Tag: Lender’s and borrower’s perspectives

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) issues Arm's Length Guidance on Intra-Group Loans

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) issues Arm’s Length Guidance on Intra-Group Loans

17 January 2023 the South African Revenue Service (SARS) released an interpretation note (IN 127) titled “DETERMINATION OF THE TAXABLE INCOME OF CERTAIN PERSONS FROM INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS: INTRA-GROUP LOANS” which provides guidance on how SARS will determine arm’s length pricing for intra-group loans. The Note also provides guidance on the consequences for a taxpayer if the amount of debt, the cost of debt or both are not arm’s length. According to the note an intra-group loan would be incorrectly priced if the amount of debt funding, the cost of the debt or both are excessive compared to what is arm’s length. Legal-IN-127-Determination-of-the-taxable-income-of-certain-persons-from-international-transactions-Intra-group-loans ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.61

The economic conditions of loans should also be viewed in the context of regulations that may affect the position of the parties. For example, insolvency law in the jurisdiction of the borrower may provide that liabilities towards associated enterprises are subordinated to liabilities towards unrelated parties ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.60

Macroeconomic circumstances may lead to changes in the financing costs in the market. In such a context, a transfer pricing analysis with regard to the possibilities of the borrower or the lender to renegotiate the terms of the loan to benefit from better conditions will be informed by the options realistically available to both the borrower and the lender ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.59

Borrowers will also consider the potential impact of changes in economic conditions such as interest rates and exchange rates, as well as the risk of not being able to make timely payments of interest and principal on the loan if the borrower’s business encounters unexpected difficulties, and the risk of not being able to raise more capital (either debt or equity) if necessary ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.58

Borrowers seek to optimise their weighted average cost of capital and to have the right funding available to meet both short-term needs and long-term objectives. When considering the options realistically available to it, an independent business seeking funding operating in its own commercial interests will seek the most cost effective solution, with regard to the business strategy it has adopted. For example in respect of collateral, in some circumstances, assuming that the business has suitable collateral to offer, this would usually be secured funding, ahead of unsecured funding, recognising that a business’s collateral assets and its funding requirements may differ over time, e.g. because collateral is finite, the decision to pledge collateral on a particular borrowing precludes the borrower from pledging that same collateral on a subsequent borrowing. Therefore, an MNE pledging collateral would take into account its options realistically available regarding its overall financing (e.g. possible subsequent loan transactions) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.57

Credit risk for the lender is the potential that the borrower will fail to meet its payment obligations in accordance with the terms of the loan. In deciding whether a prospective loan is a good commercial opportunity, a lender will also consider the potential impact of changes which could happen in economic conditions affecting the credit risk it bears, not only in relation to the conditions of the borrower but in relation to potential changes in economic conditions, such as a rise in interest rates, or the exposure of the borrower to movements in exchange rates ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.56

In the case of a loan from the parent entity of an MNE group to a subsidiary, the parent already has control and ownership of the subsidiary, which would make the granting of security less relevant to its risk analysis as a lender. Therefore, in evaluating the pricing of a loan between associated enterprises it is important to consider that the absence of contractual rights over the assets of the borrowing entity does not necessarily reflect the economic reality of the risk inherent in the loan. If the assets of the business are not already pledged as security elsewhere, it will be appropriate to consider under Chapter I analysis whether those assets are available to act as collateral for the otherwise unsecured loan and the consequential impact upon the pricing of the loan ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.55

When an enterprise is making a loan to an associated enterprise, it will not necessarily follow all of the same processes as an independent lender. For example, it may not need to go through the same process of information gathering about the borrower’s business, as the required information may already be readily available within the MNE group. However, in considering whether the loan has been made on conditions which would have been made between independent enterprises, the same commercial considerations such as creditworthiness, credit risk and economic circumstances are relevant ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.54

An independent lender will carry out a thorough credit assessment of the potential borrower to enable the lender to identify and evaluate the risks involved and to consider methods of monitoring and managing these risks. That credit assessment will include understanding the business itself as well as the purpose of the loan, how it is to be structured and the source of its repayment which may include analysis of the borrower’s cash flow forecasts and the strength of the borrower’s balance sheet ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.53

The lender’s perspective in the decision of whether to make a loan, how much to lend, and on what terms, will involve evaluation of various factors relating to the borrower, wider economic factors affecting both the borrower and the lender, and other options realistically available to the lender for the use of the funds ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.52

As in any other transfer pricing scenarios, the guidance in Section D.1 of Chapter I applies to determine whether the lender and the borrower assume risks related to intra-group loans. In particular, it is important to consider the risks that the funding arrangements carry for the party providing the funds, and the risks related to the acceptance and use of the funds from the perspective of the recipient. These risks will relate to repayment of the amount transferred, compensation expected for the use of that amount over time, and compensation for other associated risk factors ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.51

In considering the commercial and financial relations between the associated borrower and lender, and in an analysis of the economically relevant characteristics of the transaction, both the lender’s and borrower’s perspectives should be taken into account, acknowledging that these perspectives may not align in every case ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.13

