Tag: Burden of proof (Onus)

Obligation to persuade a court or other entity of the validity of a factual assertion.

Malaysia vs Executive Offshore Shipping SDN BHD, December 2022, High Court, Case No WA-25-388-12/2021

Malaysia vs Executive Offshore Shipping SDN BHD, December 2022, High Court, Case No WA-25-388-12/2021

Executive Offshore Shipping SDN BHD is in the business of chartering offshore support vessels. It is related to another company, one Eagle High (L) Limited which is a ship-owning company registered in the special tax zone of Labuan where transfer pricing provisions were first introduced in 2020. Eagle High (L) Limited provided (i) charter hire of vessels and (ii) crew management services to Executive Offshore Shipping for the Years of Assessment – 2014 to 2016. In consideration for these services Executive Offshore Shipping paid a cost-plus mark-up rate of 35% as the charter hire and crew management fee. Following an audit the tax authorities asserted that Executive Offshore Shipping SDN BHD had underreported the its taxable income for FY 2014 to 2016. An assessment was issued where additional income of RM19,808,218.39 had been determined by reference to the arm’s length principle. The tax authorities rejected the benchmark study and transfer pricing methods applied by Executive Offshore Shipping. Executive Offshore Shipping ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. Eli Lilly ČR, s.r.o., December 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, No. 7 Afs 279/2021 - 65

Czech Republic vs. Eli Lilly ČR, s.r.o., December 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, No. 7 Afs 279/2021 – 65

Eli Lilly ČR imports pharmaceutical products purchased from Eli Lilly Export S.A. (Swiss sales and marketing hub) into the Czech Republic and Slovakia and distributes them to local distributors. The arrangement between the local company and Eli Lilly Export S.A. is based on a Service Contract in which Eli Lilly ČR is named as the service provider to Eli Lilly Export S.A. (the principal). Eli Lilly ČR was selling the products at a lower price than the price it purchased them for from Eli Lilly Export S.A. According to the company this was due to local price controls of pharmaceuticals. At the same time, Eli Lilly ČR was also paid for providing marketing services by the Swiss HQ, which ensured that Eli Lilly ČR was profitable, despite selling the products at a loss. Eli Lilly ČR reported the marketing services as a provision of services with the place of supply outside of the Czech Republic; therefore, the income from such ... Read more
Czech Republic vs HPI - CZ spol. s r.o., November 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 9 Afs 37/2022 - 37

Czech Republic vs HPI – CZ spol. s r.o., November 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 9 Afs 37/2022 – 37

HPI – CZ spol. s r.o. is a subsidiary in the Monier group which is active in the production, sales and services of roofing and insulation products. In June 2012 the Monier group replaced an existing cash pool arrangement with a new cash pool arrangement. The documents submitted show that on 1 April 2009 HPI concluded a cash pool agreement with Monier Group Services GmbH , which consisted in HPI sending the balance of its bank account once a week to the group’s cash pooling account – thus making those funds available to the other members of the group, who could use them to ‘cover’ the negative balances in their accounts. The companies that deposited funds into the cash pooling account received interest on these deposits at 1M PRIBOR + 3%; loans from the shared account bore interest at 1M PRIBOR + 3.75%. With effect from 1 June 2012, HPI concluded a new cash pooling agreement with a newly established ... Read more
Czech Republic vs HPI - CZ spol. s r.o., October 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 5 Afs 141/2021 - 37

Czech Republic vs HPI – CZ spol. s r.o., October 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 5 Afs 141/2021 – 37

HPI – CZ spol. s r.o. is a subsidiary in the Monier group. In June 2012 the group replaced an existing cash pool arrangement with a new cash pool arrangement. Following an audit of HPI the tax authorities issued an assessment of additional income for FY 2012 resulting from HPI’s participation in the new cash pool. According to the tax authorities the interest rates applied to HPI’s deposits in the new cash pool (1M PRIBOR + 0.17%) had not been at arm’s length. The tax authorities determined the arm’s length interest rates to be the same rates that had been applied in the previously cash pool arrangement (1M PRIBOR + 3%) from 1 January 2012 to 31 May 2012. HPI filed an appeal and in January 2019 the Regional court set aside the assessment issued by the tax authorities. The Regional Court held that the tax authority’s view, which determined the arm’s length interest rate by taking it to be ... Read more
Netherlands vs "Agri B.V.", September 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No AWB-16_5664 (ECLI:NL:RBNHO:2022:9062)

