measurement of credit losses on loans and other financial instruments and generally requires timelier recording of credit losses. It also and requires additional disclosures.

EU Audit Reform Rules Take Effect   

The new rules in the European Union (EU) on statutory audit became effective throughout the EU on 17 June 2016. These rules consist of an amended Directive setting out the framework for all statutory audits, and a Regulation setting out specific requirements for statutory audits of public-interest entities (PIEs), such as listed companies, banks and insurance undertakings.

EU Agrees on Framework for Conflict Minerals Due Diligence

The European Parliament (Parliament), European Commission (Commission) and the Council of the European Union (Council) have reached a negotiated political agreement on a framework to stop the financing of armed groups through trade in conflict minerals. The EU approach builds on the Due Diligence Guidance of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for responsible mineral sourcing.

European Commission Announces New Anti-Avoidance Measures

In response to the publication of the Panama Papers, the European Commission has proposed new measures to improve transparency and better facilitate the exchange of information between tax authorities.

IASB Proposes Narrow-Scope Amendments to IFRS 3 and IFRS 11

On 28 June 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published for public comment the Exposure Draft, Definition of a Business and Accounting for Previously Held Interests – Proposed amendments to IFRS 3 and IFRS 11 (Exposure Draft). The comment deadline is 31 October 2016.

Crown Dependencies Unite in 'Brexit' Letter To UK

The Chief Ministers of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man have jointly written to the United Kingdom's Prime Minister seeking assurances that the islands will be consulted upon in any negotiations concerning the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

Guernsey Joins OECD BEPS Project

Guernsey has accepted an invitation by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to join the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative as an associate member.

Osborne Mulls Corporation Tax Cut

UK Chancellor George Osborne has said that he will cut the corporation tax rate to less than 15% in an effort to build a “super competitive economy” in the wake of last month's Brexit vote.

Brexit Could Bring Sweeping Changes to UK Tax System

23 June 2016, whether for good or for ill, will go down in history as the day on which the European Union became less united, setting in train an as-yet-uncertain, although widely speculated upon, sequence of events.

Brexit Analysis and Commentary: Keep Calm and Carry On

So seismic was the United Kingdom's vote for ‘Brexit’ that the tremors were felt on the other side of the planet, where Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently fielded questions on its implications for Australia's trade. However, the message coming out of numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street, as well as other key organs of the UK state, is that there is no need for panic. Yet.

CIOT Warns Against Rush to Post-Brexit 'Tax Freedom'

The UK will have more options to vary its tax system once it exits the European Union (EU), "but it is far from clear whether government would, or should, take them up", John Cullinane, Tax Policy Director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), has said.

Countries Gear Up For Key BEPS Meeting

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Committee on Fiscal Affairs will hold its first meeting under its new inclusive framework for non-OECD and non-G20 territories to discuss the next step on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

Crown Dependencies React to Brexit Result

In the wake of the UK's European Union (EU) referendum Guernsey and Jersey have said that while there will be a period of uncertainty, they are well placed to weather the effects of this change.

HMRC on Brexit: Nothing Has Changed in Short Term

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said that "everything is continuing as normal" in the wake of the UK's 23 June vote to leave the European Union (EU).

International Chamber of Commerce Challenges EU's BEPS 'Overreach'

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has underscored the need for an alignment of international tax rules, following a compromise agreement reached by EU member states on the European Commission's anti-tax avoidance directive.

MEPs Call For Swift Brexit

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called on the UK Government to activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to allow European Union (EU) withdrawal negotiations to start as soon as possible.

New Zealand Sets Out Limited BEPS Response

The New Zealand tax system is already quite robust by international standards, the Government says, adding that a few of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations do not require a response.

OECD Releases Guidance on Country By Country Reporting

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published detailed guidance on the implementation of the country by country (CbC) reporting requirement proposed under Action 13 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

US and South Korea Open to Bilateral UK Free Trade Deals

The Chairman of the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady, and the South Korean Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se, have said their countries are open to agreeing bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United Kingdom if it decouples from the European Union (EU).

US Issues Final Country by Country Reporting Regulations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued final regulations on Country by Country Reporting (TD 9773). The regulations require that annual country by country reporting will be done by United States persons that are the ultimate parent entity of a multinational enterprise group (MNE group) that have an annual turnover for the preceding accounting period of US$850m or more.

IOSCO Outlines Priorities on Data Gaps in Asset Management Industry

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has issued the public statement, Statement on IOSCO´s Priorities Regarding Data Gaps in the Asset Management Industry (Statement). IOSCO believes that regulators need to do more to enhance the data collected in the asset management industry to eliminate data gaps in this industry that lead to risks that could be better monitored and controlled. To that end, IOSCO has been analysing what types of data needs should be prioritised.

IFRS Foundation Revises Due Process Handbook to Include Taxonomy

The Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) Foundation have updated the Due Process Handbook to include an enhanced due process for the development and maintenance of the IFRS Taxonomy. The updated process gives the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) a role in the review and approval of IFRS Taxonomy content.

EU Reaches Agreement on Anti-Avoidance Package

European Union (EU) member states have reached a compromise agreement on a proposed new anti-tax avoidance directive.

COREPER Agrees to European Commission Proposal on Prospectus Reform 

The Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) of the Council of the European Union (Council) has agreed, on behalf of the Council, to a proposal by the European Commission (Commission) to overhaul the European Union’s (EU’s) Prospectus Directive.

Ireland's 12.5% Corporate Tax Rate Key for Investors

A one percentage point increase in Ireland's statutory corporate tax rate would reduce its chance of being chosen as a location for new non-EU foreign direct investment (FDI) projects by 4.6%, according to research by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

EC Publishes Decision on Fiat's Tax Rulings Inquiry

On 6 June 2016, the European Commission published the non-confidential version of its decision that selective tax advantages for Fiat Finance and Trade (FFT) in Luxembourg are illegal under EU state aid rules.

BEPS Takes Centre Stage at US OECD Tax Conference

Hundreds of policymakers, business executives, and senior tax officials met at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Tax Conference to discuss the recommendations proposed under the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project and their impact on trade and investment.

Paper Recommends Strong African BEPS Response

The International Center for Tax and Development has released a working paper that considers Africa's response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

India Releases Draft Goods and Services Tax Law

On 14 June 2016, the Indian Finance Ministry released for stakeholders' comments a draft law to introduce goods and service tax (GST) in the country.

OECD Backs US International Tax Reform Efforts

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has, in its recent economic survey of the United States, welcomed steps taken by the Government to reform the country's international tax system.

US SEC to Permit Voluntary Filing Using Inline XBRL

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an order on 13 June 2016 under which companies will be allowed to file structured financial statement data in a format known as ‘Inline XBRL’ (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). Use of Inline XBRL will be voluntary. 

AICPA and NASBA Issue Exposure Draft on Recognising Foreign Designations Equivalent to CPA Licensure

The US American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) have issued for public comment their exposure draft, Proposed Amendments to UAA Section 6 Recognition of Foreign Professionals and UAA Model Rules Article 5 Changes for Examination. The comment deadline is 1 September 2016.

IFRS Foundation Proposes Amendments to its Constitution rights reserved

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation Trustees have concluded their 2015 Review of Structure and Effectiveness (2015 Review) and have issued an exposure draft with amendments to the IFRS Foundation Constitution to implement changes based on the review. Comments on the exposure draft, Trustees’ Review of Structure and Effectiveness: Proposed Amendments to the IFRS Foundation Constitution, are due by 15 September 2016.

Hong Kong to Participate in BEPS Project as Associate

Hong Kong has accepted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) invitation to participate in the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project as an Associate alongside other nations, the Government said on 20 June.

Moscovici 'Determined' to Usher in Common Corporate Tax Base

Pierre Moscovici, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said he is determined to see through the introduction of a common consolidated corporate tax base in the European Union.

Analysis and Commentary USA Country-by-Country Reporting

The United States has been something of a reluctant participant in the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project thus far, at least in deed if not in word. The US is, however, forging ahead with one of BEPS's most important features – country-by-country (CbC) reporting. But while new CbC rules are going into place all over the world without much of a fight, this isn't quite the case in the US.

Uruguay to Hike Income Tax

Uruguay will increase personal income and social security taxes next year to keep its fiscal consolidation plans on track.

IOSCO Issues Statement on Disclosure of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has issued the final report, Statement on Non-GAAP Financial Measures (Statement). The Statement is intended to assist issuers in providing clear and useful disclosures in respect of financial measures other than those prescribed by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). IOSCO believes that the Statement will help reduce the risk of presenting non-GAAP measures in potentially misleading ways. IOSCO intends the Statement to apply to issuers preparing financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and to those preparing financial statements under other financial reporting frameworks.

IOSCO Reports on Audit Committee Oversight of Auditors

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published the document, Survey Report on Audit Committee Oversight of Auditors (Report), based on an IOSCO survey designed to identify audit committee practices that could improve audit quality at publicly listed entities.

IFRS Foundation and IOSCO Sign Protocol on Promotion of Transparency in Capital Markets through IFRS

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the IFRS Foundation have entered into a Statement of Protocols for Cooperation on International Financial Reporting Standards (Statement of Protocols) that describes their joint program to promote and facilitate transparency within capital markets through the development and consistent application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). 

IFIAR Publishes 2015 Annual Report

The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) has published its 2015 Annual Report & Accounts (2015 Annual Report). The 2015 Annual Report provides a summary of IFIAR’s operations, funding sources, significant objectives and its activities to accomplish those objectives.

