TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.68

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Corresponding adjustments are not the only adjustments that may be triggered by a primary transfer pricing adjustment. Primary transfer pricing adjustments and their corresponding adjustments change the allocation of taxable profits of an MNE group for tax purposes but they do not alter the fact that the excess profits represented by the adjustment are not consistent with the result that would have arisen if the controlled transactions had been undertaken on an arm’s length basis. To make the actual allocation of profits consistent with the primary transfer pricing adjustment, some countries having proposed a transfer pricing adjustment will assert under their domestic legislation a constructive transaction (a secondary transaction), whereby the excess profits resulting from a primary adjustment are treated as having been transferred in some other form and taxed accordingly. Ordinarily, the secondary transactions will take the form of constructive dividends, constructive equity contributions, or constructive loans. For example, a country making a primary adjustment to the income of a subsidiary of a foreign parent may treat the excess profits in the hands of the foreign parent as having been transferred as a dividend, in which case withholding tax may apply. It may be that the subsidiary paid an excessive transfer price to the foreign parent as a means of avoiding that withholding tax. Thus, secondary adjustments attempt to account for the difference between the re-determined taxable profits and the originally booked profits. The subjecting to tax of a secondary transaction gives rise to a secondary transfer pricing adjustment (a secondary adjustment). Thus, secondary adjustments may serve to prevent tax avoidance. The exact form that a secondary transaction takes and of the consequent secondary adjustment will depend on the facts of the case and on the tax laws of the country that asserts the secondary adjustment.

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