Netherlands vs “Agri B.V.”, September 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No AWB-16_5664 (ECLI:NL:RBNHO:2022:9062)

“Agri B.V.” is a Dutch subsidiary in an international group processing agricultural products. Following a restructuring in 2009 “Agri B.V.” had declared a profit of € 35 million, including € 2 million in exit profits. In an assessment issued by the tax authorities this amount had been adjusted to more than € 350 million. Judgement of the Court of Appeal The Court of appeal decided predominantly in favour of the tax authorities. An expert was appointed to determine the value of what had been transferred, and based on the valuation report produced by the expert the court set the taxable profit for 2009/2010 to €117 million. Excerpt “The Functional Analysis of [company 9] submitted, the Asset Sale and Purchase Agreements, the Manufacturing Services Agreements and the Consulting services and assistance in conducting business activities agreements show that there was a transfer of more than just separate assets and liabilities. The factual and legal position of [company 2] and [company 1] ... Read more
India vs Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd, September 2022, High Court of Delhi, ITA 370/2022

India vs Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd, September 2022, High Court of Delhi, ITA 370/2022

The tax authorities had disallowed deductions for purported administrative services paid for by Akzo Nobel India to a group company in Singapore. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upheld the assessment in a Judgement issued in February 2022. An appeal was then filed by Akzo Nobel India with the High Court. Judgement of the High Court The High Court dismissed the Appeal of Akzo Nobel India and upheld the judgement of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. Excerpt “…this Court finds that all the three authorities below have given concurrent findings of fact that the Appellant had failed to furnish evidence to demonstrate that administrative services were actually rendered by the AE and the assessee had received such services. In fact, the ITAT has noted in the impugned order “….On a specific query made by the Bench to demonstrate the receipt of services from AE through cogent evidence, including, any communication with the AE, learned counsel for the assessee expressed his inability ... Read more
Poland vs "H. LVAS Sp. z oo", September 2022, Administrative Court, Case No I SA / Go 234/22

Poland vs “H. LVAS Sp. z oo”, September 2022, Administrative Court, Case No I SA / Go 234/22

“H. LVAS Sp. z oo” had deducted expenses related to intra-group services in its taxable income. The services had been provided by its German parent company, H. GmbH. The services (supervision and management support, coordination of projects, support in accounting, controlling, IT and personnel) had been classified by the group as low value-added services. Following a inspection, the tax authority issued an assessment where these deductions had been denied resulting in additional taxable income. An appeal was filed by H with the Administrative Court. Judgement of the Administrative Court The Court found that the assessment issued by the tax authorities was incorrect and remanded the case for further considerations. Excerpts “Inaccuracies or incompleteness of documentation, and in particular its absence, may result in the necessity to estimate income (cf. the judgments of the Supreme Administrative Court of 22 October 2014, II FSK 2494/12 and of 7 February 2018, II FSK 3644/15). The court notes that the company – as is ... Read more
France vs SA Tropicana Europe Hermes, August 2022, CAA of DOUAI, Case No. 20DA01106

France vs SA Tropicana Europe Hermes, August 2022, CAA of DOUAI, Case No. 20DA01106

SA Tropicana Europe Hermes is a French permanent establishment of SA Tropicana Europe, located in Belgium. The French PE carried out the business of bottling fruit juice-based drinks. In 2009, a new distribution contract was concluded with the Swiss company FLTCE, which was accompanied by a restructuring of its business. Before 1 July 2009, Tropicana was engaged in the manufacture of fresh fruit juices in cardboard packs and purchased fresh fruit juices which it pasteurised. As of 1 July 2009, its activity was reduced to that of a contract manufacturer on behalf of FLTCE, which became the owner of the technology and intellectual property rights as well as the stocks. The re-organisation led to a significant reduction in the company’s turnover and profits. Tropicana Europe was subject to two audits, at the end of which the tax authorities notified it of tax reassessments in respect of corporate income tax, withholding tax and business value added contribution (CVAE) for the years ... Read more
Portugal vs "L.... Engenharia e Construções, S.A.", June 2022, Tribunal Central Administrativo Sul, Case 1339/13.0BELRA

Portugal vs “L…. Engenharia e Construções, S.A.”, June 2022, Tribunal Central Administrativo Sul, Case 1339/13.0BELRA

