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Thursday, 17 March 2022

International Tax Update: Stay on top of ever-changing local transfer pricing documentation requirements

The Transfer Pricing documentation landscape is continuously evolving, whereby recently, there has been an increasing tendency of various countries updating and strengthening their transfer pricing documentation requirements. Considering these changes, it is important for internationally active groups to follow up on this fast-moving landscape and to make sure that no crucial deadline is missed.

The importance of complying with transfer pricing documentation requirements in a rapidly evolving landscape can hardly be overestimated. The potential impact thereof on MNE’s is considerable. It must indeed be noticed that the number of updates related to transfer pricing documentation requirements in several countries has recently increased.

For example, some recent developments in Italy, Denmark, Portugal and the UK are the following.

  • Italy has updated its transfer pricing documentation requirements in November 2020 and published a circular letter in November 2021 (“Circular letter No. 15/E 2021”) to provide further clarifications on these documentation requirements and the requirements regarding the Italian penalty protection regime. An important change to benefit from this regime is the obligation to electronically sign the transfer pricing documentation with a timestamp. This must be done prior to filing the income tax return for the relevant year, to ensure the documentation is prepared in time. The new timestamp requirement may have an impact on the timeline for finalising the Italian transfer pricing documentation and should be considered when planning the preparatory works for the preparation of this document.
  • Denmark updated its guidelines for the submission of the master file and local file. More in particular, Danish transfer pricing documentation, both master file and local file, should be filed to the tax authorities within 60 days of the tax return deadline. This might be problematic for non-Danish HQ companies, as the master file is typically prepared on a group level and the deadline in the HQ jurisdiction might be later than what is foreseen in Danish legislation. In such cases, the Danish taxpayer is allowed to file its master file of the previous year, however they should (i) indicate when the master file of the relevant tax year will be submitted and (ii) already inform the tax authorities of significant changes impacting the Danish taxpayer if not yet disclosed in the local file.
  • In November 2021, twenty years after the publication of the former rules, Portugal has adopted new transfer pricing rules. These new rules introduce transfer pricing documentation requirements which are more aligned with the OECD TP Guidelines.
  • Following a public consultation on transfer pricing documentation between March and June 2021, the UK has announced its intention to circulate draft legislation later in 2022 to introduce a requirement for the largest businesses with a presence in the UK to maintain, and provide on request, master file and local file documentation. We will keep you posted once more information is made available.

This list is only exemplary and not exhaustive. With this update, we wish to urge companies to regularly verify the local transfer pricing documentation requirements. Whereas we observe and welcome more convergence to the OECD TP Guidelines, local requirements and regulations still often differ from country to country. Following up on these updates will ensure that no local deadlines are missed, and as such may induce negative tax consequences, such as penalties, initiate an audit or even cause for the reversal of the burden of proof.

Please note that we have certain tools available to facilitate this process.

If you have other questions or would like to obtain more information on this topic, do not hesitate to contact the authors:

Stefanie Van heugten – Senior Consultant at Tiberghien economics (stefanie.vanheugten@tiberghien.com)

Heleen Van Baelen – Senior Manager at Tiberghien economics (heleen.vanbaelen@tiberghien.com)


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Tiberghien’s international tax team will continue to monitor these and other tax developments relevant for Belgium / Luxembourg based multinational enterprises. Our editorial board consists of: 

Koen Morbée (International and EU corporate tax, koen.morbee@tiberghien.com);

Michiel Boeren (International and EU corporate tax, michiel.boeren@tiberghien.com);

Ahmed El Jilali (International and EU corporate tax, ahmed.eljilali@tiberghien.com);

Katrien Bollen (HR tax and global mobility, katrien.bollen@tiberghien.com);

Ben Plessers (Transfer Pricing and Valuations, ben.plessers@tiberghien.com);

Gert Vranckx (VAT, customs, excises and other indirect taxes, gert.vranckx@tiberghien.com);

Rik Smet (International and EU corporate tax, rik.smet@tiberghien.com)

In case you have further questions on this publication or want to discuss a tax query, please do not hesitate to contact the author(s) or one of the members of the editorial board. 


This newsflash is for information purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.

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