Transfer Pricing News Issue 33 - March 2020

Transfer pricing legislation amended in accordance with BEPS standards

In order to join the international battle in the area of tax avoidance and tax evasion, the Republic of North Macedonia has become part of the BEPS Inclusive Framework, committing to implement the four minimum standards:

  • Action 5: Harmful tax practices
  • Action 6: Prevent treaty abuse
  • Action 13: Transfer pricing documentation, and
  • Action 14: Dispute resolution.

As a result, amendments have been made in the Corporate Income Tax Act regarding transfer pricing, and in addition, the Ministry of Finance published a Rulebook on Transfer Pricing. The Macedonian legislation does not refer these changes to the BEPS Action Plan, but the contents of the required transfer pricing documentation correspond to those prescribed by the Action 13: Transfer pricing documentation.

The concept of transfer pricing has been set in the Corporate Income Tax Law since 1993 in the Republic of North Macedonia, but the 2019 amendments introduced more detailed transfer pricing rules regarding transfer pricing methods, transfer pricing analysis, comparable transactions and rules on the mandatory transfer pricing documentation. The requirements are applicable from 1 January 2019 onwards.

The amendments impose new obligations for Macedonian taxpayers, i.e. Macedonian taxpayers are obliged to prepare and submit transfer pricing documentation along with the tax return for the fiscal year 2019, by 30 September 2020. The transfer pricing documentation must be in the Macedonian language and should be submitted either in paper or in electronic form.

Obligation to submit transfer pricing documentation

  • No obligation for reporting on transfer pricing

Taxpayers with an annual total revenue below MKD 300,000,000 during the fiscal year and taxpayers that only have transactions with related parties resident in the Republic of North Macedonia are exempt from the obligation to submit a Transfer Pricing Report.

  • Transfer Pricing Report - short form

Taxpayers who have transactions with related parties during the fiscal year in an amount that do not exceed MKD 10,000,000 can submit a short form report.

  • Full Transfer Pricing Report

Other taxpayers that do not fall into either of the two categories described above must submit a full report.

Full Transfer Pricing Report

The Full Transfer Pricing Report should contain:

  • Master file – information regarding global business operations
  • Local file – detailed transfer pricing documentation specific to the local taxpayer
  • Attachments: consolidated group financial statements, individual financial statements of the local taxpayer, copies of all contracts signed between related parties, and copies of advance pricing agreements (APAs).

Transfer Pricing Report - Short form

The Transfer Pricing Report – short form should contain the following information for each category of transactions:

  • Description of the transactions
  • Value of the transactions
  • Related party with whom the transactions have been performed.

Transfer pricing methods - Amendments

The Corporate Income Tax Act requires that for each category of transactions, i.e. group of transactions of the same type, the most appropriate method of determining the transaction price should be selected, in accordance with the arm's length principle. This indicates that all transactions with related parties should first be grouped by category, and then an appropriate transfer pricing method should be selected.

Besides the two methods previously approved by the Corporate Income Tax Act of the Republic of North Macedonia (the cost plus method and the comparable uncontrolled price method), all five standard OECD methods may now be used: 

  • Comparable Uncontrolled Price Method
  • Resale Price Method
  • Cost Plus Method
  • Transactional Net Margin Method
  • Profit split Method
  • Other methods, if the above methods are not appropriate for use.

Transfer pricing consultancy services

The role of the consultant will increase in the area of transfer pricing due to the amendments explained above. The consultant will offer technical assistance in drafting the Transfer Pricing Report for the fiscal year 2019 for the Client, in accordance with the Macedonian transfer pricing legislation and the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines.

The service would also include the participation of the consultant in the analysis and preparation of the transfer pricing documentation for relevant intercompany transactions between the Client and its associated enterprises as defined by the Macedonian Corporate Income Tax Act, relevant local Rulebook on Transfer Pricing and the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines.

The transfer pricing consultancy services would be carried out as follows:

  • Any existing documentation on transfer pricing (e.g. master file or local file), which the taxpayer possesses, will be reviewed;
  • Transactions between related parties will be defined and analysed by their type and value;
  • A functional analysis will be conducted for the Client;
  • A comparative analysis of the comparable market transactions will be carried out where applicable or possible;
  • An adequate method for determining and analysing transfer prices will be selected, with all the necessary arguments and explanations for its application;
  • Analysis of the risk involved in the selected transactions will be carried out;
  • The transfer pricing report would provide a conclusion on whether the analysed intercompany transactions were performed in accordance with the arm’s length principle.

What’s next?

By implementing the obligation to prepare and submit the master file and the local file, the Republic of North Macedonia introduced two of the three reports prescribed in Action 13: Transfer pricing documentation of the BEPS Action Plan and OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines. This may signal the future possibility of introducing the Country-by-Country Report in the Macedonian legislation.

Ivana Bogdanovska

Saska Boskovska Bogdanovska