The OECD and its Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations continue to lead as the principal source of guidance for transfer pricing regimes around the world. In this issue of BDO’s Transfer Pricing newsletter, we include articles from our member firms that bear out this trend. In Austria, for example, the transfer pricing guidelines have been updated to incorporate the changes made in 2017 to the OECD guidelines, and the UK government announced that it will introduce legislation to require the largest companies to maintain, and provide upon request, master file and local file documentation. This would be the first time that transfer pricing documentation in a prescribed format -- following the OECD transfer pricing guidelines -- would be legally mandatory in the UK. Cyprus is in the process of codifying the country’s transfer pricing rules, which are based on and would be applied in accordance with the OECD’s transfer pricing guidelines, Finland is proposing to revise its transfer pricing adjustment provision to bring it into closer alignment with the OECD guidelines, and Jordan took the first steps toward implementing a transfer pricing regime that includes three-tiered documentation requirements in accordance with the OECD/G20’s BEPS project. And the Italian tax authorities have amended the transfer pricing documentation rules to align domestic requirements with post-BEPS standards.
In another important and long-awaited development, the European Parliament approved an amendment to the EU Accounting Directive that will impose additional reporting requirements on large multinational enterprises. The new rules—commonly referred to as the public CbCR rules-- require certain companies to publicly disclose tax-related information in the form of a country-by-country report.
Documentation and CbCR rules were also at the forefront in Denmark, which passed a bill on the preparation of documentation for domestic transactions, and Thailand, which issued a notification to clarify the transfer pricing documentation requirements and a separate notification containing CbCR regulations. Poland enacted a broad tax package that includes changes to the country’s rules governing the preparation of the local file and other documentation and information reporting obligations. Finally, Zambia’s 2022 budget includes changes to the country’s CbCR rules.
Even in countries with long-established transfer pricing regimes, evolving circumstances drive the need for a continual reevaluation and modification process. For example, Singapore recently released the sixth version of its transfer pricing guidelines, and the Netherlands has proposed legislation that would neutralise the potential for double nontaxation in transfer pricing mismatch situations arising from the application of the arm’s length principle.
It’s not just the legislative bodies that make transfer pricing law, as demonstrated by our article on a recent decision by Panama’s Supreme Court that upheld a transfer pricing penalty against a taxpayer in a special tax-exempt zone.
- European Union - EU adopts new rules on public country-by-country reporting
- Rethink: Transfer Pricing - Spotlight on Transfer Pricing - Identifying complexity and areas of risk
- Rethink: Transfer Pricing - Country-by-Country reporting: risks and opportunities
- Austria: Updated domestic transfer pricing guidelines reflect OECD guidelines
- Cyprus: Transfer pricing rules to be codified
- Denmark: Documentation rules for domestic transactions abolished, but rules for cross-border transactions unchanged
- Finland: Changes to transfer pricing adjustment provision
- Italy: Circular letter to clarify transfer pricing documentation requirements released
- Jordan: Transfer pricing instructions include OECD-type documentation requirements
- Netherlands: Proposed legislation would address transfer pricing mismatches
- Panama: Supreme Court upholds transfer pricing penalty on a taxpayer in a special tax-exempt area
- Poland: Changes to transfer pricing documentation rules to apply as from 2022
- Singapore: Transfer pricing guidelines updated to incorporate new content
- Thailand: Tax authorities clarify transfer pricing documentation and CbCR requirements
- United Kingdom: Outcome of government consultation on transfer pricing announced
- Zambia: 2022 budget includes changes to CbCR rules