Tag: Exchange controls

Chapter I paragraph 1.4

Factors other than tax considerations may distort the conditions of commercial and financial relations established between associated enterprises. For example, such enterprises may be subject to conflicting governmental pressures (in the domestic as well as foreign country) relating to customs valuations, anti-dumping duties, and exchange or price controls. In addition, transfer price distortions may be caused by the cash flow requirements of enterprises within an MNE group. An MNE group that is publicly held may feel pressure from shareholders to show high profitability at the parent company level, particularly if shareholder reporting is not undertaken on a consolidated basis. All of these factors may affect transfer prices and the amount of profits accruing to associated enterprises within an MNE group ...

Chapter I paragraph 1.132

There are some circumstances in which a taxpayer will consider that an arm’s length price must be adjusted to account for government interventions such as price controls (even price cuts), interest rate controls, controls over payments for services or management fees, controls over the payment of royalties, subsidies to particular sectors, exchange control, anti- dumping duties, or exchange rate policy. As a general rule, these government interventions should be treated as conditions of the market in the particular country, and in the ordinary course they should be taken into account in evaluating the taxpayer’s transfer price in that market. The question then presented is whether in light of these conditions the transactions undertaken by the controlled parties are consistent with transactions between independent enterprises ...

Chapter I paragraph 1.133

One issue that arises is determining the stage at which a price control affects the price of a product or service. Often the direct impact will be on the final price to the consumer, but there may nonetheless be an impact on prices paid at prior stages in the supply of goods to the market. MNEs in practice may make no adjustment in their transfer prices to take account of such controls, leaving the final seller to suffer any limitation on profit that may occur, or they may charge prices that share the burden in some way between the final seller and the intermediate supplier. It should be considered whether or not an independent supplier would share in the costs of the price controls and whether an independent enterprise would seek alternative product lines and business opportunities. In this regard, it is unlikely that an independent enterprise would be prepared to produce, distribute, or otherwise provide products or services on terms that allowed it no profit. Nevertheless, it is quite obvious that a country with price controls must take into account that those price controls will affect the profits that can be realised by enterprises selling goods subject to those controls ...

Chapter I paragraph 1.134

A special problem arises when a country prevents or “blocks” the payment of an amount which is owed by one associated enterprise to another or which in an arm’s length arrangement would be charged by one associated enterprise to another. For example, exchange controls may effectively prevent an associated enterprise from transferring interest payments abroad on a loan made by another associated enterprise located in a different country. This circumstance may be treated differently by the two countries involved: the country of the borrower may or may not regard the untransferred interest as having been paid, and the country of the lender may or may not treat the lender as having received the interest. As a general rule, where the government intervention applies equally to transactions between associated enterprises and transactions between independent enterprises (both in law and in fact), the approach to this problem where it occurs between associated enterprises should be the same for tax purposes as that adopted for transactions between independent enterprises. Where the government intervention applies only to transactions between associated enterprises, there is no simple solution to the problem. Perhaps one way to deal with the issue is to apply the arm’s length principle viewing the intervention as a condition affecting the terms of the transaction. Treaties may specifically address the approaches available to the treaty partners where such circumstances exist ...

Chapter I paragraph 1.135

A difficulty with this analysis is that often independent enterprises simply would not enter into a transaction in which payments were blocked. An independent enterprise might find itself in such an arrangement from time to time, most likely because the government interventions were imposed subsequent to the time that the arrangement began. But it seems unlikely that an independent enterprise would willingly subject itself to a substantial risk of non-payment for products or services rendered by entering into an arrangement when severe government interventions already existed unless the profit projections or anticipated return from the independent enterprise’s proposed business strategy are sufficient to yield it an acceptable rate of return notwithstanding the existence of the government intervention that may affect payment ...

Chapter I paragraph 1.136

Because independent enterprises might not engage in a transaction subject to government interventions, it is unclear how the arm’s length principle should apply. One possibility is to treat the payment as having been made between the associated enterprises, on the assumption that an independent enterprise in a similar circumstance would have insisted on payment by some other means. This approach would treat the party to whom the blocked payment is owed as performing a service for the MNE group. An alternative approach that may be available in some countries would be to defer both the income and the relevant expenses of the taxpayer. In other words, the party to whom this blocked payment was due would not be allowed to deduct expenses, such as additional financing costs, until the blocked payment was made. The concern of tax administrations in these situations is mainly their respective tax bases. If an associated enterprise claims a deduction in its tax computations for a blocked payment, then there should be corresponding income to the other party. In any case, a taxpayer should not be permitted to treat blocked payments due from an associated enterprise differently from blocked payments due from an independent enterprise ...