Tag: Article 9

Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention
ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISES
“1. Where
a) an enterprise of a Contracting State participates directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of the other Contracting State, or
b) the same persons participate directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of a Contracting State and an enterprise of the other Contracting State,
and in either case conditions are made or imposed between the two enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly.
2. Where a Contracting State includes in the profits of an enterprise of that State — and taxes accordingly — profits on which an enterprise of the other Contracting State has been charged to tax in that other State and the profits so included are profits which would have accrued to the enterprise of the first-mentioned State if the conditions made between the two enterprises had been those which would have been made between independent enterprises, then that other State shall make an appropriate adjustment to the amount of the tax charged therein on those profits. In determining such adjustment, due regard shall be had to the other provisions of this Convention and the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall if necessary consult each other.”

Poland vs A S.A., June 2021, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Gl 1649/20

Poland vs A S.A., June 2021, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Gl 1649/20

The business activity of A S.A. was wholesale of pharmaceutical products to external pharmacies, hospitals, wholesalers (including: to affiliated wholesalers). The tax authority had noted that the company’s name had been changed in FY 2013, and a loss in the amount of PLN […] had been reported in the company’s tax return. An audit revealed that the Company had transferred significant assets (real estate) to a related entity on non-arm’s length terms. The same real estate was then going forward made available to the company on a fee basis under lease and tenancy agreements. The tax authority issued an assessment where a “restructuring fee” in the amount of PLN […] was added to the taxable income, reflecting the amount which would have been achieved if the transaction had been agreed between independent parties. According to the company the tax authority was not entitled at all to examine the compliance of the terms of these transactions with the terms that would ... Continue to full case
Spain vs EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U., March 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 390:2021

Spain vs EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U., March 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 390:2021

The SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION is a multinational group of Japanese origin active in among others areas, production and sale of computer products. The group is present in Spain, EPSON IBÉRICA, but has its European HQ in the Netherlands, EPSON EUROPE BV. The main shareholder and sole director of EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U. was initially Mr. Jose Augusto. However, following a capital increase on 24 April 1986, EPSON IBÉRICA SAU became the subsidiary of the EPSON Group in Spain and Mr. Jose Augusto became a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Jose Augusto held positions in both EPSON IBERICA and the Dutch parent company EPSON EUROPA until he left on 31 August 2007. As part of his emoluments, EPSON IBERICA made contributions to a pension plan since 1999, totalling EUR 2,842,047.55, including an extraordinary contribution of EUR 2,200,000.00, which was agreed by its Board of Directors on 22 September 2004 and paid to the insurance company managing the pension plan on ... Continue to full case
UK vs Union Castle Ltd, April 2020, UK Court of Appeal, Case No A3/2018/3003 and 3004

UK vs Union Castle Ltd, April 2020, UK Court of Appeal, Case No A3/2018/3003 and 3004

Union Castle Ltd. claimed a tax deduction of £ 39 million related to losses on derivative contracts. After acquiring derivative contracts, Union Castle issued bonus A shares to it’s parent company, Caledonia, which carried a dividend equal to 95% of the cash-flows arising on the close-out of the contracts. Therefore Union Castle had written off 39 million of the value of the contracts in it’s accounts. The tax authorities disagreed that a tax loss had been suffered and issued an assessment disallowing the loss. The Tribunal found in favor of the tax authorities. Capital transactions are subject of the UK transfer pricing rules. Issuing of shares meets the requirements of “making or imposing conditions in commercial and financial relations” as required by Article 9 of the OECD Model Convention. OECD TPG apply to debt financing. Share transactions, which have an effect on income taxation, must be within the UK transfer pricing rules. The Cases was then brought before the Court ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.10

Although countries may have different views on the application of Article 9 to determine the balance of debt and equity funding of an entity within an MNE group, the purpose of this section is to provide guidance for countries that use the accurate delineation under Chapter I to determine whether a purported loan should be regarded as a loan for tax purposes (or should be regarded as some other kind of payment, in particular a contribution to equity capital) ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.5

Commentary to Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention notes at paragraph 3(b) that Article 9 is relevant “not only in determining whether the rate of interest provided for in a loan contract is an arm’s length rate, but also whether a prima facie loan can be regarded as a loan or should be regarded as some other kind of payment, in particular a contribution to equity capital.” ... Continue to full case
Germany vs "C A GmbH", February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 73/16

Germany vs “C A GmbH”, February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 73/16