European Commission Adopts Proposal to Incorporate ESA Regulations into the European Economic Area Agreement 

The European Commission (Commission) has adopted a proposal to extend financial supervision measures to the European Economic Area (EEA) European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).

ICC Warns On Countries' Disparate BEPS Responses

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has urged countries to seriously consider the broader implications of proposed base erosion and profit shifting measures on trade and investment.

France Seeks €356m in Back Tax From Booking.com

The French tax authorities are claiming that online hotel reservation site Booking.com owes €365m (US$400m) in unpaid income tax and value-added tax (VAT) following an audit of the company's tax affairs which began in 2013.

India Publishes Equalisation Levy Rules

India Publishes Equalisation Levy RulesOn 27 May 2016, India's Central Board of Direct Taxes released rules on the newly introduced equalisation levy on specified digital services.

India Releases Draft Tax Rules on Indirect Transfers

India's Central Board of Direct Taxes has published draft rules for the purpose of applying section 9 of the Income Tax Act, on the taxation of an indirect transfer of assets situated in India.

Oman Says VAT to be in Place From 2018

Oman is the latest Gulf Cooperation Council country to confirm that it will introduce a value-added tax (VAT) regime, starting from as early as 2018.

India Opens Consultation on General Anti-avoidance Rule

India's Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is inviting stakeholders' views on the implementation of India's new general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR).

IRS Publishes Individual Income Tax Statistics

In its Spring 2016 Statistics of Income Bulletin, the US Internal Revenue Service has released preliminary individual income tax data for the 2014 tax year (TY) showing that 148 million tax returns were filed, an increase of only 0.6% over the previous year.

OECD Launches Multilateral Instrument Consultation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is inviting stakeholders' comments on the development of a multilateral instrument to implement the tax treaty-related base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) measures.

UK Looking to Introduce Transfer Pricing Secondary Adjustment Rule

The UK Government is consulting stakeholders on whether a secondary adjustment rule should be introduced into the UK's transfer pricing legislation and how that rule would be designed.

EU Approves Directive on Country-by-Country Reporting

On 26 May 2016, the Council of the European Union approved a Directive on the Country-by-country (CbC) reporting of tax information by multinational corporations and automatic exchange of that information between EU tax authorities, which member states would be required to adopt.

HMRC Taskforces Raise More Than £500m

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) taskforces have recovered £540m (US$791.5m) in UK taxes since they were launched five years ago.

MEPs Call For Stricter Multinational Enterprise Tax Avoidance Rules

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have welcomed the Commission's Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, but called for stricter limits on deductions for interest payments and requiring member states to levy a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.

IAASB Issues Statement in Support of US PCAOB’s Efforts to Enhance the Auditor’s Report

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) issued a statement in support of the release by the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) of its re-proposed auditing standard, The Auditor's Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion. As reported in a previous International Regulate article the PCAOB’s reproposal, among other things, would require the auditor to report on critical audit matters. 

French Tax Officials Raid Google in Paris

Google's offices in Paris have been raided by more than 100 investigators on behalf of France's tax authority, reports said.

US Lawmakers Further Challenge EU's Tax Ruling Probe

Members of the US Senate Committee on Finance have called on the US Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, to continue aggressive engagement with the European Commission to ensure its ongoing tax ruling probe does not inappropriately target US multinationals.

VAT Experts Respond to EU VAT Action Plan

The European Union's VAT Expert Group has welcomed the European Commission's proposal for a definitive VAT regime in the EU based on the destination principle, which provides for taxation based on the location of the consumer.

TAXE2 Urges Further EU Action on Multinational Enterprise Tax, BEPS

The European Parliament's TAXE2 Committee has called on the European Commission to go further on tackling multinational tax avoidance.

Ireland Still Confident on Apple Ruling Legality

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said he remains confident that a tax ruling handed to technology giant Apple did not breach European Union state aid rules.

PCAOB Reproposes Standard to Enhance Auditor’s Report on Critical Audit Matters

On 11 May 2016, the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) published PCAOB Release No. 2016-003: Proposed Auditing Standard—The Auditor's Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion (2016 Proposal). The 2016 Proposal would enhance the auditor's report to make it more informative for investors by requiring auditors to provide information on critical audit matters. Comments are due by 15 August 2016.

IPSASB and US GASB Hold Inaugural Forum for Public Sector Standard Setters

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) and the US Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) held an inaugural session of a forum for public sector standard setters from around the world in Norwalk, Connecticut, US. The purpose of the forum was to ‘build a dialogue, exchange ideas, and discuss critical issues in standard setting’ for public sector bodies.

SEC Staff Publishes Guidance on Crowdfunding 

The staff in the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance (Corp Fin) has issued a Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI), Regulation Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is an evolving method of raising capital that has been used to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects. Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012 created a federal exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be used to offer and sell securities. 

SEC Staff Updates Guidance on Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The staff in the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance (Corp Fin) has issued a Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI), Non-GAAP Financial Measures.

European Commission Calls for Broader Irish Tax Base

The European Commission has said that the Irish Government should make further progress "towards making the tax system more efficient and growth-friendly".

US Urged to Oppose BEPS Project

A coalition of 20 tax advocacy organisations, led by US-based think tank Center for Freedom and Prosperity, has urged the Congress to oppose the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project, stating that the project is against the interest of US corporations.

Sweden Issues Tax Avoidance Action Plan

Sweden will appoint an inquiry to study whether tax advisers should be required to inform the Swedish Tax Agency about tax planning schemes as part of an action plan to combat tax avoidance, which also urges companies to maintain their own tax policies at board level.

New Zealand to Participate in Country-by-Country Report Sharing

New Zealand's Revenue Minister, Michael Woodhouse, has said that the recent signing of a multilateral agreement on the exchange of country-by-country reports will boost the country's tax collection capability.

Five Countries Agree to adopt New Tax Transparency Standard 

Bahrain, Lebanon, Nauru, Panama and Vanuatu - five territories that were earlier criticised for not following tax transparency standards – have newly committed to sharing financial account information automatically with other countries.

Country-by-Country Reporting Remains of Concern for US: Boustany

During a recent hearing on US tax reform, House of Representatives Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R – Louisiana) expressed his continuing concern regarding the operation of the proposed US Treasury regulations on country-by-country (CbC) reporting.

India Allowed to Appeal Landmark Vodafone Ruling

The Indian Supreme Court has admitted the Income Tax Department's appeal against the Bombay High Court's ruling delivered in favor of UK telecom giant Vodafone in a transfer pricing dispute worth INR85bn (US$1.27bn).

ESMA Proposes Amendments to Transaction Reporting Standards 

 

ESMA Proposes Amendments to MiFID II Standards on Non-equality Transparency and Position Limits

 

SEC Approves PCAOB Rules on Naming the Engagement Partner and Firms Participating in Public Company Audits

The new rules apply to audits of public companies, including emerging growth companies as defined by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. However, audits of broker-dealers are not covered by the new rules.

IFRS Foundation Publishes Update 1 to IFRS Taxonomy 2016 

The IFRS Taxonomy is intended for use by entities reporting in IFRS. By providing the IFRS Taxonomy, the IFRS Foundation seeks to address the demand for an electronic standard to transmit IFRS financial information

IFRS for SMEs Update – April 2016

On 3 May 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published the IFRS for SMEs Update (International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities) for April 2016 summarising news applicable to SMEs. 

FASB Issues Revenue Recognition Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients 

On 9 May 2016, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients. The ASU does not change the core revenue recognition principle in FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, but instead provides clarifying guidance in certain narrow areas and adds some practical expedients. 

Canada Signs International Country-by-Country Reporting Agreement 

Canada has signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on country-by-country (CbC MCAA) reporting. The first information exchanges are expected to take place in June 2018.

UK Announces New Beneficial Ownership Register

The UK Government has announced that foreign companies that own or wish to purchase property in the country will be required to publicly disclose who owns them.

Six More Countries Agree to Exchange Country-by-County Reports

On 12 May 2016, a further six countries signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for the automatic exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports, bringing the total number of signatories to 39.

Pakistan's Tax Base Expanding

More than a million tax returns were filed with Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the last financial year thanks to recent initiatives aimed at broadening the country's taxpayer base, Shaista Abbas, an FBR official, said.

Analysis and Commentary: FATCA a Fact of Life

As the latest legal challenge to the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is turned down, is there nothing that can now stop this tax compliance behemoth from spreading its tentacles around the world?

Australian Tax Board Reports on Potential Anti-Hybrid Rules

The Australian Board of Taxation has tabled a list of 17 recommendations on how best to implement anti-hybrid rules proposed under base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action 2.

Offshore Investment Has Dipped Slightly, Says UN

Offshore Investment Has Dipped Slightly, Says UNA recent United Nations (UN) report says that investment flows to offshore financial hubs have declined but remain high.

South Africa Planning Tax Evasion Crackdown

South Africa will look to anti-tax evasion efforts to achieve its 2016-17 fiscal year revenue target.

India to Levy Capital Gains Tax on Income From Unlisted Shares

On 2 May 2016, India's Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued an Order clarifying the tax rules surrounding income or loss arising from a transfer of unlisted shares.

Report Looks at Canada's Highest Tax Burdens

Quebec has the highest tax burden for both businesses and personal taxation in Canada, according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada.

Germany Raises Tax Revenue Forecast

The German Government has revised upwards its tax revenue forecasts for the short- and medium-term as a result of high employments rate and a strong economy.

Multilateral Tax Convention Effective in Singapore

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters became effective in Singapore on 1 May 2016.

