OECD releases updated Transfer Pricing Guidelines, additional guidance on Country-by-Country Reporting

On July 10, 2017, the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD) released the 2017 edition of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (the Guidelines).  The 2017 edition incorporates a number of revisions the OECD has made to the Guidelines as part of its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project since their last publication in 2010.

Specifically, the 2017 edition includes revisions introduced under BEPS Actions 8-10 (Aligning Transfer Pricing Outcomes with Value Creation) and 13 (Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting), revised guidance on safe harbors, and conforming changes to other parts of the Guidelines.

Additionally, on July 18, 2017, the OECD released additional updated guidance on the implementation of CbC reporting under BEPS Action 13 (the CbC guidance).  Action 13 is one of the four BEPS Actions that contain “minimum standards,” and CBC reporting is a recommendation that all countries in the OECD, as well as many other countries, have committed to implement or already have implemented.

What does this mean for Switzerland?

Switzerland does not maintain specific rules and regulations with respect to Transfer Pricing. However, in Circular letter No. 4 (March 19, 2004), the Swiss Federal Tax Authorities advises the Cantonal Tax Authorities to follow the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines to assess Transfer Pricing aspects and to apply the arm’s length principle.

Although the Transfer Pricing documentation requirements stipulated in BEPS Action 13 (and described in detail in the new OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines) were not incorporated into Swiss Tax Law, foreign countries have already released or will release regulations to adapt the Master File / Local File approach in their local law. Swiss parent companies will be “forced” by foreign law to prepare appropriate Transfer Pricing Documentation to avoid any adverse implications (e.g. penalties).

On June 16, 2017, the Swiss parliament decided to introduce Country-by-Country regulations (CbC) into domestic law. Hence, particularly Swiss domestic companies, with consolidated revenues of at least CHF 900 million, will be required to file a CbC report for financial year 2016 (on a voluntary basis to avoid any adverse implications such as penalties in countries which have already incorporated CbC regulations into their domestic law) but latest for financial year 2018.

Companies are well advised to take into consideration the new OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines to establish and defend their intercompany transactions along the new guidance and to carefully assess their Transfer Pricing compliance obligations.

Read more in our Tax Insights from Transfer Pricing

New Frontiers: The Exploitation of Big Data and Emerging Technologies in Transfer Pricing

The emergence of “Big Data” is disrupting our current way of thinking, causing us to re-examine everything we thought we knew. New analytical technologies and approaches to data management are enabling transfer pricing professionals to better solve traditional and emerging tax issues, and communicate impacts to executive leaders in a more insightful way. These insights include being able to better connect transactional-level activity (actual and forecast) to the strategic decision-making process, leading to higher quality planning and risk management.

The webcast will be led by leaders from PwC’s U.S. Transfer Pricing Analytics team and will provide a highly practical and relevant demonstration of how companies can transform their decision making process.

You’re invited to join the webcast: 

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Time: 12:00 PM (EDT) / 9:00 AM (PDT) / 5:00 PM (BST)

Duration: 60 minutes (including Q&A)

Register here


  • Horacio Peña, U.S. and Americas Transfer Pricing Practice Leader


  • David Nickson, End-to-End Transfer Pricing Execution Principal
  • Brian Burt, Transfer Pricing Analytics Principal
  • Stephen Curtis, Transfer Pricing Principal

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link and access instructions for joining the webcast.

Benefits from your participation:

  • Stay informed about changes in tax legislation
  • Hear from a range of PwC specialists who will discuss data analytics and visualization tools for solving traditional and emerging transfer pricing issues

Who should attend?

All multinational companies.

Presentation slides/recording

A recording of the webcast and the presentation slides will be available for playback and download after the live event, please check our website again. Please note that we are not able to offer CPE credit for the archive version.

Switzerland releases draft law for country-by-country reporting

Draft regulations mandate Swiss-parented multinational entities (MNEs) with annual consolidated group revenue of CHF 900 million or more to comply with new transfer pricing and transparency requirements, with the first country-by-country report (CbCR) due for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2018. However, Swiss MNEs may voluntarily file CbCRs for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2016 in order to avoid certain exposures (e.g. penalties) in countries where CbCR requirements have already been introduced. In certain circumstances, Swiss group entities (other than Swiss-parented MNEs) also may be obliged to file CbCRs.

This Tax Insight discusses the new proposed country-by-country reporting requirements in Switzerland and highlights some of the potential implications for Swiss taxpayers.

Read more.

