Thai Tax Authority Issues Notification on Transfer Pricing Methods

Thailand’s Revenue Department Issues Notification on Transfer Pricing Methods

By Varapa Aurat (Consultant, Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand) 

On May 6, 2021, a new transfer pricing notification from Thailand’s Tax Department was officially published in the Government Gazette. The Notification of the Director-General of the Tax Department Re: Income Tax (No. 400), which was first announced earlier in the year, prescribes the criteria, methods, and conditions for Tax Department officials on how to assess income and adjust expenses for transactions between related parties (as defined in Section 71 bis of the Tax Code) that engage in intercompany transactions where conditions between the two parties in their commercial or financial relations differ from those that would be made between independent parties (i.e., where the transaction is not an “arms length” transaction).Continue Reading

Global minimum corporate tax protects national sovereignty: Janet Yellen

Global minimum corporate tax protects national sovereignty

Yellen has said that the global minimum corporate tax pairs well with our domestic corporate income tax proposals and has the special virtue of helping level the playing field for US business.Continue Reading

EU Commission asks Bulgaria, Sweden to address tax issues

Under this tax scheme, interest deductibility is denied in relation to loan arrangements between affiliated companies established within the EU, irrespective of whether the terms and conditions of those arrangements remain at arm’s length or not.Continue Reading

Tax administrations discuss transfer pricing issues

The WCO facilitator focused on the Customs valuation treatment of related-party transactions and instruments adopted by the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation. The OECD facilitator elaborated on the arm’s length principle and its application, comparability analysis, and transfer pricing documentation.  Continue Reading

International tax reform takes center stage in G7 meeting

The G7 (which includes the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, plus the EU) agreed the principles of an ambitious two Pillar global solution to tackle the tax challenges arising from an increasingly globalized and digital global economy.Continue Reading

Coca Cola asks US Tax Court to reconsider transfer pricing dispute

The tax ruling was given on November 18, 2020. According to Coca-Cola, the US Tax Court’s ruling raises fundamental questions of tax, administrative, and constitutional law warranting further consideration by a full Tax Court.
Coca Cola ask US Tax Court to reconsider transfer pricing disputeThe Coca-Cola Company has requested the US Tax Court to reconsider a transfer pricing tax ruling it gave last year in favor of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The tax ruling was given on November 18, 2020. According to Coca-Cola, the US Tax Court’s ruling raises fundamental questions of tax, administrative, and constitutional law warranting further consideration by a full Tax Court.

The facts of the tax dispute are as follows. Upon examination of the company’s 2007-2009 returns, IRS determined that the company’s methodology did not reflect arm’s length principle because it overcompensated the supply points and undercompensated the company for the use of its intellectual property.

The US tax authority reallocated income between the company and the supply points employing a comparable profits method that used the company’s unrelated bottlers as comparable parties. These adjustments increased the companys aggregate taxable income for 2007-2009 by more than USD 9 billion.

In its decision, the Tax Court said that the IRS did not abuse its discretion by reallocating income to the company by employing a comparable profits method that used the supply points as the tested parties and the bottlers as the uncontrolled comparables. The US Tax Court further held that the tax authority did not err by re-computing the company’s losses after the comparable profits method changed the income allocable to the company’s Mexican supply point, a branch of the company.

In a Motion for Reconsideration of findings or opinion filed on June 2,  the company said that “the IRS is attempting to impose billions of dollars in additional taxes on Coca-Cola in this case under a different tax calculation method than that on which Coca-Cola justifiably relied and which the IRS audited and approved for over a decade before retroactively requiring Coca-Cola to use a new and different method for tax years long past.  The IRS’s attempt is arbitrary, capricious, and unconstitutional.”

The company added that the US Tax Court has the opportunity to correct these fundamental errors now, and with the utmost respect, Coca-Cola asks the Court to reexamine its opinion in this nationally important, precedential tax case.

The US Tax Court enjoys substantial discretion to reconsider findings of fact and conclusions of law under Tax Court Rule 161, the company said.


The author is Alex Hunter, Editor, TP News. He oversees and updates the publication and also  regularly writes news stories about transfer pricing and international tax law. Alex is reachable at editor@transferpricingnews.com

Cyprus extends DAC6 penalty relief

Cyprus extends DAC6 penalty relief

On March 18, 2021, the Government approved Law to require taxpayers/ intermediaries to report information on certain tax arrangements. 

Cyprus extend DAC6 penalty relief

The Cyprus Tax Department will not impose administrative fines for overdue submission of DAC6 information that will be submitted until the September 30, 2021.

The penalty relief applies to:

  • Reportable cross-border arrangements that have been made between 25 June 2018 and 30 June 2020 and had to be submitted by 28 February 2021.
  • Reportable cross-border arrangements that had been made between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020 and had to be submitted by 31 January 2021.
  • Reportable cross-border arrangements made between 1 January 2021 and 31 August 2021, that had to be submitted within 30 days from the date they were made available for implementation or were ready for implementation or the first step in the implementation has been made, whichever occurred first.
  • Reportable cross-border arrangements for which secondary intermediaries provided aid, assistance or advice, between 1 January 2021 and 31 August 2021 and had to submit information within 30 days beginning on the day after they provided aid, assistance or advice.

On March 18, 2021, the Government approved Law to require taxpayers/ intermediaries to report information on certain tax arrangements. 

US tax committee investigating AbbVie’s tax practices

AbbVie building and sign in front of a blue sky.

