Following the BEPS project, there is an increased focus on the functional analysis in applying the transfer pricing rules in the UK so as to ensure that transfer pricing outcomes are aligned with value creation. Following the investigations by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee into the tax affairs of multinational companies in late 2012 and the decisions of the European Commission in the more recent State aid investigations, the profile of transfer pricing has been raised in the media and has led to heightened public interest in the tax affairs of multinationals. Whilst transfer pricing inquiries in the UK are being conducted by HMRC with increased vigour as a result, one tide that is yet to change is the widespread public criticism of multinational taxation. It is hoped that the implementation of the BEPS project will change public perception and make it easier for BEPS-compliant multinationals to convince their stakeholders and the court of public opinion that they pay their fair share of taxes in accordance with internationally agreed rules.
This article was first published in The Transfer Pricing Law Review, - Edition 3 (published in June 2017 – editors Steve Edge and Dominic Robertson)