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Ireland: Possible changes to transfer pricing rules

Ireland: Possible changes to transfer pricing rules

The Irish government released a “feedback statement” in response to the public consultation launched earlier this year regarding Ireland’s transfer pricing regime. The document provides a summary of the proposed changes being considered including draft wording for legislative purposes.


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There is an opportunity to provide feedback to the Department of Finance (by 13 September 2019).


The following is a summary of the key provisions contained in the feedback statement:

  • Introduction into law of the OECD 2017 Transfer Pricing Guidelines (including OECD guidance on Hard-to-Value Intangibles and Application of the Transactional Profit Split Method published in June 2018).
  • Draft legislation to introduce the 2017 guidelines includes specific wording that essentially seeks to interpret certain OECD principles, which is a departure from the approach taken by most other countries.
  • Removal of the exemption from transfer pricing rules for pre-July 2010 (i.e., “grandfathered”) arrangements.
  • Non-trading transactions brought within the scope of transfer pricing rules. These rules do not apply when both parties to the transaction are within or subject to Irish tax (i.e., this effectively exempts domestic transactions) unless the transaction involves tax avoidance.
  • OECD transfer pricing documentation requirements (in accordance with Chapter V of 2017 guidelines) introduced for large taxpayer groups—Master file revenue threshold of €250 million and Local file revenue threshold of €50 million.
  • Small and medium size entities (SMEs) brought within the scope of transfer pricing rules. However, no formal documentation requirements for small enterprises (less than 50 employees together with annual turnover and/or balance sheet total of less than €10 million) and medium enterprises when one party to the transaction is not subject to Irish tax and the transaction consideration does not exceed €1 million.
  • Simplified documentation requirements (not “full scope” OECD) for medium enterprises not exempt above.
  • Application of transfer pricing rules to determine the market value of chargeable assets for capital gains tax purposes and to capital transactions (for capital allowance and balancing event purposes) when the transaction value/capital expenditure exceeds €25 million.
  • Application of OECD transfer pricing principles in connection with attribution of profits to branches has been deferred at this time.
  • All changes could apply for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2020.


Read a September 2019 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Ireland

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