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Oliver Pendred

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Oliver Pendred is a Senior Tax Advise in Baker McKenzie's London office.

Multinational groups are increasingly likely to use voluntary carbon credits as part of their efforts to decarbonize their businesses and achieve their climate goals. There are a number of tax complexities and risks depending on how voluntary carbon credits are going to be acquired and used by companies and further guidance from HMRC would be welcomed, particularly as the market grows and becomes more regulated. Where multinational groups are taking a strategic approach to their offset activity, tax functions should play an active role in design and implementing structured arrangements.

In March 2021, the EU approved new reporting rules in a directive known as DAC7. The directive will require the operators of online platforms for the sale of goods and certain services, to collect, verify and share data on their sellers and their transactions concluded on the online platform. EU member states have until 31 December 2022 to implement DAC7 into national law. Certain platform operators will become a reporting platform and will need to start collecting and verifying data points in compliance with the DAC7 reporting requirements. The collected data points must be reported to the tax authorities of the relevant EU member state annually.

Following the signing of the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 30 December 2020, the UK Government has announced that it will cease to participate in the EU mandatory disclosure regime known as DAC6, for which reporting was due to commence from January 2021. The UK will implement a lighter reporting regime based on the OECD’s Mandatory Disclosure Rules (“MDR”) set out in BEPS Action 12. As a transitional measure with immediate effect, DAC6 reporting will only be required for certain specific arrangements concerning automatic exchange of information and beneficial ownership.

Following a recent announcement of the European Commission’s proposal for a three-month deferral of reporting deadlines under the new DAC6 mandatory disclosure regime in the EU and UK, the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COREPER) has now reached an agreement on a revised proposal which could possibly defer the reporting deadline for six months. On the basis that the draft Directive, once approved, may be adopted at the discretion of each member state, it is imperative that businesses do not delay in preparing to meet their existing compliance obligations should reporting dates not be deferred (or not be deferred in all Member States where they operate).