OECD releases Transfer Pricing Guidance on Financial Transactions
11/02/2020 – Today, the OECD released the 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 the 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.
The report released today is significant because it is the first time the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines include guidance on the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions, which will contribute to consistency in the interpretation of the arm’s length principle and help avoid transfer pricing disputes and double taxation.
The guidance in this report describes the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions. It also 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 this report 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. Finally, Section F provides guidance on how to determine a risk-free rate of return and a risk-adjusted rate of return.
Sections A to E of this report are included in the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines as Chapter X. Section F is added to Section D.1.2.1 in Chapter I of the Guidelines, immediately following paragraph 1.106.
Addressing base erosion and profit shifting continues to be a key priority of governments around the globe. In 2013, OECD and G20 countries, working together on an equal footing, adopted a 15-point Action Plan to address BEPS. In 2015, the BEPS package of measures was endorsed by G20 Leaders and the OECD. In order to ensure the effective and consistent implementation of the BEPS measures, the Inclusive Framework on BEPS was established in 2016 and now has 137 members. It brings together all interested countries and jurisdictions on an equal footing at the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs.
Find out more about the Inclusive Framework on BEPS: www.oecd.org/tax/beps.
Media queries should be directed to Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (tel. +33 6 26 30 49 23), or Stewart Brant, Head of the Transfer Pricing Unit (tel. +33 1 45 24 94 63).