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OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations + Free PDF


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The OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations provide guidance on the application of the “arm’s length principle”, which is the international consensus on transfer pricing, i.e. on the valuation, for tax purposes, of cross-border transactions between associated enterprises. In a global economy where multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a prominent role, transfer pricing is high on the agenda of tax administrators and taxpayers alike. Governments need to ensure that the taxable profits of MNEs are not artificially shifted out of their jurisdictions and that the tax base reported by MNEs in their respective countries reflect the economic activity undertaken therein. For taxpayers, it is essential to limit the risks of economic double taxation that may result from a dispute between two countries on the determination of an arm’s length remuneration for their cross-border transactions with associated enterprises. 

The OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines were approved by the OECD Council in their original version in 1995. A limited update was made in 2009, primarily to reflect the adoption, in the 2008 update of the Model Tax Convention, of a new paragraph 5 of Article 25 dealing with arbitration, and of changes to the Commentary on Article 25 on mutual agreement procedures to resolve cross-border tax disputes. In the 2010 edition, Chapters I-III were substantially revised, with new guidance on: the selection of the most appropriate transfer pricing method to the circumstances of the case; the practical application of transactional profit methods (transactional net margin method and profit split method); and on the performance of comparability analyses. Furthermore, a new Chapter IX, on the transfer pricing aspects of business restructurings, was added. Consistency changes were made to the rest of the Guidelines.

Table of contents:

Chapter I. The Arm's Length Principle (revised in 2010 edition)
-A. Introduction
-B. Statement of the arm's length principle
-C. A non-arm's-length approach: global formulary apportionment
-D. Guidance for applying the arm's length principle
Chapter II. Transfer Pricing Methods (revised in 2010 edition)
-Part I. Selection of the transfer pricing method
-Part II. Traditional transaction methods
-Part II. Transactional profit methods
Chapter III. Comparability Analysis (revised in 2010 edition)
-A. Performing a comparability analysis
-B. Timing issues in comparability
-C. Compliance issues
Chapter IV. Administrative Approaches to Avoiding and Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes (updated in 2010 edition)
-A. Introduction
-B. Transfer pricing compliance practices
-C. Corresponding adjustments and the mutual agreement procedure: Articles 9 and 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention
-D. Simultaneous tax examinations
-E. Safe Harbours
-F. Advance pricing arrangements
-G. Arbitration
Chapter V. Documentation (updated in 2010 edition)
-A. Introduction
-B. Guidance on documentation rules and procedures
-C. Useful information for determining transfer pricing
-D. Summary of recommendations on documentation
Chapter VI. Special Considerations for Intangible Property (updated in 2010 edition)
-A. Introduction
-B. Commercial intangibles
-C. Appplying the arm's length principle
-D. Marketing activities undertaken by enterprises not owning trademarks or trade names
Chapter VII. Special Considerations for Intra-Group Services (updated in 2010 edition)
-A. Introduction
-B. Main issues
-C. Some examples of intra-group services
Chapter VIII. Cost Contribution Arrangements (updated in 2010 edition)
-A. Introduction
-B. Concept of CCA
-C. Applying the arm's length principle
-D. Tax consequences is a CCA is not arm's length
-E. CCA entry, withdrawal, or termination
-F. Recommendations for structuring and documenting CCAs
Chapter IX. Transfer Pricing Aspects of Business Restructurings (new to 2010 edition)
--A. Scope
--B. Applying Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and these guidelines to business restructurings: theoretical framework
-Part I. Special considerations for risks
--A. Introduction
--B. Contractual terms
--C. Compliance issues
-Part II. Arm's length compensation for the restructuring itself
--A. Introduction
--B. Understanding the restructuring itself
--C. Reallocation of profit potential as a result of business restructuring
--D. Transfer of something of value (e.g. an asset or an ongoing concern)
--E. Indemnification of the restructured entity for the termination or substantial renegotiation of existing arrangements
-Part III. Remuneration of post-restructuring controlled transactions
--A. Business restructurings vs. "structuring"
--B. Application to business restructuring situations: selection and application of a transfer pricing method for the post-restructuring controlled transactions
--C. Relationship between compensation for the restructuring and post-restructuring remuneration
--D. Comparing the pre- and post-restructuring situations
--E. Location savings
--F. Example: Implemenation of a central purchasing function
-Part IV. Recognition of the actural transactions undertaken
--A. Introduction
--B. Transactions actually undertaken. Role of contractual terms.
--C. applications of paragraphs 1.64-1.69 of these guidelines to business restructuring situations
--D. Examples
-Annex: Guidelines for Monitoring Procedures on the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and the involvement of the business community
-Annex I to Chapter II. Sensitivity of Gross and Net Profit Indicators
-Annex II to Chapter II. Example to Illustrate the Application of the Residual Profit Split Method
-Annex III to Chapter II. Illustration of Different Measures of Profits When Applying a Transactional Profit Split Method
-Annex to Chapter III. Example of a Working Capital Adjustment
-Annex to Chapter IV. Guidelines for Conducting Advance Pricing Arrangements under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (“MAP APAs”)
-Annex to Chapter VI. Examples to Illustrate the Guidance on Intangible Property and Highly Uncertain Valuation
-Appendix. Recommendation of the Council on the Determination of Transfer Pricing between Associated Enterprises [C(95)126/Final]

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