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  • General purpose financial statements

    For income years starting on or after 1 July 2019, country-by-country reporting entities (CBC reporting entities) that are also corporate tax entities with an Australian presence must give us a general purpose financial statement (GPFS) unless a GPFS has already been provided to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

    For previous income years starting on or after 1 July 2016 but before 1 July 2019, this lodgment obligation applied to significant global entities (SGEs) that are also corporate tax entities.

    We must give a copy of the GPFS to ASIC. ASIC will place this copy on their register and make it accessible to the public.

    These requirements are set out in section 3CA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953, which aims to provide greater transparency, particularly of entities belonging to large multinational and certain large private groups.

    Note: All legislative references in this document are to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 unless otherwise stated.

    The ATO has detailed guidance on how to fulfil section 3CA lodgment obligations. This is set out in Guidance on providing general purpose financial statements, which includes:

    • who must give us a GPFS
    • best practice
    • how to prepare a GPFS
    • how to give us your GFS
    • when to give us your GPFS
    • administrative arrangements.

    On this page:

    Helping you comply

    If you have difficulty complying with your section 3CA obligations, you should contact us to discuss your circumstances. In particular, you can contact us to apply for an extension of time to lodge your GPFS if you consider you are at risk of not complying because you are:

    • experiencing difficulty in establishing systems within the time that you have to give us a GPFS prepared in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards
    • encountering unexpected additional costs, particularly if you have not previously prepared your financial reports in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards.

    The Commissioner is obliged to apply the law. In the rare circumstances where you continue to encounter difficulties in fully complying with your 3CA obligations, you may contact us so we can work together to solve your particular issues. This may mean we can consider a practical compliance approach which takes into consideration your circumstances so you can meet your 3CA obligations.

    Forthcoming changes to reporting obligations

    Section 3CA applies to corporate tax entities that do not lodge a GPFS with ASIC, such as those that lodge special purpose financial statements (SPFS) with ASIC.

    In March 2020, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) released AASB 2020-3, which removes the ability of certain for-profit private sector entities to prepare SPFS for annual reporting periods commencing from 1 July 2021, with earlier application permitted. Such entities will be required to prepare a GPFS and lodge them with ASIC.

    Where entities within scope of AASB 2020-3 lodge a GPFS to ASIC for the financial year most closely corresponding to their income year, they will not be required to give the Commissioner a GPFS under section 3CA.

    See also:

    Other relevant resources

    Contact details

    If you have any questions, email SGE@ato.gov.au

    Last modified: 22 Dec 2020QC 58498