Tag: Corresponding adjustment

A corresponding adjustment is an adjustment to the tax liability of the associated enterprise in a second tax jurisdiction made by the tax administration of that jurisdiction, corresponding to a primary adjustment made by the tax administration in a first tax jurisdiction, so that the allocation of profits by the two jurisdictions is consistent.

Preface paragraph 12

Transfer prices are significant for both taxpayers and tax administrations because they determine in large part the income and expenses, and therefore taxable profits, of associated enterprises in different tax jurisdictions. Transfer pricing issues originally arose in transactions between associated enterprises operating within the same tax jurisdiction. The domestic issues are not considered in these Guidelines, which focus on the international aspects of transfer pricing. These international aspects are more difficult to deal with because they involve more than one tax jurisdiction and therefore any adjustment to the transfer price in one jurisdiction implies that a corresponding change in another jurisdiction is appropriate. However, if the other jurisdiction does not agree to make a corresponding adjustment the MNE group will be taxed twice on this part of its profits. In order to minimise the risk of such double taxation, an international consensus is required on how to establish for tax purposes transfer prices on cross-border transactions ...

Preface paragraph 17

These Guidelines are also intended primarily to govern the resolution of transfer pricing cases in mutual agreement proceedings between OECD member countries and, where appropriate, arbitration proceedings. They further provide guidance when a corresponding adjustment request has been made. The Commentary on paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention makes clear that the State from which a corresponding adjustment is requested should comply with the request only if that State “considers that the figure of adjusted profits correctly reflects what the profits would have been if the transactions had been at arm’s length”. This means that in competent authority proceedings the State that has proposed the primary adjustment bears the burden of demonstrating to the other State that the adjustment “is justified both in principle and as regards the amount.” Both competent authorities are expected to take a cooperative approach in resolving mutual agreement cases ...

Chapter II paragraph 2.186

The recognition that the use of transactional profit methods may be necessary is not intended to suggest that independent enterprises would use these methods to set prices. As with any method, it is important that it be possible to calculate appropriate corresponding adjustments when transactional profit methods are used, recognising that in certain cases corresponding adjustments may be determined on an aggregate basis consistent with the aggregation principles in paragraphs 3.9-3.12 ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.29

The mutual agreement procedure is a well-established means through which tax administrations consult to resolve disputes regarding the application of double tax conventions. This procedure, described and authorised by Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, can be used to eliminate double taxation that could arise from a transfer pricing adjustment ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.30

Article 25 sets out three different areas where mutual agreement procedures are generally used. The first area includes instances of “taxation not in accordance with the provisions of the Convention” and is covered in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Article. Procedures in this area are typically initiated by the taxpayer. The other two areas, which do not necessarily involve the taxpayer, are dealt with in paragraph 3 and involve questions of “interpretation or application of the Convention” and the elimination of double taxation in cases not otherwise provided for in the Convention. Paragraph 10 of the Commentary on Article 25 makes clear that Article 25 is intended to be used by competent authorities in resolving not only problems of juridical double taxation but also those of economic double taxation arising from transfer pricing adjustments made pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 9 ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.31

Paragraph 5 of Article 25, which was incorporated in the OECD Model Tax Convention in 2008, provides that, in mutual agreement procedure cases in which the competent authorities are unable to reach an agreement within two years of the initiation of the case under paragraph 1 of Article 25, the unresolved issues will, at the request of the person who presented the case, be resolved through an arbitration process. This extension of the mutual agreement procedure ensures that where the competent authorities cannot reach an agreement on one or more issues that prevent the resolution of a case, a resolution of the case will still be possible by submitting those issues to arbitration. Where one or more issues have been submitted to arbitration in accordance with such a provision, and unless a person directly affected by the case does not accept the mutual agreement that implements the arbitration decision, that decision shall be binding on both States, the taxation of any person directly affected by the case will have to conform with the decision reached on the issues submitted to arbitration and the decisions reached in the arbitral process will be reflected in the mutual agreement that will be presented to these persons. Where a particular bilateral treaty does not contain an arbitration provision similar to paragraph 5 of Article 25, the competent authorities are not obliged to reach an agreement to resolve their dispute; paragraph 2 of Article 25 requires only that the competent authorities “endeavour … to resolve the case by mutual agreement”. The competent authorities may be unable to come to an agreement because of conflicting domestic laws or restrictions imposed by domestic law on the tax administration’s power of compromise. Even in the absence of a mandatory binding arbitration provision similar to paragraph 5 of Article 25 in a particular bilateral treaty, however, the competent authorities of the Contracting States may by mutual agreement establish a binding arbitration procedure for general application or to deal with a specific case (see paragraph 69 of the Commentary on Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention). It should also be noted that a multilateral Convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises2 (the Arbitration Convention) was signed by the Member States of the European Communities on 23 July 1990; the Arbitration Convention, which entered into force on 1 January 1995, provides for an arbitration mechanism to resolve transfer pricing disputes between European Union Member States ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.32

