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12.4.3. Documentation Requirements

The Finance Act 2017 introduced the three-tiered BEPS-recommended transfer pricing documentation requirement consisting of a Master file, Local file, and Country-by-Country (CbC) report.

Disclosure Requirement

Taxpayers are required to submit transfer pricing returns PT01 and PT02 by 30 April of each year.

Standard Documentation

Taxpayers are required to maintain contemporaneous documentation in relation to their transactions with related parties. The Finance Act 2017 introduced the three-tiered transfer pricing documentation requirement consisting of a Master file, Local file, and Country-by-Country (CbC) report. However, on 20 February 2019, the tax authorities have notified the suspension of the CbC reporting obligations.

Master File

The Master file is to be prepared at the level of the parent company of the group of associated enterprises and should contain information on the MNE group, including:

  • A general description of the activity exercised, including any changes occurring since the start of the activities;
  • A general description of the legal and operational structure of the group, including the identification of the various group companies;
  • A general description of the functions exercised and risks assumed by the various group entities;
  • A list of the main intangibles owned, including, in particular, patents, trademarks, and know-how; and
  • A general description of the group’s transfer pricing policy.

The Master file is to be filed with the tax authorities by 30 April of the following year.

Local File

The Local file is to be prepared at the entity level and consist of details of related party transactions, including:

  • A description of the activities carried out, including any changes occurring during the relevant reporting periods;
  • A description of the transactions with related entities, including the nature and amounts thereof;
  • A list of cost-sharing agreements and APAs impacting the results of the enterprise;
  • A presentation of the transfer pricing method(s) used, including a functional analysis and a justification of the method selected; and
  • A comparative analysis, if such, is made necessary by the method selected.

The local file is to be prepared and filed with the tax authorities by 30 April of the following year. If the documentation is not available by the deadline or is only partially available, a formal notice will be issued requiring submission within 60 days by the tax authorities.

COVID-19 Emergency Measures

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gabon extended the deadline for filing the transfer pricing documentation for the tax year 2020 from 30 April 2021 until 31 May 2021.

Country-by-Country (CbC) Report

Resident ultimate parent entities are required to submit a CbC report within 12 months of the end of the fiscal year if the consolidated annual turnover meets or exceeds a threshold of CFA 491,967,750,000 (near equivalent of EUR 750 million). For this purpose, the ultimate parent means an entity directly or indirectly holding sufficient ownership interests in subsidiaries that is required to prepare consolidated accounts according to the OHADA standards. The content of the report is based on BEPS Action 13, with the form and procedures for submission to be provided in future tax administration guidelines.

In addition, constituent entities of the group resident in Gabon must submit a notification on the ultimate parent no later than the last day of the fiscal year. The notification and CbC report requirements apply for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

Language of Documentation

The documentation is required to be submitted in the French language.

Penalties

Failure to submit the required transfer pricing documentation attracts a penalty equal to 5% of the total amount of intra-group transactions of the company, with a minimum penalty of CFA 65 million per year.

Failure to submit a CbC report attracts a penalty equal to 0.05% of consolidated turnover, excluding tax, capped at CFA 100 million per year. Note that the tax authorities on 20 February 2019 notified the temporary suspension of CbC reporting.