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Seize the chance to comment on business restructuring

A London event in February gives taxpayers the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the OECD's discussion draft on business restructuring

The OECD is looking to update its guidance on the transfer pricing aspects of business restructuring. It published a discussion draft in September and is seeking comments by February 19 next year.

Taxpayers, officials and practitioners can contribute to the debate at a conference in Londonsix days before, on February 13.

Executives have always looked to organise their companies in the most efficient manner possible. In recent years they have to sought to restructure their businesses by locating functions, risks and assets where they feel they can get the most value from them. In many cases, this meant transfers to related parties in other countries.

The issues that business restructuring raises, such as the recognition, or not, of arm’s length transactions, could lead to uncertainty for taxpayers and tax authorities and the possibility of double taxation or double non-taxation.

The discussion draft, which came out of the deliberations of different OECD working groups, covers the topics through four issues notes: general guidance on the allocation of risks between related parties; arm’s length compensation for the restructuring itself; the application of the arm’s length principle and the OECD transfer pricing guidelines to post-restructuring arrangements, and the exceptional circumstances where a tax administration may consider not recognising a transaction or structure adopted by a taxpayer.

Leading the discussion in London will be speakers such as Caroline Silberztein, head of transfer pricing unit at the OECD, Jos van Leeuwen, adviser on transfer pricing issues, Netherlands Ministry of Finance; Werner Stuffer, vice-president, taxes, Siemens; Manfred Naumann, head of section, international tax, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany, Pierre Bocti, head of tax at Hewlett-Packard in Canada and Chris Lenon, head of tax for Rio Tinto.

The February conference may be the last opportunity for anyone who intends to submit comments by the deadline to hear from and speak to the tax officials and professionals that are influencing the process

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