Tag: Benefit test

For intra-group service to be attributable to a party they must provide a reasonable economic or commercial benefit to that party.
In most countries similar requirements are found in regulations for tax deductibility of costs in general. Costs must be related to the business – protect, sustain or enhance the taxable income – in order for them to be tax deductible.

§ 1.482-9(l)(3)(v) Passive association.

A controlled taxpayer generally will not be considered to obtain a benefit where that benefit results from the controlled taxpayer’s status as a member of a controlled group. A controlled taxpayer’s status as a member of a controlled group may, however, be taken into account for purposes of evaluating comparability between controlled and uncontrolled transactions ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(l)(3)(iv) Shareholder activities.

An activity is not considered to provide a benefit if the sole effect of that activity is either to protect the renderer’s capital investment in the recipient or in other members of the controlled group, or to facilitate compliance by the renderer with reporting, legal, or regulatory requirements applicable specifically to the renderer, or both. Activities in the nature of day-to-day management generally do not relate to protection of the renderer’s capital investment. Based on analysis of the facts and circumstances, activities in connection with a corporate reorganization may be considered to provide a benefit to one or more controlled taxpayers ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(l)(3)(iii) Duplicative activities.

If an activity performed by a controlled taxpayer duplicates an activity that is performed, or that reasonably may be anticipated to be performed, by another controlled taxpayer on or for its own account, the activity is generally not considered to provide a benefit to the recipient, unless the duplicative activity itself provides an additional benefit to the recipient ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(l)(3)(ii) Indirect or remote benefit.

An activity is not considered to provide a benefit to the recipient if, at the time the activity is performed, the present or reasonably anticipated benefit from that activity is so indirect or remote that the recipient would not be willing to pay, on either a fixed or contingent-payment basis, an uncontrolled party to perform a similar activity, and would not be willing to perform such activity for itself for this purpose. The determination whether the benefit from an activity is indirect or remote is based on the nature of the activity and the situation of the recipient, taking into consideration all facts and circumstances ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(l)(3)(i) In general.

An activity is considered to provide a benefit to the recipient if the activity directly results in a reasonably identifiable increment of economic or commercial value that enhances the recipient’s commercial position, or that may reasonably be anticipated to do so. An activity is generally considered to confer a benefit if, taking into account the facts and circumstances, an uncontrolled taxpayer in circumstances comparable to those of the recipient would be willing to pay an uncontrolled party to perform the same or similar activity on either a fixed or contingent-payment basis, or if the recipient otherwise would have performed for itself the same activity or a similar activity. A benefit may result to the owner of intangible property if the renderer engages in an activity that is reasonably anticipated to result in an increase in the value of that intangible property. Paragraphs (l)(3)(ii) through (v) of this section provide guidelines that indicate the presence or absence of a benefit for the activities in the ... Read more
India vs Sulzer Tech India Pvt Ltd, July 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Case No ITAT No 633-MUM-2021

India vs Sulzer Tech India Pvt Ltd, July 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Case No ITAT No 633-MUM-2021

Sulzer Tech India Pvt Ltd (the assessee) is in the business of providing design and engineering services. To that end Sulzer Management AG, an associated enterprise provided various IT and support services to Sulzer Tech India. The payment for these services had been determined based on a benchmark study where Sulzer Management AG was chosen as the tested party. The cost plus margin for the selected comparables ranged from 4.08% to 7.08%, with a median of 5.69%, and on that basis the payment to Sulzer Management of Rs. 2,52,49,650, which was equal to cost plus 5%, was considered to be at arm’s length. The tax authorities disagreed and held that Sulzer Tech India at arm’s length would not have paid any amount toward services which are not availed to it and have not benefited its business. Accordingly, an adjustment of additional income of Rs. 2,52,49,650, was issued. Judgement of the Income Tax Appellant Tribunal The Tribunal set aside the assessment ... Read more
France vs Rayonnages de France, February 2022, CAA of Douai, No 19DA01682

