Finland has provided additional guidance stating they have not elected to defer the COVID-19 6-month dates, thus the original dates of the end of July 2020 and August 2020 apply for reporting 30-day arrangements and historical arrangements, respectively.
Additionally, the guidance provides further clarity on hallmark definitions to apply for reportable cross-border arrangements between Finland and another country.
Finland has interpreted the “new” guidance for Financial Transactions as merely a clarification of prior law.
This interpretation is not novel, and is a position sometimes taken in an audit, rightly or wrongly, for which taxpayers should be aware.
In tax administration statement No. VH/3605/00.01.00/2020, published July 1, Finland’s tax agency explained the relevance of the newly added chapter 10 of the OECD transfer pricing guidelines on financial transactions. With the sole exception of the new guidance on the relevance of a parent company’s credit rating in determining the credit rating of another group member for purposes of pricing intercompany debt, chapter 10 will be applied both prospectively and retrospectively, according to the statement. This includes the guidance on cash pooling, guarantees, captive insurance, and determination of risk-free and risk-adjusted returns.
“The new chapter 10 of the OECD transfer pricing guidelines on transfer pricing for financial transactions does not, in the opinion of the tax administration, contain fundamental new interpretative guidance, except for [determining] the creditworthiness of a separate company. Therefore, the guidelines can otherwise be used as a source of interpretation for tax years ended before the guidelines were published,” the statement says.
Finland is expanding its rules on interest deductibility, including additional breadth over the OECD/BEPS Actions. Finland is following many other countries, in disallowing such deductions while not providing a deferral/exemption of interest income in the related jurisdiction for interest income.
Additionally, US tax reform has also introduced new interest limitation rules, based upon a 30% tax adjusted EBITDA concept.
This is the ideal time to review one’s capital structure worldwide; is it achieving the economic interests that were in place? Most MNE’s will be affected in one or more countries from the BEPS, and expanded BEPS, actions by many countries. The expanded legislative framework dictates a new review of global capital structures.