In the EU Commission’s view a tax ruling (hereinafter “APA”) confers on the beneficiary a selective advantage under Art. 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter “TFEU”) insofar as it leads to a lowering of the tax burden by deviating from the tax that the beneficiary would otherwise be obliged…

Publication of text of The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS Convention) by the OECD on 24 November 2016 is one of the key milestones in the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. The BEPS Convention will be open for signature from…

There are many things in life that we take for certainties, which are not, e.g. that it was the Scots that invented whiskey, the French champagne, or the Italians pizza.  All not necessarily true. Similar certainties exist in tax and in transfer pricing.  I recently had the honour of giving a training in France to…

To refresh memories, several months ago I posted part 1 of this study on Kluwer’s International Tax Blog: Application of TNMM to Starbucks Roasting Operation: Seeking Comparables Through Understanding the Market  Part 1 briefly describes my advocated transfer pricing approach drawn from my transfer pricing law treatise and my corresponding research based upon it.  My…

Brazil is known for its unique transfer pricing legislation. While in most countries the use of comparables is central for the application of the transfer pricing methods, the Brazilian system has conceived the “fixed margins”, as means of ensuring practicability[1]. The Brazilian legislation adopts the predetermined profit margins under the equivalents of the resale and…

Random thoughts on presumptions on accuracy It is a fact that most in-house tax professionals know very little about their group’s financial systems.  E.g. very few know whether their companies deduct discounts from gross sales or from net sales; likewise very few know whether there are any employee expenses included in cost of goods sold…

A considerable increase of transfer pricing disputes could be observed in Italy over the last decade. Notwithstanding the rising trend of proceedings activated by the Tax Authorities and further scrutinized by the Italian Courts, there is not – to date – a jurisprudential orientation such to provide the interpreter with the necessary guidance in the…

On 24 August 2016, the US Treasury Department issued a White Paper on “The European Commission’s Recent State Aid Investigations of Transfer Pricing Rules” (the “White Paper”), denouncing the Commission’s “new approach” as “an unforeseeable departure from the status quo” whose retroactive application “would be inconsistent with EU legal principles” and “undermine the G20’s efforts…

Harmonisation of the efforts to discourage tax avoidance in the EU Recently, besides the objective of maintaining a balanced allocation1 (a reflection of the principle of territoriality), the imperative of restoring trust in the fairness of tax systems has been gaining terrain as a possible justification for restrictions of free movement rights2. The Member States…

The attribution of profits to a permanent establishment is already a complex issue with at least three separate regimes in the tax treaty context- the OECD Authorised Approach under the 2010 OECD version of Article 7 of the OECD Model, the AOA subject to limitations required by the pre-2010 version and that permitted by Article…

On June 27, 2016 the EU Commission published the long awaited Starbucks State Aid decision (see here).  The EU Commission’s decision challenges the outcome of the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) between the Netherlands Tax Authority (Tax Authority) and Starbucks Manufacturing BV (SMBV), a wholly owned and controlled coffee roasting operation. Below is the Part I…

“Improper and plainly undermines legal certainty and the rule of law.”  This is how four U.S. senators – including the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee – recently described the European Commission’s State aid investigation into tax rulings by Member States, including into Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple. Of course the…

The EU Commission and EU Parliament want to settle for nothing less than public country-by-country-reporting, in direct conflict with G20 BEPS adoption resolution. For many good reasons, business in Europe is opposed to such publication. I do not need to dwell on the arguments here. These are widely available. My interest has been piqued by…

On 6 June 2016, the European Commission finally released its decision in the McDonald’s State Aid case. After the clarifications recently provided on the Commission’s position concerning transfer pricing cases and the arm’s length principle (see especially its decision in the Belgian Excess Profits Exemption Scheme, §§ 145–150, clarifying the Commission’s reliance on an independent…