All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 ITR is part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC group.

Brazil: Court decides on third-party freight and insurance issues

As widely known, Brazil's transfer pricing rules do not adopt the internationally accepted arm's-length standard.

For instance, for the purposes of applying the Brazilian equivalent to the resale price method (PRL) in transactions involving import of goods between related parties abroad, regulations provide the use of statutory fixed margins to derive a benchmark ceiling price. In these instances, actual transfer pricing practiced by the local tested party must be lower than that derived benchmark price, otherwise tax authorities will impose a transfer pricing adjustment.

In addition to the potential double taxation issues resulting from the non-adoption of the arm's-length standard, there are many controversial legal issues that have been disputed by taxpayers and tax authorities, since rules became effective on January 1 1997. One of the most controversial issues is whether third party insurance and freight services fees, as well as Brazilian import duties, should or should not be included as an integral part of import costs to determine the actual transfer price practiced by a tested party. In many situations such amounts increase actual transfer prices to levels beyond benchmark prices. As a result, arguing that these adjustments are mandatory, tax authorities have been imposing tax assessments against many taxpayers.

Disputing the issue, taxpayers alleged that transfer pricing regulations do not provide that such adjustment is mandatory and that it should not be performed if insurance and freight services are contracted with third unrelated parties. On the other hand, the tax authorities argued that regulations impose such adjustment even if payments are made to third parties, as the only required condition is that the tested party ultimately bears the cost associated with those services.

In a recent decision, the Brazilian Administrative Court (CARF) ruled in favour of the taxpayer. By examining the case, CARF officials decided that insurance and freight services fees, as well as Brazilian import duties, should not be included in the calculations to assess the transfer price practiced by the tested party.

The decision was celebrated by taxpayers in general, though it cannot be used as mandatory precedent to other taxpayers.

Nélio Weiss (nelio.weiss@br.pwc.com) & Philippe Jeffrey (philippe.jeffrey@br.pwc.com)

PwC

Tel: +55 11 3674 2271

Fax: +55 11 3674 2040

Website: www.pwc.com

More from across our site

The state secretary told the French press that the country continues to oppose pillar two’s global minimum tax rate following an Ecofin meeting last week.
This week the Biden administration has run into opposition over a proposal for a federal gas tax holiday, while the European Parliament has approved a plan for an EU carbon border mechanism.
Businesses need to improve on data management to ensure tax departments become much more integrated, according to Microsoft’s chief digital officer at a KPMG event.
Businesses must ensure any alternative benchmark rate is included in their TP studies and approved by tax authorities, as Libor for the US ends in exactly a year.
Tax directors warn that a lack of adequate planning for VAT rule changes could leave businesses exposed to regulatory errors and costly fines.
Tax professionals have urged suppliers of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland to pause any plans to restructure their supply chains following the NI Protocol Bill.
Tax leaders say communication with peers is important for risk management, especially on how to approach regional authorities.
Advances in compliance tools in international markets and the digitalisation of global tax administrations are increasing in-house demand for technologists.
The US fast-food company has agreed to pay €1.25 billion to settle the French investigation into its transfer pricing arrangements over allegations of tax evasion.
HM Revenue and Customs said the UK pillar two legislation will be delayed until at least December 2023, while ITR reported on a secret Netflix settlement and an IMF study on VAT cuts.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree