Tag: Accounting standards

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.35

Taxpayers do not always perform searches for comparables on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, e.g. in cases where there are insufficient data available at the domestic level and/or in order to reduce compliance costs where several entities of an MNE group have comparable functional analyses. Non-domestic comparables should not be automatically rejected just because they are not domestic. A determination of whether non-domestic comparables are reliable has to be made on a case-by-case basis and by reference to the extent to which they satisfy the five comparability factors. Whether or not one regional search for comparables can be reliably used for several subsidiaries of an MNE group operating in a given region of the world depends on the particular circumstances in which each of those subsidiaries operates. See paragraphs 1.132-1.133 on market differences and multi-jurisdictional analyses. Difficulties may also arise from differing accounting standards ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.27

Step 4 of the typical process described at paragraph 3.4 is a review of existing internal comparables, if any. Internal comparables may have a more direct and closer relationship to the transaction under review than external comparables. The financial analysis may be easier and more reliable as it will presumably rely on identical accounting standards and practices for the internal comparable and for the controlled transaction. In addition, access to information on internal comparables may be both more complete and less costly ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.155

Where the relevant profits to be split are comprised of profits of two or more associated enterprises, the relevant financial data of the parties to the transaction to which a transactional profit split is applied need to be put on a common basis as to accounting practice and currency, and then combined. Because accounting standards can have significant effects on the determination of the profits to be split, accounting standards should, in cases where the taxpayer chooses to use the transactional profit split method, be selected in advance of applying the method and applied consistently over the lifetime of the arrangement. Differences in accounting standards may affect the timing of revenue recognition as well as the treatment of expenses in arriving at profits. Material differences between the accounting standards used by the parties should be identified and aligned ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.97

One question that arises in cases where the net profit indicator is weighted against sales is how to account for rebates and discounts that may be granted to customers by the taxpayer or the comparables. Depending on the accounting standards, rebates and discounts may be treated as a reduction of sales revenue or as an expense. Similar difficulties can arise in relation to foreign exchange gains or losses. Where such items materially affect the comparison, the key is to compare like with like and follow the same accounting principles for the taxpayer and for the comparables ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.81

Another important aspect of comparability is measurement consistency. The net profit indicators must be measured consistently between the associated enterprise and the independent enterprise. In addition, there may be differences in the treatment across enterprises of operating expenses and non-operating expenses affecting the net profits such as depreciation and reserves or provisions that would need to be accounted for in order to achieve reliable comparability ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.56

The costs that may be considered in applying the cost plus method are limited to those of the supplier of goods or services. This limitation may raise a problem of how to allocate some costs between suppliers and purchasers. There is a possibility that some costs will be borne by the purchaser in order to diminish the supplier’s cost base on which the mark up will be calculated. In practice, this may be achieved by not allocating to the supplier an appropriate share of overheads and other costs borne by the purchaser (often the parent company) for the benefit of the supplier (often a subsidiary). The allocation should be undertaken based on an analysis of functions performed (taking into account assets used and risks assumed) by the respective parties as provided in Chapter I. A related problem is how overhead costs should be apportioned, whether by reference to turnover, number or cost of employees, or some other criterion. The issue ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.53

While precise accounting standards and terms may vary, in general the costs and expenses of an enterprise are understood to be divisible into three broad categories. First, there are the direct costs of producing a product or service, such as the cost of raw materials. Second, there are indirect costs of production, which although closely related to the production process may be common to several products or services (e.g. the costs of a repair department that services equipment used to produce different products). Finally, there are the operating expenses of the enterprise as a whole, such as supervisory, general, and administrative expenses ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.52

Another important aspect of comparability is accounting consistency. Where the accounting practices differ in the controlled transaction and the uncontrolled transaction, appropriate adjustments should be made to the data used to ensure that the same type of costs are used in each case to ensure consistency. The gross profit mark ups must be measured consistently between the associated enterprise and the independent enterprise. In addition, there may be differences across enterprises in the treatment of costs that affect gross profit mark ups that would need to be accounted for in order to achieve reliable comparability. In some cases it may be necessary to take into account certain operating expenses in order to achieve consistency and comparability; in these circumstances the cost plus method starts to approach a net rather than gross profit analysis. To the extent that the analysis takes into account operating expenses, its reliability may be adversely affected for the reasons set forth in paragraphs 2.70 – 2.73 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.41

Where the accounting practices differ from the controlled transaction to the uncontrolled transaction, appropriate adjustments should be made to the data used in calculating the resale price margin in order to ensure that the same types of costs are used in each case to arrive at the gross margin. For example, costs of R&D may be reflected in operating expenses or in costs of sales. The respective gross margins would not be comparable without appropriate adjustments ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.28

Difficulties also would arise in determining the sales of each member and in the valuation of assets (e.g. historic cost versus market value), especially in the valuation of intangibles. These difficulties would be compounded by the existence across taxing jurisdictions of different accounting standards and of multiple currencies. Accounting standards among all countries would have to be conformed in order to arrive at a meaningful measure of profit for the entire MNE group. Of course, some of these difficulties, for example the valuation of assets and intangibles, also exist under the arm’s length principle, although significant progress in respect of the latter has been made, whereas no credible solutions have been put forward under global formulary apportionment ... Read more
Portugal vs "Tobacco S.A", May 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 0507/17

Portugal vs “Tobacco S.A”, May 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 0507/17

“Tobacco S.A.” is the parent company of a group active in the tobacco industry. C. SA is a subsidiary of the group and operates as a toll manufacturer (Toller) on behalf of another subsidiary, B S.A. For the manufacturing services provided C S.A receives a “toll fee” from B S.A. According to the manufacturing service agreement the toll fee is calculated, based on Toller’s production costs plus and the capital invested by Toller in the production. Following an audit the tax authorities issued an additional assessment of corporate income tax and compensatory interest, relating to FY 2009, in the amount of EUR 1,395,039.79. The tax authorities considered that i) to correct the value of the production costs of the year 2009, in the amount corresponding to the deduction of the income with the “Write Off” of several credit balances of third parties over the company, since these deductions were not provided for in the contract; ii) to correct the value ... Read more

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 36

Second, it will be necessary to consider how exceptional, non-recurring operating costs arising as a result of COVID-19 should be allocated between associated parties.19 These costs should be allocated based on an assessment of how independent enterprises under comparable circumstances operate. Separately, as extraordinary costs may be recognised as either operating or non-operating items, comparability adjustments may be necessary to improve the reliability of a comparability analysis. It is important to keep in mind that the treatment in a transfer pricing analysis of “exceptional,” “non-recurring,” or “extraordinary” costs incurred as a result of the pandemic will not be dictated by the label applied to such costs, but by an accurate delineation of the transaction, an analysis of the risks assumed by the parties to the intercompany transaction, an understanding of how independent enterprises may reflect such costs in arm’s length prices, and ultimately how such costs may impact prices charged in transactions between the associated enterprises (see OECD TPG paragraph ... Read more
Panama vs "Petroleum Wholesale Corp", September 2020, Administrative Tribunal, Case No TAT-RF-062

Panama vs “Petroleum Wholesale Corp”, September 2020, Administrative Tribunal, Case No TAT-RF-062

“Petroleum Wholesale Corp” is engaged in the wholesale of petroleum products, accessories and rolling stock in general in Panama. Following a thorough audit carried out by the Tax Administration in Panama, where discrepancies and inconsistencies had been identified between the transfer pricing documentation and financial reports and other publicly available information, an assessment was issued for FY 2013 and 2014 resulting in additional taxes and surcharges of approximately $ 14 millions. Petroleum Wholesale Corp disagreed with the assessment and brought the case before the Administrative Tribunal. The Administrative Tribunal decided in favor of the tax authorities with a minor adjustment in the calculations for 2014. “…we consider that the Tax Administration adhered, in this case, to the powers conferred by law, and that there is no defenselessness, since it was verified that, in the course of the audit, several requests for information were made (as evidenced in the minutes of the proceedings in the background file), and then, in the ... Read more
France vs GE Healthcare Clinical Systems, June 2018, CE n° 409645

France vs GE Healthcare Clinical Systems, June 2018, CE n° 409645

In this case, the French tax authorities questioned the method implemented by GE Healthcare Clinical Systems to determine the purchase price of the equipment it was purchasing from other General Electric subsidiaries in the United States, Germany and Finland for distribution in France. The method used by the GE Group for determining the transfer prices was to apply a margin of 5% to all direct and indirect production costs borne by the foreign group suppliers. For the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 the tax authorities applied a TNM-method based on a study of twenty-six comparable companies. The operating results of GE Healthcare France was then determined by multiplying the median value of the ratio “operating result/turnover” from the benchmark study to the turnover in GE Healthcare Clinical Systems. The additional profit was declared and qualified as constituting an indirect transfer of profits to the related party suppliers in the General Electric Group. The GE Group disagreed and brought the case ... Read more

TPG2018 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 profit split transaction. Where location savings retained by member(s) of the MNE group are a ... Read more