France vs Rayonnages de France, February 2022, CAA of Douai, No 19DA01682

Rayonnages de France paid royalties and management fees to a related Portuguese company. Following an audit for FY 2010 – 2012 the French tax authorities denied tax deductions for the payments by reference to the the arm’s length principle. The court of first instance decided in favor of the tax authorities and Rayonnages de France then filed an appeal with the CAA of Douai. Judgement of the CAA The Court of appeal upheld the decision of the court of first instance and decided in favor of the tax authorities. Excerpt “However, as the Minister points out, in order to be eligible for deduction, the management services invoiced by VJ Trans.Fer to SARL Rayonnages de France must necessarily cover tasks distinct from those relating to the day-to-day management of the latter company, which were the responsibility of Mr B. as statutory manager of SARL Rayonnages de France, it being for the latter to determine, where appropriate, the remuneration to be paid ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.146

It is expected that all cash pool participants will be better off than in the absence of the cash pool arrangement. Under prevailing facts and circumstances that could imply, for instance, that all cash pool participants would benefit from enhanced interest rates applicable to debit and credit position within the cash pooling arrangement compared to the rates that they would expect to obtain from borrowing or depositing cash outside of the pool. However, it is important to note that cash pool members might be willing to participate in cash pool arrangements to access benefits from the membership of the cash pool other than an enhanced interest rate like, for instance, access to a permanent source of financing; reduced exposure to external banks; or access to liquidity that may not be available otherwise ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.145

Determining the arm’s length interest rates for the cash pool intra-group transactions may be a difficult exercise due to the lack of comparable arrangements between unrelated parties. In this context, banking arrangements involving the cash pool leader, taking into account functional differences between the bank and the cash pool leader, and the options realistically available to the cash pool members may inform the identification of comparable interest rates in the transfer pricing analysis ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.144

Eventually, the remuneration of the cash pool members will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances and the functions, assets and risks of each of the pool members. Therefore, this guidance does not intend to provide a prescriptive approach for allocating the cash pooling benefits to the participating cash pool members in any given situation but rather lays down the principles that should guide that allocation ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.143

The remuneration of the cash pool members will be calculated through the determination of the arm’s length interest rates applicable to the debit and credit positions within the pool. This determination will allocate the synergy benefits arising from the cash pool arrangement amongst the pool members and it will generally be done once the remuneration of the cash pool leader has been calculated ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.55

While low value-adding intra-group services may provide benefits to all recipients of those services, questions may arise about the extent of the benefits and whether independent parties would have been willing to pay for the service or perform it themselves. Where the MNE group has followed the guidance of the simplified approach the documentation and reporting discussed in Section D.3 below, it should provide sufficient evidence that the benefits test is met given the nature of low value-adding intra-group services. In evaluating the benefits test, tax administrations should consider benefits only by categories of services and not on a specific charge basis. Thus, the taxpayer need only demonstrate that assistance was provided with, for example, payroll processing, rather than being required to specify individual acts undertaken that give rise to the costs charged. Provided such information outlined in paragraph 7.64 is made available to the tax administration, a single annual invoice describing a category of services should suffice to support ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.54

As discussed in paragraph 7.6, under the arm’s length principle an obligation to pay for an intra-group service arises only where the benefits test is satisfied, i.e. the activity must provide the group member expected to pay for the service with economic or commercial value to enhance or maintain its commercial position, which in turn is determined by evaluating whether an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances would have been willing to pay for the activity if performed for it by an independent enterprise or would have performed the activity in-house for itself. However, because of the nature of the low value-adding intra-group services discussed in this section, such determinations may be difficult or may require greater effort than the amount of the charge warrants. Tax administrations should therefore generally refrain from reviewing or challenging the benefits test when the simplified approach has been applied under the conditions and circumstances discussed in this section and in particular in conformity with the ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.32

