Services Transfer Pricing in Hong Kong and in Singapore
The Hong Kong and Singapore tax authorities have both addressed services transfer pricing, Differences in services transfer pricing rules in Hong Kong and Singapore can impact the enterprise’s choice of headquarter operations, whether for worldwide operations or for operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Singapore government relies on a number of external inputs in formulating its transfer pricing policy, the three primary governmental inputs being the OECD, the United States, and Australia. Singapore transfer pricing differs from Hong Kong transfer pricing because of a myriad of factors, the primary factors being developments in Australia and the United States where the OCED has not yet seen fit to apply these transfer pricing approaches. Singapore, in setting up its services transfer pricing regime, tends to follow the United States approach as to the treatment for services transfer pricing. In contrast, Singapore, in applying its transfer pricing documentation and audit regime, tends to follow the Australian approach.
The Singapore services transfer pricing Guidelines are more extensive than the Hong Kong transfer pricing Guidelines. The Singapore services transfer pricing Guidelines address three specific features the Hong Kong services transfer pricing Guidelines fail to include:
- Shared services arrangements or cost pooling contracts
- The semi-standard 5 percent margin
- The list of specific enumerated services
The Hong Kong intra-group services arrangement provisions closely follow the OECD intra-group services provisions. The term “intra-group services arrangements,” as the Inland Revenue of Hong Kong use this term, encompasses a wide variety of services. Such services broadly include the following categories:
- administrative services
- technical services
- financial services
- commercial services