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DPT notices and APAs: the implications of Refinitiv

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The Upper Tribunal’s decision in the Refinitiv case highlights the importance of clarity in the formulation interpretation and enforcement of advance pricing agreements (APAs). The decision makes it clear that HMRC will not be bound by the terms of the APA in subsequent periods – and as a consequence in the instant case HMRC could therefore seek to assess taxpayers using a profit split transfer pricing (TP) methodology to contributions to IP even where the contributions were previously priced under the APA on the basis of a cost-plus methodology. The ruling concerned the judicial review of the decision to issue a diverted profits tax notice and therefore did not consider the substantive point as to whether HMRC are able to recharacterise the underlying basics of the APA by for instance taking a different view on the functional profile of the transaction and the parties thereto...

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