It may be necessary to perform a functional analysis of the various members of the group to establish the relationship between the relevant services and the members’ activities and performance. In addition, it may be necessary to consider not only the immediate impact of a service, but also its long-term effect, bearing in mind that some costs will never actually produce the benefits that were reasonably expected when they were incurred. For example, expenditure on preparations for a marketing operation might prima facie be too heavy to be borne by a member in the light of its current resources; the determination whether the charge in such a case is arm’s length should consider expected benefits from the operation and the possibility that the amount and timing of the charge in some arm’s length arrangements might depend on the results of the operation. The taxpayer should be prepared to demonstrate the reasonableness of its charges to associated enterprises in such cases ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.17

These services may be available on call and they may vary in amount and importance from year to year. It is unlikely that an independent enterprise would incur stand-by charges where the potential need for the service was remote, where the advantage of having services on-call was negligible, or where the on-call services could be obtained promptly and readily from other sources without the need for stand-by arrangements. Thus, the benefit conferred on a group company by the on-call arrangements should be considered, perhaps by looking at the extent to which the services have been used over a period of several years rather than solely for the year in which a charge is to be made, before determining that an intra-group service is being provided ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.11

In general, no intra-group service should be found for activities undertaken by one group member that merely duplicate a service that another group member is performing for itself, or that is being performed for such other group member by a third party. An exception may be where the duplication of services is only temporary, for example, where an MNE group is reorganising to centralise its management functions. Another exception would be where the duplication is undertaken to reduce the risk of a wrong business decision (e.g. by getting a second legal opinion on a subject). Any consideration of possible duplication of services needs to identify the nature of the services in detail, and the reason why the company appears to be duplicating costs contrary to efficient practices. The fact that a company performs, for example, marketing services in-house and also is charged for marketing services from a group company does not of itself determine duplication, since marketing is a broad ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.8

Some intra-group services are performed by one member of an MNE group to meet an identified need of one or more specific members of the group. In such a case, it is relatively straightforward to determine whether a service has been provided. Ordinarily an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances would have satisfied the identified need either by performing the activity in-house or by having the activity performed by a third party. Thus, in such a case, an intra-group service ordinarily would be found to exist. For example, an intra-group service would normally be found where an associated enterprise repairs equipment used in manufacturing by another member of the MNE group. It is essential, however, that reliable documentation is provided to the tax administrations to verify that the costs have been incurred by the service provider ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.7

The analysis described above quite clearly depends on the actual facts and circumstances, and it is not possible in the abstract to set forth categorically the activities that do or do not constitute the rendering of intra-group services. However, some guidance may be given to elucidate how the analysis would be applied for some common types of services undertaken in MNE groups ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.6

Under the arm’s length principle, the question whether an intra-group service has been rendered when an activity is performed for one or more group members by another group member should depend on whether the activity provides a respective group member with economic or commercial value to enhance or maintain its business position. This can be determined by considering whether an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances would have been willing to pay for the activity if performed for it by an independent enterprise or would have performed the activity in house for itself. If the activity is not one for which the independent enterprise would have been willing to pay or perform for itself, the activity ordinarily should not be considered as an intra-group service under the arm’s length principle ... Read more
Panama vs "Construction S.A.", December 2021, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT- RF-111 (112/2019)

Panama vs “Construction S.A.”, December 2021, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT- RF-111 (112/2019)

“Construction Service S.A.” is active in Design, Repair and Construction of buildings. During the FY 2011-2013 it paid for services – management services and construction services – rendered from related parties. Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment where payments for these services had been adjusted by reference to the arm’s length principle. According to the authorities the benchmark studies in the company’s transfer pricing documentation suffered from comparability defects and moreover it had not been sufficiently demonstrated that the services had been effectively provided. The tax authorities pointed out that since the company is not considered comparable to the taxpayer, the interquartile range would be from 5.15% to 8.30% with a median of 5.70%; therefore, the taxpayer’s operating margin of 4.07% is outside the interquartile range. Not satisfied with the adjustment “Construction Service S.A.” filed an appeal with the Tax Court Judgement of the Tax Court The court ruled in favour of “construction S.A” and revoked the ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Bulgaria vs Central Hydroelectric de Bulgari EOOD, July 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 8331

Bulgaria vs Central Hydroelectric de Bulgari EOOD, July 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 8331

By judgment of 19 January 2021, the Administrative Court upheld an assessment for FY 2012-2017 issued by the tax authorities on the determination of the arm’s length income resulting from related party transactions. The tax assessment resulted from disallowed deductions for Intra group services provided under a general administrative, legal and financial assistance contract of 22 October 2012 Costs invoiced for the preparation of consolidated accounts Expenses related to “Technical services” for which no explanations had been provided An appeal was filed by Central Hydroelectric de Bulgari EOOD with the Supreme Administrative Court in which the company stated that the decision of the Administrative Court was incorrect. Judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court The Supreme Administrative Court partially upheld the decision of the Administrative Court. Excerpts “The present Court of Cassation finds the judgment of the ACGC valid and admissible. The argument of the applicant that the same is inadmissible is unfounded in the part in which the RA was ... Read more
Romania vs A. Romania S.R.L., April 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 2644/2021

Romania vs A. Romania S.R.L., April 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 2644/2021

A. Romania S.R.L. had purchased services from A. Nederland BV and A. CZ Holding sro, and the costs of the services had been deducted for tax purposes. At issue was whether these services had actually been provided to the benefit of A. Romania S.R.L. and if so whether the costs were deductible under Romanian tax provisions. According to the tax authorities it was not possible to identify the services actually provided, as the documentation provided was only general data on the types of services invoiced, such as: group services, taxes and contributions, other group services. No supporting documents had been submitted to show that the services were actually provided. Furthermore, according to Romanian tax provisions – paragraph 41 of H.G. no. 44/2004 – the costs of administration, management, control, consultancy or similar functions are borne by the parent company and no remuneration can be claimed for these activities from the affiliated persons, thus the expenses are not deductible for tax ... Read more
Romania vs S.C. A., March 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 1955/2021

Romania vs S.C. A., March 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 1955/2021

S.C. A. had paid for intra group services in FY 2013 and 2014 and deducted the costs for tax purposes. The purchases of services were made on the basis of a management services contract concluded with related party C. S.A. and a production service contract, logistics service contract, product management service contract and service contract concluded with related party B. The tax authorities had issued an assessment where deductions for the costs had been denied. The court of first instance set aside the tax assessment. Judgement of Supreme Administrative Court The Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision from the court of first instance and decided in favor of S.C. A. Excerpts “As regards the necessity of providing the services The High Court finds that the expert held, with regard to that aspect, that by the contracts concluded, C. S.A. and B. undertook to carry out for the applicant multiple and complex activities requiring the allocation of a large amount of ... Read more
Bulgaria vs Montupet, January 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 630

Bulgaria vs Montupet, January 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 630

Montupet EOOD is a Bulgarian subsidiary in the French Montupet Group which specializes in the production of aluminum components for the automotive industry. In February 2016, the French Group became part of the Canadian LINAMAR Group, which specializes in the manufacture and assembly of components for the automotive industry. The French group and its production facilities (plants in France, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, Mexico and Spain) retained their core business as part of one of LINAMAR’s five main business areas – light metal casting. Effective 01.01.2017, Montupet SAS and Montupet EOOD entered into a Services Agreement, which canceled a previous agreement of 21.12.2009 in the part concerning the corporate and management services provided. Pursuant to the new agreement, Montupet SAS undertakes to provide Montupet EOOD with business advisory services in various areas such as business strategy and development advice; financial strategy advice; legal advice; human resources strategy advice; pricing advice and price negotiations with global customers; supply chain management assistance and ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Romania vs "Stone" A SRL, July 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 3217/2020

Romania vs “Stone” A SRL, July 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 3217/2020

