Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

International governance through soft law: The case of the OECD transfer pricing guidelines


Author Info

  • Vega, Alberto
Registered author(s):


    Soft law plays an important role in the regulation of international tax matters. This paper focuses on the case of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and analyses the relationship between this non-binding instrument and the formal sources of law. From the perspective of international law, the OECD Guidelines are mainly connected to double tax treaties, but they may also influence customary norms and the general principles of law. From the point of view of domestic legal systems, references to the OECD Guidelines can be found in the tax legislation of some countries and, especially, in the interpretative circulars of the Tax Administrations. Furthermore, in some states the courts have also taken the OECD Guidelines into account in their judgements, which shows that they are almost treated as hard law. However, this practical relevance of the Guidelines does not seem to be in accordance with the process in which they were made in the OECD, which could be more open to the different stakeholders and more transparent. -- Soft Law spielt eine bedeutende Rolle in der Regulation internationaler Steuerangelegenheiten. Das vorliegende Arbeitspapier konzentriert sich auf die OECD-Richtlinien für Verrechnungspreise und analysiert das Verhältnis zwischen diesem nicht bindenden Instrument und den formellen Quellen des Rechts. Aus der Perspektive des Völkerrechts sind die OECD-Richtlinien primär mit Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen verknüpft. Dennoch können diese sowohl Auswirkungen auf das Gewohnheitsrecht als auch auf die allgemeinen Rechtsgrundsätze haben. Aus der Sicht der nationalen Rechtsordnungen finden sich Verweise auf die OECD-Richtlinien in den Steuergesetzen einiger Länder und insbesondere in den interpretativen Rundschreiben von Finanzverwaltungen. Die Berücksichtigung der OECD-Richtlinien durch die Gerichte einiger Staaten weist außerdem darauf hin, dass diese fast wie hard law behandelt werden. Trotzdem scheint die praktische Relevanz der Richtlinien nicht im Einklang mit dem Prozess zu stehen, in dem diese von der OECD geschaffen wurden. Dieser könnte offener für unterschiedliche Interessengruppen sein und mehr Transparenz aufweisen.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State in its series TranState Working Papers with number 163.

    as in new window
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:163

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Parkallee 39, 28209 Bremen
    Phone: 0421/218-4362
    Fax: 0421/218-7540
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: soft law; transfer pricing; international taxation; OECD; international governance; recommendations; guidelines;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. G�ran Therborn & K.C. Ho, 2009. "Introduction," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 53-62, March.
    2. Rixen, Thomas, 2008. "Politicization and institutional (non-) change in international taxation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Global Governance SP IV 2008-306, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Dehejia, Vivek H. & Genschel, Philipp, 1998. "Tax competition in the European Union," MPIfG Discussion Paper 98/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    4. Eden, Lorraine & Dacin, M. Tina & Wan, William P., 2001. "Standards across borders: crossborder diffusion of the arm's length standard in North America," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:163. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.