In December 2020, the Belgian Constitutional Court (Grondwettelijk Hof) decided to refer a preliminary question to the European Union Court of Justice in relation to DAC6. The preliminary question in Case number C-620/19 is around whether the DAC6 notification obligation infringes on the right of a fair trial and the right to private life under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
In light of the professional secrecy restrictions, the Belgian Association of Tax Lawyers argued before the Constitutional Court that it is impossible to fulfil their notification obligation towards other intermediaries.
They claim that information that is protected by professional secrecy in respect of the authorities is also protected in respect of other intermediaries who may be involved. They believe that the DAC6 reporting obligations infringe the right of a fair trial and the right to private life. Both of which are guaranteed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
In our latest episode of MDR Unpacked, our Director of Best Practice Gary Yantin and Head of Legal and Product Research Ruth Mittelmann Cohen share the latest updates on the Mandatory Disclosure Rules in Argentina. They will look at what MDR means in Argentina, the timescales, the penalties and who needs to comply.
Navigating international laws and regulations around bribery can be very complex. Cultural customs can sometimes amount to bribery. What may be regarded as perfectly ‘normal’ and acceptable practice in a country can still be considered a bribe, even when a reward or ‘tip’ is expected, and even if everyone does it.
To help in the quest for compliance, VinciWorks has created a country guide to bribery. The guide includes guidance for over 70 countries. For each country, there is a summary of key bribery offences, who it covers, if businesses are required to have procedures in place, hospitality rules, facilitation payments and legal penalties.
We recommend using this guide in risk assessments and country-specific policy development. Risk assessment forms a key part of any anti-bribery and corruption programme and once risks are identified, such as business operations in high-risk jurisdictions, additional measures can be implemented which may, in some jurisdictions, form the basis for a legal defence if any employees or agents engage in bribery.
To help businesses keep track of updates in UK legislation and policies, VinciWorks regularly publishes a regulatory update. Our regulatory agenda for March covers EU developments, ongoing acts of parliament, the latest COVID-19 government guidance and more.
What’s in the regulatory agenda?
What’s new this month?
EU developments affecting policy and compliance
Recent Acts of Parliament affecting policy and compliance
The OECD’s BEPS 12 is a set of principles around Mandatory Disclosure Regimes. To date, the OECD has only developed model rules around Common Reporting Standards (CRS) avoidance and opaque structures. EU member states have implemented OECD’s BEPS 12 through DAC6. The UK announced that as part of the Brexit agreement, they would be transitioning from DAC6 to international rules and introducing their own UK MDR.
MDR has been implemented in non-EU member states such as Gibraltar, Mexico and Argentina, with more countries expected to follow suit. In this webinar, we helped attendees come to terms with MDR and what it means for your organisation.
The webinar covered:
What is MDR?
What will the UK’s MDR look like?
How has MDR been implemented around the world?
Which other non-EU countries are set to implement MDR?
HMRC have updated their DAC6 guidance following the unexpected announcement on 31 December 2020 that in light of Brexit, DAC6 would be changed in the UK to be more aligned with the OECD’s model Mandatory Disclosure Rules. The changes were implemented through Statutory Instrument 2020/1649.
Tax advisers are still unable to report DAC6 arrangements in Spain due to the lack of a reporting system. The EU’s DAC6 Directive requires reporting of historical arrangements by the end of February, but the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria) has not yet enabled a mechanism to make a report.
The Spanish Association of Tax Advisors (Aedaf) announced at the end of January that it will be impossible for them to comply with their DAC6 obligation as the Ministry of Finance has not yet approved the regulations to do so. Furthermore, the Spanish Government has not yet responded to the clarifications requested by tax advisers providing them with guidance on which arrangements to report.
In our latest episode of MDR Unpacked, our Director of Best Practice Gary Yantin and Head of Legal and Product Research Ruth Mittelmann Cohen share the latest updates on the Mandatory Disclosure Rules in Gibraltar. They will look at what MDR means in Gibraltar, the timescales, the penalties and who needs to comply.
Does your organisation have an up-to-date gifts and corporate hospitality policy in place? Are you able to easily register any gifts you receive or give? Having an up-to-date gifts and corporate hospitality policy in place will help you comply with your responsibilities under the Bribery Act and other anti-corruption legislation.
What should be included in a gifts and corporate hospitality policy?
The purpose of such a policy is to ensure that your organisation and its employees comply with the anti-bribery and corruption policy, bribery laws and best practice in combating corruption in all of the countries and business areas in which you operate. The policy should complement your organisation’s bribery and corruption policy. Here is some guidance on what the policy should include.
In 2020, Airbus paid a record £3bn in fines for ‘endemic’ corruption. This settlement surpassed the previous UK record for a corporate fine for bribery, which was the £671m paid by Rolls-Royce, Britain’s luxury car manufacturer, in 2017.
Despite the UK Bribery Act having come into force in 2010, bribery is still a hugely problematic issue in corporate life. Billions of pounds of fines are levied every year and frequent reports hit the headlines of investigations and prosecutions from the US Department of Justice and UK Serious Fraud Office.
Companies should have strict policies in place to ensure all employees understand the steps they need to take to ensure their company cannot be found liable of bribery or corruption. The policy should apply strictly to all employees, partners, agents, consultants, contractors and any other people or bodies associated with the organisation. VinciWorks has therefore created an anti-bribery and corruption policy that can easily be edited to suite your organisation’s staff and industry. Continue reading →