Author: Courts of the US

US vs Amazon, August 2019, US Court of Appeal Ninth Circut, Case No. 17-72922

In the course of restructuring its European businesses in a way that would shift a substantial amount of income from U.S.-based entities to the European subsidiaries, appellee Amazon.com, Inc. entered into a cost sharing arrangement in which a holding company for the European subsidiaries made a “buy-in” payment for Amazon’s assets that met the regulatory definition of an “intangible.” See 26 U.S.C. § 482. Tax regulations required that the buy-in payment reflect the fair market […]

US vs Altera Corp, June 7, 2019, US Court of Appeal, Nos 16-70496 and 16-70497

The US Court of Appeal had reversed a decision from the Tax Court that 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-7A(d)(2), under which related entities must share the cost of employee stock compensation in order for their cost-sharing arrangements to be classified as qualified cost-sharing arrangements and thus avoid an IRS adjustment, was invalid under the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue had not gone beyond the authority delegated under […]

US vs SIH Partners LLLP, May 2019, US Third Circuit of Appeal, Case No 18-1862

The Third Circuit of Appeal upheld the tax courts prior decision i a $377 million dispute involving the affiliate of a US based commodities trader. The Court found that SIH Partners LLLP, an affiliate of Pennsylvania-based commodities trader Susquehanna International Group LLP, owed taxes on approximately $377 million in additional income. The extra earnings stemmed from a $1.5 billion loan from Bank of America brokerage Merrill Lynch, which was guaranteed by SIH’s subsidiaries in Ireland […]

US vs Pacific management Group, August 2018, US Tax Court Case, Memo 2018-131

This case concerned a tax scheme where taxable income was eliminated using factoring and management fees to shift profits. The Tax Court held that the scheme was in essence an attempt to eliminate the taxes. Factoring and management fees were not deductible expenses but rather disguised distributions of corporate profits and generally currently taxable to the individual shareholders as constructive dividends or as income improperly assigned to the corporations. In the TC Memo interesting views on the arm’s […]

US vs Medtronic, August 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No: 17-1866

The IRS was of the opinion, that Medtronic erred in allocating the profit earned from its devises and leads between its businesses located in the United States and its device manufacturer in Puerto Rico. To determine the arm’s length price for Medtronic’s intercompany licensing agreements the comparable profits method was therefor applied by the IRS, rather than the comparable uncontrolled transaction (CUT) used by Medtronic. Medtronic brought the case to the Tax Court. The Tax […]

US vs Altera Corp, July 2018, US Court of Appeal, Nos 16-704996

The US Court of Appeal reversed a decision from the Tax Court that 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-7A(d)(2), under which related entities must share the cost of employee stock compensation in order for their cost-sharing arrangements to be classified as qualified cost-sharing arrangements and thus avoid an IRS adjustment, was invalid under the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue had not gone beyond the authority delegated under 26 […]

US SOUTH DAKOTA v. WAYFAIR, INC., June 2018, US Supreme Court, Case No. 17-494

Concerned about the erosion of its sales tax base and corresponding loss of critical funding for state and local services, the South Dakota Legislature in 2016 enacted a law requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales tax “as if the seller had a physical presence in the State.” The Act covers sellers that, on an annual basis, deliver more than $100,000 of goods or services into the State or engage in 200 or more […]

US vs Reserve Mechanical Corp, June 2018, US Tax Court, Case No. T.C. Memo 2018-86

The issues were whether transactions executed by the company constituted insurance contracts for Federal income tax purposes and therefore, whether Reserve Mechanical Corp was exempt from tax as an “insurance company”. For that purpose the relevant factors for a captive insurance to exist was described by the court. According to the court in determining whether an entity is a bona fide insurance company a number of factors must be considered, including: (1) whether it was […]

US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

Coca Cola collects royalties from foreign branches and subsidiaries for use of formulas, brand and other intellectual property. Years ago an agreement was entered by Coca Cola and the IRS on these royalty payments to settle an audit of years 1987 to 1995. According to the agreement Coca-Cola licensees in other countries would pay the US parent company royalties using a 10-50-50 formula where 10% of the gross sales revenue is treated as a normal […]

US vs. Hewlett Packard, November 2017, Court of Appeals, Case No 14-73047

This issue in this case is qualification of an investment as debt or equity. HP bought preferred stock in Foppingadreef Investments, a Dutch company. Foppingadreef Investments bought contingent interest notes, from which FOP’s preferred stock received dividends that HP claimed as foreign tax credits. HP claimed millions in foreign tax credits between 1997 and 2003, then exercised its option to sell its preferred shares for a capital loss of more than $16 million. The IRS characterized […]

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