“Stone” A SRL had bought stones/minerals from related parties and paid for certain services. Following an audit the tax authorities had issued an assessment, where the price paid for stones had been adjusted based on cost plus method and deductions for costs of services had been denied due to lack of benefit. The court of first instance upheld the assessment in regards of the profit adjustment related to purchase of stones, but set aside the assessment in regards of denied deductions for services. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court by both “Stone” A SRL and the tax authorities. Judgement of Supreme Court The Supreme Court found the appeal unfounded and upheld the decision of the court of first instance. Excerpt “The appellant claimed that the court of first instance misapplied the OECD Guidelines (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development transfer pricing guidelines) in adjusting/deducing the expenses by the amount of RON 24 703 representing the value of the ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.146

It is expected that all cash pool participants will be better off than in the absence of the cash pool arrangement. Under prevailing facts and circumstances that could imply, for instance, that all cash pool participants would benefit from enhanced interest rates applicable to debit and credit position within the cash pooling arrangement compared to the rates that they would expect to obtain from borrowing or depositing cash outside of the pool. However, it is important to note that cash pool members might be willing to participate in cash pool arrangements to access benefits from the membership of the cash pool other than an enhanced interest rate like, for instance, access to a permanent source of financing; reduced exposure to external banks; or access to liquidity that may not be available otherwise ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.145

Determining the arm’s length interest rates for the cash pool intra-group transactions may be a difficult exercise due to the lack of comparable arrangements between unrelated parties. In this context, banking arrangements involving the cash pool leader, taking into account functional differences between the bank and the cash pool leader, and the options realistically available to the cash pool members may inform the identification of comparable interest rates in the transfer pricing analysis ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.144

Eventually, the remuneration of the cash pool members will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances and the functions, assets and risks of each of the pool members. Therefore, this guidance does not intend to provide a prescriptive approach for allocating the cash pooling benefits to the participating cash pool members in any given situation but rather lays down the principles that should guide that allocation ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.143

The remuneration of the cash pool members will be calculated through the determination of the arm’s length interest rates applicable to the debit and credit positions within the pool. This determination will allocate the synergy benefits arising from the cash pool arrangement amongst the pool members and it will generally be done once the remuneration of the cash pool leader has been calculated ... Read more
France vs SAS Groupe Lagasse Europe, January 2020, CCA de VERSAILLES, Case No. 18VE00059 18VE02329

France vs SAS Groupe Lagasse Europe, January 2020, CCA de VERSAILLES, Case No. 18VE00059 18VE02329

A French subsidiary, SAS Groupe Lagasse Europe, of the Canadian Legasse Group had paid service fees to another Canadian group company, Gestion Portland Vimy. The French tax authorities held that the basis for the payments of service fees had not been established, and that there was no benefit to the French subsidiary. The payments constituted an indirect transfer of profits within the meaning of the ‘article 57 of the general tax code; Excerps from the judgement of the Court: “11. Under the terms of article 57 of the general tax code, applicable in matters of corporate tax under article 209 of the same code: “For the establishment of income tax due by the companies which are dependent or have control of companies located outside of France, the profits indirectly transferred to the latter, either by increasing or decreasing the purchase or sale prices, or by any other means, are incorporated into the results recognized by the accounts (…) “. These ... Read more
Spain vs ARW Enterprise Computin Solution SA, September 2019, Tribunal Superior de Justicia, Case No STSJ M 7038/2019 - ECLI: ES:TSJM:2019:7038

Spain vs ARW Enterprise Computin Solution SA, September 2019, Tribunal Superior de Justicia, Case No STSJ M 7038/2019 – ECLI: ES:TSJM:2019:7038

A Spanish subsidiary, ARW Enterprise Computin Solution SA, had deducted intra-group management fees paid according to two service contracts with two french group companies – Distrilogie SA and DCC France Holding SAS. For an expense to be deductible it is required not only that invoice, account, payments have been imputed correctly, but also that the expense have been held for obtaining income and to the direct benefit of the subsidiary. The Spanish tax authorities found, that these requirements had not been sufficiently proved by Computin Solution SA and issued a tax assessment. Click here for other translation Spain vs Computin STSJ_M_7038_2019 ... Read more
Brazil vs "CCA group", September 2019, COSIT, SC No. 276-2019

