Chile vs Monsanto Chile S.A, December 2018, Tax Court, Case N° RUC N° 14-9-0000002-3

« | »

Monsanto Chile – since 2018 a subsidiary of Bayer – is engaged in production of vegetable seeds and Row Crop seeds. The company uses its own local farmers and contractors, employs some 250 people and hires a maximum of 2,000 temporary workers in the summer months. It receives parental seed from global planners in the US and other countries and then multiplies these seeds in Chile on its own or third-party farms. The seeds are then harvested, processed and shipped to locations specified by global planners.

Following an audit of FY 2009-2010 an adjustment was issued related to the profitability obtained in the operations of the “Production” segment (sale of semi-finished products to related parties) and “Research and Development” carried out on behalf of related parties abroad. The adjustment was determined by the tax authorities using the a Net Margin method.

The tax authorities found that the income obtained under the production segment and in the research and development business line, did not provide a reasonable return to the local company, since in the production segment the operating margin over costs and expenses (ROTC) obtained by Monsanto Chile amounting to -5.87% was lower than the ROTC obtained by comparable companies which were in a range between 4.573% and 12.648%, with a median of 11.216%; and in the research and development segment the ROTC obtained by Monsanto Chile was -6.54%, whereas the arm’s length ROTC determined by the tax authorities was in a range between 7.93% and 12.48%, with a median of 10.21%.

An assessment was issued in 2013 where an adjustment of $2,422,378,384 had been determined in regards to the production segment, and an adjustment of $38,637,909 had been determined in regards to the Research and Development segment, in total resulting in additional taxes of $862,958,963.

Monsanto was of the opinion that the assessment was bared due to statues of limitations, and that the transfer pricing analysis conducted by the tax authorities in regards to both the production segment and the research and development segment was erroneous. Monsanto also held that the added fine was unfounded.

Decision of the Tax court

The decision of the Tax Court was largely in favour of the tax authorities.

That the claim filed in the main part of page 1 by Mr. Manuel Jiménez Pfingsthorn, RUT N°7.021.291-9, on behalf of MONSANTO CHILE S.A., is partially accepted, RUT N°83.693.800-3, against the Assessment N° 38, carried out on 28 August 2013, by the Large Taxpayers Directorate of the Internal Revenue Service, only insofar as the fine established in article 97 N°11 of the Tax Code is left without effect, as stated in recital 35°), being rejected for the rest.

III. That the Director of the Large Taxpayers’ Directorate of the Internal Revenue Service shall arrange for administrative compliance with the above decision, for which purpose he must carry out a tax re-calculation.

Following the decision of the tax court, an appeal has been filed by Monsanto Chile to the Court of Appeal where the appeal is still pending.

Click here for English translation


Related Guidelines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *