Countries: Korea

Korea vs Microsoft, February 2022, Supreme Court, Case no. 2019두50946


In 2011 Samsung signed the contract with Microsoft for use of software-patent in Android-based smartphone and tablets, and for the years 2012-2015 Samsung paid royalties to a Microsoft subsidiary, MS Licensing GP, while saving 15 percent for withholding tax. The royalties paid by Samsung to Microsoft during these years amounted to 4.35 trillion won, of which 15%, or 653.7 billion won, was paid as withholding tax. In June 2016, Microsoft filed a claim for a […]

Korean tax authorities investigates Starbucks’ pricing of coffee beans


Starbucks Korea is now being investigated for overpricing goods and services imported from abroad. Officials from the National Tax Service have seized accounting records and data held at Starbucks’ Korean head office in Seoul. Subject of the investigation is transfer pricing of coffee beans and others products for sale at its more than 1,370 local shops. In 2019 Starbucks Korea reported sales of over 1.87 trillion won ($1.53 billion) and net profits of 132.8 billion […]

Korea vs “Lux corp”, 16 January 2020, Supreme Court Case no. 2016두35854


In this case the Korean Supreme Court held that Luxembourg SICAV and SICAF are entitled to reduced withholding tax rate on interest and dividend income under the Korea–Luxembourg Tax Treaty.   Meaning of “residents of Luxembourg,” which is subject to the “Convention between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes […]

Korea vs Company A, November 29, 2018, Supreme Court Case no. 2018Du38376

The issue in this case was the meaning of and standard for determining what constitutes “beneficial owner” as prescribed by Article 10(2)(a) of the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Hungarian People’s Republic for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. Whether a tax treaty may be deemed inapplicable in the event that treaty abuse is acknowledged […]

Korea vs CJ E&M Co., Ltd. , November 2018, Supreme Court Case no. 2017두33008


In 2011, a Korean company, CJ E&M Co., Ltd concluded a license agreement relating to the domestic distribution of Paramount films, etc. with Hungary-based entity Viacom International Hungary Kft (hereinafter “VIH”), which is affiliated with the global entertainment content group Viacom that owns the film producing company Paramount and music channel MTV. From around that time to December 2013, the Plaintiff paid VIH royalties amounting to roughly KRW 13.5 billion (hereinafter “pertinent royalty income”). CJ […]

Korea vs Korean Finance PE, February 2018, Supreme Court, Case No 2015Du2710


In cases where a domestic corporation that operates a financial business (including a domestic place of business of a foreign corporation) borrowed money from a foreign controlling shareholder and such borrowed amount exceeds six times the amount invested in shares or equity interests by the foreign controlling shareholder, a certain amount of the interest paid in relation to the exceeding amount shall be excluded from deductible expenses of the domestic corporation and subsequently deemed to […]

Korean vs Guarantee fees Corp, October 2015, Korean Court, Case No 2014구합65806


Up until 2015 it had been the practice of the Korean tax authorities to issue tax assessments to Korean parent companies for providing guarantees to foreign subsidiaries without receiving appropriate arm’s-length guarantee fees. To that end, the Korean tax authorities had developed a credit assessment model. In this case the court ruled on the appropriatenes of this model. The court decided that the model was inappropriate due to: (1) Availability of the data used (2) […]

Korea vs Photo Corp, September 2007, Korean Court, Case No 2006서1465


In this case a Korean subsidiary, Photo Corp, sold photo paper, film, and other imports from overseas related parties to local stores. The Korean Tax Authority had applied the transactional net margin method (TNMM) to derive the arm’s length price. Six comparable companies had been selected and a tax assessment was issued based on the difference between the operating profit margin of the comparable companies and Photo Corp. Photo Corp disagreed with the assessment and […]

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