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DAC6 - Brexit Update

Insight 6 January 2021

DAC6 - Brexit Update

On 2 January 2021 and further to the end of the Brexit transition period, the UK amended its International Tax Enforcement (Disclosable Arrangements) Regulations 2020 (the “UK DAC6 Law”) legislation. The UK DAC6 Law was introduced earlier in 2020 and was reflective of the EU’s regulation in that matter.

One of the key changes to this legislation is the removal of Hallmarks A, B, C and E, otherwise applicable in an EU context. This removal will apply retroactively, from 25 June 2018. Details on these Hallmarks can be found in Appendices 1 and 2.

Category

Description

EU – UK matrix

A

Generic Hallmarks (confidentiality agreements, fee arrangements…)

EU only

B

Specific Hallmarks (loss buying, income conversion, circular transactions…)

EU only

C

Cross-border transactions

EU only

D

Automatic exchange of information and beneficial ownership

EU and UK

E

Transfer pricing

EU only

As part of the EU – UK Trade and Cooperation, the UK is likely set to implement the OECD’s Mandatory Disclosure Regime (the “MDR”) later in 2021.

DAC6 is a European Directive[1] aimed at identifying potentially tax aggressive cross border arrangements involving EU intermediaries or taxpayers in certain cases. These intermediaries/taxpayers are then required to report on such arrangements if certain criteria are met.

DAC6 can trace its genesis from the BEPS Action 12 which provides recommendations for the design of rules to require taxpayers and advisors to disclose aggressive tax planning arrangements.

To determine whether an arrangement should be reported, the Directive has included Hallmarks. Several Hallmarks are also subject to a Main Benefit Test (MBT), which is considered satisfied if it can be established that the main benefit or one of the main benefits which, having regard to all relevant facts and circumstances, a person may reasonably expect to derive from an arrangement is the obtaining of a tax advantage.

[1] Council Directive 2018/822

Covid-19 has had an impact on the implementation of DAC6 in most EU states. As a result, the reporting dates have been amended as per the below table.

Reporting type

Initial date

COVID-19 amendment

Look back [1]

31 August 2020

28 February 2021

On-going [2]

30 days after 1 July 2020

30 days after 1 January 2021

[1] From 25 June 2018 to 30 June 2020

[2] From 1 July 2020 onwards

  • Identification of intermediaries and relevant taxpayers (including name, date and place of birth, tax residence, tax information number and associated enterprises).
  • Details of the relevant hallmarks that make the cross-border arrangement reportable.
  • A summary of the content of the reportable cross-border arrangement.
  • The date of first step of implementation.
  • Details of the national provisions forming the basis of the reportable cross-border arrangement.
  • The value of the reportable cross-border arrangement.
  • Member States which are likely to be concerned by the reportable cross-border arrangement.
  • Identification of any other person in a Member State likely to be affected by the reportable cross-border arrangement.

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Paul Séjournant Associate Director, Product Development - United Kingdom
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Ivee Gervasio Associate Director - United Kingdom
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Appendix 1 - Hallmarks subject to Main Benefit Test

Hallmark

Hallmark detail

A.1

An arrangement where the relevant taxpayer or a participant in the arrangement undertakes to comply with a condition of confidentiality which may require them not to disclose how the arrangement could secure a tax advantage vis-à-vis other intermediaries or the tax authorities.

A.2

An arrangement where the intermediary is entitled to receive a fee (or interest, remuneration for finance costs and other charges) for the arrangement and that fee is fixed by reference to:

a)     the amount of the tax advantage derived from the arrangement; or

b)     whether or not a tax advantage is actually derived from the arrangement. This would include an obligation on the intermediary to partially or fully refund the fees where the intended tax advantage derived from the arrangement was not partially or fully achieved.

A.3

An arrangement that has substantially standardised documentation and/or structure and is available to more than one relevant taxpayer without a need to be substantially customised for implementation.

B.1

An arrangement whereby a participant in the arrangement takes contrived steps which consist in acquiring a lossmaking company, discontinuing the main activity of such company and using its losses in order to reduce its tax liability, including through a transfer of those losses to another jurisdiction or by the acceleration of the use of those losses.

B.2

An arrangement that has the effect of converting income into capital, gifts or other categories of revenue which are taxed at a lower level or exempt from tax.

B.3

An arrangement which includes circular transactions resulting in the round-tripping of funds, namely through involving interposed entities without other primary commercial function or transactions that offset or cancel each other or that have other similar features

C.1.(b)(i)

C.1(c)

C.1(d)

An arrangement that involves deductible cross-border payments made between two or more associated enterprises where at least one of the following conditions occurs:

b)     although the recipient is resident for tax purposes in a jurisdiction, that jurisdiction:

i.        does not impose any corporate tax or imposes corporate tax at the rate of zero or almost zero

c)     the payment benefits from a full exemption from tax in the jurisdiction where the recipient is resident for tax purposes;

d)     the payment benefits from a preferential tax regime in the jurisdiction where the recipient is resident for tax purposes;

Appendix 2 - Hallmarks not subject to the Main Benefit Test

Hallmark

Hallmark detail

C.1.(a)

C.1.(b)(ii)

An arrangement that involves deductible cross-border payments made between two or more associated enterprises where at least one of the following conditions occurs:

a)     the recipient is not resident for tax purposes in any tax jurisdiction;

b)     although the recipient is resident for tax purposes in a jurisdiction, that jurisdiction either:

ii.        is included in a list of third-country jurisdictions which have been assessed by Member States collectively or within the framework of the OECD as being non-cooperative

C.2

Deductions for the same depreciation on the asset are claimed in more than one jurisdiction.

C.3

Relief from double taxation in respect of the same item of income or capital is claimed in more than one jurisdiction.

C.4

There is an arrangement that includes transfers of assets and where there is a material difference in the amount being treated as payable in consideration for the assets in those jurisdictions involved.

D.1

An arrangement which may have the effect of undermining the reporting obligation under the laws implementing Union legislation or any equivalent agreements on the automatic exchange of Financial Account information, including agreements with third countries, or which takes advantage of the absence of such legislation or agreements. Such arrangements include at least the following:

a)     the use of an account, product or investment that is not, or purports not to be, a Financial Account, but has features that are substantially similar to those of a Financial Account;

b)     the transfer of Financial Accounts or assets to, or the use of jurisdictions that are not bound by the automatic exchange of Financial Account information with the State of residence of the relevant taxpayer;

c)     the reclassification of income and capital into products or payments that are not subject to the automatic exchange of Financial Account information;

d)     the transfer or conversion of a Financial Institution or a Financial Account or the assets therein into a Financial Institution or a Financial Account or assets not subject to reporting under the automatic exchange of Financial Account information;

e)     the use of legal entities, arrangements or structures that eliminate or purport to eliminate reporting of one or more Account Holders or Controlling Persons under the automatic exchange of Financial Account information;

f)      arrangements that undermine, or exploit weaknesses in, the due diligence procedures used by Financial Institutions to comply with their obligations to report Financial Account information, including the use of jurisdictions with inadequate or weak regimes of enforcement of anti-money laundering legislation or with weak transparency requirements for legal persons or legal arrangements.

D.2

An arrangement involving a non-transparent legal or beneficial ownership chain with the use of persons, legal arrangements or structures:

a)     that do not carry on a substantive economic activity supported by adequate staff, equipment, assets and premises; and

b)     that are incorporated, managed, resident, controlled or established in any jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction of residence of one or more of the beneficial owners of the assets held by such persons, legal arrangements or structures; and

c)     where the beneficial owners of such persons, legal arrangements or structures, as defined in Directive (EU) 2015/849, are made unidentifiable.

E.1

An arrangement which involves the use of unilateral safe harbour rules

E.2

An arrangement involving the transfer of hard-to-value intangibles. The term “hard-to-value intangibles” covers intangibles or rights in intangibles for which, at the time of their transfer between associated enterprises:

a)     no reliable comparables exist; and

b)     at the time the transaction was entered into, the projections of future cash flows or income expected to be derived from the transferred intangible, or the assumptions used in valuing the intangible are highly uncertain, making it difficult to predict the level of ultimate success of the intangible at the time of the transfer

E.3

An arrangement involving an intragroup cross-border transfer of functions and/or risks and/or assets, if the projected annual earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), during the three-year period after the transfer, of the transferor or transferors, are less than 50 % of the projected annual EBIT of such transferor or transferors if the transfer had not been made.

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