The FCPA Blog | By: Selva Ozelli | Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 8:22AM:
Bill Steinman recently wrote a post for the FCPA Blog about compliance risks in offset obligations. I’d like to continue that discussion, this time with some information about international cooperation to clean up offset transactions, and how the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is playing a role.
To review, “offset agreements” are industrial compensation requirements imposed by foreign governments as condition to purchase of goods, technology, intellectual property (IP) and services from nondomestic suppliers. Offsets typically are used in the aerospace and defense sector.
Offset transactions have been often abused for corruption. For example, in Austria, a €2 billion ($2.24 billion) deal for 18 Eurofighter combat jets required Airbus to invest into Austria twice the value of the aircraft deal. In the end, more than $100 million of this offset amount was reportedly lost to bribery and corruption.
To fight that sort of graft, the OECD or Organization for Economic Co-operation Development adopted new tax compliance reporting requirements called the Country-by-Country Report (CbCR).
So far, 58 countries have adopted the CbCR, which is intended to bring a certain amount of transparency to offset arrangements entered into by aerospace and defense multinational companies.
The CbCR will be automatically exchanged with other governments via tax treaties, Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA), and Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements (MCAA). EU countries propose to make CbCRs publicly available.
In the United States, for the first time this year, aerospace and defense companies with annual revenues of at least $850 million (Multinational Enterprises or MNE) will be obligated to file CbCR via IRS Form 8975 on Oct 16, 2017.
MNE will disclose to tax authorities information regarding offset arrangements with offset advisors, indirect offset partners, and offset subcontractors, on a country-by-country basis.
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