Category: TPG 2022 Chapter II: Transfer Pricing Methods

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.187

In all cases, caution must be used to determine whether a transactional profit method as applied to a particular aspect of a case can produce an arm’s length answer, either in conjunction with a traditional transaction method or on its own. The question ultimately can be resolved only on a case-by-case basis taking into account the strengths and weaknesses set forth above for a particular transactional profit method to be applied, the comparability (including functional) analysis of the parties to the transaction, and the availability and reliability of comparable data. In addition, these conclusions assume that countries will have a certain degree of sophistication in their underlying tax systems before applying these methods ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.186

The recognition that the use of transactional profit methods may be necessary is not intended to suggest that independent enterprises would use these methods to set prices. As with any method, it is important that it be possible to calculate appropriate corresponding adjustments when transactional profit methods are used, recognising that in certain cases corresponding adjustments may be determined on an aggregate basis consistent with the aggregation principles in paragraphs 3.9-3.12 ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.185

As discussed in these Guidelines, there are concerns regarding the use of the transactional net margin method, in particular that it is sometimes applied without adequately taking into account the relevant differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions being compared. Many countries are concerned that the safeguards established for the traditional transaction methods may be overlooked in applying the transactional net margin method. Thus, where differences in the characteristics of the transactions being compared have a material effect on the net profit indicators being used, it would not be appropriate to apply the transactional net margin method without making adjustments for such differences. See paragraphs 2.74-2.81 (the comparability standard to be applied to the transactional net margin method) ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.184

Paragraphs 2.1-2.12 provide guidance on the selection of the most appropriate transfer pricing method to the circumstances of the case ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.183

In some cases, a significant issue for the reliability of cost-based splitting factors is the determination of the relevant period of time from which the elements of determination of the profit splitting factor(s) (e.g. assets, costs, or others) should be taken into account. A difficulty arises because there can be a lag between the time when expenses are incurred and the time when value is created, and it is sometimes difficult to decide which period’s expenses should be used. For example, in the case of a cost-based factor, using the expenditure on a single-year basis may be suitable for some cases, while in some other cases it may be more suitable to use accumulated expenditure (net of depreciation or amortisation, where appropriate in the circumstances) incurred in the previous as well as the current years. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, this ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.182

In identifying and applying appropriate cost-based profit splitting factors a number of issues may need to be considered. One is that there may be differences between the parties in the timing of expenditure. For example, research and development costs that are relevant to the value of a party’s contributions may have been incurred several years in the past, whereas the expenditure for another party may be current. As a result, it may be necessary to bring historic costs to current values (as discussed further below) in addition to the risk weighting described in paragraph 2.181. The relevant costs may be part of a larger cost pool that needs to be analysed and allocated to the contributions made to the profit split transaction. For example, marketing costs may be incurred and recorded across several product lines, whereas only one product line is the subject of the ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.181

A profit splitting factor based on expenses may be appropriate where it is possible to identify a strong correlation between relative expenses incurred and relative value contributed. For example, marketing expenses may be an appropriate factor for distributors-marketers if advertising generates unique and valuable marketing intangibles, e.g. in consumer goods where the value of marketing intangibles is affected by advertising. Research and development expenses may be suitable for manufacturers if they relate to the development of unique and valuable intangibles such as patents. However, if, for instance, each party contributes different valuable intangibles, then it is not appropriate to use a costbased factor unless cost is a reliable measure of the relative value of those intangibles or costs can be risk-weighted to achieve a reliable measure of relative value. Even where each party contributes the same kind of intangibles, risk-weighting will be an appropriate consideration ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.180

Where one or more of the parties to a transaction for which the transactional profit split method is found to be the most appropriate makes a contribution in the form of intangibles, difficult issues can arise in relation both to their identification and to their valuation. Guidance on the identification and valuation of intangibles is found at Chapter VI of these Guidelines. See also the examples in Annex I to Chapter VI “Examples to illustrate the guidance on intangibles.” ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.179

Asset-based or capital-based profit splitting factors can be used where there is a strong correlation between tangible assets or intangibles, or capital employed and creation of value in the context of the controlled transaction. In order for a profit splitting factor to be meaningful, it should be applied consistently to all the parties to the transaction. See paragraph 2.104 for a discussion of comparability issues in relation to asset valuation in the context of the transactional net margin method, which is also valid in the context of the transactional profit split method. Example 15 in Annex II to this chapter illustrates the principles of this section ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.178

Internal data are essential to assess the values of the respective contributions of the parties to the controlled transaction. The determination of such values should rely on a functional analysis that takes into account all the economically significant functions, assets and risks contributed by the parties to the controlled transaction. In those cases where the profit is split on the basis of an evaluation of the relative importance of the functions, assets and risks to the value added to the controlled transaction, such evaluation should be supported by reliable objective data in order to limit arbitrariness. Particular attention should be given to the identification of the relevant contributions of unique and valuable intangibles and the assumption of economically significant risks and the importance, relevance and measurement of the factors which gave rise to these ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.177

