Taxing the Digital Economy – The OECD Secretariat’s New Transfer Pricing A-B-C and Alternative Courses of Action

This article, although already drafted after the publication of the OECD Secretariat’s “Proposal for a Unified Approach” in October last year, considers the request of many commentators at the November public consultation for a clear description of objectives and an assessment of how the proposed Unified Approach would meet these objectives. Most recent developments, like the public consultation in November last year, the letter exchange between the US Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary General of the OECD, and the resolution of the European Parliament seem to reflect some of the same doubts raised by the authors in this article. Based on the finding that the Unified Approach as combining two different systems hardly would meet the objectives and may – at the best – only be an interim step, the authors suggest a clear and courageous step by following either an amount A type of approach or a B/C type approach.