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OECD Releases Transfer Pricing Guidance On Financial Transactions

Thursday 13th February 2020

The OECD has released its report: Transfer Pricing Guidance on Financial Transactions: Inclusive Framework on BEPS: Actions 4, 8-10.

In October 2015, as part of the final BEPS package, the OECD/G20 published reports on Action 4 (Limiting Base Erosion Involving Interest Deductions and Other Financial Payments), and Actions 8-10 (Aligning Transfer Pricing Outcomes with Value Creation). Those reports mandated follow-up work on the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions.

OECD’s guidance is significant because it is the first time the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines include guidance on the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions, which should contribute to consistency in the interpretation of the arm’s length principle and help avoid transfer pricing disputes and double taxation.

The guidance describes the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions and includes a number of examples to illustrate the principles discussed in the report.

Section B provides guidance on the application of the principles contained in Section D.1 of Chapter I of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines to financial transactions.

In particular, Section B.1 of the guidance elaborates on how the accurate delineation analysis under Chapter I applies to the capital structure of an MNE within an MNE group. It also clarifies that the guidance included in that section does not prevent countries from implementing approaches to address capital structure and interest deductibility under their domestic legislation.

Section B.2 outlines the economically relevant characteristics that inform the analysis of the terms and conditions of financial transactions.

Sections C, D and E address specific issues related to the pricing of financial transactions (e.g. treasury functions, intra-group loans, cash pooling, hedging, guarantees and captive insurance). This analysis elaborates on both the accurate delineation and the pricing of the controlled financial transactions.

Section F provides guidance on how to determine a risk-free rate of return and a risk-adjusted rate of return.

If you would like further detail on the above, please contact Keith Rushen on 0207 486 2378.

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