Spain - Contractual Allocation of Risks and Substance: The Acer Case Articles uri icon



publication date

  • March 2021

start page

  • 203

end page

  • 209


  • 3


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1385-3074


  • In this article, the author undertakes a thorough examination of the landmark Spanish transfer pricing Acer decision. The case refers to the denial of the deductibility of payments resulting from factoring agreements undertaken by Acer Spain – a limited risk distributor – with unrelated banks, adopted to manage liquidity risks arising from timing mismatches between its accounts payable and accounts receivable. Through a disputable interpretation of the limited risk agreement signed between Acer Spain and its principal Acer Europe, tax resident in Switzerland, the tax authorities and the National Court disregarded the allocation of said risk to Acer Spain. The Court neglected to analyse the case through the lens of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines, confirmed a tax assessment that inexorably led to double taxation and gave its blessing for the use of transfer pricing rules as a general anti-abuse mechanism.


  • Law