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FS Tax Accounting Seminar - 2 August 2019

Our summer FS tax accounting update covered current affairs topics including an update from half year reporting, IFRS 16 and IFRIC 23. If you would like to discuss any of these areas in more detail, please get in touch with any of the contacts listed in the attached slides or your usual PwC contact.

Keeping up with Tax for Banking and Capital Markets - July

Welcome to our first edition of Keeping Up with Tax in Banking and Capital Markets, picking up on a range of current hot topics relevant to our industry.  We have gathered input from a number of specialists across our Banking & Capital markets tax team in putting this together and we hope you find it interesting and useful. This is the first of a regular newsletter aimed at providing up to date information and insights to the tax community in the Banking and Capital Markets industry.

Hybrid Capital Instruments

As previously trialled in the 2018 Budget, the Taxation of Regulatory Capital Securities Regulations (“the Regulatory Capital Regulations”) have been revoked and replaced with new tax rules introduced by Finance Act 2019 with effect from 1 January 2019 (the “Hybrid Capital Instrument Rules”). The old Regulations allowed banking and insurance groups to obtain certainty as to the deductibility of coupon payments on regulatory instruments. These Regulations also contain a stamp duty exemption, and also dealt with a number of other issues discussed further below.

Consultation document minimum capital rules for banks and insurance companies

In March, the Dutch Ministry of Finance published a consultation document on the proposed minimum capital rules for banks and insurance companies. In line with the announcement in the coalition agreement of the Dutch government, the proposed legislation in the consultation document provides for an interest deduction limitation in case the leverage ratio (banks) or solvency II equity ratio (insurance companies) is less than 8%. Please see below for our PwC newsflash article.

French WHT Update

As you may be aware, the amendment to the Draft Financial Bill for 2019 aiming at fighting against “Cumex practice” has been modified and was voted by the National Assembly on 17 December 2018.

Belgian WHT Law Changes

The Belgian law targeting situations of Belgian WHT evasion and avoidance was published on 22 January and entered into force on that day. There has been no material change to the scope of the legislation between the draft and final versions, and no guidance issued by the tax authorities as of yet.

The Spanish Government remits the Financial Transactions Tax Bill to the Congress

On January 18, 2019 the Council of Ministers approved the Financial Transactions Tax Bill ("the Bill") and its remittance to the Congress for starting approval proceedings. In this Bulletin, we comment on the most relevant changes made to the text of the Draft Bill that was submitted to public information until November 15, 2018 ("the Draft Bill"). The text of the Bill incorporates many of the observations proposed by the industry during the public information proceeding.

PwC UK FS Tax Forum - Brexit, tax policy and politics: The impact on the Financial Services operating model - Towards an operating model fit for the future

PwC’s FS Tax Forum, held in London on 20 November, discussed how financial services businesses must begin to rethink their operating models as tax systems change around them. What most concerns tax professionals in financial services as they survey the outlook for the months and years ahead? Above all, it is the realisation that incremental change will not be enough to ensure their businesses remain fit for purpose given the pace and scale of the transformation confronting them.

PwC UK FS Tax Forum: Brexit, tax policy and politics: The impact on the Financial Services operating model - The devil is in the detail

PwC’s Tax Forum, held in London on 20 November, discussed how the proliferation of big data, to which tax authorities have increasing access, exposes financial services organisations to new tax risks. It has become fashionable to describe data as the new oil, such is the value to organisations of the information they are now able to collect, store, manage and mine for insight. But it’s often forgotten that oil is a tough business, dirty and accident-prone; so too does data expose financial services companies to new dangers – and tax now has to be at the forefront of managing this risk. What do we mean by data in this context? The reality is that all the data held by a financial services business is relevant data from a tax perspective, particularly where there is some form of dispute with the tax authorities. HM Revenue & Customs is entitled to ask for data of any kind – a VAT inquiry, say, may well pull in data that will subsequently be useful for personal or corporation tax inquiries.

PwC UK FS Tax Forum - Brexit, tax policy and politics: The impact on the Financial Services operating model - Why data and disruption will change tax forever

PwC’s FS Tax Forum, held in London on 20 November, considered how the disruption of the financial services industry by new technologies could affect its tax profile. Disruption has become a fact of life for financial services companies, whether in banking, insurance or asset and wealth management. Delegates to PwC’s Tax Forum were under no illusions about the transformation to come: in a poll conducted at the event, 88% said they expected technology to change the operating model of their businesses either moderately or significantly in the years ahead. But as the industry’s value proposition begins to shift, what will that mean for the way in which value is taxed?

