Tag: Benchmark study

Panama vs "Pharma Distributor S.A.", July 2021, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT-RF-066

Panama vs “Pharma Distributor S.A.”, July 2021, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT-RF-066

An adjustment for FY 2013 and 2014 had been issued to a pharmaceutical company in Panama “Pharma Distributor S.A” that resulted in an income adjustment of 19.5 million dollars, which in turn resulted in additional taxes of 2.4 million dollars. The resale price method had been used by Pharma Distributor S.A. to determine the market value of an asset acquired from a related entity that was sold to an independent entity. This method was rejected by the tax authorities based on the fact that the analysis presented by the taxpayer did not meet the requirements for application of the method. The tax authorities instead applied a TNMM. The tax authorities also rejected tax deductions for expenses purportedly paid for administrative services due to the absence of supporting documentation. Provisions of article 762-G “Administrative services received” in the Tax Code in Panama contemplates tax deductibility for such expenses exclusively when services have actually been rendered to the benefit of the recipient ... Continue to full case
Spain vs BIOMERIEUX ESPAÑA SA, February 2021, National Court, Case No 2021:416

Spain vs BIOMERIEUX ESPAÑA SA, February 2021, National Court, Case No 2021:416

BIOMERIEUX ESPAÑA SA is active in the business of clinical and biological analysis, production, distribution, training and technical assistance. Likewise, the provision of computer services and, in particular, the computer management of laboratories. Following an audit the tax authorities found that the controlled prices agreed for the acquisition of instruments and consumables between bioMérieux España and its related entities, bioMérieux SA and bioMérieux Inc, did not provided bioMérieux España with an arm’s length return on is controlled activities. A tax assessment was issued for FY 2008 on the basis af a thorough critical analysis of the benchmark study provided by the BIOMERIEUX, and detailed reasoning and analysis in regards to comparability and market developments. Judgement of the National Court The Audiencia Nacional dismissed the appeal of Biomerieux España SA and decided in favour of the tax authorities. Excerpts “As we already reasoned in our SAN (2nd) of 6 March 2019 (Rec. 353/2015 ), it is legitimate to resort to what ... Continue to full case
South Africa vs ABC (PTY) LTD, January 2021, Tax Court of Johannesburg, Case No IT 14305

South Africa vs ABC (PTY) LTD, January 2021, Tax Court of Johannesburg, Case No IT 14305

ABC Ltd is in the business of manufacturing, importing, and selling chemical products. It has a catalyst division that is focused on manufacturing and selling catalytic converters (catalysts). Catalysts are used in the abatement of harmful exhaust emissions from motor vehicles. To produce the catalysts, applicant requires, inter alia, some metals known as the Precious Group of Metals (PGMs). It purchases the PGMs from a Swiss entity (“the Swiss Entity”). The PGMs are liquified and mixed with other chemicals to create coating for substrates, all being part of the manufacturing process. Once the manufacturing is complete, the catalysts are sold to customers in South Africa known as the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). ABC Ltd and the Swiss Entity are connected parties as defined in section 1 of the ITA. Following an audit carried out in 2014 the revenue service issued an assessment for FY 2011 by an amount of R114 157 077. According to the revenue service the prices paid ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 40

In determining whether or not a “limited-risk” entity may incur losses, the risks assumed by an entity will be particularly important. This reflects the fact that at arm’s length, the allocation of risks between the parties to an arrangement affects how profits or losses resulting from the transaction are allocated.23 For example, where there is a significant decline in demand due to COVID-19, a “limited-risk” distributor (classified as such, for example, based on limited inventory ownership – such as through the use of “flash title” and drop-shipping – and therefore limited risk of inventory obsolescence) that assumes some marketplace risk (based on the accurate delineation of the transaction) may at arm’s length earn a loss associated with the playing out of this risk. The extent of the loss that may be earned at arm’s length will be determined by the conditions and the economically relevant characteristics of the accurately delineated transaction compared to those of comparable uncontrolled transactions, including application ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 39

In all circumstances it will be necessary to consider the specific facts and circumstances when determining whether a so-called “limited-risk” entity could incur losses at arm’s length. This is reflected in the OECD TPG which states that “simple or low risk functions in particular are not expected to generate losses for a long period of time”,22 and therefore holds open the possibility that simple or low risk functions may incur losses in the short-run. In particular, when examining the specific facts and circumstances, the analysis should be informed by the accurate delineation of the transaction and the performance of a robust comparability analysis. For example, where the losses incurred by third parties reflect a level of risks that is not comparable to the one assumed by the taxpayer in its controlled transaction then such a comparable should be excluded from the list of comparables (see paragraph 3.65 of the OECD TPG). 22  Paragraph 3.64 of Chapter III of the OECD ... Continue to full case

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 ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 33

