The Ivory Coast's transfer pricing rules were strengthened by the Finance Law 2017. The country requires that intercompany transactions between resident and non-resident parties be conducted in accordance with the arm’s length principle. In cases where transactions are deemed non-compliant, the tax authorities are empowered to make adjustments. Although, Ivory Coast is not a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the tax authorities generally follow the OECD guidelines but in case of inconsistencies, the tax laws and the transfer pricing regulations prevail over the OECD guidelines.
The relevant regulations in relation to the transfer pricing rules are:
- Articles 36, 36 Bis and 38 of the General Tax Code, Article 50 Bis of the Tax Procedure Book, Article 15 of the 2017 Finance Law and Article 14 of the 2018 Finance Law;
- Article 15 of the 2017 Finance Law which inter alia prescribes the requirement to file a transfer pricing return; and
- Article 14 of the 2018 Finance Law which inter alia prescribes the requirement to file a CbC return and provides for thin-capitalization rules.
The following transfer pricing methods apply to transactions between related parties:
- Comparable uncontrolled price (CUP) method;
- Resale price method;
- Cost-plus method;
- Transactional net margin method (TNMM); and
- Profit split method.
There is no requirement for the taxpayer to elect a prescribed method. The taxpayer is expected to elect the the most appropriate method as per the OECD guidelines under the circumstances, but may opt for another method if justifiably more appropriate for determining the arm’s length value.
No preference for comparables is made under the regulations. The taxpayer should use the most relevant information available to justify its transfer pricing. The tax authorities generally accept comparables pertaining to local or West African jurisdiction.