For any further questions, please contact your usual PwC advisor or the contacts below:

Benjamin Koch
PwC Zurich
+41 58 792 43 34
Joachim Twigt
PwC Zurich
+41 58 792 14 93
Nicolas Bonvin
PwC Geneva
+41 58 792 83 08

BEPS update: Changes and reactions following the BEPS final reports’ release

As we enter the second phase of the OECD-led BEPS project, which covers clarifications (and work left to complete), implementation and monitoring, we reflect on the changes and tax authority reactions following the 5 October 2015 release of the BEPS final reports. Governments and tax authorities have been very active, from both a behavioural and a legislative basis. This includes tax authorities in such countries as the United Kingdom, Australia, China and the United States, among others. Undoubtedly, the BEPS project has already had, and will continue to have, a profound impact for most taxpayers.

As part of extending the reach of the BEPS project, a ‘framework’ is to be agreed early in 2016 with involvement — on an equal footing — of interested countries and jurisdictions other than OECD members and G20 members. This will include input from supranational organisations like the UN, IMF and World Bank Group. The OECD and relevant working groups are currently addressing this action, along with other actions that were identified in the BEPS final reports presentation. We consider the framework and also look ahead to what likely will happen throughout 2016 and beyond. Finally, on an individual action-by-action basis, we add insights regarding the various stakeholders’ intentions and commitments.

Read more.

Time is of essence
Since notwithstanding the overall timeframe, implementation is in process (and well advanced in some areas) and tax authorities are already taking a more aggressive stance, your business should consider how the BEPS project will impact your entity and which concrete action should be taken now.

Write an e-mail to Benjamin Koch

Federal Council moves ahead with country-by-country reports

On January 20, 2016, the Federal Council approved the signing of the multilateral agreement on the exchange of country-by-country reports. The agreement was developed within the scope of the OECD’s BEPS project on corporate taxation. It describes the type of information exchanged between states on the activities of multinationals in their territory. Switzerland will determine at a later stage with which partner countries it wishes to make such exchanges.

PwC Comment

After the signing of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (with effective date January 1, 2017), the signature of the multilateral agreement on the exchange of country-by-country reporting (or in other terms, the multilateral competent authority agreement on country-by-country reporting; CbC MCAA) is the second of three steps to build the legal foundation for introducing the country-by-country reporting obligation in Switzerland. The CbC MCAA will be submitted for consultation and afterwards will go through the ordinary Swiss approval process. The third step will be specific domestic Swiss legislation on CbC reporting which is currently in the process of being drafted with the aim to be introduced and be effective as of January 1, 2018.

While all the legal requirements to submit country-by-country reporting are taking shape in Switzerland, numerous other countries have already implemented not only country-by-country reporting but also enacted relevant domestic law to the new transfer pricing documentation approach as proposed by action item 13 of the BEPS initiative (3 tired approach: Master File, Local File, CbC reporting).

Swiss based multinational companies with revenues above the equivalent of Euro 750 million are well advised to assess now their ability to prepare a country-by-country report based on their current IT landscape, to critically analyze a first draft of their CbC report and, if appropriate, to implement risk mitigation strategies before the first reports are exchanged.

Click here to read the press release of the Federal Council.

For any further questions, please contact your local PwC advisor or the contacts listed below.


Armin Marti
Leader Corporate Tax
Office: +41 58 792 43 43
Main: +41 58 792 44 00
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG
Birchstrasse 160 | Postfach |
8050 Zürich
Benjamin Koch
Leader Transfer Pricing
Office: +41 58 792 43 34
Main: +41 58 792 44 00
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG
Birchstrasse 160 | Postfach |
8050 Zürich

International Transfer Pricing 2015/16

There have continued to be significant changes in the area of transfer pricing since our prior edition, with several new countries implementing either formal or informal transfer pricing documentation requirements and significant regulatory changes in many other countries over the past twelve months. Most significantly, the deliverables released as part of the OECD’s Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan have resulted in the need for companies to re-evaluate and reconsider their transfer pricing strategies in light of the proposed new guidance.

International Transfer Pricing 2015/16, now in its 15th edition is an easy to use reference guide covering a range of transfer pricing issues in nearly 100 territories worldwide. It explains why it is vital for every company to have a coherent transfer pricing policy which is responsive to the rapidly changing markets in which they operate. The book not only shows why sound transfer pricing policies should be developed, but also why such policies need to be re-evaluated regularly. It offers practical advice on a subject where the right amount of effort can produce huge benefits in the form of a competitive and sustainable tax rate, and leave the company well positioned to defend against aggressive tax audits.

