Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

TP BEPS soft law: UK / Sweden

The UK tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), will refer to the OECD base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) report on BEPS Actions 8-10 in transfer pricing audits.  Maura Parsons, HMRC deputy director and head of transfer pricing, has stated that HMRC will look to the 2015 BEPS reports in addition to the current OECD guidelines (although British law explicitly refers to the 2010 version on the transfer pricing guidelines).

Additionally, Sweden has taken a similar position and adopted the final OECD report in audits.

This line of reasoning is primarily based upon the premise / supposition that the new OECD guidelines are merely a clarification of existing rules, not requiring new legislation.  

In addition to the inherent uncertainty of the new rules, UK, Sweden and other countries that will adopt this position introduce additional challenges into understanding the current law, requirements and grounds upon which appeals / court cases will be based.  This is a new trend that promises to expand quickly into other countries, undermining the intent of transparency and consistency worldwide.  

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