EU Mandatory Disclosure Rules – New reporting requirements for intermediaries entered into force in June 2018

Aug 20, 2018

The European Union has published an amendment to the Directive on Administrative Co-operation, that will require intermediaries to report certain cross‑border, tax-planning arrangements to tax authorities, who will then exchange relevant information with each other on a quarterly basis. HMRC is assessing the consequences of this Directive for the UK and will issue further guidance as appropriate.

When do the obligations begin?

Intermediaries will first have to report by 31 August 2020, on any arrangements where the first step has been taken, after the Directive entered into force on 25 June 2018.

Who is covered by the new rules?

The Directive applies to any intermediary that designs, markets, organises or makes available for implementation or manages the implementation of, a reportable cross-border arrangement. It also covers those who provide aid, assistance or advice where they can be reasonably expected to know that this is what they have done. If the intermediary is located outside the EU or is bound by professional privilege or secrecy rules, the obligation to report passes to the taxpayer.

How would the measures work in practice?

Intermediaries are required to report any cross-border arrangement (covering all direct taxes) if it bears the "hallmarks" defined in the Directive. They must report to the relevant tax authority within 30 days of when the arrangement is made available, is ready for implementation or has been implemented – whichever occurs first, or of when the aid, assistance or advice is provided.

Intermediaries are not expected to carry out additional due diligence and will only have to report information which is in their knowledge, possession or control. 

Member States may also use the OECD’s Mandatory Disclosure Rules as a source of illustration or interpretation. For example, the OECD’s commentary further explains “reasonably expected to know”.

Further information is available at:-https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.139.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2018:139:TOC   and www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/game-over-for-crs-avoidance-oecd-adopts-tax-disclosure-rules-for-advisors.htm