Delineating the Terms of a Single Composite Transaction in Transfer Pricing: The Role of Step-Transaction Analysis in the Aggregation of Interrelated (Linked) Contracts

This article provides guidance on the task of aggregation and disaggregation of contract terms in transfer pricing. It explains that: (1) aggregation involves giving expression to the parties’ single composite transaction; (2) aggregation requires applying a step-transaction analysis, which makes it possible to delineate the true substance of the composite transaction, and then apply the relevant tax rule(s) based on the combined effect of the interrelated contracts; and (3) disaggregation may be used as an anti-avoidance measure. The article also identifies notable implications of aggregation.