You can also download your customised PDF from the global site.

Please feel free to get in touch with your Swiss Transfer Pricing team or e-mail me

Release of BEPS deliverable: Making Dispute Resolution Mechanisms More Effective

On 5 October 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its deliverable on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 14: 2015 Final Report, Making Dispute Resolution Mechanisms More Effective (the “Report”).

According to the Report, countries will commit to develop a minimum standard in the context of treaty-related disputes and will ensure effective and efficient implementation of this standard through the establishment of a peer-based monitoring process.

This minimum standard, which is complemented by a number of recommended best practices, is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Ensuring that treaty obligations relating to the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) are fully implemented in good faith and that MAP cases are resolved in a timely manner;
  • Ensuring the implementation of administrative processes that promote the prevention and timely resolution of treaty-related disputes; and
  • Ensuring that taxpayers can access MAP when eligible.

Read more.

For more information on the topic discussed above, including what it means in practice or for other tax questions, contact your local PwC engagement team or me.


Aligning transfer pricing outcomes with value creation – revised Chapters I, II, VI, and VII of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines

On 5 October 2015, the OECD presented its final package of measures for a comprehensive, coherent, and co-ordinated reform of the international tax rules.  The package was endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers at their meeting on 8 October 2015, in Lima, Peru.  This final package (referred to below as the “Final Report”) includes the work undertaken by the OECD in relation to Aligning Transfer Pricing Outcomes with Value Creation, Actions 8 to 10 of its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan, which focuses on ensuring that transfer pricing outcomes are aligned with value creation.

The OECD work in the context of Actions 8 to 10 of the Final Report includes guidance on several key transfer pricing areas.  These include: (1) the accurate delineation of intercompany transactions; (2) future work to be completed on the transactional profit split method; (3) transactions involving intangibles; (4) commodity transactions; (5) “low-value adding intra-group services” transactions; and (6) cost contribution arrangements (CCAs).

Read more.

For more information on the topic discussed above, including what it means in practice or for other tax questions, contact your local PwC engagement team or me.

OECD Public Consultation on BEPS Actions 8 through 10 reveals planned revisions to transfer pricing drafts

In brief

During the July 6-7, 2015 public consultation on BEPS Actions 8 through 10, the OECD Working Party 6 announced planned revisions to its proposed changes to the Transfer Pricing Guidelines, including its December 2015 papers on Risk, Recharacterisation and Special Measures and Use of Profit Split Methods and its 2014 draft on Intangibles. The OECD also received feedback from speakers who had submitted written comments to the drafts on Cost Contribution Arrangements and Hard to Value Intangibles (proposed changes to Chapter VI of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines on Intangibles). In providing the updated status of the various transfer pricing workstreams, the OECD also confirmed the delivery timetable for the transfer pricing work.

The extent of potential changes to the Transfer Pricing Guidelines has been scaled back and appears to be more aligned with the arm’s-length principle of the Guidelines. This follows previous public consultations and the hundreds of pages of comments and feedback received from industry and representatives. Further, this scaling back may be attributable to an effort to reach consensus among the various taxing authorities participating in the Working Party 6.

Read more…

Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) proposals address intangibles cost contribution arrangements

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) involved in the development and use of intangibles under cost contribution arrangements (CCAs) should note the 29 April 2015 discussion draft proposals under Action 8 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan. The discussion draft proposes fundamental modifications to Chapter VIII of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines:

  • with respect to measuring the value of contributions to CCAs and the tax characterisation of contributions, balancing payments and buy-in/ buy-out payments, and
  • to make it consistent with other BEPS amendments including those addressing the fundamental issues on risk, capital, recharacterisation and intangibles.

The primary goal is to ensure that contributions are commensurate with the benefits received under a CCA. This is a difficult task when the contributions are complex and cannot be valued at cost. The guidance suggested by the OECD, although it acknowledges the need to achieve simplification, may nevertheless increase complexity and disputes. The proposed requirement in the draft that a participant in a CCA must have the capability and authority to control the risks associated with the “risk-bearing opportunity” under the CCA, while consistent with the overall theme of the BEPS project of focusing on “substance,” would be a paradigm change for CCAs. Similarly, the proposal that all of the important R&D and other development activities contributed by the participants to a CCA would need to be accounted for at arm’s length prices, rather than at cost as under the existing Guidelines, would also represent a fundamental change and make “cost contribution arrangements” a misnomer.

Read more.

Let’s talk

For a deeper discussion of how these issues might affect your business, please call your usual PwC contact.