At issue was an interest free loan granted by “L…. Engenharia e Construções, S.A.” to a related party. The loan had been granted before the parties became related following an acquisition in 2007. The tax authorities had issued an assessment where the interest had been determined to 1.4% based on the interest rate that would later apply to the loan according to the agreement. An appeal was filed by “L…. Engenharia e Construções, S.A.” with the Administrative Court, where the assessment was later set aside. An appeal was then filed by the tax authorities with the Administrative Court of Appeal. Judgement of the Court The Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the administrative court, dismissed the appeal of the tax authorities and annulled the assessment. Excerpt “In this regard, it cannot be ignored that the contract entered into by the Claimant with the company Construtora do L…. SGPS, SA, on 21 September 2004, is not a true shareholder ... Read more
Italy vs BASF Italia s.p.a., June 2022, Supreme Court, Cases No 19728/2022

Italy vs BASF Italia s.p.a., June 2022, Supreme Court, Cases No 19728/2022

The German BASF group is active in the chemical industry and has subsidiaries all over the world including Italy. In FY 2006 BASF Italia s.p.a. was served with two notices of assessment by the tax authorities. The tax assessments formulated three findings. 1. non-deductibility of the cancellation deficit – arising from the merger by incorporation of Basf Agro s.p.a. into Basf Italia s.p.a., resolved on 27 April 2004 – which the acquiring company had allocated to goodwill, the amortisation portions of which had been deducted in tenths and then, from 2005, in eighteenths. The Office had denied the deductibility on the ground that the company, in the declaration submitted electronically, had not expressly requested, as required by Article 6(4) of Legislative Decree No. 358 of 8 October 1997, the tax recognition of the greater value of goodwill recorded in the balance sheet to offset the loss from cancellation, as allowed by paragraphs 1 and 2 of the same provision. Moreover, ... Read more
India vs Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd, February 2022, ITAT Delhi, ITA No. 6007/Del/2014

India vs Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd, February 2022, ITAT Delhi, ITA No. 6007/Del/2014

Akzo Nobel India Pvt – a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel Coatings International BV – had paid for administrative services purportedly rendered form a group company in Singapore and had claimed a deduction of INR 19,465 250. The price paid for these services had been determined by the group on an aggregate basis using the transactional net margin method to establish that all controlled transactions in Akzo Nobel India had been at arm’s length. During the audit, the tax authority requested Akzo Nobel India to justify the arm’s length nature of the payment for these administrative services. To that end Akzo Nobel India submitted a copy of the agreement and the allocations keys used. Akzo Nobel India also submitted that the group company in Singapore had provided administrative support services like supply chain management support, marketing and commercial service support, commercial vehicle support, automotive after-market support, supporting R&D, human resource, finance management and general management support. However, according to the tax ... Read more
Italy vs SKECHERS USA ITALIA SRL, January 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 02908/2022

Italy vs SKECHERS USA ITALIA SRL, January 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 02908/2022

Skechers USA ITALIA SRL – a company operating in the sector of the marketing of footwear and accessories – challenged a notice of assessment, relating to FY 2004, by which, at the outcome of a tax audit, its business income was adjusted as a result of the ascertained inconsistency of the transfer prices relating to purchases of goods from the parent company (and sole shareholder) resident in Switzerland. The tax authorities had contested the uneconomic nature of the taxpayer company’s operations, given the losses recognised in various financial years, attributing the uneconomic nature to the artificial manipulation of the transfer prices of the purchases of goods and recalculating, consequently, the negative income component constituted by the aforesaid costs pursuant to Article 110, paragraph 7 of the TUIR, with the consequent non-deductibility of the same to the extent exceeding the normal value of the price of the goods in question. Skechers held that the losses did not derive from the costs ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter V paragraph 5.2

This chapter provides guidance for tax administrations to take into account in developing rules and/or procedures on documentation to be obtained from taxpayers in connection with a transfer pricing enquiry or risk assessment. It also provides guidance to assist taxpayers in identifying documentation that would be most helpful in showing that their transactions satisfy the arm’s length principle and hence in resolving transfer pricing issues and facilitating tax examinations ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.17

The Commentary on paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention makes clear that the State from which a corresponding adjustment is requested should comply with the request only if that State “considers that the figure of adjusted profits correctly reflects what the profits would have been if the transactions had been at arm’s length”. This means that in competent authority proceedings the State that has proposed the primary adjustment bears the burden of demonstrating to the other State that the adjustment “is justified both in principle and as regards the amount.” Both competent authorities are expected to take a cooperative approach in resolving mutual agreement cases ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.16

