30/07/2013 As part of its project on transfer pricing simplification, the OECD has released a White Paper on Transfer Pricing Documentation. This document is intended to initiate an international discussion of ways in which compliance with transfer pricing documentation requirements can be made simpler and more straight-forward, while at the same time providing tax authorities with more focused and useful information for consideration in connection with transfer pricing risk assessment and transfer pricing audits.
Over the last 20 years, transfer pricing documentation requirements have rapidly spread around the world. The proliferation of transfer pricing documentation requirements, combined with a dramatic increase in the volume and complexity of international intra-group trade and the heightened scrutiny of transfer pricing issues by tax authorities, makes transfer pricing documentation one of the top tax compliance issues on the agendas of both tax authorities and businesses.
The recently issued OECD Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting calls for the development of transfer pricing documentation rules that will enhance transparency for tax administration, taking into account the compliance costs for business. The Action Plan indicates that “the rules to be developed will include a requirement that MNE’s provide all relevant governments with needed information on their global allocation of the income, economic activity and taxes paid among countries, according to a common template.” The Action Plan statements are consistent with the 18 June Communique of the G8 Lough Erne Summit.
The Committee on Fiscal Affairs believes that it is essential to obtain input from the business community and from other interested non-governmental parties on these topics. Accordingly, this White Paper is issued as a first step in soliciting public comments.
Interested parties are invited to send comments on the White Paper on Transfer Pricing Documentation by 1 October 2013. Comments are also welcome on the most appropriate means of implementing the transfer pricing documentation directives of the BEPS Action Plan.
Comments should be sent in to TransferPricing@oecd.org. It is anticipated that a public consultation on this White Paper and other transfer pricing matters will be held at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris, France on 12 – 13 November 2013.