In general, there is no overriding rule on the inclusion or exclusion of loss making comparables in the OECD TPG.15 Accordingly, loss-making comparables that satisfy the comparability criteria in a particular case should not be rejected on the sole basis that they suffer losses in periods affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.16 Consequently, when performing a comparability analysis for FY 2020, it may be appropriate to include loss-making comparables when the accurate delineation of the transaction indicates that those comparables are reliable (e.g. the comparables assume similar levels of risk and that have been similarly impacted by the pandemic). 15 Paragraph 3.64 of Chapter III of the OECD TPG. 16 Paragraph 3.65 of Chapter III of the OECD TPG ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 32

For example, assume that geographic comparability is deemed as the most relevant comparability factor given the nature of the effects of COVID-19 in a particular market. In these circumstances, in order to obtain reliable data from a particular market it may potentially be necessary to relax other comparability criteria, and then refine the sample ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 31

The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic conditions that often differ from those of previous years. In these circumstances, where a taxpayer rolls forward an existing set of comparables to cover FY2020, it may be necessary to review the suitability of these existing comparables and potentially in some cases, it may be useful to revise the set, based on updated search criteria ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 28

This aspect is also relevant in performing the comparability analysis. For instance, assume government intervention forces a taxpayer to close its distribution facilities for three months. In undertaking a benchmark analysis, care should be taken in verifying that comparable enterprises have faced similar restrictions or conditions. Otherwise, it might be necessary to adjust the period over which the comparison is performed (e.g. excluding the economic data corresponding to the three months where the taxpayer was unable to operate). Taxpayers and tax administrations should determine on a case-by-case basis the extent to which these adjustments are necessary in circumstances where the potential differences may not have a material impact on the comparability. In this respect, the guidance in paragraphs 3.50 to 3.52 of the OECD TPG is relevant ... Continue to full case

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 4

However, the unique and almost unprecedented economic conditions arising from and government responses to COVID-19 have led to practical challenges for the application of the arm’s length principle. For example, the pandemic may raise novel issues or exacerbate in complexity or magnitude the occurrence of certain transfer pricing issues (e.g. effect of government assistance or the availability of reliable comparable data). For taxpayers applying transfer pricing rules for the financial years impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and for tax administrations that will be evaluating this application, there is a need to address these practical questions. Based on the responses to the questionnaires submitted to members of the Inclusive Framework and businesses, and conscious of the need to provide practical and timely guidance, this note addresses four priority issues: (i) comparability analysis; (ii) allocation of losses and the allocation of COVID-19 specific costs; (iii) government assistance programmes; and (iv) Advance Pricing Arrangements (“APAs”). For ease of presentation, these issues have been ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
Poland vs Cans Corp Sp z.o.o., August 2020, Administrative Court, I SA/Sz 115/20

Poland vs Cans Corp Sp z.o.o., August 2020, Administrative Court, I SA/Sz 115/20

At issue in this case was the remuneration of a Polish manufacturing subsidiary in an international group dealing in the production and sale of metal packaging for food products, including beverage cans, food cans, household cans and metal lids for jars etc. The Polish tax authorities had issued an tax assessment for FY 2009 – 2012 based on a TNMM benchmark study where financial results of comparable independent manufactures operating in the packaging industry showed that the the Polish manufacturing site had underestimated revenues obtained from the sale of goods to related entities The Court of first instance held in favor of the tax authorities. The case was then brought before the Administrative Court of Appeal. In the Court’s view, the authorities did not subject the case to thorough verification in accordance with the legal standards on which the decision was based – including, in particular, the analysis of comparable transactions (CUP’s). In the Court’s opinion, the authorities have illegally ... Continue to full case
Nigeria vs Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited, February 2020, Tax Appeal Tribunal, Case No TAT/LZ/CIT/015/2017

Nigeria vs Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited, February 2020, Tax Appeal Tribunal, Case No TAT/LZ/CIT/015/2017

Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited is a private limited company which engages in the business of trading in imported plastics and petrochemicals. Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited had applied an internal CUP in determining the arm’s length price of its purchase of petrochemical products from its offshore related party, Vinmar Overseas Limited by comparing the controlled prices of products with the prices whereby the products were sold to third party customers. However, in 2014, Vinmar Overseas Limited did not sell to third party customers in Nigeria and there was no basis for applying the internal CUP. Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited instead applied the TNMM. In 2016, the Nigerian Tax Authorities reviewed the transfer pricing and disregarded the CUP analysis applied in the 2013 TP documentation, applied TNMM to both 2013 and 2014 transactions, and issued an assessment of ₦1.74 billion. Both parties disagreed on the applicable profit level indicator (PLI) to be adopted in applying the TNMM and the comparables selected in ... Continue to full case
Panama vs "AC S.A.", January 2020, Administrative Tribunal, Case No TAT-RF-002

