Business Restructurings: An Analysis of the Revised OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines Chapter IX

Mette Waterstradt Vangshardt & Anders Lundegaard Berg

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this master's thesis is to examine the main drivers of business restructurings in multinational enterprises and how these business restructurings are treated according to international transfer pricing regulation with special considerations to the revised OECD TPG chapter IX. These findings will lay the foundation for further discussions regarding possible fiscal and economic implications of the revised chapter.
By analysing organisational theory and strategic management, it is shown that internal as well as external factors have an effect on the way MNEs are structured. Typically, business restructurings are found to be driven by the desire to capitalise on economies of scale, operate with a more efficient supply chain or increase the specialisation within the MNE. However, tax considerations might have an impact on the way MNEs are restructured due to their ability to transfer functions, assets and risks across national borders. By centralizing functions, assets and risks, the expected return of the local entities is transferred abroad, thereby reducing the overall tax burden of the MNEs. In order to prevent base erosion and profit shifting as well as the risk of double taxation, business restructurings within MNEs should be consistent with the arm's length principle.
However, the revised OECD TPG chapter IX tends to apply broad definitions leaving room for interpretation and uncertainty for both taxpayers and tax authorities when applying the arm's length principle. This gives rise to economic consequences in terms of increased administrative burdens for both taxpayers and tax authorities. Further, the revised chapter causes fiscal consequences in terms of increased risk of disputes between taxpayers and tax authorities. Even though MNEs comply with the arm's length principle in relation to OECD TPG chapter IX, a risk of double taxation still exists due to the inconsistencies between the revised chapter and national tax regulation, such as exit taxation, and the treatment of permanent establishments in relation to article 7 of the OECD Model Tax Convention.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2017
Number of pages124
SupervisorsPeter Koerver Schmidt