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Abstract

With the increase in international trade, revenue authorities are taking an aggressive approach to transfer pricing. This article argues that Australian documentation requirements are particularly cumbersome and can give rise to unreasonable application of penalty provisions, given the lack of clarity in the rules. It recommends improved rule clarity and a ‘one-strike’ safe harbor. Australia has joined with the United States, Canada and Japan to produce a multilateral transfer pricing documentation package in response to concerns that the documentation burden is excessive. This article argues that although the package is a good first step, it does not yet meet its goals of certainty, flexibility and cost-saving.

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