Given their economic importance, transfer pricing rules will be high on the corporate tax agenda (and the broader political agenda) for many years to come, and they are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. Over the next few years, we expect the following to be among the main areas of focus. First, the transfer pricing impact of the covid-19 pandemic still needs to be worked out by many countries, though the OECD should be commended for publishing clear guidance on this within a few months of the start of the pandemic. Second, a number of countries may see disputes over the extent to which transfer pricing can be used to recharacterise transactions, rather than merely to adjust the pricing of transactions. Third, many countries are strengthening the requirements for contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation, either aligning with the OECD master file or local file model (as in Israel), or potentially going beyond this (as the UK has proposed). Finally, the OECD/G20 project to address the tax consequences of digitalisation continues to work towards agreeing a solution in 2021, which has become more likely following the arrival of the Biden administration in January 2021.
This article was first published in The Transfer Pricing Law Review, Edition 5 (published in July 2021 – editors Steve Edge and Dominic Robertson) and was reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Limited.
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