Australia Confirms Diverted Profits Tax and Anti-avoidance Drive

On 3 May 2016, Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison presented the Turnbull Government's first federal budget, which contains several measures aimed at tackling multinational tax avoidance, including a new diverted profits tax (DPT).

IFIAR Members Agree on New Board Structure and to Establish Secretariat in Japan

The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) met in London in April 2016. At the meeting, the IFIAR members agreed to establish a permanent Secretariat in Tokyo, Japan, and approved the implementation of a new Board-led governing structure to take effect in April 2017.

European Council Approves San Marino Tax Agreement

The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved an agreement with San Marino on the automatic exchange of information on residents' financial accounts.

Offshore Financial Centres Join G5 Beneficial Ownership Initiative

Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man governments have agreed to support an initiative on the automatic exchange of beneficial ownership information spearheaded by the five largest economies in the European Union - the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain (the G5).

International Support for Beneficial Ownership Information Exchange

More than 20 jurisdictions have signed up to a pilot project to exchange data held on beneficial ownership registers and registers of trusts, according to UK Chancellor George Osborne.

MEPs Welcome Plans For Exchange of Corporate Tax Information

The European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has voted in favour of the Commission's proposal for the automatic exchange of country-by-country reports

ATO Issues Warnings on Profit Shifting Arrangements

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued four new ‘taxpayer alerts’ that warn taxpayers and their advisers about its concerns over emerging profit-shifting arrangements it intends to challenge.

Jersey Leading the Way on Beneficial Ownership Data Keeping

Jersey Finance has published an academic paper on the effectiveness of beneficial ownership central registries and the regulation of corporate service providers in combating financial crime.

OECD Warns of 'Brexit Tax' 

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned that if the UK votes to leave the European Union (EU) on 23 June it will be paying a ‘Brexit tax’ for years to come.

IPSASB Amends Standards on Applicability of IPSASs

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), on 21 April 2016, published a final Pronouncement, The Applicability of IPSASs, which amends International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), and a revised Preface to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (Preface). The amendments remove the definition in IPSAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, of Government Business Enterprises, (GBEs) from IPSASs and Recommended Practice Guidelines (RPGs) and include corresponding amendments to other IPSASs.

PCAOB Issues New Staff Audit Practice Alert on Alteration of Audit Documents

On 21 April 2016, the Staff of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) published Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 14, Improper Alteration of Audit Documentation (Alert). This Alert warns practitioners against improperly altering audit documentation in conjunction with a PCAOB inspection or investigation as well as advising the consequences of such alteration.

Tax Agencies to Recap on BEPS Implementation in May

The mid-May plenary of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Forum on Tax Administration will review members' progress on implementing the OECD's base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations and discuss next steps.

UK Overhauls Anti-Money Laundering Regime 

The UK Government has set out a three-point action plan to overhaul the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance regime.

IPSASB Publishes Improvements to Public Sector Standards

On 18 April 2016, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) published a final pronouncement, Improvements to IPSAS 2015 (2015 Improvements)

SEC Solicits Public Comment on Business and Financial Disclosure Requirements in Regulation S-K

On 15 April 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published the concept release, Business and Financial Disclosure Required by Regulation S-K (Concept Release). Comments are due no later than 90 days after publication of the Concept Release in the Federal Register. 

PCAOB Proposes to Strengthen Requirements for Supervision of Other Auditors 

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has issued the proposed release, Proposed Amendments Relating to the Supervision of Audits Involving Other Auditors and Proposed Auditing Standard—Dividing Responsibility for the Audit with Another Accounting Firm (Proposal). The purpose of the Proposal is to strengthen existing requirements and impose a more uniform approach to a lead auditor's supervision of other auditors. Comments are due by 29 July 2016.

Switzerland Consults on Spontaneous Exchange of Tax Information

The Swiss Federal Council has unveiled plans to revise the Tax Administrative Assistance Ordinance, which governs the spontaneous exchange of tax information.

US Expat Tax Filing Requirements too Complex

Over a third of US citizens living overseas are likely to have made a mistake on their tax return during the current tax season, or filed it later than the 18 April deadline, according to the deVere Group, a financial consultancy.

ICC Concerned About EC Proposals on Tax Data Disclosure

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has highlighted a number of potential concerns regarding new proposals from the European Commission that would require multinational companies to publicly disclose their earnings and tax bills in the European Union (EU).

European Parliament to Investigate Panama Papers

The European Parliament Conference of Presidents has unanimously backed a proposal for the creation of an inquiry committee to investigate the so-called Panama Papers.

Fiscal Deficits Have Worsened Worldwide, IMF Says

Governments need to adjust their fiscal policies to respond promptly to a weakening global economic recovery, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a recently released report.

UK Chancellor Issues Brexit Tax Warning

The amount of money the UK's public services would lose if the country left the European Union (EU) is "the equivalent of eight pence on the basic rate of income tax", Chancellor George Osborne has warned.

IASB Issues Clarifying Amendments to IFRS 15

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The amendments clarify some requirements and provide additional transitional relief for companies implementing IFRS 15. The amendments have the same effective date as IFRS 15, that is, 1 January 2018.

Five EU Countries Agree to Share Beneficial Ownership Data

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK have agreed to exchange data held on beneficial ownership registers and registers of trusts.

Concrete Actions Needed to Advance Global Tax Transparency: OECD

The international community should call time on those territories that have yet to implement internationally agreed tax transparency standards, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, said in a new report to the G20.

Two-thirds of US Corporations Pay No Federal Income Tax

Asked by Congress to assess the extent to which US corporations pay federal income tax, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that, in each year from 2006 to 2012, at least two-thirds of all active corporations had no corporate tax liability.

Analysis and Commentary: Offshore No More?

‘Tax havens’ have probably existed in one form or another since monarchs, presidents and prime ministers needed to replenish their overspent coffers by taxing their subjects and citizens. However, could the wave of measures announced in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations signal the beginning of the end of the contemporary offshore financial centre?

Jersey and UK Deepen Beneficial Ownership Information Exchange

Jersey and the UK have agreed to reinforce existing arrangements for the exchange of information on the beneficial ownership of companies.

Germany Announces Ten-point Tax Evasion Plan 

The German Government outlined the major aspects of a ‘10-point plan’ on 12 April to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance in the wake of the Panama Papers affair.

Indian Revenue to Appeal Vodafone Transfer Pricing Ruling

India's Income Tax Department has decided to appeal the Bombay High Court's ruling delivered in favour of UK telecom giant Vodafone in a transfer pricing dispute worth INR85bn (US$1.27bn).

China's e-Commerce Tax Changes Come Into Effect

China's new rules that increase the taxes on goods imported online, which were jointly announced by the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Taxation on 24 March, went into effect on 8 April 2016.

Paper Looks at Impact of US Profit Shifting

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth has published a working paper that looks at the contribution of profit shifting activities on US corporate tax base erosion.

UK Overseas Territories Agree Transparency Deal

Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands have separately announced that they will enter into deals with the Government of the United Kingdom to improve how they exchange information on the beneficial ownership of companies.

Italy to Slash Fiscal Deficit and Tax Rates

The new 2016 Economic and Financial Document (DEF), approved by the Cabinet on 8 April, features plans to reduce tax burdens progressively over the four-year period to end-2019.

UK to Fast-Track New Tax Evasion Offence

The UK Government will bring forward plans to introduce a new criminal offence for companies that fail to prevent their staff from facilitating tax evasion.

Analysis and Commentary: No More Hiding Places

The response of the German government to the Panama Papers scandal was to propose amendments to the nation's anti-money laundering laws requiring company owners to disclose their identities and to call on other nations to follow its lead — an idea that has in fact been on the G8's agenda for almost three years without much progress having been made.

Bahamas 'Committed to Transparency'

Hope Strachan, the Bahamas Financial Services Minister, has said that the recent "leak of documents from a law firm in Panama is disconcerting" and "… challenges the work and validity of international financial centres".

BVI to Act on Panama Papers Revelations

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has expressed concern at reported ‘misuse’ of BVI structures, as revealed by the leak of the so-called Panama Papers.

IFIAR’s Report on 2015 Inspection Findings

The Report summarises key inspection results submitted by 35 IFIAR members in jurisdictions around the world in respect of: the audits of public companies, including systemically important financial institutions; and firm systems for quality control

Pfizer Inversion Halted by US Treasury Action

In rapid response to the US Treasury Department's latest anti-inversion measures announced after close of business on 4 April 2016, Pfizer Inc. announced early on 6 April that its merger agreement with Allergan plc had been terminated by mutual agreement of the companies.

Netherlands to Probe Panama Papers

The Dutch Government has confirmed that the Tax and Customs Administration will investigate information disclosed as part of the Panama Papers leak.

South Africa Initiates Investigation of Panama Accounts

Noting reports that certain South Africans that may be linked to offshore bank accounts in the so-called Panama Papers, the country's Ministry of Finance has confirmed that the relevant agencies (including the South African Revenue Service, the Financial Intelligence Center, and the South African Reserve Bank) always investigate such reports to ensure compliance with the law.

Germany Seeking More Tax Transparency

The German Government is planning new transparency laws in response to the leak of the so-called Panama Papers on 3 April 2016.

UK Banks Told to Report on Panama Papers Links

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has written to 20 financial firms asking them to check whether they have links to Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm from which 11.5m documents were leaked this week.

EU Publishes New VAT Action Plan

The European Commission has released an Action Plan on VAT, setting out plans for the next two years to modernise European Union (EU) value-added tax (VAT) rules.

