Review of the UK Global Minimum Tax in Yesterday’s 2023 Spring Finance Bill

Contents

  1. General
  2. Application of the Draft Law & Safe Harbours
  3. Debt Releases
  4. Protected Cell Companies
  5. Acceptable Accounting Standards
  6. Domestic Minimum Tax/QDMTT
  7. GloBE Elections Included/Excluded in the Draft UK Law
  8. New Election
  9. Administration

General

The Spring Finance Bill 2023 (Finance (No. 2) Bill) was published yesterday (March 23, 2023), along with its Explanatory Notes.  The Bill includes provisions to implement key aspects of the Pillar Two Global Minimum Tax for accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2023.

This follows the original draft legislation published on July 20, 2022.

The Undertaxed Profits/Payments Rule was not included in the Bill, however this is not unexpected as it was announced in the Autumn Statement that this will apply no earlier than accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2024.

The draft legislation is very comprehensive and, as expected, covers relevant aspects of the OECD Model Rules, Commentary and other Published Guidance.

In particular it, provides for an Income Inclusion Rule (named the Multinational Top-Up Tax) and a Domestic Top-Up Tax (which is likely to be a Qualified Domestic Minimum Top-Up Tax).

The UK Bill is the most comprehensive law we have seen to date to implement the Pillar Two Global Minimum Tax. It closely follows the OECD Model Rules and reflects the latest guidance, including aspects of the OECD Safe Harbours Guidance and the Administrative Guidance.

It is worth noting at the outset that Section 255 of the Bill specifically refers to the OECD Model GloBE Rules and Commentary (including the OECD Examples) and directly applies them in various aspects of the application of the Multinational Top-Up Tax. 

In addition, it applies ‘any further commentaries or guidance published from time to time by the OECD that are relevant to the implementation of the Pillar Two model rules’.

This would, therefore, include the OECD Administrative Guidance that will itself be included in an updated version of the OECD Commentary.

Application

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