The determination of arm’s length transfer prices for transactions involving intangibles is one of the major topics in international taxation and at the focus of multinational enterprises, tax authorities and tax advisors worldwide. As part of the BEPS project of the OECD and G20 countries, the OECD significantly revised its guidance on intangibles in its 2017 Transfer Pricing Guidelines, with the introduction of the so-called DEMPE-approach. This approach is aimed at aligning the allocation of intangible-related profits with the functions, assets and risks relating to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection and exploitation of the intangibles. Regarding the determination of intangible-related profits, the OECD published its revised guidance on the application of the transactional profit split method in 2018, which confirms that the transactional profit split method is likely the most appropriate for a transfer of intangibles where it is not possible to identify reliable comparable uncontrolled transactions. Further work involving intangibles has been performed on IP and patent boxes and on the taxation of the digital economy.


In addition to these initiatives on a multinational level, several countries have implemented national regulations concerning the taxation of intangibles, e.g. relating to the determination and allocation of intangible-related profits, the treatment of patent boxes and license payments, and the application of anti-avoidance rules.


This guide provides an overview of the regulations relating to the taxation of intangibles in Taxand member countries, as well as practical insights in the application of these rules based on the experiences of the Taxand member firms. The content of this guide is updated as of July 2019. This guide contains general information only and should not be regarded as offering a professional advice or services.





Susann Karnath
Flick Gocke Schaumburg, Germany


Caterina Colling-Russo
Tax Partner, Switzerland

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