An investigation into international transfer pricing guidelines and the anomalies arising from business restructurings by multi-national enterprises

Stelloh, Marcus Matthias (2010) An investigation into international transfer pricing guidelines and the anomalies arising from business restructurings by multi-national enterprises. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The number of multinational enterprises has increased substantially. In part due to the integration of national economies (the European Union), improvements in communication and technology and the opportunity to reduce costs as a result of globalisation. Transfer pricing and especially business restructuring within multinationals is a fairly new concept.Professional legal and audit firms have different views on how to approach business restructurings.This research analyses important transfer pricing aspects and the anomalies that arise through business restructurings. The research method used in this research paper is primarily qualitative, comprising the analysis of various documentary sources of data. Relevant South African and international case law, tax legislation, the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations, the Transfer Pricing Aspects of Business Restructurings Discussion Draft and other reports were consulted and analysed. Further the views of recognised legal and tax experts that have been published in technical journals and text books were also considered and examined. A hypothetical example of a business restructuring transaction was constructed in order to illustrate practical issues and different approaches to solving them. The research has argued that the arm’s length principle, which forms the bases of transfer pricing regulation, is not an exact science but theoretically it is the most suitable measure.It may not be able to incorporate all variables, such as the cost savings through synergies of multinational enterprises, but it promotes international trade and investment by ensuring that transactions are based on fair prices. Business restructurings create anomalies in applying the arm’s length principle but these anomalies can be dealt with within the regulatory structure. The business restructuring approach recommended is realistic and pragmatic, but more clarity may be needed in certain circumstances. The research has also discussed the avoidance of transfer pricing audits, including having appropriate transfer pricing policies and documentation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:International business enterprises, Transfer pricing, Corporate reorganizations
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Commerce > Accounting
ID Code:2055
Deposited By: Madireng Monyela
Deposited On:06 Oct 2011 11:58
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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