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Minimizing Transfer Pricing Risks in Saudi Arabia: A Guide to Penalties and Compliance


In the realm of transfer pricing, it is crucial for multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in Saudi Arabia to not only comply with the regulations but also be aware of the potential penalties associated with non-compliance. In this article, we delve into the penalties that businesses may face in relation to transfer pricing matters, as well as explore the possibility of penalty relief.

Transfer Pricing Penalties:

While Saudi Arabia does not have specific provisions regarding transfer pricing penalties, there are penalties applicable for failure to file tax returns. In such cases, the penalties can be the higher of 1% of revenue up to a maximum of SAR 20,000, or between 5% and 25% of the unsettled tax, depending on the length of the delay. Additionally, a fine of 1% of the unsettled tax is imposed for every 30 days of delay in tax settlement.

Tax audit adjustments conducted during a tax inspection can also lead to penalties. These adjustments carry a penalty of 1% per month, applied to the adjustment amount.

Penalty Relief:

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia does not have any legal provisions for penalty relief specifically related to transfer pricing. It is essential for businesses to take diligent measures to ensure compliance and minimize the risk of penalties.

Mitigating Risks and Ensuring Compliance:

To mitigate the risks associated with transfer pricing penalties, MNEs operating in Saudi Arabia should prioritize thorough documentation and compliance with transfer pricing regulations. Maintaining detailed and contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation, including intercompany agreements, schedules, and invoices, is crucial to substantiate the arm’s length nature of transactions.

Moreover, businesses should stay up-to-date with the evolving transfer pricing guidelines and seek professional assistance to ensure adherence to best practices. Proactive engagement with tax authorities and conducting internal transfer pricing audits can help identify and address any potential issues before they escalate into penalties.


Navigating transfer pricing penalties in Saudi Arabia requires careful attention to compliance and documentation. While specific provisions for transfer pricing penalties are absent, businesses should be aware of the penalties associated with failure to file tax returns and tax audit adjustments. By prioritizing compliance, thorough documentation, and proactive engagement with tax authorities, businesses can mitigate risks and ensure smooth operations in the realm of transfer pricing in Saudi Arabia.

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