IOTA case study workshop on Transfer Pricing Issues - Use of Database Searches for Comparables took place in Bruges, 2-4 March 2016 organised in cooperation with the Federal Public Service Finance of Belgium. More than 60 transfer pricing specialists as well as auditors involved in auditing multinational enterprises took part in the event aimed at facilitating discussions on how to apply a database search for a comparability analysis, and exchanged information on effective use of data sources for comparables as well as alternative approaches in the absence of such data.
Through a series of participative working group sessions delegates discussed case studies covering issues of valuation of loans, use of internal vs external comparables, determination of transfer price in lease transactions, remuneration of wholesale distribution activities, etc. which were presented by tax administrations of Belgium, Italy, Romania, Lithuania, Norway and Austria, sharing their views and addressing difficulties in accessing comparable data for transfer pricing with use of commercial databases. On the last day of the event, participants were given an opportunity to meet representatives of Bureau van Dijk and Bloomberg - companies developing commercial databases, to learn about new functionalities offered by their products and to report on difficulties in using commercial databases to identify and extract data on independant companies that conduct potentially comparable transactions. Representative of the European Commission's Directorate of Taxation and Customs Union provided an update on the work of EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum.
Participants considered that such case study workshop was beneficial for obtaining and sharing information and experiences on effective use of data sources for comparables, including guidance and assistance in the effective use of commercial databases containing business information that can be used for selection of foreign comparables.
Further information about the workshop including the presentations is available here.