The longstanding view on application of the arm’s length principle is that it is generally based on a comparison of the conditions in a controlled transaction with the conditions in transactions between independent enterprises. A transaction, for this purpose, almost always involves a contract. This is because a contract, whether made in writing, orally or…

Introduction It has been a few weeks now since the Commission has made public its decisions in the FIAT and Starbucks cases.  I understand that the Commission, the countries involved and the taxpayers are now going through the decisions themselves, agreeing on what information is too confidential to be published, before the actual – blacked…

According to EU law the prevailing divergences between the national tax systems shall not be corrected by unilateral measures that grant fiscal advantages to firms, which are affected by the disparities between tax systems[1]. Equally, the corrections implemented unilaterally that mean to neutralise the disparities between tax systems shall be aligned with the logic of…

Both Starbucks and Fiat represent, if one listened closely to the live press release broadcast, an first salvo by the EU Commission to establish that it has the authority, under a State Aid premise, to step into the shoes of the national revenue authority and re-allocate profits of an enterprise according to the EU Commission’s…

As from the first BEPS proposals with respect to intangibles, it has been considered that the Arm’s Length Standard (“ALS”) is “slowly but surely being relegated to the back seat” of the OECD Guidelines.[1. R. Robillard, BEPS: Is the OECD Now at the Gates of Global Formulary Apportionment?, 43 Intertax 447, at 447.] Indeed, some…

In the last few months I have been deeply committed with the Klaus Vogel Lecture, which will be held in September 25, 2015, in the Vienna University of Economics and Business (see invitation here). I have chosen the theme “Arm’s Length beyond the Guidelines of the OECD”. My research has led to the writing of…

This post answers the emails received requesting further information on the US Competent Authority, including statistics, based upon my Kluwer Tax Blog post of 25 August IRS Issues New Competent Authority And Advance Pricing Agreement Procedures. The Office of the United States Competent Authority (USCA) includes both the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program…

On August 12, 2015 the IRS released two final revenue procedures impacting the U.S. transfer pricing regime.  Revenue Procedure 2015-40 concerns the protocols and procedures for requesting assistance of the U.S. competent authority (CA) and the other, Revenue Procedure 2015-41, the protocols and procedures for seeking an Advance Pricing Agreement with the IRS.[1] In 2013…

BEPS-Project? CFC rules and transfer pricing? Treaty abuse and dispute resolution? Why bother for such complicated things? Greece has a “perfect” solution against base erosion and profit shifting through cross-border schemes: It is for this purpose that Greece has imposed since March 21st, 2015, an additional condition for the recognition of any expenses payable to…

There are a lot of opinions on multinationals and their tax practices. One conventional perception is that multinationals have a general tax advantage over their domestic competitors as their international operations allow for substantial tax management to minimize the corporate tax burden at group level. A number of tax policy projects are in process and…

I ”grew up” believing that publications of the OECD are the bibles of taxation.  They are scientific master pieces, tell you what to do and, like other holy books, are often open for multiple interpretations.  My multiple contacts with the OECD over several years strongly nuanced that view. First, there were the invitations to congresses:…

The taxation of MNEs is widely debated. This is even more so with respect to MNE’s tax planning arrangements. Increasingly, however, it seems that politicians and the media are not paying enough attention to facts in the debate. Recently we have witnessed examples in my home country of this tendency. These examples are the reason…

If time allows, I try to contribute to the OECD discussions submitting comments to their draft papers. Last November and December 2014, the OECD came out with several drafts for discussion (this earlier article tries to summarize them briefly). After reading more than 600 pages of documents during the week of Christmas holiday, I decided…