Corporate Reporting Dialogue Publishes Statement of Common Principles of Materiality 

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (Dialogue), an initiative composed of eight organisations involved in issuing international standards and frameworks for corporate reporting, has published the report, Statement of Common Principles of Materiality (Statement).

SEC Staff Updates Financial Reporting Manual for New Revenue Recognition Standards

The staff in the Division of Corporation Finance (Corp Fin) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released its updated Financial Reporting Manual (FRM), reflecting changes to 17 March 2016. This manual represents informal guidance prepared for use by the Corp Fin staff. Corp Fin has made the FRM public because readers may find the guidance useful in preparing filings with the SEC.

IAASB Finalises Revisions for Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements 

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released final amendments to International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 810 (Revised), Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements. ISA 810 deals with the auditor’s responsibilities relating to an engagement to report on summary financial statements derived from financial statements audited in accordance with ISAs by that same auditor.

European Report on IFRS Compliance Levels Calls for More Consistency in IFRS Application

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the report, ESMA Report on Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2015 (Report), an annual report on the European enforcement and regulatory action within the European Union (EU) in 2015.

IFRS Foundation Releases IFRS Taxonomy 2016 

The IFRS Taxonomy 2016 is now available from the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation. The IFRS Taxonomy 2016 translates IFRS and IFRS Interpretations as issued at 13 January 2016 into XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). The IFRS Taxonomy 2016 also includes IFRS published but not yet effective as of 13 January 2016.

India Constitutes Special Task Group to Examine Panama Leak

India has constituted a special multi-agency group to examine data leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Hong Kong Planning BEPS Action 

Hong Kong's Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, K C Chan, has said that the government is working to further the implementation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD's) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) proposals that are relevant for the country.

Panama Must Put Its House In Order, Says OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said Panama must ensure that it fully implements international tax transparency standards, describing the territory as the "last major holdout" that allows funds to be hidden offshore.

CRA Asks for Access to Data Leaked in Panama Papers

Canada's Revenue Minister has instructed tax authority officials to obtain the data leaked through the so-called ‘Panama papers’.

France Responds to Panama Papers Leak

The French Government has responded to the so-called ‘Panama papers’ leak by announcing that it is actively seeking information on possible evaders of French taxes, who, it warned, could face the full force of the law.

Australian Tax Office Investigating 'Panama Papers'

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said that it has identified more than 800 individual Australian taxpayers in the so-called ‘Panama papers’ leaked from law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Egypt's VAT Given the Go Ahead

On 30 March, the Egyptian Cabinet approved a draft Budget for 2016/17, which includes a proposal to introduce a value-added tax in Egypt.

Canada's 2016 Budget Tackles International Tax Avoidance 

Canada's 2016 Budget, which was delivered on 22 March, contains a slew of measures aimed at protecting the integrity of the country's international tax system. 

Limited BEPS Response Necessary For Guernsey

Amid EU and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) efforts to tackle base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), Guernsey says it already has an appropriate tax and regulatory framework, with few, if any, changes required in response.

New Zealand Confident of Multinational Entity Tax Rules

The Government of New Zealand is considering whether it has robust enough rules in place to remove the need for a UK-style diverted profits tax, Michael Woodhouse, Minister of Revenue, told the Parliament on 29 March. 

Switzerland Rejects Dutch Taxpayer Information Request 

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has ruled that no administrative assistance can be provided by Switzerland in response to a group request submitted by the tax authority in the Netherlands (in decision A-8400/2015).

UK's Tax Roadmap Includes EC's Anti Avoidance Proposals

The UK has published, alongside its 2016 Budget, a business tax roadmap setting out a number of measures aimed at tackling tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning arrangements.

BEPS Infringing US National Sovereignty, Report Says 

The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is undermining national sovereignty, according to a report from the Mercatus Center, a research centre based at George Mason University in the United States.

ICC Urges Limited EU Action on BEPS

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has cautioned the European Commission against implementing rules on the exchange — and possible public disclosure — of multinational company tax information that go beyond international guidelines set out in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) project.

Surprise Tax Policies in UK's 2016 Budget

The UK's 2016 Budget includes plans to overhaul the business rates (property tax) regime, cut taxes for lower- and middle-income earners and reduce capital gains tax (CTG) rates.

Kuwait to Levy 10% Corporate Income Tax

Kuwait's Cabinet has approved a proposal to levy a 10% tax on corporate profits, Finance Minister Anas Al Saleh said at a press conference on 14 March 2016.

UK Budget Announcement: Impact on International Businesses

On 16 March 2016, George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his annual Budget speech to the nation.

Dutch Tax Advisers Call for Government to Reject BEPS Plan

The Dutch Association of Tax Advisers has called on Dutch lawmakers to reject the European Union's (EU) proposed Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, saying that the proposals go beyond what is necessary to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and that they threaten Dutch fiscal sovereignty and the nation's competitiveness.

US Prosecutors Take Down Two Cayman Institutions

Two Cayman financial institutions have pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to conspiring to hide more than US$130m in Cayman bank accounts and have agreed to produce the account files of non-compliant US taxpayers, in the first conviction of a non-Swiss financial institution for tax evasion conspiracy.

FASB Issues Final Lease Accounting Standard

On 25 February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). A major change in the new guidance is that lessees will be required to present right-of-use assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet – this is similar to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16, Leases, issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) on 13 January 2016.

Facebook to Restructure UK Tax Affairs

Facebook has announced that "UK sales made directly by our UK team will be booked in the UK, not Ireland".

Dutch Tax Secretary Quizzed on EU International Tax Agenda

The Dutch EU Presidency wants to make rapid progress on the implementation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's base erosion and profit shifting project recommendations, Eric Wiebes, the Dutch State Secretary of Finance, told members of the European Parliament's Special Committee on Tax Rulings.

IAASB Considers Special Audit Considerations of Expected Credit Loss Model 

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released a publication discussing how auditors should manage audit challenges arising from the shift to Expected Credit Loss (ECL) models when accounting for loan losses. ECL models required by International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, Financial Instruments, which is effective for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2018, and the soon to be released impairment model upon which the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is working on.

IOSCO Reports on Securities Markets Risk Outlook for 2016

On 2 March 2016, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published its third annual Outlook, the report, Securities Markets Risk Outlook 2016 (Outlook 2016), which discusses trends in global markets and potential risks to financial stability.

HMRC Issues Policy Brief on Taxing MNCs

On 1 March 2016, UK's HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a policy paper explaining how the country's corporation tax rules are applied to multinational corporations (MNC).

UK Issues Transfer Pricing Guide

On 1 March 2016, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a policy paper to briefly explain how the UK's transfer pricing rules operate.

Indian Budget Aims for Tax Certainty and Simplicity

On 29 February 2016, India's Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, delivered his 2016 Budget, which contains several tax initiatives designed to simplify and rationalise the country's tax regime.

French Tax Enforcement Yield Up 10%

The French Government identified an additional €21.2bn (US$23bn) in revenue last year from its crackdown on aggressive tax avoidance and evasion.

Luxembourg Announces Corporate Tax Cut

The Government of Luxembourg has announced a package of tax measures due to be introduced next year, including a corporate tax cut and changes to the personal income tax system.

IRS Revises Large Business and International Examinations

After extensive consultations between its Large Business and International Division (LB&I) and key external stakeholders, the US Internal Revenue Service has issued a new publication which outlines a new, enhanced audit examination process for the Division.

ICC Welcomes Inclusion of Developing Countries In BEPS Plan

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has welcomed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) plan to allow all countries to participate on an equal footing with the OECD and G20 countries in the implementation of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) plan.

New Research Looks at US Patent Box Cost

The American Action Forum, a US policy institute, has released research on the cost of introducing a patent box regime in the United States.

Hilton Worldwide Confirms REIT Spin-off Intention

Hilton Worldwide has confirmed that it plans to proceed with the spin-off of the bulk of its real estate business, into a publicly traded US real estate investment trust (REIT) following the receipt of a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Countries Adopting BEPS Proposals, OECD Tells G20

The base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan is already becoming a reality, with countries already having implemented some of the BEPS proposals, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has told the G20 member nations.

UK's Public Accounts Committee Reports on Google Settlement

On 24 February 2016, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published a report setting out its findings on Google's agreement with the UK to pay £130m (US$187m) in back taxes as part of a settlement covering the period since 2005.

Australia Planning Further Corporate Tax Avoidance Action

Before a recent Senate Estimates committee, Australia's Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan, issued a warning to multinationals and large businesses that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is to increase its efforts against international tax avoidance in the period to 2019.

OECD Announces 'Inclusive Framework' to Implement BEPS

On 23 February 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced a new framework that would allow all interested countries and jurisdictions to participate in the implementation process of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

Indian Government Seeking Way Out Of GST Rut

India's Government is seeking to unblock the impasse holding back the adoption of a goods and services tax (GST) in India, through negotiations with the opposition Congress Party.

Italy's Patent Box Sees High Number of Applications

By end-December 2015, the number of Italian businesses that had applied to take advantage of Italy's ‘patent box’ in its first operational fiscal year had reached a greater-than-expected 4,500.

Dutch Minister Calls for Global Carbon Pricing

Setting a global price on carbon dioxide emissions is essential to achieve the climate goals agreed at the recent Paris climate talks, according to Dutch Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma.

Dutch Government Accepts Pokerstars.eu Tax Ruling

The Dutch tax authority has decided not to appeal an earlier ruling that it cannot tax residents who use PokerStars.eu's online gambling service.

