06/06/2012 - Working Party No. 6 of the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs has released a discussion draft on safe harbours as part of its project to improve the administrative aspects of transfer pricing. This project started with a survey of the transfer pricing simplification measures in existence in OECD and non-OECD countries and led WP6 to review the current guidance on safe harbours in Chapter IV of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (“TPG”).
The current guidance in the TPG has a somewhat negative tone regarding transfer pricing safe harbours. This negative tone does not accurately reflect the practice of OECD member countries, a number of which have adopted transfer pricing safe harbour provisions. Also, the current guidance is largely silent with regard to the possibility of a bilateral agreement establishing a safe harbour, even though some countries have favourable experience with such bilateral agreements.
This discussion draft includes proposed revisions of the section on safe harbours in Chapter IV of the TPG and associated sample memoranda of understanding for competent authorities to establish bilateral safe harbours.
This document is an interim draft prepared by Working Party No. 6. It should be recognised that it is not necessarily a consensus document and it does not necessarily reflect the final view of the OECD and its member countries. One or another country may not be in full agreement with one or more of its provisions. Due to its interim nature, the Committee on Fiscal Affairs has not yet considered the draft.
Interested parties are invited to send comments on this discussion draft before 14 September. Comments should be sent in Word format to Mr. Joe Andrus, Head, Transfer Pricing Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org). Unless otherwise requested at the time of submission, comments received may be posted on the OECD website.
Depending on the nature of the comments received, there may be a public consultation on the matters in this discussion draft during the week of 5 November 2012. Participants in the public consultation will be drawn primarily from those providing timely written comments.
See "Discussion Draft – Proposed Revision of the Section on Safe Harbours in Chapter IV of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and Draft Sample Memoranda of Understanding for Competent Authorities to Establish Bilateral Safe Harbour"