The purpose of the transfer pricing analysis is to enable the comparison between prices/profit
margins established in transactions between affiliated entities and prices/profit margins established in
comparable transactions between independent/non‑affiliated entities, in order to formulate an opinion
regarding the alignment between transfer prices and market prices.
Therefore, it is imperative that the comparable transactions used for benchmarking purposes should be
transactions that occur between independent (non‑affiliated) entities.
Moreover, the regulations in force regarding transfer pricing explicitly mention that in evaluating
transfer prices one cannot refer to transactions between companies that are part of a multinational enterprise (MNE), but strictly to transactions carried out between companies amongst which there is no
affiliation (independent companies).
Based on the interactions we have had in the last year with the transfer pricing tax inspectors, but
also during court of law proceedings following tax audits focused on transfer pricing, we have been
able to notice their current tendency to carry out a rigorous verification of the criteria of independence
(non‑affiliation) of the transactions/companies included in the comparability samples. Based on this
rigorous verification many of the comparability samples proposed by the taxpayers in the transfer
pricing documentation are often invalidated.
Therefore, this article aims to present the importance that correct interpretation, determination and
verification of affiliation relationship can have in order to defend the transfer pricing documentation.
We would like to mention in this regard that the article is based on experience gained during tax audits
and legal proceedings, on the one hand, and the internal work procedures developed over time as a
result of our constant interactions with the tax authorities, on the other hand.