Pillar Two and the Accounting Standards

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Global minimum taxation under Pillar Two establishes a link to financial statements, in particular with regard to the revenue threshold, to the calculation of the effective tax rate (ETR), and to carve-outs. This article discusses in detail these links and possible incentives, adverse effects and opportunities for improvement. It suggests that Pillar Two incentivizes multinational enterprises (MNEs) to prepare their individual and consolidated financial statements for tax purposes by using the discretionary leeway inherent in accounting standards. In particular they may use such discretion to report lower revenues to avoid falling within the scope, to report profits at the lower margin and tax expense at the higher margin to show a sufficiently high ETR and to adapt their financial accounting measurement to keep the top-up tax low by using tangible asset carve-outs based on financial statements. In consequence, the quality of financial reporting and capital allocation may be impaired. In addition, the acceptance of almost all common accounting standards under Pillar Two incentivizes generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) competition between countries. The authors conclude that connecting Pillar Two to financial statements has adverse effects from both a tax and an accounting perspective. An improvement of existing tax rules to combat tax avoidance, as started with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, seems preferable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-154
Number of pages20
JournalIntertax
Volume51
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Pillar Two, GloBE, Minimum Taxation, Accounting Standards, IFRS, Financial Statements

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