Tag: Modification to contractual arrangements

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 45

Determining whether a renegotiation of a commercial arrangement (including pricing under the arrangement going forward and any potential compensation for the renegotiation itself) represents the best interests of the parties to a transaction requires careful consideration of their options realistically available26 and the long-run effects on the profit potential of the parties.27 For example, an entity may agree to restructure a transaction if the alternative option is losing a key customer or supplier, where it considers that the restructuring will maximise its profits in the long-run. Consideration should also be given to whether the economic impact resulting from the renegotiation may require indemnification (as defined in OECD TPG paragraph 9.75) of the harmed party.28 26 It should be noted that in an uncontrolled transaction one party might attempt to force a renegotiation by threatening to violate the terms of an existing agreement, believing that the other party will not find it worthwhile to seek judicial enforcement of the agreement, whereas ... Read more

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 44

For example, assume that Distributor X purchases products, the controlled transaction, from a related party Company Y, and sells these products to third party customers. Further assume that a major customer of Distributor X does not pay for products purchased within its standard 30-day term, and that this causes a cash flow issue for Distributor X, who bears credit risk under the accurately delineated transaction. Under these circumstances, Distributor X may seek to renegotiate its payment terms on a temporary basis with Company Y. The determination of whether this renegotiation is arm’s length should be based on what independent parties would do under comparable circumstances and if there have been situations at arm’s length where contractual terms have not been enforced, or have been amended, this may form reasonable evidence for taxpayers to justify revised terms in intra-group agreements where the situations are comparable ... Read more

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 43

Given the current economic environment, it is possible that independent parties may not strictly hold another party to their contractual obligations, particularly if it is in the interest of both parties to renegotiate the contract or to amend certain aspects of their For example, unrelated enterprises may opt to renegotiate a contract to support the financial survival of any of the transactional counterparties given the potential costs or business disruptions of enforcing the contractual obligations, or in view of anticipated increased future business with the counterparty. This behaviour should be considered when determining whether or not associated parties would agree to revise their intercompany agreements in response to COVID-19 ... Read more

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 42

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, independent parties could seek to renegotiate certain terms in their existing agreements.25 Associated parties may also consider revising their intercompany agreements and/or their conduct in their commercial relationships. Tax administrations should therefore review the agreements and/or the conduct of associated enterprises, in light of the guidance in section D of Chapter I of the OECD TPG, together with observations of relevant behaviour of independent parties and this guidance, in order to ascertain whether any such renegotiation should be respected under the OECD TPG. The accurate delineation of the controlled transaction will determine whether the revision of intercompany agreements is consistent with the behaviour of unrelated parties operating under comparable circumstances. 25  Part 1, Section F of Chapter IX of the OECD TPG ... Read more