Public Country-by-Country Reporting – To what extent do large companies contribute to public prosperity through their taxes? Public Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) is a regulatory requirement for corporations to disclose detailed financial and operational information on a country-by-country basis.
Introduced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as part of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative under Action Point 13, CbCR aims to enhance transparency and accountability in taxation.
In addition, the European Union has launched its own initiative to ensure that large corporations throughout the EU provide the general public with more transparency about their income tax information.
This led to the enactment of EU Directive 2021/2101 of 24 November 2021, which obliges the member states to implement a so-called Public Country-by-Country Reporting (Public CbCR) in their respective national laws. The aim is to provide the interested public with an insight into the extent to which affected multinational companies and groups contribute to the common welfare where they operate.
The EU Directive was transposed in Germany into national law on 21 June 2023 with the publication in the official gazette and the corresponding disclosures must be made for the first time for financial years beginning after 21 June 2024.
The Public CbCR concerns corporations and commercial partnerships in which no natural person has an unlimited liability. A further requirement is that these companies or groups of companies in question must have exceeded a group turnover limit of EUR 750 million in at least two consecutive years, and finally, a foreign connection is required, which may result from parent companies, subsidiaries, branches, fixed business facilities abroad or permanent cross border business activities.
Content of the report to be published
The following information has to be released:
Name of the companies
Description of the type of activity
Number of employees
Turnover including income from affiliated companies
Profit or loss before tax
Income tax based on the profit realized for the reporting period
Income tax paid in the reporting period
Amount of undistributed profits for the reporting period
The data must be shown on a country-by-country basis if EU/EEA countries or countries categorised as non-cooperative by the EU are affected. For third countries, the data can be published as an aggregated total (the rest of the world). The information must be disclosed in a public register and on the company’s website no later than twelve months after the reporting company’s balance sheet date.
It is allowed to derive the Public CbCR from the data of the OECD CbCR. The contents of both reports correspond and can be derived directly. For sensitive data, the disclosure in the Public CbCR can be postponed for up to four years if there is good reason to do so.
The fines and administrative penalties for a Public CbCR that is not prepared, not prepared correctly, not prepared completely or not prepared on time amount up to EUR 250.000. The sanctions should, therefore, not be underestimated. Thus, the strategy of accepting the sanctions in order not to publish a report might become very expensive.
CbCR (Country-by-Country Reporting): Large companies are required to report detailed financial data to tax authorities on a country-by-country basis to determine the extent to which they contribute to public prosperity through their taxes.
Public CbCR (Public Country-by-Country Reporting): Extends CbCR by mandating public disclosure of the same financial data to enhance accountability and scrutiny.
EU Directive 2021/2101: This directive mandates EU member states to implement Public CbCR, ensuring corporations provide transparent income tax information to the public.
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