PwC UK FS Tax Forum: Brexit, tax policy and politics: The impact on the Financial Services operating model - The future of tax

At PwC’s FS Tax Forum, held in London on 20 November, delegates looked ahead as the pace of change in tax continues to accelerate After a decade of change, spanning everything from a new base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) regime and heightened transparency requirements, to US tax reform and the emergence of the EU as a key player in setting international standards, the tax functions of financial services businesses could be forgiven for thinking they’re due a break. No such luck: the next few years will see yet more transformation for both direct and indirect tax systems – and firms must be prepared for this change. Delegates to PwC’s tax forum are not expecting to rest on their laurels. While most do not expect fundamental international tax reform in the near future, 67% are anticipating further reforms in the years ahead – and two-thirds of them worry such changes are likely to be for the worse for their firms.

PwC UK FS Tax Forum: Brexit, tax policy and politics: The impact on the Financial Services operating model

Has the financial services industry reached an inflection point? If the 10 years since the financial crisis could be characterised as the decade of regulation, then the 10 years to come will be the decade of digitalisation. Everywhere you look within financial services, disruption is the order of the day: across the industry, businesses are rethinking their business models – and their core value propositions – as new technologies offer exciting new opportunities and create new threats.

French Withholding Tax Development

The French Senate introduced six amendments to the Draft Financial Bill for 2019 aiming at taxing payments made, under any form, over certain financial contracts. Those amendments were notably motivated by the recent articles published by various journals (notably “Le Monde”) on the CumCum and CumEx practices and inscribed themselves in the more global fight against tax fraud and tax optimisation. The objectives of the Senators is to implement new provisions inspired by US regulations (e.g. 871m). On 26 November, the Senators adopted those amendments.

Spanish FTT

On October the 19th the Spanish Council of Ministers approved a draft proposal for creating a Financial Transactions Tax (“FTT”). The creation of this tax was part of the Political Agreement for the 2019 Budget signed between the Spanish Government and the “United We Can” party in the earlier week.

November Tax Accounting Update

Our November tax accounting update covered topics ranging from VAT in financial statements to the impacts of structural reform and Brexit. Financial Services groups will need to consider how these areas may affect accounting and disclosures in FY18 financial statements and beyond.

OECD Transfer Pricing on Financial Transactions

In early July, as follow up work in relation to the BEPS project, the OECD issued a new public discussion draft paper (the “Draft Paper”) regarding the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions. The Draft Paper seeks to clarify principles previously included in the 2017 OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (the “OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines”) in relation to four areas. Further detail on each of these topics and the implications for Financial Services groups appears below.

EU MDR

As you may have recently seen, on 25 May 2018, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (“ECOFIN”) formally adopted rules regarding the mandatory automatic exchange of information in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements.

Changes to rules on Hybrid and Other Mismatches in draft Finance Bill 2018/19: considerations for banking and capital markets institutions

Hybrid legislation came into effect as of 1 January 2017, and was drafted closely in line with the recommendations of the BEPS Action 2 report. While the UK considered its rules consistent with the ATAD and ATAD 2[1] for the most part (which is unsurprising given these too were aligned with the Action 2 report principles), the UK government has now proposed some changes with the aim of ensuring its legislation fully conforms with the Directive requirements. Notwithstanding that the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK is still proposing to adopt those minimum standards required to be implemented by Member States by 1 January 2020. (It is likely that the UK will be required to comply with the Directives during any Brexit transition period, and this period is currently anticipated to last from 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020.)

Financial Transaction Tax Developments

Five years on since the EU Commission first proposed the introduction of a wide ranging EU Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), rumours occasionally resurface to suggest a new momentum for introduction of the tax. Differing views across Member States on the scope and form of the tax, and the practical challenges of implementing the tax as originally proposed, suggests it is unlikely that the required consensus across those Member States in support of such a tax would ever be achieved.

IFRS 16 - (Draft) Finance Bill proposed tax changes

The draft clauses of Finance (No.3) Bill released on 6 July 2018 covered the taxation of leases for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. Despite the Government’s intention that the legislative changes proposed would ensure that the leasing rules continue to work as originally intended, the draft legislation will have a significant impact on the ‘status quo’ and place a heavy compliance burden on lessees, particularly on transition.