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Astrid Pieron's practice covers counseling on the transactional aspects of transfer pricing, tax optimization of mergers and acquisitions, structuring of investment funds and general assistance to private equity deals.

Astrid is heading the Mayer Brown European transfer pricing center that coordinates transfer pricing strategies and controversies in Europe. She served as a non governmental member to the EU Joint transfer pricing Forum advising the EU commission on transfer pricing matters (2012-2015). She currently serves as a Member of the EU Platform for Good tax Governance advising the EU commission on the BEPS implementation.

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The European Commission has repeatedly expressed its ambition to implement the Two-Pillar agreement in a coherent and consistent way across Member States. On December 22, 2021, a mere two days after the Inclusive Framework released its Pillar Two package, the EC proposed a Directive to implement Pillar Two for large multinational groups operating in the European Union. The Directive would implement the GloBe Model rules only, leaving Pillar One for another time.

The proposal sets out how the effective tax rate will be calculated per jurisdiction, and includes binding rules that will ensure large groups in the EU pay a 15% minimum rate in every jurisdiction in which they operate. The design elements of the Directive consist of the OECD Model rules and the -still to be released-Commentary and detailed implementation guidance. The Commission proposes that the Directive be finalized by the middle of 2022 and transposed into national law in Member States and effective on January 1 ,2023. The timetable envisaged by the Commission is ambitious and raises an issue with regard to the OECD process. Indeed the explanatory Commentary is not scheduled to be released by the OECD before January or February and the implementation guidance will not be available until then end of 2022 or even early 2023.

It remains to be seen whether the EU is overly ambitious particularly in light of the fact that the US legislation that would implement Pillar Two is delayed and uncertain.


Continue Reading EU Sets Pillar Two In Motion

In ancient Rome, a college of “augurs” would predict the future by observing the flight patterns of birds, examining the entrails of animal sacrifices, or interpreting natural phenomena. While perhaps less colorful, our method of divination will hopefully be a little more precise. To develop this blog post, we have consulted our own augurs and have summarized all our predictions for transfer pricing developments in the coming year.

Continue Reading Looking Forward: Predictions for 2022

Pillar Two, which ensures that an MNE’s in-scope income will be subject to a minimum tax rate of 15%, is ready to go. On December 2, the Model Rules were agreed upon within the OECD Inclusive Framework and the EU is willing to speed up Pillar Two implementation. The formal endorsement by the Inclusive Framework (IF) and release of the Model Rules to the public are expected next week. A week later, on December 22, the draft EU Directive should be available and a EU Council discussion is already planned during the first week of January 2022. With respect to the primary rule of Pillar Two, the Income Inclusion Rule (IIR), the contemplated EU directive would apply when an Ultimate Parent entity (UPE), an Intermediate Parent Entity (IPE) or a Partially Owned Parent Entity (POPE) is located in a EU Member State.

Continue Reading OECD Pillar Two: The EU Implementation on Its (Express) Way

On June 5, 2021, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G7 countries issued a Communiqué announcing their agreement on the conceptual framework for a substantial revision to global tax policy (the “Communiqué”). The Communiqué puts the G7’s stamp of approval on recent efforts by the OECD (supported by a big push by

In a decision dated December 11, 2020 (Value Click Case), the French Administrative Supreme Court overturned a Paris Court of Appeal decision dated March 1, 2018, and concluded that the French affiliate of the group (“French Co”) should be considered as the dependent agent of the Irish affiliate company (“Irish Co”) in France for permanent establishment (“PE”) purposes. The decision is a significant reversal of prior court cases, such as the Google decision dated April 25, 2019, and it may lead to the unilateral application by France of an expansive interpretation of the definition of PEs under Article 12 of the MLI adopted with no reservation by France.
Continue Reading Landmark Decision in France Regarding PE of Digital Company

Just in time for the holidays, the OECD has published detailed guidance about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transfer pricing. The guidance has useful information for taxpayers and tax administrations alike. It contains general advice on the application of basic transfer pricing principles during the pandemic, as well as specific advice on four issues: (i) comparability analyses, (ii) allocating losses, (iii) government-assistance programs, and (iv) advance pricing arrangements (“APAs”). The OECD guidance is broadly consistent with comments we made in a prior post about the impact of the pandemic on transfer pricing.

Continue Reading OECD Guidance on Pandemic’s Impact on Transfer Pricing

As indicated in an earlier post, the EU Commission had proposed in July to amend the Directive on Administrative Cooperation, to extend the EU tax transparency rules to digital platforms. The Member States have now agreed on the proposal. The agreed proposal on administrative cooperation (DAC 7) will ensure that Member States automatically exchange information on the revenues generated by sellers on digital platforms, whether the platform is located in the EU or not.

Continue Reading New Tax Transparency Rules for Digital Platforms (Update) and More

The European Union passed a sixth version of its Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the Field of Taxation, known as “DAC 6” (Directive (EU) 2018/82 2), on 25 May 2018. DAC 6 introduces reporting requirements for professional intermediaries (and under certain circumstances tax payers) relating to their involvement in a wide range of cross-border arrangements and transactions featuring “hallmarks” of tax planning concerning one or more EU Member States or the UK. These are referred to in DAC 6 as “reportable cross-border arrangements“. Specific hallmarks relate to transfer pricing (category E) and they do apply without main benefit test.

Failure to comply with DAC 6 could imply significant penalties under domestic legislations of the EU member states (and the UK) as well as reputational risks for not only intermediaries ( law firms, accounting firms , banks …) but also for businesses and individuals.


Continue Reading Always More Transparency in the EU: DAC6 and Transfer Pricing

Multinational Enterprises (“MNE”) that are looking to mitigate their exposure to market changes provoked by crisis may find themselves considering the termination or suspension of intercompany agreements with non-performing parties. Terminating an existing intercompany agreement can very well be a key step that an MNE undertakes to protect its business; however, MNEs should also be aware that terminating arrangements could lead to unintended transfer pricing and tax consequences and may ultimately impact the structure of the group.
Continue Reading Termination of Intragroup Agreements in Crisis Times

COVID-19 has placed unforeseen stress on the distribution structures of Multinational Enterprises (“MNE”) due to catastrophic losses and costs from supply chain interruptions and plummeting demand. Existing intercompany agreements most likely do not cover the allocation of catastrophic costs or losses and several questions may need to be addressed. For example, should catastrophic costs be shared among group members, and if the answer is yes, then how?

Continue Reading Allocation of Catastrophic Costs