The GloBE Information Return of the OECD

In now familiar fashion, the OECD, or rather the Inclusive Framework on BEPS, again made various publications on global minimum taxation (Pillar 2) shortly before Christmas. In addition to a relief through CbCR-based Safe Harbour rules and a discussion draft on obtaining "Tax Certainty" in the context of the GloBE rules, a third discussion draft dated December 20, 2022 was on the future "tax return", the so-called GloBE Information Return (GIR).

While the exact procedural interplay between GIR and local tax assessment is still unclear, the GIR provides an overview of the "data points" that companies and advisors have in many cases already collected in recent months on the basis of the Model Rules or the EU Directive (RL 2022/2523 v. December 14, 2022). The fact that the OECD is setting a standard for data collection and GIR in this regard makes sense and allows for a more focused exchange on how it works and what data points are required across countries. It would be more than desirable for the EU and Germany to follow on as seamlessly as possible from this and not design completely separate alternatives. The alphanumeric coding of the individual data points and an extensive annex with explanations of various data points are particularly useful in the context of the OECD's draft GIR. Coding such as "3.3.1.3.a.2" may not be intuitive, but it can at least ensure that all parties involved mean the same thing in the context of ongoing projects, which is a challenge in itself given the highly complex set of rules.

On the other hand, it can be critically stated that the structure of the GIR is not stringent throughout. For example, data entries and calculations are sometimes mixed without references being marked. It is also debatable that the GIR provides for a calculation of the top-up tax per jurisdiction. This mixes data collection and tax calculation, but already implies that there will be no jurisdiction-specific interpretations. If the GIR has thus a "disciplining" and harmonizing effect on national implementations, much would already be gained. The discussion draft is open for comments until February 2, 2023, so it is still unclear to what extent the structure will be retained and, above all, how the GIR will be integrated into the respective national procedural law.

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