Transfer Pricing: Operational guidance: real time working of transfer pricing issues: thin capitalisation
HMRC recognises that 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. This may include consideration of thin capitalisation.
However, in working with business to assess TP risks in this way it is important to note the formal ATCA process is the only way a customer can be given certainty about the application of the thin capitalisation legislation. INTM413000, INTM510000 and Statement of Practice 01/12 provide a full explanation. INTM512000 provides practical guidance on all aspects of ATCAs.
Should the customer wish for certainty, they should be actively encouraged to apply for an ATCA if the resource input is warranted. If HMRC or the customer do not wish to pursue an ATCA and the CCM perceives a significant risk or concern with the funding 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 the issue is unsuitable for either an ATCA, 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
Potential interest in applying for an ATCA may be referred to the following contact points, if there are likely to be issues of complexity or suitability. CCMs and case teams can also get in touch to discuss the likely suitability of an ATCA for their customer:
Miles Nelson (intra-group funding)
Telephone: 03000 585647
Alex Duric (private equity)