FASB Announces Date of Issue of New Lease Guidance

At its meeting on 17 February 2016, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced that it will release its new Accounting Standards Update on Leases on 25 February 2016. A major change in the new guidance is that lessees will be required to present right-of-use assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet.

Update to US Model Tax Convention

The US Treasury Department has issued a revised version of the US Model Income Tax Convention (the 2016 Model).

Malta Criticises EU's 'Incomplete' BEPS Response

Malta's Minister of Finance, Edward Scicluna, has expressed disappointment that the proposed EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive was not accompanied by an impact assessment for member states.

Irish Revenue Launches New Anti-Avoidance Website

The Irish Revenue has launched a new webpage that contains guidance on what it considers to be tax avoidance and information on the legislative tools available to detect and tackle avoidance arrangements.

Barack Obama Announces Final Budget

President Barack Obama has proposed a record, election-year, US$4.1tn 2017 Budget, including various tax measures that are likely to be shut down by Republic lawmakers.

US Business Questions Public EU Country by Country Reporting

Dorothy Coleman, vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers, has expressed concern at "recent reports that the European Union (EU) is working on legislation to require global companies to publicly disclose tax and other financial information”.

IESBA Reissues Proposals on Long Associations of Audit Personnel with Audit Clients 

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has published the Exposure Draft, Limited Re-exposure of Proposed Changes to the Code Addressing the Long Association of Personnel with an Audit Client (Exposure Draft). 

IPSASB Proposes Rules on Public Sector Combinations

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has issued Exposure Draft (ED) 60, Public Sector Combinations.

IASB Amends IAS 7, Statement of Cash Flows 

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued amendments to International Accounting Standard (IAS) 7, Statement of Cash Flows. The amendments require entities to make disclosures about changes in financing liabilities. 

IPSASB Proposes Revisions to the Cash Basis IPSAS  

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published Exposure Draft (ED) 61, proposed International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), Amendments to Financial Reporting under the Cash Basis of Accounting (the Cash Basis IPSAS). 

EU Sets Out Response to Each BEPS Action Item

The European Commission has set its proposed responses to the fifteen areas addressed in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan.

Tax Changes To Prompt UK Landlords To Sell Properties 

UK landlords could sell up to 500,000 properties over the next 12 months as the impact of a series of tax reforms begins to bite, according to a new survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA).

No Need To Separate Auditing From Tax Services: Study 

Companies whose tax returns are also prepared by their auditors claim around 30% less in ‘aggressive tax benefits’, according to research published in The Accounting Review.

Ways And Means To Continue Work On US Tax Reform

The Chairman of the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady (Republican, Texas), has confirmed that the Committee will continue to work to “fix our broken tax code”, and will focus on international tax rules in particular.

EU Publishes Roadmap For New VAT Reform Plan

The European Commission has issued a Roadmap ahead of the release of its Action Plan for a simple, efficient, and fraud-proof definitive system of value-added tax tailored to the single market.

Australian Government Finalising Plans For New Anti-Avoidance Taskforce

The Australian Government has said that it is finalising options for a “tough new tax taskforce”, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer has announced.

European Commission Explains Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive

The European Commission has set out the six key measures included in its new Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, which it said would counteract some of the most common types of aggressive tax planning.

European Commission Publishes Aggressive Tax Planning Study 

The European Commission has published a new study on the loopholes in European Union (EU) member states' corporate tax rules that may make aggressive tax planning possible.

Italy Confirms Tax Clawback Action With Google

The General Manager of the Italian Revenue Agency, Rossella Orlandi, disclosed that the Guardia di Finanza, Italy's financial police, has served notice on Google with regard to its past tax payments in the country.

EU Confirms Package BEPS-Compatible: OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Secretary-General Angel Gurría says the European Commission's Anti-Tax Avoidance Package “marks an important milestone towards the development of a comprehensive, coherent, and co-ordinated approach against corporate tax avoidance in Europe”.

European Commission Presents Anti Tax Avoidance Package 

On 28 January 2016, the European Commission presented its Anti Tax Avoidance Package, with measures to tackle corporate tax avoidance.

China Confirms Push to Replace Business Tax with VAT

China will complete the implementation of the nation's value-added tax (VAT) regime, in place of business tax, this year, a meeting of China's State Council on 22 January, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, confirmed.

IASB Issues IFRS 16, Leases 

On 13 January 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16, Leases, its long-awaited new lease accounting standard.

UK Treasury Committee to Investigate BEPS

The UK's Treasury Select Committee is to launch an inquiry into problems affecting the corporate tax base, committee chair Andrew Tyrie has confirmed. In a statement, Tyrie said: “The complexity of tax law is turning what should be a straightforward principle — that everybody should pay the correct amount of tax — into a piece of elastic. For corporation tax, for instance, the problem is exacerbated by the globalisation of economic activity and any liability to tax that accompanies it”.

Google to Pay Additional UK Tax

Google has agreed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) a ‘new approach to its UK taxes’ and will pay £130m (US$185.5m) in back taxes as part of a settlement covering the period since 2005. In a statement, Google said that it “will now pay tax based on revenue from UK-based advertisers, which reflects the size and scope of our UK business”.

IASB Finalises Decisions on Clarification of IFRS 15

At its January 2016 meeting, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) completed the decision-making on clarification of IFRS 15, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

IFRS Foundation Proposes Update 3 to IFRS Taxonomy 2015

On 21 January 2016, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation proposed for public comment Update 3 to the IFRS Taxonomy 2015: IFRS 16 Leases (Proposed Update 3).

IASB Amends IAS 12 to Clarify Recognition of Deferred Tax Assets for Unrealised Losses Related to Debt Instruments Measured at Fair Value 

On 19 January 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued Recognition of Deferred Tax Assets for Unrealised Losses (Amendments to IAS 12), amendments to International Accounting Standard (IAS) 12, Income Taxes.

IAESB Issues Guidance on Implementing a Learning Outcomes Approach 

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has produced Implementation Support Materials (Guidance) - a suite of guidance material for supporting the implementation of a learning outcomes approach for initial and continuing professional education for accountants.

IESBA Releases Publication on Ethical Considerations in Audit Fee Setting

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has published the document, Ethical Considerations Relating to Audit Fee Setting in the Context of Downward Fee Pressure (Ethical Considerations). 

IPSASB Proposes Changes to Employee Benefits Standard to Maintain Convergence with IAS 19

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has released for public comment Exposure Draft 59, Amendments to IPSAS 25, Employee Benefits (Exposure Draft 59). 

IASB Proposes Amendments to IFRS 4 to Provide Temporary Reliefs for Insurers

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published an exposure draft, Applying IFRS 9 Financial Instruments with IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts. The exposure draft proposes amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 4, Insurance Contracts, to provide temporary relief for the different effective dates of IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, and the new insurance contracts standard for companies with major insurance contract exposure. 

Belgium's Excess Profit Tax Regime Illegal, says EU

The European Commission on 11 January concluded that ‘selective tax advantages’ granted by Belgium under its ‘excess profit’ tax scheme are illegal under European Union (EU) state aid rules.

MEPs Say State Aid Probe 'Windfall' Should Be Divvied Up

Where money is recovered from a company that benefited from illegal state aid, this money should be returned not to the same member state, but to member states that have suffered an erosion of their tax bases or to the EU budget, Members of the European Parliament have agreed.

UK Urged to Rethink BEPS Action 4 Response

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has told the UK Government that it is unconvinced that proposed new interest deduction rules, which will restrict interest expenses that can be deducted when a company calculates its taxable profit, are necessary in the UK.

IAASB Publishes Final Amendments for Auditor Reporting on Special Purpose Financial Statements

On 7 January 2016, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) published amendments to the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) for auditor reporting for special purpose financial statements. These include ISA 800 (Revised), Special Considerations—Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks, and ISA 805 (Revised), Special Considerations—Audits of Single Financial Statements and Specific Elements, Accounts, or Items of a Financial Statement.  

Australia and South Korea Receive Further Tariff Cuts Under Chinese Free Trade Agreements

On 1 January 2016, Australian and South Korean exporters benefited from a second round of tariff reductions from their countries' new free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, with the first round having occurred when both agreements entered into force on 20 December 2015.

Apple to Pay €318m in Back Taxes to Italy

Apple Italia has agreed to pay €318m (US$347.6m) to fully settle corporate income tax said to be due to the Italian Revenue Agency, according to Italian media reports.

Major Changes to Czech VAT Requirements From 1 January 2016 

From 1 January 2016, VAT-registered persons in the Czech Republic will be required to provide the tax authority with more information on their transactions, as part of efforts announced in late 2014 to tackle VAT fraud.

IRS Issues Updated US Expatriate Tax Guide

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the 2015 update to Publication 54, which provides guidance on the special tax compliance rules for US citizens and resident aliens who work abroad or receive income from foreign countries.

India Releases Guidance on Common Reporting Standard and the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

On 31 December 2015, India's Central Board of Direct Taxation released guidance on the implementation of new reporting requirements under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Italian Parliament Passes 2016 Budget

The Italian Government has received parliamentary approval for the Stability (Budget) Law, which would eliminate the local property tax on primary residences in 2016. It also outlines plans for a corporate tax cut in 2017.

US Congress Has Restricted REIT Spin-Offs

Provisions in the recently passed ‘tax extenders’ legislation will make it extremely difficult for corporations to avoid US capital gains and corporate income tax by spinning off their tangible assets into independent, publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).

IASB Postpones Effective Date for Amendments to IFRS 10 and IAS 28 for Associates and Joint Ventures

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published amendments to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Effective Date of Amendments to IFRS 10 and IAS 28 (Amendments). These Amendments postpone the date when entities must apply the changes made in September 2014 by the IASB through narrow-scope amendments to IFRS 10, Consolidated Financial Statements, and International Accounting Standard (IAS) 28, Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures.

PCAOB Adopts Rules on Naming the Engagement Partner and Firms Participating in the Audit

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has adopted PCAOB Release No. 2015-008: Improving the Transparency of Audits: Rules to Require Disclosure of Certain Audit Participants on a New PCAOB Form and Related Amendments to Auditing Standards.

South Africa: Revenue Service Combats High-Risk Sectors and Issues Capital Gains Tax Guide

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced that it will focus on non-compliance by taxpayers in high-risk sectors. In the same week, it also issued its first comprehensive guide on capital gains tax.

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Comes Into Force 

On 9 December in Sydney, Australia's Ambassador-designate to China, Jan Adams, and Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu exchanged diplomatic notes that set 20 December 2015, as the date for the entry into force of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Ghana Introduces New Income Tax Law 

Ghana's new Income Tax Act (No. 896 of 2015) will come into force on 1 January 2016. It is intended to improve tax compliance and administration and broaden the country's income tax base by rationalising tax breaks.

India Clarifies Defective Return Notices for Foreign Investors

The Indian Ministry of Finance has announced that tax returns filed by foreign portfolio and institutional investors with no profit or loss accounts will not be treated as ‘defective’ if they meet certain requirements.

IAASB Consults on Key Areas of Audit Quality

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has issued an Invitation to Comment, Enhancing Audit Quality in the Public Interest: A Focus on Professional Skepticism, Quality Control and Group Audits (Invitation to Comment) and a companion document, Overview of the ITC (Overview).

IAESB Issues Guidance for the Standard on Professional Competence for Audit Engagement Partners

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has issued guidance on International Education Standard (IES) 8, Professional Competence for Engagement Partners Responsible for Audits of Financial Statements (Revised), adopted in December 2014. 

South Korea and European Union Confirm Full Free Trade Agreement Implementation

The free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the European Union (EU) went into full effect on 13 December 2015.

US Trade Advisory Committee Majority Supports Trans-Pacific Partnership

In its report for President Barack Obama, the US Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) has disclosed that most of its members ‘endorse’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Russia to Introduce VAT on Digital Services

Russian lawmakers are considering enacting legislation that would introduce value-added tax on business-to-consumer and business-to-business supplies of electronic services.

Malta Welcomes Agreement on Flexible BEPS Responses 

Edward Scicluna, Malta's Minister for Finance, said he is “extremely satisfied” with the outcome of the recent Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting on 8 December in successfully brokering flexibility for Malta in its response to base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

Eurozone Countries Delay Financial Transaction Tax Decision Until Mid-2016

Eurozone finance ministers met to discuss the problematic financial transactions tax (FTT) on 8 December, but decided to give themselves another six months to work on an agreement over its terms.

EU Ministers Agree Initial EU BEPS Response

The European Union's Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) agreed to a work plan in response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations at its meeting on 8 December. 

Analysis and Commentary: The Indian Ocean's Stepping Stone

If the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project goes to plan, the status of ‘offshore’ and low-tax jurisdictions such as Mauritius in the global financial system will eventually diminish in importance. However, in the case of this particular offshore financial center, at present things seem to be looking up.

IFRS Foundation Publishes Update 2 to IFRS Taxonomy 2015

On 8 December 2015, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation published Update 2 to the IFRS Taxonomy 2015 - Common Practice (Update 2). 

PCAOB Concludes International Institute on Audit Regulation

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) held its ninth annual International Institute on Audit Regulation (Institute) during the first week of December 2015 in Washington, DC. The PCAOB hosted approximately 80 audit regulators from 33 non-US jurisdictions and five international organisations. More than a dozen officials from other US regulatory and government agencies also attended. 

US Hearing Discusses Response to International Tax Developments

Those addressing the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy hearing on 1 December– on the US's response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations and the EU's state aid investigations – expressed concern about measures proposed or being implemented at international level that would damage US interests.

IFRS Foundation Publishes Update 1 to IFRS Taxonomy 2015

On 1 December 2015, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation published Update 1 to the IFRS Taxonomy 2015 (Update 1), which updates the IFRS Taxonomy 2015 for the 2015 Amendments to the IFRS for Small and Medium-Sized Entities (SMEs). 

IPSASB Establishes Consultative Advisory Group 

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has announced that it has established a new forum, the IPSASB Consultative Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG has been formed to strengthen the IPSASB’s standard setting processes by enabling dialogue with key stakeholders.

IFAC Publishes Paper on the Principles of Good Regulation 

On 2 December 2015, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) published the discussion paper, From Crisis to Confidence: the Role of Good Regulation (Discussion Paper) and is seeking comments from members of the regulatory community on the achievements and costs of regulation.

IAESB Proposes Strategy for Future and Priorities 

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has released for public comment the Consultation Paper, Meeting Future Expectations of Professional Competence: A Consultation on the IAESB’s Future Strategy and Priorities (Consultation Paper), explaining its proposed goals and plans for accounting education for the years 2017-2021.

IAASB Publishes 2015 Handbook 

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released the latest edition of its handbook, the 2015 Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements (2015 IAASB Handbook).

UK's FRC Calls for Disclosure of Tax Risks in Corporate Reports

The UK's Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has said it will conduct a review of companies' tax reporting to encourage more transparent recording of the relationship between the tax charges and accounting profit.

Sri Lanka Announces VAT Changes In New Budget

The Sri Lankan Government announced plans to overhaul its value-added tax regime in its new 2016 Budget.

EC Investigates Luxembourg's Tax Rulings for McDonald's

The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of McDonald's and said that its preliminary view is that a tax ruling granted to the company may have afforded it advantageous tax treatment in breach of European Union (EU) state aid rules.

MEPs Task EC to Table Corporate Tax Measures

Members of the European Parliament have tasked the EU Commission to table measures to improve corporate tax transparency, coordination, and EU-wide policy convergence, in legislative recommendations passed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on 1 December 2015.

Aruba to Reduce Corporate Income Tax Rate in 2016 

Aruba's tax authority has announced that the corporate income tax rate will fall from 28% to 25% from 1 January 2016. 

Italy Cancels Possible 2016 Corporate Tax Cut 

Italy's Premier, Matteo Renzi, has confirmed that his Government will not be able to cut the rate of corporate tax in 2016, as any available funds will be needed for increased security spending. 

Israel Joins International Efforts to Tackle Tax Evasion

Israel signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters on 24 November 2015, making it the 91st jurisdiction to join the world's leading instrument for boosting transparency and combating offshore tax evasion.

Andean States Focus on BEPS Risk in Extractive Industries

Over 60 senior government officials recently met to discuss base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) issues relating to the extractive industries in the Andean region.

CF Industries May Modify Inversion After US Treasury Changes

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) and OCI N.V. (OCI) have announced that they remain fully committed to their previously announced US$8bn merger, despite a new US Treasury ruling intended to tackle corporate inversions, which was released on 19 November.

India Launches Consultation on Corporate Tax Reforms

India's Ministry of Finance has launched a new consultation on proposals to phase out tax exemptions and lower the corporate income tax rate by 5%.

Pfizer And Allergan Agree US$160bn 'Tax Inversion' Merger 

Pfizer Inc and Allergan plc on 23 November announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved, and the companies have entered into, a definitive merger agreement to combine two of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, in what would be the largest ever ‘tax inversion’ transaction.

UK Parliamentary Group Seeking Views On BEPS Project 

The UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Responsible Tax will on 23 November launch a public consultation on the impact of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) proposals upon the tax rules in place in the UK.

Malaysia Sets Out Its BEPS Response

The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM) has highlighted key steps taken by the Government to overcome base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and transfer pricing abuse.

IASB Proposes Annual Improvements Process Amendments

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued for public comment an exposure draft, Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2014-2016 Cycle. Comments are due by 17 February 2016.

IASB Proposes Amendment to IAS 40 Investment Property 

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published for public comment an exposure draft of a proposed narrow-scope amendment to paragraph 57 of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 40 Investment Property. Comments are due by 18 March 2016.

FASB Establishes Tentative Effective Dates for Three Major Standards 

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has established tentative effective dates for the forthcoming Accounting Standards Updates. 

IFAC Study Reports on Contribution to Economic Growth by Accountancy Profession 

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released the report, Nexus 2: The Accountancy Profession – A Global Value Add (Report), based on research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The Report discusses the contribution by the accountancy profession on economic growth and improved living standards. 

G20 Leaders Endorse Final BEPS Package 

The leaders of the G20 nations have formally endorsed the final package of measures developed under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

HMRC Announces Modernisation Programme 

UK tax authority HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that it is to close 137 offices over the next 12 years and create 13 new ‘regional centres’ by 2021.

Ireland Review Advance Pricing Agreement And Mutual Procedure Programmes

A new report from the Irish tax authority discusses the potential impact of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project on the country's advance pricing agreement (APA) and mutual agreement procedure (MAP) programmes.

UK Tax Credit Reforms Delayed 

The UK House of Lords has voted to postpone the implementation of cuts to tax credits proposed in the Summer Budget.

Countries Agree On Common VAT Rules For Digital Services

Representatives from more than 100 countries and jurisdictions have endorsed new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International VAT/GST Guidelines, which are intended to establish international standards for the ‘coherent and efficient’ application of value-added tax (VAT)/goods and services tax (GST) to the international trade in services.