Brazil vs “CCA group”, September 2019, COSIT, SC No. 276-2019

In a public ruling, the General Tax Coordination Office in Brazil (COSIT) found that a transaction labled as a “cost sharing agreement” between a foreign group and its Brazilian subsidiary, was in fact a mere agreement for provision of services. COSIT pointed to the key characteristics of cost sharing agreements. These had been listed in a prior ruling from 2012: Segregation of costs and risks inherent in the development, production or acquisition of goods, services or rights; Consistent contribution by each entity with expected and effectively-received benefits by each entity; Identification of the benefit to each participant entity; Mandatory reimbursement of costs incurred with no mark-up; Advantages offered to all participating group entities; and Payments for support activities whether such activities were actually used. < COSIT also pointed to the guidance provided in the 2017 Transfer Pricing Guidelines, Chapter VIII. Click here for translation SC_Cosit_n_276-2019 ... Read more
Poland vs L S.A, June 2019, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. II FSK 1808/17 - Wyrok NSA

Poland vs L S.A, June 2019, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. II FSK 1808/17 – Wyrok NSA

A Polish subsidiary in a German Group had taken out a significant inter-company loan resulting in a significantly reduced income due to interest deductions. At issue was application of the Polish arm’s length provisions and the arm’s length nature of the interest rate on the loan. The tax authorities had issued an assessment where the interest rate on the loans had been adjusted and the taxable income increased. On that basis, a complaint was filed by the company to the Administrative Court. The administrative court rejected the complaint and ruled in favor of the tax authorities. An appeal was then brought before the Supreme Administrative Court. The Supreme Administrative Court rejected the appeal, although it did not share some of the conclusions and statements of the Court of first instance. The key issue in the case was to determine is whether the provisions of Art. 11 (Containing the Polish arm’s length provisions), allowing the authority to determine the income of ... Read more
Indonesia vs ARPTe Ltd, January 2019, Tax Court, Case No. PUT-108755.15/2013/PP/M.XVIIIA

Indonesia vs ARPTe Ltd, January 2019, Tax Court, Case No. PUT-108755.15/2013/PP/M.XVIIIA

ARPTe Ltd had paid a subsidiary for management services and use of intangibles. The benefit of those payments were challenged by the tax authorities and an assessment was issued where these deductions had been denied. An appeal was filed with the tax court Judgement of the Tax Court The Court set aside the assessment of the tax authorities and decided in favor of ARPTe Ltd. According to the Court ARPTe Ltd had been able to provide sufficient evidence that the management services and intangibles provided by the subsidiary had actually benefited the company. “ Click here for translation PUT-108755-15-2013 Jan 2019 ... Read more
India vs. L.G. Electronic India Pvt. Ltd., January 2019, TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL, Case No. ITA No. 6253/DEL/2012

India vs. L.G. Electronic India Pvt. Ltd., January 2019, TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL, Case No. ITA No. 6253/DEL/2012

LG Electronic India has incurred advertisement and AMP expenses aggregating to Rs.6,89,60,79,670/- for the purpose of its business. The tax authorities undertook benchmarking analysis of AMP expenses incurred by LG Electronic India applying bright line test by comparing ratio of AMP expenses to sale of LG Electronic India with that of the comparable companies and holding that any expenditure in excess of the bright line was for promotion of the brand/trade name owned by the AE, which needed to be suitably compensated by the AE. By applying bright line test, the tax authorities compared AMP expenditure incurred by LG Electronic India as percentage of total turnover at 8.01% with average AMP expenditure of 4.93% of comparable companies. Since AMP expenses incurred by LG Electronic India  as percentage of sales was more than similar percentage for comparable companies, LG Electronic India had incurred such AMP expenditure on brand promotion and development of marketing intangibles for the AE. The tax authorities also ... Read more
France vs Office Depot, December 2017, CE, Case No. 387975