To eliminate double taxation in transfer pricing cases, tax administrations may consider requests for corresponding adjustments as described in paragraph 2 of Article 9. A corresponding adjustment, which in practice may be undertaken as part of the mutual agreement procedure, can mitigate or eliminate double taxation in cases where one tax administration increases a company’s taxable profits (i.e. makes a primary adjustment) as a result of applying the arm’s length principle to transactions involving an associated enterprise in a second tax jurisdiction. The corresponding adjustment in such a case is a downward adjustment to the tax liability of that associated enterprise, made by the tax administration of the second jurisdiction, so that the allocation of profits between the two jurisdictions is consistent with the primary adjustment and no double taxation occurs. It is also possible that the first tax administration will agree to decrease (or eliminate) the primary adjustment as part of the consultative process with the second tax administration, in which case the corresponding adjustment would be smaller (or perhaps unnecessary). It should be noted that a corresponding adjustment is not intended to provide a benefit to the MNE group greater than would have been the case if the controlled transactions had been undertaken at arm’s length conditions in the first instance ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.33

Paragraph 2 of Article 9 specifically provides that the competent authorities shall consult each other if necessary to determine appropriate corresponding adjustments. This confirms that the mutual agreement procedure of Article 25 may be used to consider corresponding adjustment requests. See also paragraph 10 of the Commentary on Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention (“… the corresponding adjustments to be made in pursuance of paragraph 2 of [Article 9] … fall within the scope of mutual agreement procedure, both as concerns assessing whether they are well-founded and for determining their amount.” However, the overlap between the two Articles has caused OECD member countries to consider whether the mutual agreement procedure can be used to achieve corresponding adjustments where the bilateral income tax convention between two Contracting States does not include a provision comparable to paragraph 2 of Article 9. Paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Commentary on Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention expressly state the view of most OECD member countries that the mutual agreement procedure is considered to apply to transfer pricing adjustment cases, including issues of whether a corresponding adjustment should be provided, even in the absence of a provision comparable to paragraph 2 of Article 9. Paragraph 12 notes that those States that do not agree with this view in practice find means of remedying economic double taxation in most cases involving bona fide companies by making use of provisions in their domestic laws ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.34

Under paragraph 2 of Article 9, a corresponding adjustment may be made by a Contracting State either by recalculating the profits subject to tax for the associated enterprise in that country using the relevant revised price or by letting the calculation stand and giving the associated enterprise relief against its own tax paid in that State for the additional tax charged to the associated enterprise by the adjusting State as a consequence of the revised transfer price. The former method is by far the more common among OECD member countries ...

Chapter IV paragraph 4.35

In the absence of an arbitration decision arrived at pursuant to an arbitration procedure comparable to that provided for under paragraph 5 of Article 25 which provides for a corresponding adjustment, corresponding adjustments are not mandatory, mirroring the rule that tax administrations are not obliged to reach agreement under the mutual agreement procedure. Under paragraph 2 of Article 9, a tax administration should make a corresponding adjustment only insofar as it considers the primary adjustment to be justified both in principle and in amount. The non- mandatory nature of corresponding adjustments is necessary so that one tax administration is not forced to accept the consequences of an arbitrary or capricious adjustment by another State. It also is important to maintaining the fiscal sovereignty of each OECD member country ...