The letter states that AbbVie appears to have shifted profits offshore while reporting a domestic loss in the United States to avoid paying US corporate income tax. The Committee has asked the company to provide answers to specific tax questions no later than June 16, 2021.Continue Reading

Stakeholders engage on changes to OECD Model Tax Convention

The OECD has received comments from 22 stakeholders including the Big 4, Mexican Institute of Public Accountants, International Chamber of Commerce, European Business Initiative on Taxation, Business at OECD (BIAC), and Vienna University of Economics and Business, among others.Continue Reading

Kenyan Finance Bill 2021 includes key international tax measures

Kenyan Finance Bill 2021 include key international tax measure

By CPA David Ndiritu Mwangi (Principal Consultant, Hisibati Consulting, Nairobi, Kenya)

The Kenyan government tabled the Finance Bill 2021 in Parliament on 11/05/2021. Unlike the prior year, the bill does not introduce new taxes. However the bill proposes significant changes that will indeed have a far reaching effect on multinational organizations operating in Kenya.Continue Reading

US suspends digital services tax retaliatory tariffs

US suspends digital services tax retaliatory tariff

On June 2, 2020, USTR initiated investigations into digital services tax adopted or under consideration in ten jurisdictions:  Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.Continue Reading

EU Commission launches research lab to tackle aggressive tax planning

EU Commission launches research lab to tackle tax planning

The Observatory will be fully independent in conducting its research, objectively informing policymakers and suggesting initiatives that could help to better tackle tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning, among other things.Continue Reading

Pakistan’s appellate tribunal rules on tax treaty override

Applicability of Section 111 on Non Resident Pakistanis

By Muzammal Rasheed (Co-founder, CEO & Head of Practice, WTS Global, Pakistan)

The Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue of Pakistan (ATIR) has disapproved applicability of Section 111 on Non-Residents in the case (2020) 122 TAX 10 (Trib.).

ATIR is the second forum of appeal against the Tax Assessment Orders issued by the Tax Authority. The appeal was filed by a Non-Resident Individual, challenging the best judgment assessment finalized by the Inland Revenue Department under section 121/111 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 on ex parte basis.

Apart from the technical grounds raised before ATIR, the major thrust of the arguments on behalf of appellant involved the contention that the taxpayer was a non-resident person, having no Pakistan source income during the relevant tax year. Continue Reading

Joe Biden’s Budget includes key international tax measures

Joe Biden’s Budget includes key international tax measure

The Budget proposes to increase the income tax rate for C corporations from the existing rate of 21 percent to 28 percent. The proposal would be effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2021. Continue Reading

African Tax Administration Form submits revised Pillar One proposals

African Tax Administration Form submits revised Pillar One proposals

The revised proposals respond to both the Inclusive Framework blueprint report released for public consultation in October 2020 and the recent proposals from the US to revise the blueprint proposals.Continue Reading

Advance Pricing Agreements to bring tax, transfer pricing certainty in Maldives

Publication of the Advance Pricing Regulation in the Maldives

By Zaina Zahir (Senior Associate, CTL Strategies, Maldives)

Transfer Pricing Landscape

With the commencement of the Income Tax Act in January 2020, the transfer pricing landscape has significantly changed in the Maldives. Within the past 12-months, the Maldives tax administration – Maldives Inland Revenue Authority – has published the Transfer Pricing Regulation, the Country-by-Country Reporting Regulation and the Advance Pricing Arrangement Regulation.

Through the Transfer Pricing Regulation and the Country-by-Country Reporting Regulation, the Maldives – aligning its practices with the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines – implements the three tiers of transfer pricing documentation which require qualifying enterprises to prepare the Master File, the Local File, and Country-by-Country Reports.

Hence, the subsequent issuance of the APA Regulation on 16 March 2021 has provided taxpayers with the much-needed certainty in the domain of transfer pricing in the Maldives. Taxpayers now have the option to enter into an ahead of time arrangement with the Maldives tax administration, agreeing on the transfer pricing methodology and the prices to be applied to a set of related party transactions for a period not exceeding 5 consecutive years. Taxpayers can enter into unilateral, bilateral or multilateral APAs. This is expected to provide a more promising, non-adversarial environment for investors.

APA Regulation

The APA Regulation sets out the procedure to be followed in entering into an APA and introduces several provisions on the administration of the APA. This includes the imposition of an annual compliance report filing requirement, details on circumstances under which the arrangement can be revoked or cancelled and more significantly, introduction of a roll back provision which would allow taxpayers to enter into APAs retrospectively.

The application process

The Maldives, similar to many other jurisdictions, implements a 3-phase process in entering into an APA. Initially, a pre-filing consultation is required, through which the scope of the arrangement is identified, the controlled transaction in question is understood and discussions are held in relation to the broader terms of the arrangement.

Subsequently, a formal application requesting for an APA can be lodged with detailed information on the elected transfer pricing methodology, comparability analysis, company’s group structure, and other relevant information. From thereon, the application is passed through evaluation and a final decision is made. Once the parties have successfully entered into an APA, an annual compliance report is to be filed along with the income tax return.

The APA process is comprehended to be a lengthy and comprehensive process. While the regulation does not specify a time frame within which the Maldives tax administration is to complete the process, it is still believed to be less time consuming than dealing with hefty transfer pricing audits and the resulting dispute resolution efforts.

Rollback to prior years

The regulation states that having considered certain factors, an APA can give coverage to tax years for which the deadline for submission of the income tax return has already elapsed. Overall, the allowability of such a retrospective coverage can be viewed as a more efficient method to administer and resolve  unsettled transfer pricing disputes.

However, the application of the provision is unclear – the Regulation merely states that in permitting a roll back, the tax administration will look into the APA duration of participating jurisdictions; surrounding circumstances of the transaction in question; whether a tax audit or investigation is being carried out; or whether any legal actions are being taken in relation to the transaction in question.

Hence, a complete guideline on the applicability and limitations of the roll back provision is still awaited.

Other considerations

The Regulation comprises provisions on possible revisions or cancellation of an APA in case of a material change in any of the critical assumptions or conditions or changed economic circumstances. On the other hand, in cases of fraud, deliberate misrepresentation of information or non-compliance, the arrangement may even be declared void ab-initio.

Takeaways

The inclusion of the option to enter into an APA with the Maldives tax administration is viewed as a diversion from the customary audit techniques applied to related party transactions which often results in robust assessments – paving the way to reduce the much frequent transfer pricing disputes in the Maldives.

It may be beneficial for multinational enterprises doing business in the Maldives to enter into an APA especially if the underlying set of related party transactions involve complex business restructuring, intercompany financing and intangibles. Though, when entering into an APA, consideration should always be put on whether the surrounding facts will remain constant for the coming years.

Publication of the Advance Pricing Regulation in Maldives

 

The author is Senior Associate at CTL Strategies, Maldives.

US Senator raises questions about Treasury’s international tax strategy

US Senator raise questions about Treasury’s international tax strategy

The letter states that “there is bipartisan consensus for ensuring that every country plays by the same rules, including China – as President Joe Biden recently said.  No OECD agreement should provide carve-outs or exceptions for our biggest foreign competitors, including China.”Continue Reading

Hungary dismisses 15% global minimum corporate tax rate

Hungary dismisses 15% global minimum corporate tax rate

Tállai emphasized that Hungary would not relinquish one of the most important elements of its economic sovereignty, the right to set taxes. According to him, the idea of a global minimum tax is in the interests of several high-taxing economic powers, because they were disadvantaged by international tax competition.Continue Reading

OECD releases MAP peer review reports for eight tax jurisdictions

These reports evaluate the progress made by these eight tax jurisdictions in implementing any recommendations resulting from their stage 1 peer review. The results from the peer review and peer monitoring process demonstrate positive changes across all eight jurisdictions, although not all show the same level of progress.Continue Reading

“The controlled transaction” in draft of the Poland’s Ministry of Finance General Ruling for Transfer Pricing Purposes

BKuzniacki_PWC Poland

By Błażej Kuźniacki (Attorney-at-Law, Deputy Director for Strategic Tax Advice & Dispute Resolution,PwC Poland) & Katarzyna Kotowska (Senior Associate, Transfer Pricing, PwC Poland) & Piotr Niewiadomski (Tax Advisor, Director in Transfer Pricing, PwC Poland)

The definition of controlled transaction in the light of Polish Corporate Income Tax Act (CIT Act) and explanatory memorandum

According to Article 11a point 6 of the CIT Act, a controlled transaction refers to economic activity identified on the basis of actual behavior of the parties to the transaction, including allocation of income to the foreign permanent establishment (PE), where the conditions are imposed/made as a result of existing relations.Continue Reading

Global minimum corporate tax rate should be 15 percent: US Treasury

Global minimum corporate tax rate should be 15 percent

The US Treasury expressed its belief that the international tax architecture must be stabilized, that the global playing field must be fair, and that we must create an environment in which countries work together to maintain our tax bases and ensure the global tax system is equitable.Continue Reading

Parties to BEPS MLI approve key guiding principles

Parties to BEPS MLI approves key guiding principles

The Conference has agreed that as with any international agreement, the MLI shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.Continue Reading

Parity for All? Delhi High Court upholds trigger of MFN clause, bats for ‘common interpretation’ of Tax Treaties

Parity for All Delhi High Court upholds trigger of MFN clause, bats for ‘common interpretation’ of Tax Treaties

By Aditi Sharma (Partner, Khaitan & Co, India) & Krutika Chitre (Principal Associate, Khaitan & Co, India)

The Delhi High Court in its recently pronounced decision in the case of Concentrix Services Netherlands BV WP (C) 9051/2020 and Optum Global Solutions International BV WP (C) 882/2021 invoked the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) clause under the India-Netherlands double taxation avoidance agreement (Tax Treaty) and applied a reduced 5% withholding rate on dividend income paid by Indian companies to Dutch shareholders.

Continue Reading

New UN transfer pricing manual released

New UN TP manual released

The Manual is focused on transfer pricing in a global environment, while it provides guidance on design principles and policy considerations. It also addresses the practical implementation of a transfer pricing regime in developing countries and shares examples of country practices from developing countries, such as Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico, and South Africa.Continue Reading

Paschal Donohoe discusses international tax reform

Paschal Donohoe discusses international tax reform

Donohoe said that he desired “an outcome that is a fair and balanced compromise by and for all the 139 countries in the OECD Inclusive Framework.”

Paschal Donohoe discussion on international tax reform

Ireland’s commitment remains resolute towards reaching an agreement on digital economy taxation, Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has said.Continue Reading

Ireland consulting on tax treaty policy

Ireland consulting on tax treaty policy

The consultation period will run until May 7, 2021.

Ireland consultation on tax treaty policyIreland’s Finance Minister on April 7 launched a public consultation on Ireland’s future tax treaty policy, particularly in the context of potential outcomes of international tax discussions at the OECD.Continue Reading

Fabrizia Lapecorella to chair OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs from 2022

Fabrizia Lapecorella to chair OECD's Committee on Fiscal Affairs

The OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs has designated Fabrizia Lapecorella as the next Chair of the Committee beginning January 2022.