France vs Office Depot, December 2017, CE, Case No. 387975

Re-invoicing to a Office Depot France, by the controlling US company Office Depot Inc, of a part of the cost of an audit service, as it related to the internal control procedures of the French company. Office Depot France was audited for the period from 28 December 2003 to 31 December 2005, after which the administration notified it of a VAT reminder and a withholding tax on the re-invoicing by the US company Office Depot Inc. of a portion of the cost of an audit service relating to its own internal control procedures. The cost was not necessary for the operation of Office Depot France and thus not deductible. The charge in question corresponded to an indirect transfer of profits abroad. Click here for translation France vs Office Depot_13_12_2017_387975_Inédit_au_recueil_Lebon ... Read more
Bulgaria vs "B-Production", August 2017, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 10185

Bulgaria vs “B-Production”, August 2017, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 10185

“B-Production” is a subsidiary in a US multinational group and engaged in production and sales. “B-Production” pays services fees and royalties to its US parent. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions for these costs had been reduced which in turn resulted in additional taxabel income. An appeal was filed by “B-Production” with the Administrative court which in a judgement of June 2015 was rejected. An appeal was then filed by “B-Production” with the Supreme Administrative Court. In the appeal “B-Production” contested the findings of the Administrative Court that there was a hidden distribution of profits by means of the payment of management fees and duplication (overlapping) of the services at issue under the management contract and the other two agreements between the B-Production and the parent company. B-Production further argued that the evidence in the case refutes the conclusions in the tax assessment and the contested decision that the services rendered did not confer an ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.55

While low value-adding intra-group services may provide benefits to all recipients of those services, questions may arise about the extent of the benefits and whether independent parties would have been willing to pay for the service or perform it themselves. Where the MNE group has followed the guidance of the simplified approach the documentation and reporting discussed in Section D.3 below, it should provide sufficient evidence that the benefits test is met given the nature of low value-adding intra-group services. In evaluating the benefits test, tax administrations should consider benefits only by categories of services and not on a specific charge basis. Thus, the taxpayer need only demonstrate that assistance was provided with, for example, payroll processing, rather than being required to specify individual acts undertaken that give rise to the costs charged. Provided such information outlined in paragraph 7.64 is made available to the tax administration, a single annual invoice describing a category of services should suffice to support ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.54

As discussed in paragraph 7.6, under the arm’s length principle an obligation to pay for an intra-group service arises only where the benefits test is satisfied, i.e. the activity must provide the group member expected to pay for the service with economic or commercial value to enhance or maintain its commercial position, which in turn is determined by evaluating whether an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances would have been willing to pay for the activity if performed for it by an independent enterprise or would have performed the activity in-house for itself. However, because of the nature of the low value-adding intra-group services discussed in this section, such determinations may be difficult or may require greater effort than the amount of the charge warrants. Tax administrations should therefore generally refrain from reviewing or challenging the benefits test when the simplified approach has been applied under the conditions and circumstances discussed in this section and in particular in conformity with the ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.32

It may be necessary to perform a functional analysis of the various members of the group to establish the relationship between the relevant services and the members’ activities and performance. In addition, it may be necessary to consider not only the immediate impact of a service, but also its long-term effect, bearing in mind that some costs will never actually produce the benefits that were reasonably expected when they were incurred. For example, expenditure on preparations for a marketing operation might prima facie be too heavy to be borne by a member in the light of its current resources; the determination whether the charge in such a case is arm’s length should consider expected benefits from the operation and the possibility that the amount and timing of the charge in some arm’s length arrangements might depend on the results of the operation. The taxpayer should be prepared to demonstrate the reasonableness of its charges to associated enterprises in such cases ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.17

These services may be available on call and they may vary in amount and importance from year to year. It is unlikely that an independent enterprise would incur stand-by charges where the potential need for the service was remote, where the advantage of having services on-call was negligible, or where the on-call services could be obtained promptly and readily from other sources without the need for stand-by arrangements. Thus, the benefit conferred on a group company by the on-call arrangements should be considered, perhaps by looking at the extent to which the services have been used over a period of several years rather than solely for the year in which a charge is to be made, before determining that an intra-group service is being provided ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.11

In general, no intra-group service should be found for activities undertaken by one group member that merely duplicate a service that another group member is performing for itself, or that is being performed for such other group member by a third party. An exception may be where the duplication of services is only temporary, for example, where an MNE group is reorganising to centralise its management functions. Another exception would be where the duplication is undertaken to reduce the risk of a wrong business decision (e.g. by getting a second legal opinion on a subject). Any consideration of possible duplication of services needs to identify the nature of the services in detail, and the reason why the company appears to be duplicating costs contrary to efficient practices. The fact that a company performs, for example, marketing services in-house and also is charged for marketing services from a group company does not of itself determine duplication, since marketing is a broad ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.8

Some intra-group services are performed by one member of an MNE group to meet an identified need of one or more specific members of the group. In such a case, it is relatively straightforward to determine whether a service has been provided. Ordinarily an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances would have satisfied the identified need either by performing the activity in-house or by having the activity performed by a third party. Thus, in such a case, an intra-group service ordinarily would be found to exist. For example, an intra-group service would normally be found where an associated enterprise repairs equipment used in manufacturing by another member of the MNE group. It is essential, however, that reliable documentation is provided to the tax administrations to verify that the costs have been incurred by the service provider ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.7

The analysis described above quite clearly depends on the actual facts and circumstances, and it is not possible in the abstract to set forth categorically the activities that do or do not constitute the rendering of intra-group services. However, some guidance may be given to elucidate how the analysis would be applied for some common types of services undertaken in MNE groups ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.6

Under the arm’s length principle, the question whether an intra-group service has been rendered when an activity is performed for one or more group members by another group member should depend on whether the activity provides a respective group member with economic or commercial value to enhance or maintain its business position. This can be determined by considering whether an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances would have been willing to pay for the activity if performed for it by an independent enterprise or would have performed the activity in house for itself. If the activity is not one for which the independent enterprise would have been willing to pay or perform for itself, the activity ordinarily should not be considered as an intra-group service under the arm’s length principle ... Read more
India vs Herbalife International India , April 2017, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Bangalore, IT(TP)A No.924/Bang/2012

India vs Herbalife International India , April 2017, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Bangalore, IT(TP)A No.924/Bang/2012

Herbalife International India is a subsidiary of HLI Inc., USA. It is engaged in the business of dealing in weight management, food and dietary supplements and personal care products. The return of income for the assessment year 2006-07 was filed declaring Nil income. The Indian company had paid royalties and management fees to its US parent and sought to justify the consideration paid to be at arm’s length. In the transfer pricing documentation the Transactional Net Margin Method (TNMM) had been selected as the most appropriate method for the purpose of bench marking the transactions. The case was selected for scrutiny by the tax authorities and following an audit, deductions for administrative services were denied and royalty payments were reduced. Disagreeing with the assessment Herbalife filed an appeal. Decision of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal The Tax Appellate Tribunal dismissed the appeal of Herbalife and upheld the tax assessment. Excerpts “The appellant had not filed any additional evidences to prove ... Read more
New Zealand vs Honk Land Trustee Limited, 10 March 2017, Court of Appeal

New Zealand vs Honk Land Trustee Limited, 10 March 2017, Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal upheld decisions of the High Court confirming the Commissioner of Inland Revenue’s disallowance of a $1,116,000 management fee for income tax purposes. The Court of Appeal dismissed Honk Land Trustees Limited’s (“HLT”) appeal on the following alternative grounds: (1) there was no satisfactory evidence to show that management services were in fact provided; (2) there was no sufficient nexus shown; and (3) in the event the management fees were deductible, they were nevertheless part of a void tax avoidance arrangement. Additionally, the Court of Appeal agreed that the Commissioner was entitled to impose abusive tax position shortfall penalties. NewZealand vs Honk-Land-Trustees-Limited-v-Commissioner-of-Inland-Revenue ... Read more