Does Intangible Ownership Move with the People That Perform the DEMPE Functions?

In the context of globalization and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment pools are becoming global, remote team working becomes common, and employees performing significant value adding functions may be located in different jurisdictions, not always in the country of the head office or of the entity that owns the group’s valuable intangibles. While the identification of significant people functions has been a critical point in transfer pricing analyses for more than 25 years, its precise significance in the OECD Guidelines has evolved in successive waves. The greater emphasis on people functions raises questions on the impact that workers’ or functions’ mobility can have on the allocation of intangible ownership and return.