IRS Transfer Pricing Strategies in 2024

May 3, 2024

Introduction to the IRS’s New Approach

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has intensified its focus on Transfer Pricing, essential to the tax compliance of multinational corporations. This trend corresponds to the need to ensure fair taxation and minimize tax evasion through international transactions.  

Broadening Compliance Initiatives

In addition to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2021, the IRS has increased audits of large corporations and entities with significant assets or estates, emphasizing cross-border transactions. This effort includes reviewing Transfer Pricing practices, especially of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, improving compliance with tax obligations, and promoting self-correction.  

Changes to Audit Programs

The IRS Large Corporate Compliance program, previously focused on domestic issues, now incorporates cross-border ones, reflecting a proactive approach to scrutinizing the MNEs’ Transfer Pricing practices. This methodological change highlights the significance of transparent and compliant practices to avoid legal complications.  

Implications of Recent Court Victories

Recent cases, such as BATS Global Markets Holdings, Inc. against the Commissioner, have demonstrated the IRS’s tendency to rigorously enforce regulations through the economic substance doctrine to challenge complex international tax structures. These judicial precedents are crucial to understanding the future direction of audit and compliance policies.  


Given this scenario, multinational companies should understand and adapt to the changes in the Transfer Pricing Audit by the IRS. In this regard, proactivity in the review and the performance of preventive Transfer Pricing analysis and/or diagnostics are not only measures for compliance with the Arm’s Length Principle required by the regulations but also a crucial strategy for financial integrity and sustainable success in a challenging regulatory environment.