How to Move Forward with Country-by-Country Reporting? A Qualitative Content Analysis of the Stakeholders’ Comments in the OECD 2020 Review

Country-by-country reporting (CbCR) has become the global standard on corporate tax transparency within only 6 years after the release of the OECD BEPS reports in 2015. Recently, the European Union extended the scope of CbCR towards public disclosure of the reports. Despite the widespread adoption of CbCR, its strengths and limitations are still controversially discussed. This article investigates whether the current OECD approach is fit for purpose and which modifications would improve the consistency and effectiveness of the reports. The analysis builds on a qualitative assessment of stakeholder comments received by the OECD during a public consultation process which was part of the major 2020 review on CbCR. The authors critically review the proposed adjustments as well as current developments and derive recommendations for moving forward. The key recommendation is that the OECD should focus on technical adjustments such as a multi-year approach and harmonized notification requirements. However, major conceptual changes should be streamlined with the outcomes of the negotiations on a global minimum tax to reduce complexity and improve legal certainty for affected firms.