EU-medlemslandenes iagttagelse af statsstøttereglerne i relation til transfer pricing-reguleringen

Daniel Askbo

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


This master-thesis will focus on how tax authorities within the European Union (EU) can conclude tax rulings (advance pricing agreements) regarding transfer pricing-matters for a multinational entity (MNE), without conflicting the state aid-rules cf. Article 107 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. At first, the thesis describes the EUs state aid rules, and afterwards the thesis describes the transfer pricing- rules and -regulation. Both described in details and with small examples, due to the assessment that it will benefit the understanding of the difficulties in the following cases ruled by the EU-Commission. Furthermore, the thesis will focus on the EU-Commissions latest cases regarding tax rulings for MNEs such as Fiat, Starbucks and Apple. In these cases, the Commission ruled that the respective tax authorities gave illegal state aid to the MNEs, cf. art 107 (1). The state aid was given through favourable tax rulings in which artificial group-structures without economic substance were accepted and through price-setting methods, which did not fully comply with the “arm's length principle” (market conditions). Based on the appealed cases (e.g. Fiat, Starbucks and Apple), this thesis will give a legal assessment on how; tax authorities and MNEs should interact when concluding tax rulings regarding transfer pricing-matter, in order not to violate the EUs state aid rules cf. art. 107 (1). The thesis concludes that there are two different kinds of “arm’s length principles”. One according to the OECD transfer pricing-guidelines and national legislation, and one according to EUs state aid-rules cf. art. 107 (1). The last one seems to be the most stringent as it requires a smaller margin in order to be align with markets conditions, compared to the OECD-based “arm’s length principle”. Furthermore, the thesis concludes that tax authorities within EU cannot conclude tax rulings regarding transfer pricing-matters solely based on national legislation and OECD TP-Guidelines, and automatically comply with EUs state aid rules, cf. art. 107 (1).

EducationsMaster i Skat, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages64