The Supreme Tax Court has held that a parent company cannot be deemed to have earned income from allowing its Polish subsidiary to register locally in the group name.
A German business was active in a field of patented technology associated with its own firm name, “B”. It allowed its Polish subsidiaries to register in that name, “B Sp.z.o.o.”, but made an appropriate charge for the use of the technology. It also did not authorise the Polish companies to use its logo, but left it up to them to design their own. The tax office maintained that the group name was a valuable intangible and demanded an income adjustment to reflect its use by foreign subsidiaries. However, the Supreme Tax Court has now confirmed its previous case law in holding that the mere use of the group name in the company registration of a subsidiary – including the right to trade under that name – does not give rise to a royalty entitlement of the parent. Such entitlement only arises in connection with other associated rights, such as the use of a logo or technology, in which case, the benefit from the use of intangibles should be seen as a package. However, this did not arise in the case at issue, as the rights to the logo had not been assigned and the rights to the technology had been charged for separately.
The prior ruling of the Local Tax Court is found in case No 4 k 1053 11 e.Germany-vs-Corp-January-2016-BUNDESFINANZHOF-I-R-22-14