Liberia is a typical example amongst developing African countries making noticeable effort to expand their tax base to the size it should appropriately be, therefore collecting more taxes and adapting to the fast-changing local and global business environment.
The transfer pricing of intangible properties has always been a significant issue for multinational enterprises (MNEs). The excellent idea devoted to this matter with the current drive of the OECD to counter tax base erosion is dim long over-due. Indeed, the case with transfer pricing is technically considered a neutral concept but erroneously taken as an offensive action of MNEs that permits them to transfer profits generated by intangibles to so-called tax havens. Although, the arm’s length principle enshrine in the OECD Model has been misidentified as the primary instrument to tackle such abusive behavior of MNEs.
When states attain membership of the European Union (EU), the governments are in charge of enacting and implementing their local direct taxation policy. The tax framework of the member-states shall not contravene or interfere the laid down policies and directives of the EU institutions; therefore, the sovereignty of member states is extremely safeguarded. Although the EU faces difficulties to come up with results that would be generally accepted by all member states, it has taken every step to integrate all Member States’ corporate direct taxation systems since the 1950s.
In a first, the European Commission has stressed that tax rules in seven EU member states facilitate corporate tax avoidance by multinational enterprises (MNEs).
The arm’s length principle treats the members of a multinational enterprise (MNE) as operating in separate entities, rather than as inseparable parts of a single, unified business. Therefore, it is required that MNEs follow the same pricing policy for intra-group and uncontrolled transactions, under comparable circumstances. Otherwise, the controlled companies shall take the necessary measures and adjust their profits by reference to the conditions, which would have obtained between independent enterprises.