Author: Courts of Romania

Romania vs “A. Median S.R.L.”, May 2022, High Court, Case No 2946/2022

Romania vs "A. Median S.R.L.", May 2022, High Court, Case No 2946/2022
In this case “A. Median S.R.L.” had appealed a decision of the court of first instance where the income had been determined to the median value. According to the company the median is not the only value corresponding to the market value, when both the lower limit and the upper limit of the range of comparison in turn reflect the market value of the goods or services supplied. The provisions of Article 2.7 of the Guidelines were relied on in that regard. “…the assessment must be made in a manner which does not contravene Article 2.7 of the OECD Guidelines, that is to say, does not lead to overtaxation. However, given that the court of first instance assumed that the only value which may be taken into account in determining the transfer price is the median value, any other value within the margin established is ... Read more

Romania vs A. Romania S.R.L., April 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 2644/2021

Romania vs A. Romania S.R.L., April 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 2644/2021
A. Romania S.R.L. had purchased services from A. Nederland BV and A. CZ Holding sro, and the costs of the services had been deducted for tax purposes. At issue was whether these services had actually been provided to the benefit of A. Romania S.R.L. and if so whether the costs were deductible under Romanian tax provisions. According to the tax authorities it was not possible to identify the services actually provided, as the documentation provided was only general data on the types of services invoiced, such as: group services, taxes and contributions, other group services. No supporting documents had been submitted to show that the services were actually provided. Furthermore, according to Romanian tax provisions – paragraph 41 of H.G. no. 44/2004 – the costs of administration, management, control, consultancy or similar functions are borne by the parent company and no remuneration can be claimed ... Read more

Romania vs S.C. A., March 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 1955/2021

Romania vs S.C. A., March 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 1955/2021
S.C. A. had paid for intra group services in FY 2013 and 2014 and deducted the costs for tax purposes. The purchases of services were made on the basis of a management services contract concluded with related party C. S.A. and a production service contract, logistics service contract, product management service contract and service contract concluded with related party B. The tax authorities had issued an assessment where deductions for the costs had been denied. The court of first instance set aside the tax assessment. Judgement of Supreme Administrative Court The Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision from the court of first instance and decided in favor of S.C. A. Excerpts “As regards the necessity of providing the services The High Court finds that the expert held, with regard to that aspect, that by the contracts concluded, C. S.A. and B. undertook to carry out ... Read more

Romania vs “A. S.R.L.”, March 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 1427/2021

Romania vs "A. S.R.L.", March 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 1427/2021
The tax authorities had issued an assessment, where the income of A SRL had been adjusted by reference to Romanian transfer pricing provisions. An appeal was filed by A SRL claiming annulment of the assessment. In the Bucharest Court of Appeal, the assessment was set aside in part. An appeal was then filed by the tax authorities with the Supreme Court. Judgement of Supreme Administrative Court The Court found that the appeals were well founded and set aside, in part, the judgment under appeal. Excerpts “The choice of methods for determining transfer prices differs from one company to another, the appropriateness of applying any of the methods being influenced by the characteristics of the transactions analysed. Thus, the selection of a particular method depends on the existence of comparable transactions carried out between independent persons (so-called “uncontrolled transactions”) as well as other comparability factors as ... Read more

Romania vs “GAS distributor” SC A, December 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No 238/12.03.2020

Romania vs "GAS distributor" SC A, December 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No 238/12.03.2020
The disputed issue concerns the purchase prices of natural gas by SC A from an affiliated company SC B. By orders of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (NERA), the prices of supply of natural gas to domestic and non-domestic consumers were regulated and fixed, but not the price at which SC A purchased it from the SC B. The tax authority issued an assessment where the price of the controlled gas transaction was determined by reference to profit level indicators of comparable businesses. SC A brought the decision to the Romanian courts. Judgement of the Court of Appeal The appeal of SC A was dismissed and the assessment of the tax authorities upheld. Excerpt “In the present case, in order to adjust the expenses for the cost of the goods purchased from SC “B.” SRL, based on the level of the central market trend, the ... Read more

Romania vs Lender A. SA, December 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 6512/2020

Romania vs Lender A. SA, December 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 6512/2020
In this case, A. S.A. had granted interest free loans to an affiliate company – Poiana Ciucas S.A. The tax authorities issued an assessment of non-realised income from loans granted. The tax authorities established that the average interest rates charged for comparable loans granted by credit institutions in Romania ranged from 5.45% to 19.39%. The court of first instance decided in favor of the tax authorities. An appeal against this decision was lodged by S S.A. According to S S.A. “The legal act concluded between the two companies should have been regarded as a contribution to the share capital of Poiana Ciucaș S.A. However, even if it were considered that a genuine loan contract (with 0% interest) had been concluded, it cannot be held that the company lacked the capacity to conclude such an act, since, even if the purpose of any company is to ... Read more

