India has released its APA annual report, providing valuable insight into recently filed APAs and the process.
- Intragroup services by the Indian applicants have been the most covered international transactions in the bilateral APAs.
- The transaction net margin method has been used in 70% of the unilateral cases and 90% of the bilateral cases.
- India has concluded unilateral APAs in 29 months and bilateral APAs in 39 months.
As India is recognized as very creative and aggressive in its transfer pricing practices, this report should be reviewed to test whether an APA should be filed, as well as in other countries for additional certainty.
EY’s Global Tax Alert provides additional details, included for reference.
EY’s Global Tax Alert provides details on Australia’s new Diverted Profits Tax (DPT), effective in 2018 for calendar year taxpayers.
- Penalty up to 40% can be assessed
- Interaction with transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country (CbC) risk assessment
- Diverted profits taxed at less than 24% are vulnerable
- Proactive review of one’s documentation and risk assessment is recommended
Australia has patterned their DPT after the UK implemented a similar scheme, although posing some different characteristics.
As countries are reaching out to tax profits that are subject to a lower rate of tax elsewhere, this is providing a license to tax that cannot be ignored by multinationals with Australian operations.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have put forth additional recommended disclosures and requirements for the Accounting Directive of public Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting, prior to enactment of the original proposal.
The Accounting Directive allows a simple majority for passage, and involves additional complexities and cost as the OECD model is now just a starting point for new information.
The Parliament would also like to extend the proposal to include the following information in company reports:
- The geographical location of the activities
- The number of employees employed on a full-time equivalent basis
- The value of assets and annual cost of maintaining those assets
- Sales and purchases
- The value of investments broken down by tax jurisdiction
- The amount of the net turnover, including a distinction between the turnover made with related parties and the turnover made with unrelated parties
- Stated capital
- Tangible assets other than cash or cash equivalents
- Public subsidies received
- The list of subsidiaries operating in each tax jurisdiction both inside and outside the EU and data for those subsidiaries corresponding to the data requirements on the parent undertaking
- All payments made to governments on an annual basis as defined in the Directive, including production entitlements, income taxes, royalties and dividends
- The report shall not only be published on the website of the company in at least one of the official languages of the EU, but the undertaking shall also file the report in a public registry managed by the Commission
EY’s Global Tax Alert, referenced herein, provides the relevant details, although it appears the CbC report is not being construed as one tool for total transfer pricing assessment, but a public tool to determine one’s fair share of tax irrespective of the legal laws and limitations in each country.
An alternative approach would be to design a standard (transfer pricing) audit template for the tax authorities that would include some, or all, of the above factors to the extent deemed important to assess a company’s tax liability in that relevant jurisdiction. However, this non-public and Best Practice audit tool is not the focus in this post-BEPS world, to date.
The attached link provides access to an invaluable transfer pricing (TP) handbook which is an excellent resource for all international tax practitioners/advisors.
With the advent of the BEPS era and new/novel approaches to arms’s-length pricing are voiced, this resource is a great desktop reference with experience gained by the authors in both applying TP principles as well as teaching those principles to tax administrations in developing economies.
Examples and “boxes” of summary content are provided in the handbook, in addition to a discussion on TP disputes that is inevitable with BEPS Actions and unilateral actions (both legislative and “soft law”) being applied across the world.
A summary of the chapter titles provides a summary of the details therein:
- TP, Corporate strategy, and the Investment Climate
- The International Legal Framework
- Drafting a TP Legislation
- Applying the Arm’s-Length Principle
- Selected Issues in TP
- Promoting Taxpayer Compliance through Communication, Disclosure Requirements, TP Documentation, and Penalties
- Avoiding and Resolving TP Disputes
- Developing a TP Audit Program
With the (unexpected) victory for President-elect Trump, coupled with a majority in both the House and Senate, it is highly likely US tax reform is near. There is a close correlation with Trump’s Plan and the Republican’s Blueprint tax reform initiative, although transitional details (Foreign Tax Credits, Earnings & Profits, etc.) still need to be completed. The US tax rate may no longer be one of the highest in the world, and the tax economics of moving business initiatives, and repatriating cash, to the US are welcome thoughts for US based multinationals. However, attention needs to be focused on the details, including Q4 2016 actions that may provide more efficiencies for the expected 2017 US tax reform.
EY’s Global Tax Alert, and the Blueprint are included for reference.