EU Calls For Progress From G20 On BEPS Response

European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hope to take forward progress on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project at the G20's next meeting in Antalya on 15 - 16 November 2015.

Senate Committee Supports Australia's MNE Anti-Avoidance Bill

An Australian Senate inquiry committee has recommended that the Government should enact the Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015. 

ESMA Disclosure Improvement Initiative

On 27 October 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued the public statement, Improving the quality of disclosures in the financial statements (Public Statement), to aid preparers issuing financial statements using International Financial Reporting Statements (IFRS).

IFRS Foundation Proposes Enhanced Due Process for IFRS Taxonomy 

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation Trustees have published the Invitation to Comment, IFRS Taxonomy Due Process, proposing revisions to and an enhanced due process for development and maintenance of the IFRS Taxonomy.  

Russia Outlines Response to BEPS Project Plan

Russia's Ministry of Finance has given its reaction to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) reports.

Luxembourg Responds to EC Decision on Fiat Tax Ruling

The Luxembourg Finance Ministry has said that it disagrees with the European Commission's conclusion that a tax ruling provided to Fiat Finance provided the company with selective tax advantages.

UK Asks For Input On New Patent Box Regime

On 22 October 2015, the UK launched a consultation on the design of the country's new ‘patent box regime'.

Luxembourg to Repeal Minimum Corporate Income Tax And Amend Net Worth Tax Regime

Luxembourg intends to repeal its minimum corporate income tax and enact changes to its net worth tax (NWT) regime from 1 January 2016. 

IASB Proposes Guidance on Application of Materiality Concept

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published draft guidance for determining whether information is material. The exposure draft, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Practice Statement: Application of Materiality to Financial Statements (Practice Statement), is part of the IASB’s disclosure improvement initiative.

IASB Issues Leases Project Update with Guidance on Lease Definition 

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has released Project Update: Definition of a Lease (October 2015) (Update), which provides an overview of how a lease will be defined in the IASB's new Leases standard.

European Commission Will Not Propose Endorsement of IFRS 14 

As reported in the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) Endorsement Status Report for October 2015, the European Commission (EC) decided not to propose International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 14, Regulatory Deferral Accounts for endorsement by the European Union (EU).

IFAC Publishes Thought Paper on Integrated Thinking

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a thought paper, Creating Value with Integrated Thinking: The Role of the Professional Accountant. 

ESMA's Annual Enforcement Priorities 

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) released its Statement on European Common Enforcement Priorities (Enforcement Priorities) in relation to listed companies’ financial statements for the period ending 31 December 2015.

Netherlands Sets Out Response To BEPS Reports

The Dutch Secretary for Finance, Eric Wiebes, has reported to the House of Representatives on the impact of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project on Dutch tax rules.

IFAC Updates Companion Manual to Include Compilation Engagements 

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released an updated Companion Manual, which has been revised to include the recently launched Guide to Compilation Engagements. 

IFRS Interpretations Committee Issues Two Draft Interpretations 

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Interpretations Committee has issued two draft interpretations for public comment. Comments are due by 19 January 2016.

Netherlands Disputes Findings on Starbucks Ruling

The Dutch Cabinet has said that it is ‘somewhat surprised’ at the European Commission's decision that a tax ruling issued by the Dutch tax authority to Starbucks constituted state aid.

EU Commission Outlaws Starbucks, Fiat Rulings

Luxembourg's tax ruling for Fiat Finance and the Netherlands's ruling for Starbucks do not reflect economic reality such that they grant selective tax advantages to the two companies in breach of European Union (EU) law, the European Commission has concluded.

IPSASB Issues Exposure Drafts on Impairment of Assets and Improvements to Standards

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has released for comment two Exposure Drafts (EDs): ED 57, Impairment of Revalued Assets, and ED 58, Improvements to IPSASs 2015. The deadline for comments for both exposure drafts is 15 January 2016.

International Accountants' Organisation Calls for Agreement on Global Emissions 

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released its letter to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Letter) expressing its support of the convention and discussing the context in which businesses can operate and report on their actions.

PCAOB Releases Risk Assessments Standards Inspection Report  

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has issued the inspections report, Inspection Observations Related to PCAOB ‘Risk Assessment’ Auditing Standards (No. 8 through No.15) (Report). The Report details significant deficiencies in registered audit firms' implementation of, and compliance with, certain auditing standards as observed during 2012-2014 inspections.

ESMA Priorities Set for 2016

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its 2016 Work Programme which sets out its priorities and the activities it will undertake in pursuit of its objectives of enhancing investor protection and promoting stable and orderly financial markets.

IOSCO Focuses on Key Priority Areas

The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) met in Toronto recently to reinforce IOSCO’s position as the key global reference point for financial services and markets regulation. 

Investor and Analyst Views Requested on the IASB’s Work Plan 

As part of its comprehensive programme of outreach activities to all International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) stakeholders, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is conducting a short online survey of investors and analysts to help to understand their priorities with respect to financial reporting.

World Bank, IMF and ICC Welcome TPP

The conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been welcomed by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

OECD Presents BEPS Action Plan

After two and a half years of preparation and consultation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released its final reports on how to bring global tax rules into the modern age and tackle base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

OECD Says Ireland to Benefit Post-BEPS

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said that its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project will create policy challenges for Ireland, but the nation should emerge well placed to attract foreign direct investment.

UK Opens Consultation on Country-by-Country Reporting Regulations

On 5 October 2015, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published for public consultation draft regulations for the implementation of the country-by-country (CbC) reporting obligation for multinational corporations.

EU Council Explains Tax Ruling Transparency Proposals

The Council of the European Union (EU) has released a statement welcoming the approval of proposals for the automatic exchange of information on tax rulings by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council and providing extra detail on the proposals.

EU Ministers Reach Deal on Tax Rulings Info Exchange

On 6 October 2015, European Union (EU) economic and finance ministers reached a unanimous agreement on the automatic exchange of information on cross-border tax rulings.

IASB to Consult on Temporary Measures Related to IFRS 9 and the New Insurance Contracts Standard

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has announced that it will consult on a package of temporary measures designed to address concerns about issues which might arise from the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, Financial Instruments, before the new insurance contracts standard comes into effect.

ESMA Raises Market Risk Indicator  

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its Trends, Risks and Vulnerabilities Report No. 2 for 2015 on European Union (EU) securities markets. 

SMEs Need a Helping Hand on Tax: OECD

Tax regimes in the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20 countries may inadvertently disadvantage small and medium enterprises relative to larger enterprises, according to a new OECD study.

OECD BEPS Project On Track for October

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has told the G20 that it will deliver its final recommendations to tackle base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) on schedule, in October. 

Abe Reaffirms Further Cuts to Japan's Corporate Tax Rate

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reconfirmed that Japan's corporate tax rate will be cut further next year, to boost business investment and sustain the economic recovery.

IASB Amends IFRS 15 to Defer the Effective Date

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued an amendment to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers to defer the effective date of IFRS 15 by one year to 2018.

B20 Urges Considered BEPS Response for Investors

The Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has welcomed the Business Twenty's (B20) recommendations on developing a common set of international investment principles and promoting greater transparency and harmony in relation to the tax treatment of foreign direct investment (FDI).

ESAs: Continued Risks in EU Financial Markets

The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) for securities (ESMA), banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA) have issued their August 2015 Joint Committee Report on Risks and Vulnerabilities in the European Union (EU) financial system. 

PCAOB Publishes Staff Inspection Brief on Inspections Programme for Auditors of Brokers and Dealers 

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has published Staff Inspection Brief: Information about 2015 Inspections of Auditors of Brokers and Dealers (Staff Inspection Brief).

IOSCO Publishes Final Report on the Peer Review of Regulation of Money Market Funds

The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published the final report on the Peer Review of Regulation of Money Market Funds.

IRS Adds to US Territory Residency Rules

A notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-109813-11) issued by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 26 August has proposed amendments to the regulations for determining whether an individual is a bona fide resident of a US territory.

FASB Issues Proposed Guidance on Principal versus Agent Considerations

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Principal versus Agent Considerations (Reporting Revenue Gross versus Net).

IESBA Publishes Annual Report

The recently published annual report explains that in 2014, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) worked to enhance its responsiveness to emerging issues of international relevance in the context of continued heightened scrutiny on ethics.

ESMA Issues Consultation Paper on Draft Implementing Technical Standards Under MiFID II

On 31 August 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a consultation paper (CP) on the remaining draft implementing technical standards (ITS) under Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II).

International Tax Insight - August 2015 

This edition features recent international tax developments emanating from Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, the European Union, Greece, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Poland, South Africa, Turkey and the US.

The 69th Congress of the International Fiscal Association (IFA) is Underway in Basel Switzerland

Against the backdrop of the ongoing and highly visible Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) initiatives, the technical programme of this Congress has been designed to be of great interest to international tax practitioners, academics and governmental officials around the world.

Hatch, Ryan Oppose US County-by-country Reporting Plans

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) have outlined concerns regarding the country-by-country (CbC) reporting requirements that are being considered by the US Treasury Department.

German-Speaking Finance Ministers Talk Tax

Finance Ministers from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg met to discuss international tax developments on 25 August.

EU Experts to Discuss BEPS and Effective Tax Rates

The working party will discuss a number of inter-related issues, including minimum effective tax rates; the EU's Code of Conduct on business taxation, which is used to challenge harmful tax regimes; and the ongoing work of the OECD on BEPS.