C A GmbH managed an unsecured clearing account for a Belgian subsidiary. After financial difficulties in the Belgian subsidiary, C A GmbH waived their claim from the clearing account and booked this in their balance sheet as a loss. However, the tax office disallowed the loss according to § 1 Abs. 1 AStG. Up until now, the Bundesfinanzhof has assumed for cases that are subject to a double taxation agreement (DTA), that Art. 9 para. 1 OECD was limited to so-called price corrections, while the non-recognition of a loan claim or a partial depreciation was excluded (so-called Blocking effect). The Bundesfinanzhof overturned the previous judgment of the FG. According to the court it was not necessary to determine whether it was really a tax credit or a contribution of equity to the Belgian subsidiary. However, this could be left out, since the profit-reducing waiver by C A GmbH should be corrected in any case according to § 1 Abs. 1 AStG. A ... Continue to full case
UK vs Union Castle Ltd, October 2018, UK Upper Tribunal, Case No 0316 (TCC)

UK vs Union Castle Ltd, October 2018, UK Upper Tribunal, Case No 0316 (TCC)

Union Castle Ltd. claimed a tax deduction of £ 39 million related to losses on derivative contracts. After acquiring derivative contracts, Union Castle issued bonus A shares to it’s parent company, Caledonia, which carried a dividend equal to 95% of the cash-flows arising on the close-out of the contracts. Therefore Union Castle had written off 39 million of the value of the contracts in it’s accounts. The tax authorities disagreed that a tax loss had been suffered and issued an assessment disallowing the loss. The Tribunal found in favor of the tax authorities. Capital transactions are subject of the UK transfer pricing rules. Issuing of shares meets the requirements of “making or imposing conditions in commercial and financial relations” as required by Article 9 of the OECD Model Convention. OECD TPG apply to debt financing. Share transactions, which have an effect on income taxation, must be within the UK transfer pricing rules. Click here for translation Union_Castle_Mail_Steamship_Company_Ltd_and_HMRC ... Continue to full case
Spain vs EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U., Feb 2018, High Court, Case No 314/2016

Spain vs EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U., Feb 2018, High Court, Case No 314/2016

EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U. had deducted the full employee pension costs of a CEO that had worked both for the HQ in the Netherlands and the local Spanish Company. The tax authorities issued an assessment where 90% of the pension costs had been disallowed in regards to the taxable income in Spain. The disallowed percentage of the costs was based on the CEO’s salary allocation between Netherlands (90%) and Spain (10%), cf. the agreement entered between the parties. EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U. brought the assessment to the Courts. Judgement of the Court The High Court dismissed the appeal of EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U. and decided in favour of the tax authorities. Excerpt “…this Chamber shares and endorses the detailed reasoning of the TEAC starting from a fundamental fact, that if the contract of 25 June 2004, firmado between Mr. Humberto and Sek, by which the latter was appointed as Riji of Epson, Chairman of Epson Europe BV and President of Epson Ibérica, S.A.U. and of ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.2

The purpose of this Chapter VI is to provide guidance specially tailored to determining arm’s length conditions for transactions that involve the use or transfer of intangibles. Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention is concerned with the conditions of transactions between associated enterprises, not with assigning particular labels to such transactions. Consequently, the key consideration is whether a transaction conveys economic value from one associated enterprise to another, whether that benefit derives from tangible property, intangibles, services or other items or activities. An item or activity can convey economic value notwithstanding the fact that it may not be specifically addressed in Chapter VI. To the extent that an item or activity conveys economic value, it should be taken into account in the determination of arm’s length prices whether or not it constitutes an intangible within the meaning of paragraph 6.6 ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.1

Under Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, where the conditions made or imposed in the use or transfer of intangibles between two associated enterprises differ from those that would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits that would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.1

General guidance on comparability is found in Section D of Chapter I. By definition, a comparison implies examining two terms: the controlled transaction under review and the uncontrolled transactions that are regarded as potentially comparable. The search for comparables is only part of the comparability analysis. It should be neither confused with nor separated from the comparability analysis. The search for information on potentially comparable uncontrolled transactions and the process of identifying comparables is dependent upon prior analysis of the taxpayer’s controlled transaction and of the economically relevant characteristics or comparability factors (see Section D.1 of Chapter I). A methodical, consistent approach should provide some continuity or linkage in the whole analytical process, thereby maintaining a constant relationship amongst the various steps: from the preliminary analysis of the conditions of the controlled transaction, to the selection of the transfer pricing method, through to the identification of potential comparables and ultimately a conclusion about whether the controlled transactions being examined are ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.63

