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June 30, 2021
OECD publishes international exchange framework and optional module for Model Reporting Rules for sellers in the sharing economy
On 22 June 2021, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published Model Reporting Rules for Digital Platforms: International Exchange Framework and Optional Module for Sale of Goods (the report). The report includes an international legal framework in the form of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) that operationalizes the exchanges of information under the Model Rules for Reporting by Platform Operators with respect to Sellers in the Sharing and Gig Economy (the Model Rules) that were adopted on 3 July 2020. Reflecting the interest of a number of jurisdictions to permit the extension of the scope of the Model Rules to the sale of goods and the rental of means of transportation, the report also includes an optional module developed by the OECD allowing such jurisdictions to implement the Model Rules with an extended scope.
In parallel, the European Union (EU) Member States have adopted rules revising the Directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation (Council Directive 2011/16/EU or DAC) to extend the EU tax transparency rules reporting by digital platforms on their sellers (DAC7).1 This Directive will apply from 1 January 2023.
At the 11th Plenary meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA)2 in 2017, FTA members agreed to work on a project to help ensure the effective taxation of the sale of goods or services in the sharing and gig economy. This project was referenced in the March 2018 OECD interim report to the G20 on Tax Challenges Arising from Digitalisation.3 A project group, led by the Italian Revenue Agency and the United Kingdom's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, was set up to carry out the work. The project group held several meetings and engaged with selected sharing and gig economy platform operators. At the 12th Plenary meeting of the FTA in 2019, the FTA members welcomed the publication of a report on the effective taxation of platform sellers in the sharing and gig economy, which summarizes the findings of the project group.4
On 19 February 2020, the OECD released a consultation document (the Consultation Document) on draft model rules for reporting of data by platform operators with respect to sellers in the sharing and gig economy.5 The Consultation Document set out 17 questions regarding key aspects of the draft model rules. Later, on 15 April 2020, the OECD released the public comments submitted on the draft model rules.
Following this, on 3 July 2020, the OECD released its Model Rules for reporting of data by platform operators with respect to sellers in the sharing and gig economy.6 Under the Model Rules, operators of digital platforms are required to collect information on the income realized by those offering accommodation, transport and personal services through platforms and to report the information to tax authorities.
International exchange framework and optional module for sale of goods
On 22 June 2021, the OECD published the international exchange framework for Model Reporting Rules for the sharing economy in the form of an MCAA. This framework supports the annual automatic exchange of information by the residence jurisdiction of the platform operator with the jurisdictions of residence of the sellers. The framework also includes an optional module to extend the scope of the Model Rules to the sale of goods and the rental of means of transportation. In light of this, the MCAA foresees the possibility to send information on the basis of either the scope of the Model Rules or the scope of the Model Rules and the extended scope.
The information to be exchanged includes identifying information (name, address and any tax identification number (TIN)), the total consideration paid during a reportable period, and other information. Regarding the time of the exchange of information, the MCAA states that Competent Authorities shall use all reasonable efforts to exchange the information within two months after the end of the Reportable Period to which the information relates (e.g., before 1 March), and should proceed with exchanges no later than four months after the end of the Reportable Period to which the information relates (e.g., before 1 May). The Competent Authorities will transmit the information through the OECD Common Transmission System and in compliance with the related encryption and file preparation standards.
Further, the MCAA enables sending jurisdictions to provide the information to an interested receiving jurisdiction, even if the receiving jurisdiction has not implemented the Model Rules. This is to facilitate situations where a jurisdiction is interested in exchanging such information on a non-reciprocal basis.
The reporting by platform operators will have significant implications. As the Model Rules are implemented by jurisdictions, tax administrations will obtain new access to information on platform sellers even if the receiving jurisdiction has not implemented the Model Rules. The Model Rules make it easier for interested jurisdictions outside the EU that are not subject to DAC7 to put information reporting regimes for platforms in place.
Potentially affected companies should follow developments and assess what changes to their processes and technology may be required to enable reporting of the type contemplated in these projects. Similarly, platform operators should closely assess the expansion of administrative cooperation within the EU, namely DAC7. The additional guidance provided by the OECD on the optional module on the sale of goods and the rental of means of transportation, may be useful for the interpretation of DAC7 as well, given that it is expected that the EU will exchange information with non-EU jurisdictions via the MCAA.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young Belastingadviseurs LLP, Rotterdam
Ernst & Young Belastingadviseurs LLP, Amsterdam
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Global Tax Desk Network, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), San Jose
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Washington, DC