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Advance pricing agreements: The concept and its implementation in Swedish tax law
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Transfer pricing (TP) has for a long time been an important tax issue, however it is only within the past decade that it has gotten the attention it deserves. This since more and more corporations becomes globalized. When setting a TP within a multinational enterprise (MNE) it is important to consider the arm’s length principle. The reason for this is that all countries, involved in an internal transaction, are entitled to their fair share of tax revenues. The principle implies that when performing a transaction within a MNE, the price used shall be set on the same circumstances as if the transaction was performed between independent actors. Corporations which do not set their TPs in accordance with the arm’s length principle face the risk of adjustments and future audits.

Setting a TP, which is in line with the arm’s length principle is, however, not an easy task, therefore the subject of advance pricing agreement (APA) has emerged. APA has existed since the middle of the 1980’s when it was first implemented in Japan. However, it was as recent as last year, 1st of January 2010, that a legislation concerning APA was implemented in Swedish tax legislation. The legislation implies that corporations which are a part of a MNE can apply for a binding agreement at the Swedish tax authority regarding future TP. This opportunity will provide for a foreseeable tax future.

Due to this recent implementation of APA legislation in Sweden, we have chosen to conduct a cross-country analysis concerning regulations of APA, using countries which have had APA legislation for a substantial amount of time. The different countries which legislations we have studied in this thesis are Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.S. The purpose with this thesis is to examine if the Swedish legislation concerning APA will provide any advantages for Swedish MNEs. A qualitative research method with the focus on an abductive research approach has been used for this thesis. The abductive approach consists of both deductive and inductive research approaches. The deductive approach is used to answer our research questions and the inductive approach is used to answer the purpose with our thesis. The purpose of this thesis consists of two research questions, what the Swedish APA legislation implies and are there any differences between the Swedish APA legislation and other countries’ APA legislations.

After analyzing this new Swedish legislation and performing the cross-country analysis we have come to the conclusion that in general APAs provides substantial benefits for Swedish corporations. With the main advantages being the increased predictability and the reduced administrative burden concerning TP issues. In order for the Swedish legislation to be fully beneficial for the corporations it is, however, in need of some adjustments. If adjustments to the legislation are made we conclude that APAs will only provide benefits for Swedish corporations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 77 p.
Keyword [en]
Advance pricing agreements, transfer pricing, United States, Arm's length principle, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-15079OAI: diva2:419020
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-05-30 Created: 2011-05-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved

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