New Delhi, November 2, 2017

Subsidiary of international firm with consolidated revenue of Rs 500 cr and more to maintain master file.

In what will likely usher in a rigorous regime of compliance and disclosure for foreign multinationals (MNCs) in India, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Wednesday notified the final rules for furnishing country-by-country report (CbCR) by MNCs with a consolidated revenue of Rs 5,500 crore and above. Separately, the rules also prescribe that a subsidiary of an international company having consolidated revenue of Rs 500 crore and more would be required to maintain a ‘master file’ containing detailed financial and operating information about the group. The requirement to maintain a master file will also be triggered if the aggregate value of international transactions as per the books of accounts exceeds Rs 50 crore or aggregate value of international transactions in respect of intangible property exceeds Rs 10 crore, the CBDT said in a statement.

“Despite representation from several quarters for increasing the consolidated group revenue threshold for master file compliance, the same remained unchanged at Rs 500 crore. This is in contrast to the OECD recommendation and some other countries introducing master file compliance, where the turnover threshold is kept the same as that for CbCR (750 million euros recommended by OECD),” Jiger Saiya, partner, tax & regulatory services, BDO India’ said. The policymaking body of the IT department said that the rules are based on recommendations of the 2015 Final Report on Action 13, titled ‘Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting’, identified under the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. “The notification of the final rules denotes increased focus of Indian tax authorities on tax transparency and ensuring that the outcomes of transfer pricing policies are in line with value creation linked to Indian operations,” Amit Agarwal, partner-transfer pricing, Nangia & Co, said. He added that new rules are likely to provide tax authorities with substantial information resulting in a high level of transparency.

Master file documentation requirements are mostly similar to that specified under OECD’s BEPS Action 13, though there is additional requirement of furnishing of list of all the entities of the international group engaged in development and management of intangible property, along with their addresses, Agarwal said. The final rules also prescribe that for calculation of the value in rupees of the consolidated group, revenue reported in foreign currency would be the telegraphic transfer buying rate of such currency on the last day of the accounting year in case of master file and last day of the accounting year preceding the accounting year in case of CbCR and master file. “Since it is the first reporting year for furnishing of the Country-by-Country report, the due date for filing the CbCR for reportable accounting year 2016-17 has already been extended to March 31, 2018. Similarly, the date of compliance for furnishing the Master File for FY 17 has been extended to March 31, 2018 as a one-time relief measure,” CBDT said.

[The Financial Express]