TP Minds Australia 2021: conference highlights

30 November 2021

Zara Ritchie, National Leader, Transfer Pricing Services |

TP Minds Australia 2021 conference, held in a digital format on 9 – 10 November, catered to a wide range of tax and transfer pricing (TP) professionals and also covered topics helpful to those who only occasionally deal with transfer pricing matters. Panel sessions and workshops covered foundational TP concepts, combined with in-depth sessions covering the latest ATO and international tax authority programs and guidance, including:

  • The perspectives of corporates regarding operational transfer pricing
  • Practical considerations for financial transactions
  • Managing TP audits and the future of tax disputes in Australia and overseas
  • Various perspectives on BEPS 2.0 (base erosion and profit shifting) and its potential impact
  • Dealing with transfer pricing and commercial aspects of intangibles
  • Learnings from when transfer pricing projects do not go according to plan.

Key themes emerged across the sessions:

  • The increasing importance of data in implementing and defending transfer pricing policies
  • The increasing standards for contemporaneous evidence and robust TP analysis
  • An increased ATO focus requiring taxpayers to demonstrate commerciality in all intercompany dealings
  • The importance of a strong tax governance framework to manage TP risk and processes
  • The ATO’s expectations that taxpayers risk-assess the transfer pricing issues they face and prepare the supporting documentation accordingly
  • The clear message that MNEs will almost certainly be subject to tax authority review in Australia or overseas.

BEPS 2.0 was also a key topic of discussion. The OECD update summarised the impressive progress made over the past 12 months including its breakthrough in reaching agreement across 136 of the 140 inclusive framework members in relation to Pillar One and Pillar Two.

Various speakers shared their thoughts on the potential impact of Pillars One and Two on ‘business as usual’ transfer pricing, with most contemplating that the arm’s length principle (ALP) is broadly here to stay, while noting the tight timetable for developing detailed rules. The clear challenges ahead in implementing the regime across the world, in a way that does not result in double taxation in future years, were also highlighted.

TP Minds Australia will return to a face-to-face format in Sydney in late May or early June 2022.

If you would like a more detailed analysis of the key insights from TP Minds Australia 2021 please download our TP Minds Australia 2021 Conference insights.

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