Lapecorella has served as Italy’s Director General of Finance since June 2008. As Director General of Finance, she is responsible for tax policy, domestic European and international, the governance of the Tax Agencies, the coordination of the IT infrastructure serving the whole Tax Administration, and the administrative services for the Tax Judicial system.Continue Reading

OECD releases new MAP peer review reports

The reports evaluate the progress made by these eight jurisdictions in implementing any recommendations resulting from their stage 1 peer review. They take into account any developments in the period January 2018- August 2019 and build on the MAP statistics for 2016-2018.Continue Reading

OECD releases peer review reports on tax treaty shopping and abuse

OECD releases peer review reports on tax treaty shopping and abuse

The data compiled for this peer review demonstrate that the BEPS Multilateral Instrument has been the tool used by the vast majority of jurisdictions that have begun implementing the Action 6 minimum standard, and that the MLI has started to impact tax treaties of jurisdictions that have ratified it.Continue Reading

OECD releases MAP arbitration profiles of 30 tax jurisdictions

OECD releases MAP arbitration profiles

The Arbitration Profiles have been developed to provide taxpayers with additional information on the application of Part VI of the MLI for each jurisdiction choosing to apply that Part. The Arbitration Profiles also allow those jurisdictions to make publicly available clarifications on their position on the MLI Arbitration.OECD releases MAP arbitration profiles of 30 tax jurisdictions
Continue Reading

US, Europe discuss digital economy taxation

US, Europe discuss digital economy taxation

Janet Yellen, who took oath as the 78th Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury on January 26, held a discussion with counterparts in France, Germany and the UK on digital economy taxation.Continue Reading

Ireland updates corporate tax roadmap

According to the update, Ireland will seek to implement interest limitation rules in accordance with the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) standard; legislate for new international tax transparency rules for digital platforms; legislate for reverse hybrids aspect of ATAD anti-hybrid rules; adopt the authorized OECD approach for transfer pricing of branches; and consider actions that may be needed in respect of outbound payments from Ireland and our wider withholding tax regime.Continue Reading

Outline and Considerations for the Pillar One Blueprint Proposals for Amount A

Outline and Considerations for the Pillar One Blueprint Proposals for Amount A

By Simon Webber (Managing Director, Duff & Phelps LLC, New York) & Ryan Lange (Director, Duff & Phelps LLC, New York)

On October 12, 2020 the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework (IF) released the Report on Pillar One Blueprint. This is a working document that presents the IF’s current thinking on the scope and application of changes to the international tax system to address the Tax Challenges Arising from Digitalization.  Specifically, the OECD is seeking broader consensus and approval for its proposals before moving forward further into a more detailed design.Continue Reading

Platform for Collaboration on Tax releases toolkit on transfer pricing documentation

Platform for Collaboration on Tax releases toolkit on transfer pricing documentation

The toolkit aims to help countries implement effective transfer pricing documentation requirements so that they can protect their tax bases, reduce profit shifting, and raise much-needed revenues for the recovery phase.Continue Reading

Digital services taxes of Austria, Spain and UK discriminatory: United States

Digital services taxes of Austria, Spain and UK discriminatory

In a release issued on January 14, the USTR said that the each one of these digital services taxes discriminates against US companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international taxation, and burden or restricts US commerce.Continue Reading

Portuguese EU Presidency to focus on digital economy taxation

Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

In particular, the Presidency will address the challenges of European taxation, including the model for taxation of the digital economy, under the principles of fairness and tax efficiency.Continue Reading

OECD releases agenda for public consultation on Pillar One, Pillar Two Reports

The Blueprints reflect the convergent views of the Inclusive Framework on many of the key policy features, principles and parameters of both Pillars, and identify remaining technical and administrative issues as well as policy issues where divergent views among Inclusive Framework members remain to be bridged.Continue Reading

US suspends retaliatory tariffs on French digital services tax

US suspends retaliatory tariffs on French digital services tax

The US Trade Representative said that it has decided to suspend the tariffs in light of the ongoing investigation of similar DSTs adopted or under consideration in ten other jurisdictions.Continue Reading

Indian, Italian and Turkish digital service tax discriminatory: US Trade Representative

Indian, Italian and Turkish digital services tax discriminatory

US Trade Representative has published findings on digital service tax in India, Italy, and Turkey calling it discriminatory and burdensome.Continue Reading

UK to repeal DAC6 in 2021

The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs, has announced that it will repeal the DAC6 reporting requirement in 2021 and replace it with the OECD’s mandatory disclosure rules (MDR).

The announcement was made after completion of the negotiations between the UK and the EU on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In a letter sent to stakeholders on December 31, HMRC said that reporting under DAC6 will still be required for a limited time, but only for arrangements which meet hallmarks under Category D, in line with the UK’s obligations under the FTA.

Category D sets out specific hallmarks concerning automatic exchange of information and beneficial ownership.

The International Tax Enforcement (Disclosable Arrangements) (Amendment) (No. 2) (EU Exit) Regulations, 2020 – laid before the House of Commons on December 30 – state that “(5) For the purposes of these Regulations, the DAC is to be read as if— (h) in Annex IV, Part 1 [the Main Benefit Test] and hallmark categories A, B, C and E in Part II were omitted.”

In the coming year, the UK will consult on and implement the OECD’s MDR as soon as practicable, to replace DAC6 and transition from European to international rules, HMRC told stakeholders.

OECD issues guidance on transfer pricing implications of COVID-19 pandemic

OECD issues guidance on transfer pricing implications of COVID-19 pandemic

The guidance on transfer pricing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic represents the consensus view of the 137 members of the OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS.Continue Reading

Germany, Pakistan ratify BEPS MLI to tackle tax avoidance

Germany, Pakistan ratifies BEPS MLI to tackle tax avoidance

Germany and Pakistan have deposited their instrument of ratification for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI).Continue Reading

OECD reveals country practices on hard-to-value intangibles

OECD reveals country practices on hard-to-value intangible

The information provides with a better understanding of the extent to which the HTVI approach described in Chapter VI of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines has been adopted and is applied in practice by countries around the world. Continue Reading

Brian Untermeyer joins Andersen’s international tax practice

Tax firm Andersen has hired Brian Untermeyer as a Managing Director in the firm’s Dallas office.

