OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 30

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One potential solution to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic would be to allow for the inclusion of price adjustment mechanisms in controlled transactions. This may provide for flexibility while maintaining an arm’s length outcome. In particular, this approach to the extent permissible by domestic law would allow the adjustment of prices relevant for FY2020 through adjusted invoicing or intercompany payments effectuated in a later period (likely FY2021), when more accurate information to establish the arm’s length transfer price becomes available. In jurisdictions that use the outcome-testing approach, price adjustment mechanisms to reflect updated information relevant to determining an arm’s length price are often used. A jurisdiction that temporarily allows the outcome-testing approach could also temporarily allow the use of price adjustment mechanisms for that purpose and the taxpayer would be expected to describe the application of the price adjustment mechanism in its transfer pricing documentation. Such price adjustment mechanisms (provided that they are consistent with the arm’s length principle in the particular facts and circumstances) would address the issue of the lack of contemporaneous information on comparables or other direct evidence of arm’s length behaviour in response to the pandemic. This would give flexibility to taxpayers and tax administrations while also ensuring ultimate compliance with the arm’s length principle; however, given the scope of the potential adjustments, care would need to be taken with their appropriate characterisation, any effects that the payment may have on the comparability analysis for FY2021, and their potential resultant VAT/GST and customs duty implications (which are not the subject of this chapter or guidance).

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