A transactional profit method examines the profits that arise from particular controlled transactions. The transactional profit methods for purposes of these Guidelines are the transactional profit split method and the transactional net margin method. Profit arising from a controlled transaction can be a relevant indicator of whether the transaction was affected by conditions that differ from those that would have been made by independent enterprises in otherwise comparable circumstances ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.62

This Part provides a discussion of transactional profit methods that may be used to approximate arm’s length conditions where such methods are the most appropriate to the circumstances of the case, see paragraphs 2.1 – 2.12. Transactional profit methods examine the profits that arise from particular transactions among associated enterprises. The only profit methods that satisfy the arm’s length principle are those that are consistent with Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and follow the requirement for a comparability analysis as described in these Guidelines. In particular, so-called “comparable profits methods” or “modified cost plus/resale price methods” are acceptable only to the extent that they are consistent with these Guidelines ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter II paragraph 2.6

Methods that are based on profits can be accepted only insofar as they are compatible with Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, especially with regard to comparability. This is achieved by applying the methods in a manner that approximates arm’s length pricing. The application of the arm’s length principle is generally based on a comparison of the price, margin or profits from particular controlled transactions with the price, margin or profits from comparable transactions between independent enterprises. In the case of a transactional profit split method, it is based on an approximation of the division of profits that independent enterprises would have expected to realise from engaging in the transaction(s) (see paragraph 2.114) ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.11

A practical difficulty in applying the arm’s length principle is that associated enterprises may engage in transactions that independent enterprises would not undertake. Such transactions may not necessarily be motivated by tax avoidance but may occur because in transacting business with each other, members of an MNE group face different commercial circumstances than would independent enterprises. Where independent enterprises seldom undertake transactions of the type entered into by associated enterprises, the arm’s length principle is difficult to apply because there is little or no direct evidence of what conditions would have been established by independent enterprises. The mere fact that a transaction may not be found between independent parties does not of itself mean that it is not arm’s length ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.10

The arm’s length principle is viewed by some as inherently flawed because the separate entity approach may not always account for the economies of scale and interrelation of diverse activities created by integrated businesses. There are, however, no widely accepted objective criteria for allocating between associated enterprises the economies of scale or benefits of integration resulting from group membership. The issue of possible alternatives to the arm’s length principle is discussed in Section C below ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.9

The arm’s length principle has also been found to work effectively in the vast majority of cases. For example, there are many cases involving the purchase and sale of commodities and the lending of money where an arm’s length price may readily be found in a comparable transaction undertaken by comparable independent enterprises under comparable circumstances. There are also many cases where a relevant comparison of transactions can be made at the level of financial indicators such as mark-up on costs, gross margin, or net profit indicators. Nevertheless, there are some significant cases in which the arm’s length principle is difficult and complicated to apply, for example, in MNE groups dealing in the integrated production of highly specialised goods, in unique intangibles, and/or in the provision of specialised services. Solutions exist to deal with such difficult cases, including the use of the transactional profit split method described in Chapter II, Part III of these Guidelines in those situations where it ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.8

There are several reasons why OECD member countries and other countries have adopted the arm’s length principle. A major reason is that the arm’s length principle provides broad parity of tax treatment for members of MNE groups and independent enterprises. Because the arm’s length principle puts associated and independent enterprises on a more equal footing for tax purposes, it avoids the creation of tax advantages or disadvantages that would otherwise distort the relative competitive positions of either type of entity. In so removing these tax considerations from economic decisions, the arm’s length principle promotes the growth of international trade and investment ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.7

It is important to put the issue of comparability into perspective in order to emphasise the need for an approach that is balanced in terms of, on the one hand, its reliability and, on the other, the burden it creates for taxpayers and tax administrations. Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention is the foundation for comparability analyses because it introduces the need for: A comparison between conditions (including prices, but not only prices) made or imposed between associated enterprises and those which would be made between independent enterprises, in order to determine whether a re-writing of the accounts for the purposes of calculating tax liabilities of associated enterprises is authorised under Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention (see paragraph 2 of the Commentary on Article 9); and A determination of the profits which would have accrued at arm’s length, in order to determine the quantum of any re-writing of accounts ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.6

The authoritative statement of the arm’s length principle is found in paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, which forms the basis of bilateral tax treaties involving OECD member countries and an increasing number of non-member countries. Article 9 provides: [Where] conditions are made or imposed between the two [associated] enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly. By seeking to adjust profits by reference to the conditions which would have obtained between independent enterprises in comparable transactions and comparable circumstances (i.e. in “comparable uncontrolled transactions”), the arm’s length principle follows the approach of treating the members of an MNE group as operating as separate entities rather than ... Continue to full case