Untermeyer will join the firm’s international tax practice while serving in a key national role within the US National Tax practice. Untermeyer comes to the firm with more than 30 years of experience in advising inbound and outbound multinational public and private companies on US domestic and international tax issues across multiple industries.Continue Reading

Singapore to participate in International Compliance Assurance Programme from 2021

Singapore to participate in International Compliance Assurance Programme

The MNE’s suitability for ICAP will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The MNE may propose for participating tax administrations it wishes to involve in its ICAP risk assessment, which will be subject to the participating tax administrations’ agreement.Continue Reading

Australia to focus on tax avoidance schemes

Australia focus on tax avoidance schemes

The Australian Taxation Office said that the multinational anti-avoidance law has been successfully implemented, with the restructures resulting in more than AUD 8 billion additional taxable sales being booked in Australia.Continue Reading

Singapore tax authority clarifies deductibility of digital services taxes

Singapore tax authority clarifies deductibility of digital services taxes

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore stated that some jurisdictions have implemented unilateral measures to address the tax challenges of digitalization adding that “companies may have incurred additional taxes overseas due to such measures.”Continue Reading

MAP cases still taking a long time to be resolved: OECD

MAP cases taking a long time to be resolved

Around 85 percent of the MAPs concluded for transfer pricing cases in 2019 fully resolved the issue, which reflects an improvement in the collaborative approach taken by competent authorities.Continue Reading

Shackling the FTAs by New Rules of Origin

By Ajinkya Gunjan Mishra (Partner, L&L Partners) & Avani Tewari  (Associate, L&L Partners).

International trade and commerce are critical to sustaining the economic development of a country. To attain high growth momentum, a Country must engage in trade negotiations and agreements at multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. India has been a party to several bilateral and regional trade agreements, and quite a few important ones are under negotiations and slated to be finalised soon. 

However, India’s experience with the trade agreements has so far been mixed: favourable trade balance mostly in the case of smaller partners, and deficit with the larger ones. This coupled with the fact that trade agreements have been misused by availing preferential duty rate against the import of goods that did not meet the originating criteria have only added to the government’s list of concerns.

Continue Reading

Proposed modifications to the German Transfer Pricing Legislation

Dr. Björn Heidecke (Partner,  Deloitte Germany, Hamburg)

By Dr. Björn Heidecke (Director, Deloitte Germany, Hamburg) & Tatchamon Nanavaratorn (Senior Consultant, Deloitte Germany, Hamburg)

As part of the obligation to implement the European-wide mechanism to counter base erosion and profit shifting, the German Federal Ministry of Finance circulated a draft law on 10 December 2019 (hereafter referred to as “draft law”). Besides conforming to the requirement as directed by the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, the draft law brings about the modification to the current transfer pricing legislation of both the Foreign Tax Act (Außensteuergesetz) and the Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung), and it introduces topics not previously codified into the legislation in accordance with the BEPS concepts introduced by the OECD. The draft law takes a strict stance on businesses’ actual conducts rather than their contractual arrangements.Continue Reading

Thailand moves to apply VAT to foreign digital services

Thailand Moves to Apply VAT to Foreign Digital Services

By Varapa Aurat (Consultant, Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand) & Natthanit Mallikamal (Consultant, Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand)

The rise of global digital economies has introduced uncertainties and exposed many loopholes in our existing tax system, with the most significant issues being the difficulties in collecting tax from those conducting digital activities without a physical presence in a jurisdiction. Thailand has long considered reforming its traditional tax system to better cover the digital economy and digital transactions, believing that foreign companies engaged in the same transactions in Thailand as local companies should also pay tax to the country. This includes value added tax (VAT) on the provision of digital services.Continue Reading

Maldives promulgates its first Transfer Pricing Regulation

The Maldives Promulgates its first Transfer Pricing Regulation

By Husam Shareef (Partner, CTL Strategies, Maldives)

On June 10, 2020, the Maldives tax administration, Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA), issued the country’s first transfer pricing regulation. The Regulation is made pursuant to the new Income Tax Act, which came into effect from January 1, 2020. The Regulation sets out the rules to be followed by enterprises that are required to maintain transfer pricing documentation and stipulates the criteria which exempt enterprises from maintaining such documentation. The Maldives has had a corporate tax regime since July 18, 2011, however, this is the first time that taxpayers are required to follow a specific transfer pricing documentation requirement.Continue Reading

Worst of both worlds: A case against digital services tax in Brazil

Worst of both worlds: strong reasons why the digital services tax should not be implemented in Brazil

By Maurício Barros (Partner at Gaia Silva Gaede Advogados in São Paulo, former Taxpayer-Appointed Judge at the São Paulo Taxes and Fees Court – TIT/SP (2014-2019) and a former Visiting Professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation and at the Mackenzie Presbiteryan University) & Luiz Guilherme de Medeiros Ferreira (Tax lawyer, São Paulo and Member of the Tax Litigation Commission at the Brazilian Bar Association)

Amid the covid-19 pandemic and the imminent financial crisis of companies, Draft Bill (DB) 2358/2020, drafted by Deputy João Maia, is making its way through the Brazilian Congress. If it becomes law, it will institute a digital services tax (DST) in Brazil, like similar taxes levied in other countries.Continue Reading

India-Mauritius Tax Treaty Benefits Denied – Controversy Continues

India-Mauritius Tax Treaty Benefits Denied – Controversy Continues

By Nishit Parikh (Partner, Sudit K Parekh & Co LLP, India)

India-Mauritius Tax Treaty has had its fair share of controversy in India. This saga continues even today, as recently Authority for Advance Ruling (‘AAR’) in India rejected a Foreign Private Equity player’s claim for Tax Treaty benefit considering the entire arrangement to be for tax avoidance.Continue Reading

No COVID support to companies that engage in tax avoidance, says Dutch government

No COVID support to companies that engage in tax avoidance_ Dutch government

Companies engaged in undesirable tax planning can apply for individual support if they satisfy two tax-related conditions concerning business location and transactions.Continue Reading

Unilateral action on digital economy taxation would heighten trade tensions: OECD

Unilateral action on digital taxation would heighten trade tensions OECD

Gurría was responding to recent statements and exchanges regarding the ongoing negotiations to address the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy.Continue Reading

Raoul Stocker joins Bär & Karrer as Partner

Leading Swiss law firm Bär & Karrer has hired Raoul Stocker as a tax partner.

Raoul has 10 years of experience as a partner in tax law and is an honorary professor of tax law at the University of St. Gallen and director of the Institute of Finance and Fiscal Law.

Daniel Hochstrasser, senior partner, commented: “He will support our tax team in corporate tax law, dispute resolution in national and international tax law, as well as transfer pricing. His legal expertise and know-how will help us continue to grow our offering for our clients.”

Irish tax guidance on transfer pricing correlative adjustments explained

Irish Revenue Issues New Guidelines on Article 9 Correlative Adjustment Claims

By Catherine O’ Meara (Partner, Matheson, Dublin) 

The ability to claim relief from double taxation for transfer pricing adjustments is increasingly important as taxpayers face audits worldwide.  The Irish Revenue Commissioners (“Revenue”) have recently issued new guidelines for taxpayers seeking correlative adjustments (“CA Guidance”) in Ireland for transfer pricing adjustments by tax treaty partner jurisdictions. Continue Reading

Digital levy proposed in Brazil amid pressing budget: introducing or increasing digital taxation?

Digital levy proposed in Brazil amid pressing budget: introducing or increasing digital taxation?

By Luís Eduardo Schoueri (Full Professor of Tax Law at University of São Paulo & Senior partner at Lacaz Martins, Pereira Neto, Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados) & Mateus Calicchio Barbosa (PhD Candidate and M.Sc. at University of São Paulo & Tax partner at Lacaz Martins, Pereira Neto, Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados)

It is said that in every crisis lies an opportunity. If the quote means that possibilities may emerge, in the tax realm taxpayers also have a new momentum to the danger component of the notion. In Brazil, outdated – not to say dangerous – tax alternatives have been put on the table to meet the recent budgetary needs. Certain wealth and capital taxes on both companies and individuals, despite previous and frustrated propositions since mid-90s, have been discussed while the government seeks a way out of an unprecedented public debt in the years to come.Continue Reading

Significant economic presence: Nigerian perspective

Significant economic presence: Nigerian perspective

By Kelechi Ugbeva (Managing Partner, Blackwood & Stone, Nigeria)

Existing global tax rules such as, the arm’s length principle and principle of physical presence may not be robust enough to accommodate the peculiarity of digital activities and digital taxation. To this end, the OECD has come up with a few proposals on how digital activities may be taxed. Continue Reading

Netherlands mulling withholding tax on dividends paid to low tax jurisdictions

Netherlands mulling withholding tax on dividends paid to low tax jurisdictions

The measure will apply to financial flows to countries with a corporate tax rate of under nine percent and to countries on the EU blacklist, even if the Netherlands has a tax treaty with them.Continue Reading

US Trade Representative to investigate digital services tax rules in EU, nine others

US Trade Representative to investigate digital services tax rules in EU, nine others

These ten trading partners are: Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.Continue Reading

Equalisation Levy in India

Equalisation Levy in India

By Lokesh Shah (Partner, L&L Partners, New Delhi) & Devashish Poddar (Advocate, L&L Partners, New Delhi)

Technology, considered as a factor of production, has virtually been adopted in all sectors of the economy in order to enhance productivity, enlarge market reach, and reduce operational costs.  The adoption of technology is demonstrated by the spread of broadband connectivity in businesses, which in almost all countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) is universal for large enterprises and reaches 90% or more even in smaller businesses.Continue Reading

Draft Bill proposes a Digital Service Tax in Brazil

Draft Bill proposes Digital Service Tax in Brazil

By Ramon Tomazela Santos (Partner, Mariz de Oliveira e Siqueira Campos Advogados)

The taxation of large technology companies has been at the center of the global debate in recent years, as their disruptive business models allows the exploitation of the market of a country without a physical presence. The underlying assumption surrounding the debate is that the application of current tax rules to companies operating in the digital economy has led to a misalignment between the place where profits are taxed and the place where value is created, due to the growing relevance of interaction and engagement with a user base for digital business.Continue Reading

Customs valuation and related party transactions

Customs Valuation and Related Party Transactions

By Shilpa Goel (Tax Lawyer, India)

I am currently working on a case that involves questions of huge significance when it comes to related-party transactions and customs valuation. It is always good to begin with a caveat and I have two. The first is that the import in question pertains to the years 2002-2006, when the Indian custom valuation rules were somewhat different (from what they are now). The second is that I will not comment on the exact merits of the case but provide a broad overview of the legal and practical side of things.Continue Reading

How international tax landscape changes in India from April 1, 2020

How international taxation landscape changes in India from 1 April 2020

By Ritu Shaktawat (Partner, Khaitan & Co, India) Raghav Kumar Bajaj (Principal Associate, Khaitan & Co, India)

India’s Union Budget for the fiscal 2020-21 was announced in February 2020 and the tax proposals, after undergoing some important changes, were approved by the Indian Parliament and received Presidential assent on March 27, 2020. With this, the annual exercise of amending India’s tax law was completed, and the tax changes are effective from April 1, 2020.

