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Transfer Pricing and How it Affects Financial Reporting

The concept of transfer pricing is highly important in companies that are operating as individual strategic units. However, there are many different challenges associated with transfer pricing in Malaysia, and it is crucial for companies to overcome these challenges to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of the business.


The transfer pricing documentation becomes even more critical when an organization has various branches all around the world, especially in areas where the tax rates are continually fluctuating. The transfer pricing documentation is used as a tool to justify these transactions especially when transactions are carried with lower tax jurisdiction and could be misunderstood to have been carried out for tax benefits.

1. Relationship between Transfer Pricing and Financial Reporting

The relationship between transfer pricing documentation and financial reporting is heavily impacted by the uncertainties in the tax positions. International tax rules and regulations also impact the way transfer pricing is conducted and financial statements are prepared. As a result, multinational companies have to consider a variety of international jurisdictions and rules set by the global governing bodies.


Most of the surveys and studies indicate that developing countries are restricted in transfer pricing documentation due to a lack of resources. As a result, they are not able to effectively apply transfer pricing. However, most of the challenges of transfer pricing can be avoided by establishing suitable transfer prices for the intra-firm transfer of goods and services. In this way, proper payments are made, and the legal requirements of transfer pricing in Malaysia are also fulfilled.

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2. Importance of Transfer Pricing in the Modern Era

Transfer price is now defined as the cost paid between two firms for the goods and services that are delivered by multiple entities or a consolidated organization. Nowadays, transfer pricing highly affects the way businesses do international trading. However, the process of preparing the documentation can greatly vary depending on the company’s structure and pricing basis.

3. Transfer Pricing and Tax Authorities

The law is clear that the prices charged by one entity to another in an intercompany transaction that could involve the trade of goods and services should yield consistent results as per the results that would have been produced if uncontrolled taxpayers were engaged in the same transaction in similar circumstances.

In other words, there are some strict guidelines that companies should follow in financial reporting of transfer pricing to make sure the transfer pricing documentation fulfils the legal requirements and is consistent with modern reporting standards.

The entire process of transfer pricing in Malaysia requires thorough documentation by professional regulators and auditors. If there is an error in the transfer value, then the accountants and auditors have to make sure that such changes are shown in the financial statements. Otherwise, there is a very high chance that you will run into legal issues with the authorities and might have to pay the penalty.

Despite the availability of such extensive data about transfer pricing in Malaysia, there is ambiguity around the working of transfer pricing in divisions and how the tax burden should be distributed among the various companies within a group.

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In a Nutshell

Although there are many different aspects of transfer pricing and how it affects financial reporting, the following are the three main key points that every auditor should keep in mind for transfer pricing documentation:
  1. Multinational organizations have to pay special attention to transfer pricing because it carries a great tax-compliance risk. If proper tax planning and financial reporting are not performed, companies can face serious legal issues.
  2. The arm’s-length transfer price is generally identified from the areas that create and transfer the value. For instance, factors like risks and assets are analyzed to apply a suitable economic method of transfer pricing in Malaysia.
  3. Transfer pricing provides a significant number of benefits to multinational corporations. However, there is a lot of ambiguity attached to these tax benefits. As a result, it is important that companies ensure that proper transfer pricing documentation is prepared and ensure maximum compliance with the rules and regulations.
For more information about transfer pricing, feel free to get in touch with us.
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