Transfer Pricing, Incentive Compensation and Tax Avoidance in a Multi-Division Firm

Transfer Pricing, Incentive Compensation and Tax Avoidance in a Multi-Division Firm This article examines the relation between transfer pricing and production incentives using a model of a vertically integrated firm with divisions located in different tax jurisdictions. We show that if divisional profits are taxed at the same marginal rate, the transfer price should be set to minimize the compensation risk faced by the manager of the buying division. For the case where divisional profits are taxed at different marginal rates, we are able to characterize the trade-off between the tax savings from setting transfer prices to reduce profitability in the high tax jurisdication and the loss of effort attributable to the impact of tax avoidance on the incentive compensation system. Further, we show that if it is feasible to compensate the division managers using multiple performance measures, the transfer price should be used to minimize the firm's overall tax liability. Finally, we show that when authority to determine the transfer price must be delegated to one of the division managers, it is optimal to assign responsibility for setting the transfer price to the manager of the division with the most production uncertainty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting Springer Journals

Transfer Pricing, Incentive Compensation and Tax Avoidance in a Multi-Division Firm

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
Subject
Finance; Corporate Finance; Accounting/Auditing; Econometrics; Operation Research/Decision Theory
ISSN
0924-865X
eISSN
1573-7179
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1008216216943
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the relation between transfer pricing and production incentives using a model of a vertically integrated firm with divisions located in different tax jurisdictions. We show that if divisional profits are taxed at the same marginal rate, the transfer price should be set to minimize the compensation risk faced by the manager of the buying division. For the case where divisional profits are taxed at different marginal rates, we are able to characterize the trade-off between the tax savings from setting transfer prices to reduce profitability in the high tax jurisdication and the loss of effort attributable to the impact of tax avoidance on the incentive compensation system. Further, we show that if it is feasible to compensate the division managers using multiple performance measures, the transfer price should be used to minimize the firm's overall tax liability. Finally, we show that when authority to determine the transfer price must be delegated to one of the division managers, it is optimal to assign responsibility for setting the transfer price to the manager of the division with the most production uncertainty.

Journal

Review of Quantitative Finance and AccountingSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 6, 2004

References

  • Intrafirm Resource Allocation: The Economics of Transfer Pricing and Cost Allocation in Accounting
    Amershi, A.; Cheng, P.

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