Charles E. Hyde and Chongwoo Choe
Multinational enterprises use two types of transfer prices: the tax transfer price to achieve optimal tax outcomes and the incentive transfer price to provide appropriate incentives to offshore managers. The two optimal transfer prices are independent if taxable income is assessed using the formula apportionment approach. Under the separate entity approach, however, they are interdependent: they both decrease as the penalty for noncompliance with the arm’s length principle increases; and the tax transfer price decreases and the incentive transfer price increases as the marginal cost of production increases. We also examine the case where the incentive transfer price is negotiated rather than dictated by the parent. The results are robust to different market structures and tax environments.