Internal data may also be helpful where the profit splitting factor is based on a cost accounting system, e.g. employee costs related to some aspects of the transaction, or time spent by a certain group of employees on certain tasks, etc ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.176

Similarly, where cost-based profit splitting factors are used that are based on data extracted from the taxpayers’ profit and loss accounts, it may be necessary to draw up transactional accounts that identify those expenses that are related to the controlled transaction at hand and those that should be excluded from the determination of the profit splitting factor. The type of expenditure that is taken into account (e.g. salaries, depreciation, etc.) as well as the criteria used to determine whether a given expense is related to the transaction at hand or is rather related to other transactions of the taxpayer (e.g. to other lines of products not subject to this profit split determination) should be applied consistently to all the parties to the transaction ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.175

For instance, where an asset-based profit splitting factor is used, it may be based on data extracted from the balance sheets of the parties to the transaction. It will often be the case that not all the assets of the taxpayers relate to the transaction at hand and that accordingly some analytical work is needed for the taxpayer to draw up a “transactional” balance sheet that will be used for the application of the transactional profit split method. In addition, certain assets, such as self-developed intangibles, may not be reflected on the balance sheet at all, and accordingly must be separately evaluated. In this regard, valuation techniques, such as those based on the discounted value of projected future income streams or cash flows derived from the exploitation of the intangible may be useful. See Section D.2.6.3 of Chapter VI of these guidelines. See also paragraph ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.174

Where comparable uncontrolled transactions of sufficient reliability are lacking to support the division of the relevant profits, consideration should be given to internal data, which may provide a reliable means of establishing or testing the arm’s length nature of the division of profits. The types of such internal data that are relevant will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case and should satisfy the conditions outlined in this section and in particular in paragraphs 2.147–2.148 and 2.166. They will frequently be extracted from the taxpayers’ cost accounting or financial accounting ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.173

In addition to the Local File, which should contain a detailed functional analysis of the taxpayer and its relevant associated enterprises, the MNE group’s Master File might be a useful source of information relevant to the determination of appropriate profit splitting factors. As is set out in Annex I to Chapter V, the Master File should include information on the important drivers of business profit, the principal contributions to value creation by entities within the group, and key group intangibles. However, it should be borne in mind that the Master File is intended only to provide a high-level overview of an MNE group, and not granular or detailed information as to all of the group’s transactions ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.172

Other profit splitting factors that could be appropriate in the circumstances of a given case include incremental sales, or employee compensation (relating to the individuals involved in the key functions that generate value to the transaction, for example in relation to the global trading of financial instruments). In other situations it is possible that headcount or time spent by a certain group of similarly skilled employees with similar responsibilities could be used if there is a strong and relatively consistent correlation between this and the creation of value represented by the relevant profits. The guidance in this section should not be considered as an exhaustive list of potential profit splitting factors. Other profit splitting factors may be acceptable provided they result in arm’s length outcomes for all relevant parties ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.171

Profit splitting factors based on assets or capital (e.g. operating assets, fixed assets (e.g. production assets, retail assets, IT assets), intangibles), or costs (e.g. relative spending and/or investment in key areas such as research and development, engineering, marketing) may be used where these capture the relative contributions of the parties to the profits being split and they can be measured reliably. Note that while costs may be a poor measure of the value of intangibles contributed (see paragraph 6.142), the relative costs incurred by parties may provide a reasonable proxy for the relative value of those contributions where such contributions are similar in nature (see paragraphs 8.27-8.28) ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.170

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the factor can be a figure (e.g. a 30%-70% split based on evidence of a similar split achieved between independent parties in comparable transactions), or a variable (e.g. relative value of participant’s marketing contributions or other possible factors as discussed below) which could be calculated on the basis of a single profit splitting factor or a weighting of multiple factors ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.169

As noted above, arm’s length parties can be assumed to split profits on the basis of their relative contributions to the creation of those profits. The division of the relevant profits under the transactional profit split method is generally achieved using one or more profit splitting factors. The functional analysis and an analysis of the context in which the transactions take place (e.g. the industry and environment) are essential to the process of determining the relevant factors to use in splitting profits, including determining the weighting of applicable profit splitting factors, in cases where more than one factor is used. The determination of appropriate profit splitting factor(s) should reflect the key contributions to value in relation to the transaction. Examples 15 and in Annex II to Chapter II of these Guidelines illustrate the principles of this section ... Continue to full case

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.168

However, it can be difficult to find reliable comparables data that can be used in this manner. Nevertheless, external market data can be relevant in the profit split analysis to assess the value of contributions that each associated enterprise makes to the transactions. In effect, the assumption is that independent parties would have split relevant profits in proportion to the value of their respective contributions to the generation of profit in the transaction. Thus, where there is no more direct evidence of how independent parties in comparable circumstances would have split the profit in comparable transactions, the allocation of profits may be based on the relative contributions of the parties, as measured by their functions, assets used and risks assumed ... Continue to full case