Transfer Pricing: Operational guidance: real time working of transfer pricing issues (excluding thin capitalisation)
HMRC recognises that real time working (consideration of issues in real time), including TP, can provide earlier certainty for customers and allows HMRC to examine issues when information and relevant business personnel are more easily accessed.
CCMs are encouraged to use their relationships and engage with customers about a wide range of potential risks and can invite information about the business and their TP policies to inform their annual risk review processes. A useful reference point for the type of information available to assist with and inform that review in identifying potential transfer pricing risks is highlighted at Annex I of the BEPS Action 13 report IEIM300020.
However, in working with business to assess TP risks in this way it is important to note the formal APA process is the only way a customer can be given certainty about the TP treatment of transactions. INTM422000 and Statement of Practice 02/10 provide a full explanation.
If HMRC or the customer do not wish to pursue an APA and the CCM perceives a significant risk or concern with the TP arrangements, the CCM should consider real time working. This real time working will be subject to TP governance and will involve a Making The Case (MTC) submission to the appropriate TP governance body. It should be noted that the governance process will not give the customer certainty on their TP arrangements outside of the return to which it relates.
Where a TP issue is unsuitable for either an APA, real time working or formal enquiry, CCMs and case teams should not give a low-risk opinion or any other indication as to the perceived level of risk in the TP arrangements.
Any interest in applying for an APA should be referred to the following contact point, who will consider whether it is appropriate for the APA programme. CCMs and case teams can also get in touch to discuss the likely suitability of an APA for their customer:
Nick Stevart (APA Lead)
Telephone: 03000 585659
Andrew Skipsey (Financial Services APA Lead)
Telephone: 03000 586075