Baker Tilly Roelfs and TPW Redefine German Rules for VAT-grouping

Ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding input tax deduction for holding companies and regarding partnerships as subsidiaries within a VAT-group.

Does Transparency Matter for SMEs?

There are a variety of reasons the owner-manager of a small- or medium-sized entity (SME) might pursue a policy of financial transparency. This article takes a closer look at the reasons, legal and otherwise, of transparency matters for SMEs.

Top CFO Concerns in 2015

Chief financial officers (CFOs) can carry with them some of the useful lessons from learned from 2014 as they press ahead in 2015. As 2015 takes off these issues are likely to remain at the centre of CFOs’ attention.

What are the Benefits of Using Service Organisation Controls?

All of the stakeholders in a service organisation have an interest in ensuring that the financial controls used by their service group are valid and effective.

Providing Access to Service Organisation Control Reports

Service organisation control reports are an excellent way for service groups to showcase their internal controls and build trust with their clients. They also negate the need to facilitate an individual audit on behalf of each stakeholder as the main report will be relevant to all interested parties and will be independently audited.

Redefining the CFO Role for the 21st Century

The role of the CEO has increased since the recent financial crisis but is in ongoing demand, even in economic recovery.

Assessing the Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment

One of the great benefits of foreign direct investment (FDI) is that it can help developing economies by providing the capital to start businesses so that they can grow and contribute to a company’s GDP. 

International Regulate February 2015

In January the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) issued its final standards to improve reporting by auditors. Two standards were revised and a new standard was issued.

Risk Culture: Beyond Risk Management Systems

The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated to the world what happens when companies do not adopt a sound approach to managing risk. Since then great pressure has been put on firms to incorporate stricter and more efficient risk management systems. 

Why SMEs Should Work for a Better Environment

In the past few years SMEs have been realising the significant advantages environmentally friendly initiatives can bring and are starting to take action. For SMEs the most common practices include energy efficiency, better waste management and reducing pollution. Both internal and external pressures from environmental as well as economic interests are driving these actions.

International Regulate December 2014

The new European Union (EU) directive on non-financial reporting will be welcome news for those hoping to see greater consistency in this area. The directive will require certain large companies to prepare a statement covering areas such as environmental matters, diversity and human rights. Whilst many large companies will be reporting on these metrics already, others may see this as an unwelcome additional regulatory burden. 

Combating Fraud Inside and Out

Building resistance to both internal and external fraud is an increasingly difficult but essential task. Robust internal controls and integrated analytics together with active involvement from both managers and the IT team is the wisest path.

Regulation in the Post-crash Environment

In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, legislative bodies across the globe have been attempting to address the flaws in the financial system by introducing more regulation.

The Rising Importance of Compliance and Risk Management

A fully integrated CCO can lead to a strong competitive advantage for a firm, especially with the risks and costs of compliance breaches so high.

Is There a Silver Lining for the Eurozone?

Businesses and investors prepared to take a long term view may see this as an opportune time to reassess their operating models and investment strategies to prepare for a time when the European market turns itself around.

Indonesia: An Irresistible MINT?

Indonesia as the largest economy in Southeast Asia has been experiencing solid economic growth throughout the past ten years and has some of the right ingredients to really take off but there are numerous drawbacks which may concern foreign investors.

A Glimpse into M&A

For the uninitiated, M&A negotiations require a particular skill set but there are some basic elements that can serve business managers well in pursuing a successful transaction.

What Makes Mexico Appealing to Businesses and Investors?

Like many younger emerging markets, Mexico benefits from positive demographics with a large and relatively young population. 

Reviewing the Shale Gas Revolution

Shale gas has the potential to fulfill both energy demand and the desire for lower costs of energy consumption. While fracking offers notable economic advantages, there still are many factors that inhibit its development and this method of energy extraction comes with significant potential risks.

Recent Developments in Africa's ICT Sector

Many African countries have invested heavily in extending ICT services to both rural and urban populations, making services such as mobile data, mobile banking and funds transfers available to ever greater numbers of people. 

The Important Role of Role of Private Equity in the World Economy

The financial crisis has had a polarising effect on the way certain business sectors are viewed by wider society. Although bad actors have tarnished the image of a variety of institutions, particularly in the finance sector, it is important not to lose sight of the valuable role they play.

Using Objective Standards to Hold Service Providers to Account

Service driven businesses and their customers can both benefit greatly from having services subject to objective auditing standards. Neatly filling that gap are Service Organization Controls (SOC) which are a set of standards that help assess a service provider’s standards.

The Importance of Eurasia to the World Economy

As the region connecting Europe and Asia, Eurasia has always functioned as a key part of the world economy. Its rise in importance to the modern economy has more to it than simply being a trade route.

What is the Outlook for Mining and Minerals Firms?

At a time when most mining and mineral companies have been primarily concerned with productivity and efficiency improvements, M&A represents an effective way of generating free cash flows on the selling side or consolidating competitive positioning on the buying side.

Perfect Synergy: Sustainability, Transparency and Performance

Businesses that have adopted an integrated reporting approach have discovered that improvements in sustainability and other non-financial factors can bring improvements in financial performance.

How is the Issue of Cybersecurity Being Assessed in M&A Deals?

Cybersecurity risk assessments can reveal potential issues that could impact the financial attractiveness of a firm in an M&A deal. It is important to note however that different industries are affected to varying degrees by cybersecurity threats.

Turkey: A MINT Investment

Turkey is one of the countries that investors might expect to go through a period of extraordinary economic growth if the right kinds of investments continue to be made in its infrastructure and people.

Is a Productivity Growth Boost for the Developed Economies Fantasy or Reality?

Neoclassical economic models state that long-run economic growth is a function of advances in technology and production inputs. So, is it possible that by adopting new technologies and boosting productivity the advanced western economies can reach pre-crisis levels of growth?

Driving Value: US Auto Dealership Survey Results

The Baker Tilly International US Auto Dealership Survey covers 245 dealership points mostly concentrated in the mid-west, northeast and southeast of the United States.

Succession Redefined

In this article we consider how business succession has been redefined, the rewards available to those that get it right, the challenges they will have to overcome, the dynamics they should embrace and the strategies they must adopt to be successful.

Avoiding Transfer Pricing Controversy

With cross border transactions growing all the time and the political environment being so strained, transfer pricing advisors and their clients need to take a sensitive approach to this area of business to ensure that legitimate practices do not unnecessarily provoke tax authorities.

Counting the Value of SMEs to the Global Economy

While SMEs make a huge impact on income, employment and wider economic output their fortunes have been disproportionately affected by the financial crisis. Ensuring that there is a thriving global SME community is vital for economic growth.

Why Law Firms Need a Specialist Focus from their Professional Advisers

In an economy where innovation and change are occurring at a rapid pace, firms relying upon professional advisers that are ahead of the curve in their sector are more likely to stay at the forefront of developments themselves.

Will Enhanced Globalisation Equal Enhanced Opportunity?

As economic power has shifted to emerging economies, the desire for converging standards has also been directed towards those economies.

Infrastructure and Services: The Great African Growth Opportunities

While economic data indicates a significant proportion of growth has come from natural resources, African economies must diversify to sustain high growth rates into the future.

Technology: Will Your Business be Disrupting or Disrupted?

Business leaders that see the current technological innovations as opportunities should take up the challenge by embracing them and preparing for the organisational transformation that is required to maximise their benefits.

World Spectates as EU Tackles Audit Rotation

Mandatory audit rotation commentary may not rival the World Cup for analysis and intrigue but the prize could be far more valuable if the EU can make it work towards improving the overall benefits of audit.

Mining and Renewables: A Match Made in Earth?

In a strange twist of irony, traditional natural resources businesses and clean tech renewable firms appear destined to become unlikely bedfellows.

Will Strong MINTs Refresh the World Economy?

The untapped potential in the MINTs could see Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey rise significantly through the ranks of the G20 over the next 30 to 40 years.

Do You Have an Efficient Transfer Pricing Strategy?

Transfer pricing is an important element in management’s accounting tool kit where there are different divisions or subsidiaries within the company that transact with each other.

Accounting for the Rise of Non-audit Services

Despite the regulatory sensitivity, it can still make a lot of sense for businesses to use their audit advisors for non-audit services such as consulting.

Emerging Market Opportunities Require International Experience

Rapid advances in online technology and economic developments mean that emerging market opportunities are increasingly opening up for small-to-medium enterprises.

Success Strategies in the Journey of Succession

Many owners and families have discovered the pitfalls and potholes of business succession. In this article we explore the success strategies for anyone venturing into succession.

Audit: A Skilled Balancing Act

Audit is a task that requires considerable skill to do well in maintaining the right balance between objective analysis, subjective judgement and judicious reporting.

SMEs in the Front Line to Combat Cybercrime

Serious cyber attacks on business are no longer just a problem for the largest and best known organisations.

US Generational Trends in Executive Compensation: Survey Results and Commentary

With the massive exit of retiring baby boomers during the next twenty years, retaining and rewarding talent correctly has never been more important.

Future Proofing the Capital Value of Your Business

Succession is a dynamic journey, and anyone involved in this process should seek to understand it before venturing forward.

Don't Leave it too Late

With effective succession planning taking anywhere up to five years to deliver, business owners need to move quickly.

Developing A New Map For Effective Business Succession in Family Businesses

Family business succession is never a simple, straightforward endeavour. Besides the financial outcomes of the transition, the human needs and emotional involvement of all family members must be taken into account.