TPG2018 Chapter II paragraph 2.155

Where the relevant profits to be split are comprised of profits of two or more associated enterprises, the relevant financial data of the parties to the transaction to which a transactional profit split is applied need to be put on a common basis as to accounting practice and currency, and then combined. Because accounting standards can have significant effects on the determination of the profits to be split, accounting standards should, in cases where the taxpayer chooses to use the transactional profit split method, be selected in advance of applying the method and applied consistently over the lifetime of the arrangement. Differences in accounting standards may affect the timing of revenue recognition as well as the treatment of expenses in arriving at profits. Material differences between the accounting standards used by the parties should be identified and aligned ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.35

Taxpayers do not always perform searches for comparables on a country-by-country basis, e.g. in cases where there are insufficient data available at the domestic level and/or in order to reduce compliance costs where several entities of an MNE group have comparable functional analyses. Non-domestic comparables should not be automatically rejected just because they are not domestic. A determination of whether non- domestic comparables are reliable has to be made on a case-by-case basis and by reference to the extent to which they satisfy the five comparability factors. Whether or not one regional search for comparables can be reliably used for several subsidiaries of an MNE group operating in a given region of the world depends on the particular circumstances in which each of those subsidiaries operates. See paragraphs 1.112-1.113 on market differences and multi-country analyses. Difficulties may also arise from differing accounting standards ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.97

One question that arises in cases where the net profit indicator is weighted against sales is how to account for rebates and discounts that may be granted to customers by the taxpayer or the comparables. Depending on the accounting standards, rebates and discounts may be treated as a reduction of sales revenue or as an expense. Similar difficulties can arise in relation to foreign exchange gains or losses. Where such items materially affect the comparison, the key is to compare like with like and follow the same accounting principles for the taxpayer and for the comparables ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.81

Another important aspect of comparability is measurement consistency. The net profit indicators must be measured consistently between the associated enterprise and the independent enterprise. In addition, there may be differences in the treatment across enterprises of operating expenses and non-operating expenses affecting the net profits such as depreciation and reserves or provisions that would need to be accounted for in order to achieve reliable comparability ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.56

The costs that may be considered in applying the cost plus method are limited to those of the supplier of goods or services. This limitation may raise a problem of how to allocate some costs between suppliers and purchasers. There is a possibility that some costs will be borne by the purchaser in order to diminish the supplier’s cost base on which the mark up will be calculated. In practice, this may be achieved by not allocating to the supplier an appropriate share of overheads and other costs borne by the purchaser (often the parent company) for the benefit of the supplier (often a subsidiary). The allocation should be undertaken based on an analysis of functions performed (taking into account assets used and risks assumed) by the respective parties as provided in Chapter I. A related problem is how overhead costs should be apportioned, whether by reference to turnover, number or cost of employees, or some other criterion. The issue ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.53

While precise accounting standards and terms may vary, in general the costs and expenses of an enterprise are understood to be divisible into three broad categories. First, there are the direct costs of producing a product or service, such as the cost of raw materials. Second, there are indirect costs of production, which although closely related to the production process may be common to several products or services (e.g. the costs of a repair department that services equipment used to produce different products). Finally, there are the operating expenses of the enterprise as a whole, such as supervisory, general, and administrative expenses ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.52

Another important aspect of comparability is accounting consistency. Where the accounting practices differ in the controlled transaction and the uncontrolled transaction, appropriate adjustments should be made to the data used to ensure that the same type of costs are used in each case to ensure consistency. The gross profit mark ups must be measured consistently between the associated enterprise and the independent enterprise. In addition, there may be differences across enterprises in the treatment of costs that affect gross profit mark ups that would need to be accounted for in order to achieve reliable comparability. In some cases it may be necessary to take into account certain operating expenses in order to achieve consistency and comparability; in these circumstances the cost plus method starts to approach a net rather than gross profit analysis. To the extent that the analysis takes into account operating expenses, its reliability may be adversely affected for the reasons set forth in paragraphs 2.70 – 2.73 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.41

Where the accounting practices differ from the controlled transaction to the uncontrolled transaction, appropriate adjustments should be made to the data used in calculating the resale price margin in order to ensure that the same types of costs are used in each case to arrive at the gross margin. For example, costs of R&D may be reflected in operating expenses or in costs of sales. The respective gross margins would not be comparable without appropriate adjustments ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.28

Difficulties also would arise in determining the sales of each member and in the valuation of assets (e.g. historic cost versus market value), especially in the valuation of intangibles. These difficulties would be compounded by the existence across taxing jurisdictions of different accounting standards and of multiple currencies. Accounting standards among all countries would have to be conformed in order to arrive at a meaningful measure of profit for the entire MNE group. Of course, some of these difficulties, for example the valuation of assets and intangibles, also exist under the arm’s length principle, although significant progress in respect of the latter has been made, whereas no credible solutions have been put forward under global formulary apportionment ... Read more