In practice, neither countries nor taxpayers should misuse the burden of proof in the manner described above. Because of the difficulties with transfer pricing analyses, it would be appropriate for both taxpayers and tax administrations to take special care and to use restraint in relying on the burden of proof in the course of the examination of a transfer pricing case. More particularly, as a matter of good practice, the burden of proof should not be misused by tax administrations or taxpayers as a justification for making groundless or unverifiable assertions about transfer pricing. A tax administration should be prepared to make a good faith showing that its determination of transfer pricing is consistent with the arm’s length principle even where the burden of proof is on the taxpayer, and taxpayers similarly should be prepared to make a good faith showing that their transfer pricing is consistent with the arm’s length principle regardless of where the burden of proof lies ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.15

Consider the same facts as in the example in the preceding paragraph. If the burden of proof is again guiding behaviour, a taxpayer in the first jurisdiction being a subsidiary of a taxpayer in the second jurisdiction (notwithstanding the burden of proof and these Guidelines), may be unable or unwilling to show that its transfer prices are arm’s length. The tax administration in the first jurisdiction after examination makes an adjustment in good faith based on the information available to it. The parent company in the second jurisdiction is not obliged to provide to its tax administration any information to show that the transfer pricing was arm’s length as the burden of proof rests with the tax administration. This will make it difficult for the two tax administrations to reach agreement in competent authority proceedings ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.14

When transfer pricing issues are present, the divergent rules on burden of proof among OECD member countries will present serious problems if the strict legal rights implied by those rules are used as a guide for appropriate behaviour. For example, consider the case where the controlled transaction under examination involves one jurisdiction in which the burden of proof is on the taxpayer and a second jurisdiction in which the burden of proof is on the tax administration. If the burden of proof is guiding behaviour, the tax administration in the first jurisdiction might make an unsubstantiated assertion about the transfer pricing, which the taxpayer might accept, and the tax administration in the second jurisdiction would have the burden of disproving the pricing. It could be that neither the taxpayer in the second jurisdiction nor the tax administration in the first jurisdiction would be making efforts to establish an acceptable arm’s length price. This type of behaviour would set the stage ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.13

In jurisdictions where the burden of proof is on the taxpayer, tax administrations are generally not at liberty to raise assessments against taxpayers which are not soundly based in law. A tax administration in an OECD member country that applies the arm’s length principle, for example, could not raise an assessment based on a taxable income calculated as a fixed percentage of turnover and simply ignore the arm’s length principle. In the context of litigation in countries where the burden of proof is on the taxpayer, the burden of proof is often seen as a shifting burden. Where the taxpayer presents to a court a reasonable argument and evidence to suggest that its transfer pricing was arm’s length, the burden of proof may legally or de facto shift to the tax administration to counter the taxpayer’s position and to present argument and evidence as to why the taxpayer’s transfer pricing was not arm’s length and why the assessment is correct ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.12

The implication for the behaviour of the tax administration and the taxpayer of the rules governing burden of proof should be taken into account. For example, where as a matter of domestic law the burden of proof is on the tax administration, the taxpayer may not have any legal obligation to prove the correctness of its transfer pricing unless the tax administration makes a prima facie showing that the pricing is inconsistent with the arm’s length principle. Even in such a case, of course, the tax administration might still reasonably oblige the taxpayer to produce its records that would enable the tax administration to undertake its examination. In some countries, taxpayers have a duty to cooperate with the tax administration imposed on them by law. In the event that a taxpayer fails to cooperate, the tax administration may be given the authority to estimate the taxpayer’s income and to assume relevant facts based on experience. In these cases, tax administrations ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.11

Like examination practices, the burden of proof rules for tax cases also differ among OECD member countries. In most jurisdictions, the tax administration bears the burden of proof both in its own internal dealings with the taxpayer (e.g. assessment and appeals) and in litigation. In some of these countries, the burden of proof can be reversed, allowing the tax administration to estimate taxable income, if the taxpayer is found not to have acted in good faith, for example, by not cooperating or complying with reasonable documentation requests or by filing false or misleading returns. In other countries, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer. In this respect, however, the conclusions of paragraphs 4.16 and 4.17 should be noted ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.5

