Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Posts tagged ‘BEPS Action 10’

OECD: New guidance on profit-split and hard-to-value intangibles

The OECD published the final report on revised guidance to apply the transactional profit split method, as part of BEPS Action 10.  This guidance provides the final text, based on comments received.

Additionally, OECD published final guidance for tax administrations for determining the proper approach to apply for hard-to-value intangibles.  This text is included as an annex to Chapter VI of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines.  This approach should promote consistency and, hopefully, minimize double taxation.

The text of these reports are provided for reference, as they are a must read for transfer pricing professionals.

http://www.oecd.org/tax/transfer-pricing/revised-guidance-on-the-application-of-the-transactional-profit-split-method-beps-action-10.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/tax/transfer-pricing/guidance-for-tax-administrations-on-the-application-of-the-approach-to-hard-to-value-intangibles-BEPS-action-8.pdf

TEI’s comments: BEPS Actions

TEI has provided comments in response to several OECD BEPS Actions, linked herein for reference.

Action 10:Profit Splits-Key comments:

  • Profit split methodologies should be limited to scenarios where there is not reliable arm’s length pricing.
  • Simple examples provided do not provide a comprehensive basis for detailed replies and consideration.
  • A profit split approach may be subject to abuse by tax authorities.
  • Hindsight application of transfer pricing methodologies should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

http://tei.org/Documents/TEI%20Comments%20BEPS%20Action%2010%20-%20Profit%20Splits%20-%20FINAL%20to%20OECD%206%20February%202015.pdf

Actions 8-10: TP Guidelines

  • Transfer pricing analyses discussed in the proposal would require significant resources for MNE’s and tax authorities.
  • The possible merging of the approaches of attributing profits for Article 7 (PE) and Article 9 (Associated Enterprises) should be clarified.
  • The imposition of “insufficient transfer pricing documentation” penalties should be abandoned/relaxed by tax authorities for a reasonable period of time after implementation of the new guidelines.
  • Additional compliance burdens elicit increased complexity and confusion.

http://tei.org/Documents/TEI%20Comments%20BEPS%20Actions%208-10%20-%20Risk%20and%20Recharacterisation%20FINAL%20to%20OECD%206%20February%202015.pdf

Action 4: Interest

  • The proposal represents a shift away from the arm’s length principle, introducing difficult and impractical problems to resolve.
  • Capitalisation factors include many considerations other than tax.
  • Double tax consequences are more likely, as MNE’s will not be able to easily rearrange financing structures worldwide.
  • The withholding tax impacts should be clarified for foreign tax credit and related calculations.
  • MNE’s with a higher effective tax rate, and thus less prone to base erosion or profit shifting arrangements, should be excluded.
  • The concept of global limitation calculations, and interest sharing, needs to be further discussed to determine efficient audit guidance.

http://tei.org/Documents/TEI%20Comments%20BEPS%20Action%204%20-%20Interest%20Deductions%20-%20FINAL%20to%20OECD%203%20February%202015.pdf

Action 10: Commodities

  • Right to use publicly available quoted exchange prices as a comparable is a welcome proposal.
  • Discussion of other issues, including pricing, pricing date, and documentation should be further considered and clarified.

http://tei.org/Documents/TEI%20Comments%20BEPS%20Action%2010%20-%20Commodity%20Transactions%20-%20FINAL%20to%20OECD%203%20February%202015.pdf

 

TEI’s comments are always informative, practical and highlight issues that are both useful as well as problematic.  Therefore, these comments provide an excellent forum, along with comments from other interested parties, for further consideration prior to drafting final guidance.

TEI’s comments: OECD BEPS Actions 10 and 14

Tax Executives Institute, Inc. (TEI) recently published comments re: OECD BEPS Action 10, addressing Low Value-Adding Intra-Group Services, and Action 14 re: Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.  The comments elicit practical considerations, including worldwide consistency, in their well written and reasoned responses.  Although many individuals/organizations have provided comments, TEI’s submissions merit required reading and thoughtful consideration. Links to TEI’s comments are included for reference:

http://www.tei.org/Documents/TEI%20Comments%20BEPS%20Action%2010%20-%20Low%20Value%20Added%20Services%20-%20FINAL%20to%20OECD%2013%20January%202015.pdf

http://www.tei.org/Documents/TEI%20Comments%20BEPS%20Action%2014%20-%20Dispute%20Resolution%20-%20FINAL%20to%20OECD%2015%20January%202015.pdf

Key comments re: Action 10, Low Value-Adding Services

  • Non-global implementation will diminish the intended value of this initiative.
  • A “rebuttable presumption” should replace the “benefits test” for low value -added services.
  • Exclusion of corporate senior management’s services is complex; it may be easier to include such services.
  • A mark-up % of 0-5% should replace 2-5% for flexibility and reflecting cost contribution arrangements.
  • Any percentage within the safe harbour range should be allowable.
  • Guidance should be issued re: coordination of Action 10 and Action 13 re: transfer pricing documentation.
  • Reference to the OECD’s previous work on safe harbours has been omitted, for no stated reason.
  • The safe harbour should be available if the taxpayer’s method is different in another jurisdiction (i.e. APA’s, non-OECD alignment).

Key comments re: Action 14, Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

  • Published MAP guidelines and procedures are welcome, although redacted settlements would also reveal legal basis for outcomes,  and may be used as precedent for taxpayers.
  • KPI’s should be established.
  • Monitoring the MAP process is an excellent proposal suggested in the report.
  • A global dispute resolution mechanism and mandatory binding arbitration should be developed, with arbitration available as a pre-MAP appeal avenue.
  • Deadlines for Competent Authority (CA) requests should be in place, along with penalties for CA if they do not respond timely.
  • Maintaining confidentiality is critical and should be a primary focus, especially for countries initially adopting this process.
  • Transparency of independency for Competent Authorities would improve confidence in the process.
  • Taxpayers should participate in face-to-face meetings to facilitate the process, and a simplified process should initiate MAP assistance.
  • Precluding taxpayers from using MAP, directly or indirectly giving up their rights, is not acceptable.
  • Binding arbitration provisions and/or use of a domestic or treaty-based anti-abuse rule should not preclude MAP.
  • Tax, interest and penalties should be suspended during the MAP process.

The comments on Action 14 are especially critical, as dispute resolution will be a critical factor in ensuring that the BEPS guidelines legislated into law will have consistent, fair and transparent processes to resolve disputes timely and effectively.

%d bloggers like this: