Prior to the issuance of the new directives, the IRS was required to request contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation at the beginning of an examination of a taxpayer engaged in cross-border transactions. This request is referred to as a mandatory transfer pricing information document request. This documentation is required under Internal Revenue Code Section 6662(e) to provide penalty protection to taxpayers in the event of a transfer pricing adjustment upon audit.
The new directives focuses on:
- The issuance of mandatory transfer pricing information document requests ("IDR");
- The appropriate application of penalties;
- The analysis of the best method selection;
- Reasonably anticipated benefits in the cost sharing arrangements ("CSA"); and
- CSA stock-based compensation.
The integration and implementation of the five directives are aimed at creating more efficiency within the IRS during audit examinations. The directives that will affect most taxpayers with cross-border transactions are the IDR Directive and the Best Method Selection Directive.
Despite the new directives, it continues to be in the taxpayer's best interest to have transfer pricing documentation prepared and ready to hand to the IRS in order to avoid penalties.
Taxpayers with cross border transactions may no longer be under the extreme scrutiny of an IRS examiner, but they must remain diligent in keeping their transfer pricing documentation current and accurate.
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