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Ernst & Young brokers groundbreaking agreements

11 August 2005

Ernst & Young brokers groundbreaking pricing agreements for two major NZ exporters

Ernst & Young New Zealand has brokered two groundbreaking advance pricing agreements (APAs) - one with Japan for a major produce exporter and one with the United States for a leading New Zealand manufacturer. The bilateral agreements are firsts for New Zealand with each jurisdiction, respectively.

In both cases, the agreements have enabled the New Zealand exporters to apply transfer pricing methods with the consent of the relevant revenue authorities, giving the companies certainty in their tax risk management.

Ernst & Young?s National Director of Transfer Pricing, Leslie Prescott-Haar, says the APAs are significant for a number of reasons.

?We believe the APA with Japan was negotiated in world-record time - it took less than twelve months from submitting the application to formally reaching an agreement with Japan?s National Tax Agency. APA negotiations can take multiple years in some cases,? says Ms Prescott-Haar.

The US agreement was also fast-tracked taking just 15 months to complete under the US Small Business APA Procedure.

Ms Prescott-Haar says an unusual feature of both agreements is their application for past and future years. ?APAs usually apply to future years, for a defined period of time. However, we?ve successfully negotiated prior years under both agreements, as well as several future years.?

Ms Prescott-Haar says an APA has benefits to all parties - for the company and its shareholders, the IRD and the revenue authority in the overseas jurisdiction.

?This type of transfer pricing agreement has strong benefits for all parties. The company can minimise tax risk and manage tax profile. It can be confident that the amount of tax it is paying on APA transactions won?t be challenged at a future date.

?On the flipside, the revenue authorities have certainty around their tax take and don?t need to audit the company for the duration of the agreement,? says Ms Prescott-Haar.

Ernst & Young?s transfer pricing specialists lead in this area and have been involved in approximately 65 percent of the APAs agreed in New Zealand to date.


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