Transfer pricing in France - French Attorney Standpoint

Transfer pricing in France - French Attorney Standpoint


Transfer Pricing in France

An Analytical Perspective from a Tax Attorney's Standpoint


Transfer pricing, a critical concern within the international tax paradigm, has significant implications for multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in France. This tax concept encompasses intra-group transactions, specifically the exchange of goods, services, or intellectual property rights between related companies based in separate jurisdictions. Given the evolving narrative surrounding tax optimization and the campaign against tax evasion, it has become important for corporations to grasp the regulations woven by French authorities around transfer pricing.


Relevance of the OECD's Arm's-Length Principle


Being an integral part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France predominantly leans on the OECD's Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations. These guidelines promote the arm's-length principle, postulating that intra-group transactions should be priced as though conducted between independent entities under the same market conditions.


Meticulous Documentation: A Prerequisite for Compliance


French legislation mandates corporations to provide comprehensive and clear documents detailing their transfer pricing policies. This documentation is instrumental in showing that the transfer prices employed align with analogous market conditions. Any missing details in these documents, or if deemed unsatisfactory, can pave the way for fiscal readjustments.


The Impending Threat of Fiscal Rectifications


MNCs operating on French soil, if found in non-compliance with transfer pricing regulations, are walking on dangerous ground. The French tax apparatus, known for its meticulous scrutiny, does not shy away from making readjustments if intra-group transactions do not follow the arm's-length principle. Such rectifications always herald substantial fiscal penalties with accrued interest. In some extreme cases, the financial prosecutor may treat the case as one of tax money laundering.


Forecasting the Future Trajectory of Transfer Pricing in France


Transfer pricing, given its fiscal ramifications, is poised to be an area of heightened interest for French tax regulators in the foreseeable future. With the rising trajectory of the OECD's Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) measures, to which France exhibits unequivocal commitment, more rigorous oversight of intra-group transactions is anticipated.


Concluding Remarks


Transfer pricing stands as a real challenge for MNCs in France. To steer clear of the fiscal ramifications, a profound understanding of extant legislation, bolstered by meticulous documentation and wise legal counsel, becomes sine qua non. In this complicated web of French tax law, it is important to carefully navigate the legal code with foresight.


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For a span of over 25 years, our practice--comprised of attorneys specializing in Fiscal and Financial Criminal Law--has provided assistance to corporations, their executives, and other people engaged in tax and financial affairs such as problems relating to foreign bank accounts, offshore firms, international transactions, transfer pricing, et cetera.


Consequently, our legal professionals actively engage in all matters pertaining to tax and corporate criminal law encompassing offenses such as tax fraud, money laundering, misuse of social assets, undisclosed employment, and so on. This involvement extends to urgent legal proceedings, such as, tax investigations, rights of visit and seizure, tax-related searches, instances of flagrant tax offenses, custodial matters, voluntary interviews, and the freezing of bank accounts, among others.


This enables prompt intervention in situations requiring the implementation of preventive measures and/or attendance in surveillance and other hearings.


The extensive history of implementing taxes and criminal law in the business sector has contributed to the development of a strong reputation, as demonstrated by the frequent appearances of Mr. SASSI, a legal professional, in many respected media outlets such as L’Express, Les Échos, L’Expansion, L'Entreprise, and BFM Radio, among others.


Our clients comprise of both domestic and international entities, encompassing firms and persons located all over the world, as well as worldwide entities, including companies and individuals situated in regions such as Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, USA, Canada, Africa, and Maghreb.


Please feel free to reach out to us for any inquiries or requests for assistance pertaining to any regions of France, including the overseas territories (Dom Tom), as well as international locations.




Mabrouk SASSI, lawyer Paris Bar

32 avenue Carnot – Paris 17th - France

Tel 33


The following links may be of assistance:


  • The General Tax Code (CGI) refers to the comprehensive set of regulations and laws that govern the taxation system within a certain jurisdiction. It encompasses the many provisions and guidelines that dictate the assessment


  • The provided link directs to the official website of Legifrance, which is the French government


  • The subject of discussion pertains to the doctrine of tax administration within the Ministry of Budget.



  • The provided link directs to the official website of the French tax administration, specifically to the section








Publié le 07/03/2024


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