Introduction of New Administrative Principles Decree for Transfer Pricing Documentation and Tax Audit Procedure

On 3 December 2020, the Federal Ministry of Finance issued new administrative principles on procedural questions of transfer pricing. They are binding for tax authorities. Inter alia, the rules deal with selecting the transfer pricing method, documentation language, tax authorities’ room for amendments, sensitivity analysis of valuations and estimating the taxable base in the case of not fulfilling the documentation duties. The principles provide valuable guidance for taxpayers, though they lack guidance on the responsibilities of the tax authorities and the perception is that they put additional duties on taxpayers’ shoulders without also underlining the responsibilities of tax inspectors.