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International transfer pricing : the Australian approach and lessons for Canada

Sadiq, Kerrie (1998) International transfer pricing : the Australian approach and lessons for Canada. Canadian Tax Journal, 46(2), pp. 303-340.

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Abstract

In response to developments in international trade and an increased focus on international transfer-pricing issues, Canada’s minister of finance announced in the 1997 budget that the Department of Finance would undertake a review of the transfer-pricing provisions in the Income Tax Act. On September 11, 1997, the Department of Finance released draft transfer-pricing legislation and Revenue Canada released revised draft Information Circular 87-2R. The legislation was subsequently amended and included in Bill C-28, which received first reading on December 10, 1997. The new rules are intended to update Canada’s international transfer-pricing practices. In particular, they attempt to harmonize the standards in the Income Tax Act with the arm’s-length principle established in the OECD’s transfer pricing guidelines. The new rules also set out contemporaneous documentation requirements in respect of cross-border related-party transactions, facilitate administration of the law by Revenue Canada, and provide for a penalty where transfer prices do not comply with the arm’s-length principle. The Australian tax authorities have similarly reviewed and updated their transfer-pricing practices. Since 1992, the Australian commissioner of taxation has issued three rulings and seven draft rulings directly relating to international transfer pricing. These rulings outline the selection and application of transfer pricing methodologies, documentation requirements, and penalties for non-compliance. The Australian Taxation Office supports the use of advance pricing agreements (APAs) and has expanded its audit strategy by conducting transfer-pricing risk assessment reviews. This article presents a detailed review of Australia’s transfer-pricing policy and practices, which address essentially the same concerns as those at which the new Canadian rules are directed. This review provides a framework for comparison of the approaches adopted in the two jurisdictions. The author concludes that although these approaches differ in some respects, ultimately they produce a similar result. Both regimes set a clear standard to be met by multinational enterprises in establishing transfer prices. Both provide for audits and penalties in the event of noncompliance. And both offer the alternative of an APA as a means of avoiding transfer-pricing disputes with Australian and Canadian tax authorities.

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ID Code: 50419
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Author name : Kerrie Chalmers
Keywords: Transfer pricing, Canada
ISSN: 0008-5111
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Deposited On: 18 May 2012 09:05
Last Modified: 18 May 2012 09:06

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