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OECD: Updates to transfer pricing guidelines for multinational enterprises

OECD: Transfer pricing guidelines for MNEs

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today announced the release of the 2017 edition of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations.

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As reported in a related OECD release, the transfer pricing guidelines provide guidance on the application of the “arm’s length principle”—that is, the international consensus on the valuation, for income tax purposes, of cross-border transactions between associated enterprises. The 2017 edition of the transfer pricing guidelines mainly reflects a consolidation of the changes resulting from the OECD/G20 base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project, and incorporates the following revisions of the 2010 edition into a single publication:

  • Substantial revisions introduced by the 2015 reports on BEPS Actions 8-10 (Aligning transfer pricing outcomes with value creation) and Action 13 (Transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country reporting). These amendments were incorporated into the transfer pricing guidelines in May 2016.
  • The revisions to Chapter IX to conform the guidance on business restructurings to the revisions introduced by the 2015 reports on BEPS Actions 8-10 and 13. 
  • The revised guidance on safe harbours in Chapter IV. 
  • Consistency changes that were needed in the rest of the OECD transfer pricing guidelines to produce this consolidated version. 

In addition, the updated edition of the transfer pricing guidelines include the revised recommendation of the OECD Council on the Determination of Transfer Pricing between Associated Enterprises [C(95)126/FINAL]. The revised recommendation reflects the relevance to address BEPS and the establishments of the “inclusive framework” on BEPS. 

 

Read the 2017 edition of the transfer pricing guidelines

KPMG observation

Transfer pricing professionals have noted the following initial impressions of the updated transfer pricing guidelines:

  • There is no new substantive content in the published version of the guidelines beyond what was already announced in the OECD BEPS Actions 8-10 and Action 13 final reports.
  • Formal publication of the guidelines may enhance the legal standing of the guidelines in some jurisdictions, depending on how the countries reflect OECD guidelines in local law.
  • The revised guidelines (published today) do not incorporate forthcoming changes to the profit split guidance in Chapter II. A revised discussion draft on this topic was released 22 June 2017; read TaxNewsFlash-Transfer Pricing.

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