On the tax front, some significant amendments have been made – such as widening the scope of digital tax, abolition of dividend distribution tax, more stringent tax residency rules for non-resident Indians etc.

We have analyzed here the key international tax changes impacting non-residents (MNEs and others having Indian business or nexus).Continue Reading

Augmenting Loan Documentation in light of Chapter X of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines

Augmenting Loan Documentation in light of Chapter X of the OECD TP Guidelines

By Stefanie Perrella (Managing Director, Duff & Phelps’, New York) and Zachary Held (Director, Duff & Phelps’, New York)

On February 11, 2020, the OECD released its Final Report, Transfer Pricing Guidance on Financial Transactions, (Final Guidance), which was simultaneously incorporated into the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines. With respect to inter-company loans, the new Chapter X of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines is not limited to considerations for interest rate pricing, but also includes a framework for assessing the instrument’s accurate delineation as debt. Going forward, taxpayers with lenders or borrowers in OECD countries should consider this new guidance and augment their documentation accordingly. Below are some of the items that these taxpayers should consider to offer a proactive defense of potentially scrutinized areas.Continue Reading

Brazilian TP Reform: Can We Have the Full First World Package?

By Luis Schoueri (University of Sao Paulo; Lacaz Martins, Pereira Neto, Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados) 

Introduction

There is no divine truth about what the Arm’s Length Standard (ALS) actually means. Its content can only be determined by a decision, which can be reached by a court or by means of political consensus. There is no international tax court with jurisdiction to promote harmonization among countries on the content of the ALS and all efforts in this direction are made by means of negotiation. Such decisions affect not only the extent to which double (non-)taxation will be avoided, but also concern the country to which income is allocated, which may render the issue controversial where countries present distinct patterns of capital in- and outflow[1].Continue Reading

Belgian Transfer Pricing Circular sets out tax authority’s view on 2017 OECD Guidelines

View of Belgian Tax Administration on 2017 OECD Guidelines and specific positions

By Géry Bombeke (Partner, Baker McKenzie, Brussels)

On February 25, 2020, the Belgian Tax Administration published a new transfer pricing Circular (Circular 2020/C/35) (TP Circular) summarizing the post-base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and reflecting the tax authority’s views thereon.Continue Reading

OECD issues MAP peer review reports for further eight jurisdictions

OECD issues MAP peer review reports for further eight jurisdictions

The reports highlight how well these jurisdictions are implementing BEPS Action 14 minimum standard on making tax treaty dispute resolution more timely, effective, and efficient.Continue Reading

BVI to accept country by country report filings from March 2020

BVI to accept country by country report filings from March 2020

International Tax Authority informs BVI Constituent Entities, that are part of Multinational Entity Group, that it will soon be ready to receive filings for CbC reporting.Continue Reading

US Congresswoman introduces public country by country reporting Bill

US Congresswoman introduces public country by country reporting Bill

The report would include CbC financial filings for the information, including profits, taxes, employees, and tangible assets – that these corporations already provide to the IRS on an annual basis.Continue Reading

Australia expanding ‘significant global entity’ definition

Australia expanding ‘significant global entity’ definition

The definition of “significant global entity” to include members of large business groups headed by private companies, trusts, partnerships, investment entities, and individuals.Continue Reading

137 countries commit to designing rules on digital economy taxation by 2020-end

137 countries commit to design rules on digital economy taxation by 2020-end

The “safe harbour” issue is included in the list of remaining work, but a final decision on this issue will be deferred until the architecture of Pillar One has been agreed upon.Continue Reading

OECD issues further guidance on country-by-country reporting

OECD issues further guidance on CbC reporting

The additional interpretative guidance contains complete set of guidance concerning the interpretation and operation of BEPS Action 13 issued so far.Continue Reading

US responds to French digital tax with USD 2.4 billion tariffs; France calls it ‘unacceptable’

US responds to French digital tax with USD 2.4 billion tariffs; France calls it ‘unacceptable’

French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, termed the US’ proposed action as unacceptable.Continue Reading

EU Commission warns Austria, Ireland to transpose interest limitation rules

EU Commission warns Austria, Ireland to transpose interest limitation rules

The Commission may bring the cases before the Court of Justice of the EU if Austria and Ireland do not act by February 1, 2020.Continue Reading

OECD official responds to tax Professor’s views on inclusive international tax policy making

OECD responds to tax Professor’s views on inclusive international tax policy making
Ben Dickinson said that the Secretariat’s role is not to propose solutions that favor one group or another but rather to explore a potential consensus solution that will appeal to states, with the inevitable compromises such a process necessitates.

Continue Reading

Mexican 2020 Tax Reform: key international tax proposals

By Ricardo Rendón (Partner, Chevez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía, S.C., Mexico)

On September 8, 2019, the Executive Branch of the Mexican Government submitted to the Congress Tax Reform for 2020, which includes key tax changes to the country’s tax law primarily inspired by the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.Continue Reading

Ireland Transfer Pricing Feedback Statement Explained

Ireland's Transfer Pricing Feedback Statement Explained By Expert

By Catherine O’ Meara (Partner, Matheson, Dublin)

The Irish Government recently published a Transfer Pricing Rules Feedback Statement, which confirms that changes to the country’s transfer pricing rules and their implementation are forthcoming.Continue Reading

OECD preparing for ‘big bang’ reform to address digital economy taxation

Gurría also described the delivery of the OECD’s BEPS package in 2015 as one of the two “big bang” developments that transformed the global tax landscape in recent years.Continue Reading

Delving into Hong Kong’s New Transfer Pricing Landscape

Delving into Hong Kong’s New Transfer Pricing Landscape

By Maulik Doshi (Partner, Head of Transfer Pricing & International Tax, SKP Group) and Kamlesh Kaltari (Principal, Transfer Pricing Services, SKP Group)


On July 4, 2018, Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department passed the country’s final Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 6) Bill 2017, (the Amendment Bill). 

This Amendment Bill (which became law on July 13, 2018) specified the documentary requirements from a transfer pricing perspective and also introduced measures to address various recommendations under BEPS Action Plans.Continue Reading

Hong Kong tax authority notes CbC reporting deadline details

Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department has clarified that starting from April 2019, the Department will not accept voluntary filing of a country-by-country (CbC) report for an accounting period ended on or before March 31, 2018.Continue Reading

Manuel Koch joins transfer pricing specialist Questro’s Stuttgart office

Transfer pricing specialist Questro International has hired Manuel Koch as a Partner for the firm’s office in Stuttgart, Germany.

Koch brings significant experience of over ten years specialization in transfer pricing consulting. Koch has wide experience in international tax planning engagements for international corporates including holding and principal structures as well as Swiss finance branches and IP boxes.Continue Reading

Jill Weise to lead Duff & Phelps’ transfer pricing practice

Global advisory firm Duff & Phelps has announced that Jill Weise will succeed Michael Heimert as the Global Leader for the firm’s transfer pricing practice.

Weise has nearly 25 years of expertise in transfer pricing. She previously served as the firm’s transfer pricing practice leader for North America.
  Continue Reading

Indian tax authority sets new CbC reporting deadline for US subsidiaries

Indian tax authority sets new CbC reporting deadline for US subsidiaries

By Maulik Doshi (Partner, Head of Transfer Pricing & International Tax, SKP Group) and Kamlesh Kaltari (Senior Manager, SKP Group)


In India, the 2016 Finance Act introduced a three-tiered transfer pricing documentation regime with a view to aligning the Indian transfer pricing documentation rules with Action 13 of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

Accordingly, Indian subsidiaries of multinational groups were required to comply with new “master” and “local” files requirements and a new country-by-country reporting requirement from the 2016-17 financial year.Continue Reading

Transfer pricing expert Mark Madrian joins Valentiam Group

Transfer pricing expert Mark Madrian has joined Valentiam Group as a Partner in the firm’s West Coast practice.

Madrian has advised clients on complex cross-border transfer pricing and other international tax issues. He was recently recognized as a Leading Transfer Pricing Adviser by Legal Media.
Continue Reading

Saudi tax authority publishes draft transfer pricing bylaws

Saudi tax authority publishes draft transfer pricing bylaws

By Anas Salhieh  (Senior Tax Executive, Al Tamimi & Company, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)


Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Income Tax has published for public comments draft transfer pricing bylaws as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.Continue Reading

New EU corporate tax avoidance rules enter into force

New EU corporate tax avoidance rules enter into force

The new anti-abuse measures entered into force on January 1, 2019.Continue Reading

BEPS MLI to enter into force in Australia in January 2019

BEPS MLI to enter into force in Australia in January 2019
From January 1, 2019, the BEPS MLI will operate to modify six of Australia’s 44 bilateral tax treaties. These include tax treaties with France, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and the UK.Continue Reading

Gibraltar provided illegal tax benefits to MNEs: EU Commission

EU Commission says Gibraltar provided illegal tax benefits to MNEs

Gibraltar must recover unpaid taxes of around EUR100m from companies that benefited from the corporate tax exemption regime for interest and royalties as well as from the five tax rulings.Continue Reading

OECD issues second peer review report on BEPS Action 5

OECD issues second peer review report on BEPS Action 5

The OECD has made 60 jurisdiction-specific recommendations on issues such as improving the timeliness of the exchange of information and ensuring that exchanges of information are made with respect to preferential tax regimes that apply to income from intellectual property.Continue Reading

Bulgaria introduces new interest limitation and CFC regimes

Bulgaria introduces new interest limitation and CFC regimes

By Elizabeth Sidi (Senior Tax Consultant, PwC, Bulgaria) 

Bulgaria is introducing new interest limitation rules and a new controlled foreign corporation regime from January 1, 2019. 

Continue Reading

Indian tax authority undergoing ratification process for BEPS MLI

Indian tax authority undergoing ratification process for BEPS MLI

Important process of ratifying the BEPS MLI is on. In 2019-2020, the provisions will come into effect, says Akhilesh Ranjan.

Continue Reading

Cayman Islands publishes tax bill to implement substance requirements

Cayman Islands publishes tax bill to implement substance requirements

The legislation seeks to incorporate the OECD’s proposals under Action 5 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project, on countering harmful tax practices, as well as the new EU substance requirements.Continue Reading

New Agreement between Ireland and Malta to counteract the ‘Single Malt’ tax structure

New Agreement between Ireland and Malta to counteract the ‘Single Malt’ Structure

By Catherine O’ Meara (Partner, Matheson, Dublin) and Brian Doohan (Senior Associate, Matheson, Dublin)

On November 27, 2018, Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced the details of a Competent Authority Agreement between Ireland and Malta (Agreement). The clear aim of the Agreement is to end what is referred to as the “Single Malt” tax structure.Continue Reading

Belgium publishes draft transfer pricing guidance for public comments

Belgium publishes draft transfer pricing guidance for public comments

By Bram Markey (Director, Transfer Pricing, PwC Belgium)

The Belgian tax authority has issued a draft Circular on the 2017 update to the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations.Continue Reading