For example, consider a situation in which Company B, a member of an MNE group, needs additional funding for its business activities. In this scenario, Company B receives an advance of funds from related Company C, which is denominated as a loan with a term of 10 years. Assume that, in light of all good-faith financial projections of Company B for the next 10 years, it is clear that Company B would be unable to service a loan of such an amount. Based on facts and circumstances, it can be concluded that an unrelated party would not be willing to provide such a loan to Company B due to its inability to repay the advance. Accordingly, the accurately delineated amount of Company C’s loan to Company B for transfer pricing purposes would be a function of the maximum amount that an unrelated lender would have been willing to advance to Company B, and the maximum amount that an unrelated borrower ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.61

The economic conditions of loans should also be viewed in the context of regulations that may affect the position of the parties. For example, insolvency law in the jurisdiction of the borrower may provide that liabilities towards associated enterprises are subordinated to liabilities towards unrelated parties ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.60

Macroeconomic circumstances may lead to changes in the financing costs in the market. In such a context, a transfer pricing analysis with regard to the possibilities of the borrower or the lender to renegotiate the terms of the loan to benefit from better conditions will be informed by the options realistically available to both the borrower and the lender ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.59

Borrowers will also consider the potential impact of changes in economic conditions such as interest rates and exchange rates, as well as the risk of not being able to make timely payments of interest and principal on the loan if the borrower’s business encounters unexpected difficulties, and the risk of not being able to raise more capital (either debt or equity) if necessary ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.58

Borrowers seek to optimise their weighted average cost of capital and to have the right funding available to meet both short-term needs and long-term objectives. When considering the options realistically available to it, an independent business seeking funding operating in its own commercial interests will seek the most cost effective solution, with regard to the business strategy it has adopted. For example in respect of collateral, in some circumstances, assuming that the business has suitable collateral to offer, this would usually be secured funding, ahead of unsecured funding, recognising that a business’s collateral assets and its funding requirements may differ over time, e.g. because collateral is finite, the decision to pledge collateral on a particular borrowing precludes the borrower from pledging that same collateral on a subsequent borrowing. Therefore, an MNE pledging collateral would take into account its options realistically available regarding its overall financing (e.g. possible subsequent loan transactions) ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.57

Credit risk for the lender is the potential that the borrower will fail to meet its payment obligations in accordance with the terms of the loan. In deciding whether a prospective loan is a good commercial opportunity, a lender will also consider the potential impact of changes which could happen in economic conditions affecting the credit risk it bears, not only in relation to the conditions of the borrower but in relation to potential changes in economic conditions, such as a rise in interest rates, or the exposure of the borrower to movements in exchange rates ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.56

In the case of a loan from the parent entity of an MNE group to a subsidiary, the parent already has control and ownership of the subsidiary, which would make the granting of security less relevant to its risk analysis as a lender. Therefore, in evaluating the pricing of a loan between associated enterprises it is important to consider that the absence of contractual rights over the assets of the borrowing entity does not necessarily reflect the economic reality of the risk inherent in the loan. If the assets of the business are not already pledged as security elsewhere, it will be appropriate to consider under Chapter I analysis whether those assets are available to act as collateral for the otherwise unsecured loan and the consequential impact upon the pricing of the loan ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.55

When an enterprise is making a loan to an associated enterprise, it will not necessarily follow all of the same processes as an independent lender. For example, it may not need to go through the same process of information gathering about the borrower’s business, as the required information may already be readily available within the MNE group. However, in considering whether the loan has been made on conditions which would have been made between independent enterprises, the same commercial considerations such as creditworthiness, credit risk and economic circumstances are relevant ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.54

An independent lender will carry out a thorough credit assessment of the potential borrower to enable the lender to identify and evaluate the risks involved and to consider methods of monitoring and managing these risks. That credit assessment will include understanding the business itself as well as the purpose of the loan, how it is to be structured and the source of its repayment which may include analysis of the borrower’s cash flow forecasts and the strength of the borrower’s balance sheet ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.53

The lender’s perspective in the decision of whether to make a loan, how much to lend, and on what terms, will involve evaluation of various factors relating to the borrower, wider economic factors affecting both the borrower and the lender, and other options realistically available to the lender for the use of the funds ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.52

As in any other transfer pricing scenarios, the guidance in Section D.1 of Chapter I applies to determine whether the lender and the borrower assume risks related to intra-group loans. In particular, it is important to consider the risks that the funding arrangements carry for the party providing the funds, and the risks related to the acceptance and use of the funds from the perspective of the recipient. These risks will relate to repayment of the amount transferred, compensation expected for the use of that amount over time, and compensation for other associated risk factors ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.51

In considering the commercial and financial relations between the associated borrower and lender, and in an analysis of the economically relevant characteristics of the transaction, both the lender’s and borrower’s perspectives should be taken into account, acknowledging that these perspectives may not align in every case ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.13

For example, consider a situation in which Company B, a member of an MNE group, needs additional funding for its business activities. In this scenario, Company B receives an advance of funds from related Company C, which is denominated as a loan with a term of 10 years. Assume that, in light of all good-faith financial projections of Company B for the next 10 years, it is clear that Company B would be unable to service a loan of such an amount. Based on facts and circumstances, it can be concluded that an unrelated party would not be willing to provide such a loan to Company B due to its inability to repay the advance. Accordingly, the accurately delineated amount of Company C’s loan to Company B for transfer pricing purposes would be a function of the maximum amount that an unrelated lender would have been willing to advance to Company B, and the maximum amount that an unrelated borrower ... Read more