Transfer Pricing

“ExxonMobil paid no tax on $18 billion revenue, unions allege”

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Source: smh.com.au 3 December 2017

“Exxon is more aggressive in minimising its tax than Chevron, which agreed to a settlement believed to be worth more than $1 billion this year, after being taken to court by the Australian Taxation Office”

“Energy giant ExxonMobil​ has not paid a cent in corporate income tax in Australia in at least two years, despite reaping more than $18 billion from the nation’s natural resources, according to three ofd the company’s workplace unions.

Tax campaigners accuse the company of cashing in on Australia’s soaring gas prices, but avoiding paying tax on its profits by sending much of its money to a network of offshore companies, some based in notorious tax havens.”

Source article here

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How clear is your Transfer Pricing documentation?

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Until recently I was a Senior Transfer Pricing Specialist with HM Revenue & Customs. I have HMRC TP risk-assessing and case-working experience for most business sectors and transaction types and was a member of HMRC’s TP Governance Panel, which has the final say on most TP enquiries.

I have now decided to specialise in helping MNEs and their advisers prepare their “final” TP documentation for HMRC eyes.

You may think your TP Documentation is clear and complete; but HMRC may think otherwise. Many TP enquiries are opened or extended by HMRC because the full facts and circumstances of the business and its transfer pricing are absent from or not clearly presented in the documents provided. Ironically, on establishing the facts it often becomes clear to HMRC that the pricing is actually at arm’s length and the enquiry can be closed without adjustment. Unfortunately, considerable time and money will have been expended on the enquiry in the meantime.

Such enquiries can be avoided or cut short.

I can “sense-check” your TP documentation; issues that might otherwise trigger “TP risk” alarm bells within HMRC will be identified and can be corrected, clarified or expanded as required, before submission to HMRC, to better demonstrate your principled and objective approach to achieving the appropriate arm’s length pricing.

To find out how I can help you please use the “contact me” tab above or email me directly.

Gordon McLeman 08 December 2017

How would your TP Documentation stand up to HMRC Audit?

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Netherland vs. A BV, October 2017, Lower Court, case no 2017: 5965

In this recent transfer pricing case the Dutch Courts reduced the tax authority’s adjusted assessment of €188.3m down to €32.1m

The basic facts are:

  • A Dutch parent company had provided services to foreign subsidiaries on a cost-plus basis.
  • The parent received compensation when a business restructuring transferred its HQ and strategic functions to Switzerland.
  • The Dutch Tax Authorities concluded that this compensation was not enough and that the parent continued to perform strategic functions for the group.

However, the Court ruled that:

  • the parent had fulfilled its legal obligations by preparing thorough transfer pricing documentation.
  • that the burden of proof was on the Dutch tax authorities and
  • the tax authorities did not provide sufficient arguments to support their adjustment.

This outcome illustrates the importance of ‘preparing thorough transfer pricing documentation’ and, although it’s a Dutch example, the principle holds good across jurisdictions.

If you are interested in finding out how your TP documentation might fare if audited by HMRC then read on…… Read the rest of this entry »

“Deadlines to Preserve Taxpayer Rights to Request Competent Authority Assistance to Relieve Double Taxation”

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Source: Deloitte (US) Global Transfer Pricing Alert 2017-045 18 October 2017

“Transfer pricing continues to be the top enforcement priority of tax authorities around the world, and one of the major risks for many multinationals. With foreign tax authorities aggressively asserting transfer pricing deficiencies, many taxpayers are receiving proposed adjustments regarding intercompany transactions. For this reason, it is imperative that taxpayers understand the actions required to preserve the right to request competent authority assistance to relieve double taxation.”

This informative Transfer Pricing Alert summarise the process for preserving Competent Authority assistance to relieve double taxation and lists the notification deadlines for US Treaty Partners.

Download a pdf copy of the Deloitte Tax Alert here

 

“Intra-group reinsurance transfer pricing in a post-BEPS world”

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Originally published by Grant Thornton UK LLP, 9 May 2016

Reinsurance is a common connected-party transaction for groups operating in the insurance sector. This 2016 article from Grant Thornton discusses a key change to the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines arising from BEPS and how it impacts the transfer pricing of intra-group reinsurance.

The article concludes that “for many groups there is unlikely to be a sea change in the transfer pricing analysis performed, but there will be a greater level of documentation and evidence required to support the nature of the analysis performed.”

Source article here