Romania vs “Electrolux” A. SA, November 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 6059/2020

Romania vs "Electrolux" A. SA, November 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 6059/2020
In this case, a Romanian manufacturer and distributor (A. SA) in the Electrolux group (C) had been loss making while the group as a whole had been profitable. The tax authorities issued an assessment, where the profit of A. SA had been determined based on a comparison to the profitability of independent traders in households appliances. When calculating the profit margin of A. SA certain adjustments was made to the costs – depreciations, extraordinary costs etc. When comparing A. SA’s net profit to financial results with those of the group to which it belongs, it emerged that, during the period under review, the applicant was loss-making while C. made a profit. With reference to paragraphs 1.70 and 1.71 of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines, when an affiliated company consistently makes a loss while the group as a whole is profitable, the data may call for ... Read more

Romania vs “Milk and Dairy” A. SA, September 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 4702/2020

Romania vs "Milk and Dairy" A. SA, September 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 4702/2020
In regards of transfer pricing A. SA had two activities – production of dairy products and distribution of milk – that had been subject to an audit by the tax authorities which resulted in an assessment of additional taxable income. The transfer pricing assessment had been upheld by the court of first instance and A. SA then filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. In regards of production activities the main criticism by A. SA was that the tax authorities had replaced one market price with another price considered convenient by tax authorities, without legal basis, although the tax inspection accepted the list of companies and comparable transactions for all three sections of the file. The judge of the merits did not motivate his choice in law and supports the maintenance of the median according to the RIF, but does not specify how he reached ... Read more

Romania vs “Machinery rental” S.C. A. SRL, September 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 4453/2020

Romania vs "Machinery rental" S.C. A. SRL, September 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 4453/2020
An assessment had been issued where the pricing of intra group rental expenses for machinery had been set aside by the tax authorities for FY 2010-2013. By an application filed with the Court of Appeal S.C. A. S.R.L. requested the Court for annulment of the assessment. The Court of Appeal by judgment no. 164 of 31 October 2017, partially annulled the assessment. Unsatisfied with this decision, both parties filed an appeal to the High Court. S.C. A. S.R.L. considered that the first court misapplied the substantive rules of law applicable to the case with regard to the additional determination of a corporation tax in the amount of RON 56,715 for 2010, with reference to the interpretation of the OECD Guidelines. “Although the expert appointed by the court of first instance correctly established the adjusted margins of trade mark-up for each of the years 2010 to ... Read more

Romania vs “Stone” A SRL, July 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 3217/2020

Romania vs "Stone" A SRL, July 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 3217/2020
“Stone” A SRL had bought stones/minerals from related parties and paid for certain services. Following an audit the tax authorities had issued an assessment, where the price paid for stones had been adjusted based on cost plus method and deductions for costs of services had been denied due to lack of benefit. The court of first instance upheld the assessment in regards of the profit adjustment related to purchase of stones, but set aside the assessment in regards of denied deductions for services. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court by both “Stone” A SRL and the tax authorities. Judgement of Supreme Court The Supreme Court found the appeal unfounded and upheld the decision of the court of first instance. Excerpt “The appellant claimed that the court of first instance misapplied the OECD Guidelines (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development transfer pricing guidelines) in ... Read more

Romania vs “Broker” A SRL, September 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 3818/2019

Romania vs "Broker" A SRL, September 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 3818/2019
Following an audit Broker A SRL was ordered to submit corrective statements on the corporate income tax for the tax years 2016 and 2017, and not to take over the tax loss from previous years, in the amount of RON 62,773,810 in 2016 and 2017. The tax authorities had found shortcomings in the comparability study drawn up by the company and replaced it with their own study. According to Broaker A SRL the transfer pricing adjustment was unlawful: the measure of reworking the comparability study has no legal basis and was not reasoned by the tax authorities; the findings of the tax inspection bodies are based on a serious error concerning the accounting recognition of A. BV’s income in its records; unlawfulness as regards the adjustment of income in respect of support services. ANAF has made serious errors of calculation by reference to its own ... Read more

Romania vs SC A SRL, October 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 2651/2016

Romania vs SC A SRL, October 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 2651/2016
At issue were tax deductions for expenses related to assets and expenses for services paid by SC A SRL to a related party, C SpA Italy. Following an audit the tax authorities had issued an assessment, where certain costs were considered non deductible and where the cost of services had been determined by applying the transactional net margin method (TNMM). The assessment was brought to the courts by SC A SRL. Judgement of Supreme Court The Supreme Court found the appeal of SC A SRL unfounded and decided in favor of the tax authorities. Excerpt “As regards the criticisms made by the appellant concerning the use of the net transaction margin method used by the tax authorities and held by the judgment delivered by the court of first instance to be correct, the Supreme Court considers them to be unfounded. As is apparent from the ... Read more