March 30, 2022
OECD releases IT-format to support exchange of tax information on digital platforms
On 29 March 2022, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the standardized IT-format (a User Guide and an XML Schema) to support the electronic reporting and automatic exchange of information collected under the OECD's Model Reporting Rules for digital platforms released in 2020 and the optional module that extends the scope of the Model Reporting Rules released in 2021.
These Model Reporting Rules require digital platforms to report on the income realized by those offering accommodation, transport and personal services, as well as those selling goods, through platforms and to report the information to tax authorities. The Digital Platform Information (DPI) XML Schema is intended to minimize burdens on digital platform operators, which might otherwise arise were jurisdictions to apply multiple different requirements.
Moreover, the DPI XML Schema was developed in close coordination with the European Union (EU), in order to ensure that the schema can also be relied upon for the reporting and exchange of information pursuant to the Council Directive (EU) 2021/514 (DAC7).
At the 11th Plenary meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA)1 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.2 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.3
On 19 February 2020, the OECD released a consultation document on draft model rules for reporting of data by platform operators with respect to sellers in the sharing and gig economy.4 The consultation document set out 17 questions regarding key aspects of the draft model rules.
Following the consultation document, in July 2020, the OECD released its Model Reporting Rules for reporting of data by platform operators with respect to sellers in the sharing and gig economy.5 Inspired by the OECD Model Reporting Rules, in March 2021, the Council of the EU (the Council) adopted an amendment to the Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation (Council Directive 2011/16/EU or DAC) (the so-called ‘’DAC7’’) to extend the EU tax transparency reporting rules to digital platforms.6 Under the EU rules, which are wider in terms of the scope and businesses affected, the reporting obligation for digital platforms is applicable as of 1 January 2023.
Following the adoption of the DAC7, in June 2021, the OECD published the international exchange framework for Model Reporting Rules for the sharing economy in the form of a Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) and an optional module for sale of goods.7 The 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 optional module extends the scope of the Model Reporting Rules to the sale of goods and the rental of means of transportation.
DPI XML Schema
On 29 March 2022, the OECD released a User Guide and a DPI XML Schema which reflects the extended scope of the Model Reporting Rules and is designed to facilitate exchanges under the OECD’s Model Reporting Rules for digital platforms and the DAC7. The User Guide also includes two appendices: i) Appendix A to the DPI User Guide shows a diagrammatic representation of the DPI XML Schema with all its elements; and ii) Appendix B to the DPI User Guide contains a Glossary of namespaces for the DPI XML Schema.
The structure of the DPI XML Schema consists of logical sections and provides information on specific data elements and any attributes that describe each data element. The main sections include: i) Message Header; ii) Organization Party type; iii) Person Party type; and iv) DPI Body (which includes three sub-sections).
The DPI XML Schema is intended to be used for the exchange of information reported under the OECD Model Reporting Rules between competent authorities that have activated exchange relationships under the MCAA on Automatic Exchange of Information on Income Derived through Digital Platforms (DPI MCAA), or a similar exchange instrument. The DPI XML Schema includes information to be exchanged with respect to activities such as: rental of immovable property; personal services; sale of goods; and the rental of a means of transportation.
Additionally, the User Guide provides that, where appropriate, jurisdictions may consider using the DPI XML Schema domestically for the purpose of gathering the required information from their respective Reporting Platform Operators. The requirement field for each data element and its attribute indicate whether the element is validation or optional in the DPI XML schema. Every element is one or the other in the DPI XML schema. Validation elements must be present for all data records in a file and an automated validation check can be undertaken. Optional elements may be provided, but are not required to be filled in.
The Model Reporting Rules for digital platforms underline the continued intention of the OECD and EU to expand on tax transparency as a means of ensuring tax compliance. The obligation to report income earned through digital platforms and the exchange of such information is aimed at helping countries to receive a full set of information on sellers on the digital platforms. A harmonized framework across the globe for reporting is aimed at increasing legal certainty and providing more clarity to the digital platform operators, who currently may face different reporting obligations in individual jurisdictions.
Digital platforms should timely establish due diligence and information collection processes. In-scope companies should assess what changes to their processes and technology are necessary to enable reporting under the Model Reporting Rules. A positive fact is that EU Value Added Tax (VAT) Law already obliges digital platforms to collect part of the data under DAC7 and the OECD’s Model Reporting Rules. This requirement in the EU limits the amount of work to be done by digital platforms already complying with EU VAT rules.
For additional information with respect to this Tax Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Hamburg
Ernst & Young Belastingadviseurs LLP, Rotterdam
Ernst & Young Belastingadviseurs LLP, Amsterdam
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Detroit
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), San Jose
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Washington, DC