Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Posts tagged ‘transfer pricing disclosures’

Ghana’s TP risk approach: Best Practice ideas

EY’s Global Tax Alert highlights the 250 risk-based transfer pricing (TP) audits that commenced recently, as well as the relevant risk factors and transfer pricing submission details that are useful in determining transfer pricing risk currently and ongoing.  The Transfer Pricing Unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority was established in September 2012, highlighting the focus that this Unit has placed on gaining access to transfer pricing information from which a risk-based approach can be implemented.

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Ghana_commences_transfer_pricing_audits/$FILE/2015G_CM5216_TP_Ghana%20commences%20TP%20audits.pdf

Summary:

  • Transfer Pricing disclosure return (due 4 months after year-end):
    • Related party transactional overview and values
    • Location of related parties
    • Arm’s length pricing methodologies
  • Transfer pricing risk factors (Yes / No format):
    • Intercompany transactions to / from Ghana
    • Intercompany transactions with low-tax jurisdictions
    • Other transactions
    • Local restructurings
    • Senior management secondments
    • Operating losses for 2 years or more
    • Royalties
    • Compliance with transfer pricing returns
    • Contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation

Best Practice points / learnings from Ghana’s approach:

  • Would a risk-based jurisdictional template be useful to compare other jurisdictions similarly to address potential risks
  • Focus on location of senior management highlights the use of a significant people function approach, highlighting coordination with the global mobility function and providing relevant rationales to justify the local benefit
  • Location of related parties and transactions with low-tax jurisdictions may require further disclosure in transfer pricing documentation to address perception-based conclusions
  • Necessity for local transfer pricing knowledge, with internal / external resources to answer questions accurately

TP disclosure on tax returns: Malaysia

The Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (MIRB) has added a new check box on the 2014 tax return form for corporate taxpayers to declare whether transfer pricing documentation has been prepared.  Contemporaneous documentation should be prepared accordingly (i.e. 7 months from the close of the financial year).  The KPMG Newsletter describing this new initiative is referenced at the following link:

https://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/taxnewsflash/Documents/tp-malaysia-may6-2014.pdf

Re: Best Practices, new transfer pricing boxes / questions on tax returns are becoming a common practice.  Some questions by a multinational to ensure proper governance for tax return transfer pricing disclosures include:

  • What internal governance mechanism is in place to alert the tax dept. timely of new disclosures for proper planning of contemporaneous documentation, etc.?
  • Is the tax return preparer / reviewer knowledgeable about the transfer pricing documentation processes in place to answer the questions accurately?
  • If a transfer pricing question is to be answered negatively (i.e., no documentation exists), is there adequate time to proactively address, as applicable?  Is there any correlative impact for a financial statement tax reserve?
  • For transfer pricing methodology questions, who ensures the proper methods are accurately disclosed?
  • Is there a pre-audit strategy, upon notification, to review tax return disclosures?
  • Is there a documented process in the global tax risk framework that alerts the tax dept. of new disclosures?

These questions, among others, should be discussed to ensure internal and external alignment in a corporation’s tax risk policy.

 

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