Panama vs “AC S.A.”, January 2020, Administrative Tribunal, Case No TAT-RF-002

“AC S.A” is engaged in sale of ventilation, heating and cooling equipment in Panama. AC S.A pays royalties for use of IP owned by the parent company of the AC Group. Following a audit carried out by the Tax Administration in Panama it was concluded that the profits of AC S.A 2.04% was below the arm’s length range determined by application of a TNM-method. After removing non-comparables from the benchmark study provided by the company, the interquartile range had a lower quartile of 6.15% and a median of 8.41%. Hence an assessment of additional taxable income was issued for FY 2014, bringing the profits of AC S.A up to the median (8.41%) of the adjusted benchmark. AC Corp disagreed with the assessment and brought the case before the Administrative Tribunal. The Administrative Tribunal decided in favor of the tax authorities, but made adjustment to the benchmark resulting in a lower quartile of 3.16% and a median of 6.2%. The adjustment ... Continue to full case
Poland vs "Cans Corp", September 2019, Provincial Administrative Court i Szczecin, Case no SA/Sz155/19

Poland vs “Cans Corp”, September 2019, Provincial Administrative Court i Szczecin, Case no SA/Sz155/19

At issue in this case was the remuneration of a Polish manufacturing subsidiary in an international group dealing in the production and sale of metal packaging for food products, including beverage cans, food cans, household cans and metal closures. The tax authorities had issued an tax assessment for FY 2009 – 2012 based on a benchmark study. Decision of the Administrative Court The Court upheld the decision of the tax authorities concerning income for the tax year from 01/01/2012 to 31/12/2012. In 2012, the Polish manufacturing site operated by producing lids for jars. In the course of the audit proceedings against the Party regarding corporate income tax for 2012, the first instance authority determined – based on a comparative analysis of the financial results of similar independent manufactures operating in the packaging industry on the market in Central and Eastern Europe, that this market showed an upward trend and in none of the years 2009-2012 this industry recorded a downward ... Continue to full case
Zambia vs Nestlé Trading Ltd, March 2019, Tax Appeals Tribunal, Case No 2018/TAT/03/DT

Zambia vs Nestlé Trading Ltd, March 2019, Tax Appeals Tribunal, Case No 2018/TAT/03/DT

Nestlé Zambia had reported continuous losses for more than five years. Following an Transfer Pricing audit covering years 2010 – 2014, the tax administration  issued an assessment whereby profits were adjusted to ZMW 56,579,048 resulting in additional taxes of ZMW13,860,103 plus penalties and other levies. The assessment was based on Nestlé Zambia being characterised as a limited risk distributor instead of a full fledged dristributor. Nestlé  Zambia held that the tax administrations characterisation of the entity as a limited risk distributor was incorrect and that the assessment had not been performed in accordance with the arm’s length principle.  The Tribunal ruled in favor of Nestlé, except for it’s position on the characterisation of the entity as a limited risk distributor (ground four cf. the excerp below). “The summary of our findings is  that  there  was  basis  for  initiating  a  transfer pricing audit in this case because as has been stated in  Paragraph  1.129  of  the OECD Guidelines that, “When an associated enterprise ... Continue to full case
Spain vs Ikea, March 2019, Audiencia Nacional (TEAC), Case No SAN 1072/2019

Spain vs Ikea, March 2019, Audiencia Nacional (TEAC), Case No SAN 1072/2019

The tax administration had issued an adjustment to the taxable profit of IKEA’s subsidiary in Spain considering that taxable profit in years 2007, 2008, and 2009 had not been determined in accordance with the arm’s length principle. In 2007 taxable profits had been below the interquartile range and in 2008 and 2009 taxable profits had been within the interquartile range but below the median. In all years taxable profits had been adjusted to the median in the benchmark study. Judgement of the Court In regards to the adjustment mechanism – benchmark study, interquartile range, median – the Court provide the following reasoning “However, the OECD Guidelines in point 3.60 provide that “if the relevant terms of the controlled transaction (e.g. price or margin) are within the arm’s length range, no adjustment is necessary”. Conversely, under rule 3.61, if the relevant terms of the controlled transaction “(e.g., price or margin) are outside the arm’s length range determined by the tax administration, ... Continue to full case
Chile vs Monsanto Chile S.A, December 2018, Tax Court, Case N° RUC N° 14-9-0000002-3

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 ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. Zeraim Iberica SA, June 2018, Audiencia Nacional, Case No. ES:AN:2018:2856

Spain vs. Zeraim Iberica SA, June 2018, Audiencia Nacional, Case No. ES:AN:2018:2856

ZERAIM IBERICA SA, a Spanish subsidiary in the Swiss Syngenta Group (that produces seeds and agrochemicals), had first been issued a tax assessment relating to fiscal years 2006 and 2007 and later another assessment for FY 2008 and 2009 related to the arm’s length price of seeds acquired from Zeraim Gedera (Israel) and thus the profitability of the distribution activities in Spain. The company held that new evidence – an advance pricing agreement (APA) between France and Switzerland – demonstrated that the comparability analysis carried out by the Spanish tax authorities suffered from significant deficiencies and resulted in at totally irrational result, intending to allocate a net operating result or net margin of 32.79% in fiscal year 2008 and 30.81% in 2009 to ZERAIM IBERICA SA when the profitability of distribution companies in the sector had average net margins of 1.59%. The tax authorities on there side argued that the best method for pricing the transactions was the Resale Price ... Continue to full case