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Analysis of profit distribution and tax relationship between German entities and their Swiss principal company

  • According to the United Nations, more than 70% of the world trade is carried out by the multinational companies which represent nearly 250% increase in the last four decades. This also represents the extended number of inter-company transactions such as transfer of money as well as transfer of goods and services from parent company to daughter company and vice versa. This issue of transfer of goods and more specifically transfer of money – as in transfer of profits – gave rise to debates in ‘Transfer Pricing’ in the international context. The companies use number of complex business models such as the Principal Company model as their supply chain network and move profits between different entities and create the tax advantages on basis of corporate tax rates in the different tax jurisdictions by allocating all the sales and profits to the principal company. The entities in high-tax jurisdictions, however, perform business activities on contractual basis and remunerated on cost plus mark-up by the principal company. This results several tax saving benefits for the group as a whole. Under this behavior of the MNCs, the finance ministers of G20 and the authorities in OECD developed a 15 Action Plan under Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (hereafter “BEPS”) Agenda to develop ways to avoid tax evasions by the multinational corporations in the high-tax jurisdictions. The Action 7 of BEPS Agenda – artificial avoidance of Permanent Establishment status – was introduced for the change of wordings in the Article 5 of the OECD Model Tax Convention which explains the definition of a Permanent Establishment. By doing so, the contractual entities in high-tax jurisdictions, performing business activities on behalf of their cross-border parent in a low-tax jurisdiction, will be given a status of a PE and the sales and profits generated by these entities will be allocated to them and subjected to be taxed accordingly in a high-tax jurisdiction. The analysis of the profit distribution and taxation of the contractual entities of the cross-border principal company in Germany is conducted by the author in this piece of research and shows the effect on the taxation of a company if the Action 7 of BEPS Agenda carries forward as a local legislation in the OECD countries.

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Author:Saad Zafar Saeed
Advisor:Daniel Cerquera
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Release Date:2015/11/26
Tag:BEPS Action Plan 7; German legal entities; Swiss Principal company
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Economics