This section describes three aspects of transfer pricing compliance that should receive special consideration to help tax jurisdictions administer their transfer pricing rules in a manner that is fair to taxpayers and other jurisdictions. While other tax law compliance practices are in common use in OECD member countries – for example, the use of litigation and evidentiary sanctions where information may be sought by a tax administration but is not provided – these three aspects will often impact on how tax administrations in other jurisdictions approach the mutual agreement procedure process and determine their administrative response to ensuring compliance with their own transfer pricing rules. The three aspects are: examination practices, the burden of proof, and penalty systems. The evaluation of these three aspects will necessarily differ depending on the characteristics of the tax system involved, and so it is not possible to describe a uniform set of principles or issues that will be relevant in all cases. Instead, this ... Read more
Italy vs BenQ Italy SRL, March 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Sez. 5 Num. 1374 Anno 2022

Italy vs BenQ Italy SRL, March 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Sez. 5 Num. 1374 Anno 2022

BenQ Italy SRL is part of a multinational group headed by the Taiwanese company BenQ Corporation that sells and markets technology products, consumer electronics, computing and communications devices. BenQ Italy’s immediate parent company was a Dutch company, BenQ Europe PV. Following an audit the tax authorities issued a notice of assessment for FY 2003 in which the taxpayer was accused of having procured goods from companies operating in countries with privileged taxation through the fictitious interposition of a Dutch company (BenQ Europe BV), the parent company of the taxpayer, whose intervention in the distribution chain was deemed uneconomic. On the basis of these assumptions, the tax authorities found that the recharge of costs made by the interposed company, were non-deductible. The tax authorities also considered that, through the interposition of BenQ BV, the prices charged by the taxpayer were aimed at transferring most of the taxable income to the manufacturing companies of the BenQ Group located in countries with privileged ... Read more
France vs BSA Finances, December 2021, Court of Appeal Versailles, Case No 20VE03249

France vs BSA Finances, December 2021, Court of Appeal Versailles, Case No 20VE03249

In 2009, 2010 and 2011 BSA Finances received a total of five loans granted by the Luxembourg company Nethuns, which belongs to the same group (the “Lactalis group”). Depending on the date on which the loans were granted, they carried interest rates of respectively 6.196%, 3.98% and 4.52%. Following an audit covering the FY 2009 to 2011, the tax authorities considered that BSA Finances did not justify that the interest rates thus charged should exceed the average effective rates charged by credit institutions for variable-rate loans to companies with an initial term of more than two years. Hence, the portion of interest exceeding these rates was considered non-deductible pursuant to the provisions of Article 212(I) of the General Tax Code. In 2017, the  Administrative Court ruled in favor of BSA Finances and discharged the additional corporate tax. But this decision was appealed by the authorities to the Administrative Court of Appeal which in  June 2019 overturned the decision of the ... Read more
Latvia vs SIA Severstal Distribution, December 2021, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No A420576312, SKA-314/2021

Latvia vs SIA Severstal Distribution, December 2021, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No A420576312, SKA-314/2021

The Revenue Service had audited Severstal Distribution for FY 2008-2009 and found that the company had purchased metal products from related companies at prices above market prices. An assessment was issued where reported losses for 2009 were reduced. During the audit, Severstal Distribution indicated to the tax authorities that it had used the transactional net margin method to determine the price of its controlled transactions. However, later the company also stated that it had used the CUP method (quated steel prices from the SBB database). Severstal Distribution Ltd filed an appeal with the Administrative Regional Court. In a decision of 2019 the appeal was dismissed and the assessment of additional income upheld. An appeal was then filed by Severstal Distribution Ltd with the Administrative Court of Appeal. The issue to be examined by the Administrative Court of Appeal was whether the Revenue Service correctly determined Severstal Distribution’s income subject to corporate income tax by applying the arm’s length provisions in ... Read more
Greece vs "CUP Ltd.", October 2021, Tax Court, Case No 3495/2021

Greece vs “CUP Ltd.”, October 2021, Tax Court, Case No 3495/2021

This case deals with the choice of transfer pricing method. Following an audit, an upwards adjustment of the taxable income was issued by the tax authorities. The adjustment was based on application of the cost plus method instead of the CUP method as had been chosen by the company. The company disagreed with the assessment and filed an appeal with the tax court. Judgement of the Tax Court The Tax Court allowed the appeal and set aside the assessment of the tax authorities due to lack of statement of reasons for choosing another transfer pricing method. Excerpt “Because the provisions of Article 17 §§§1,2 of the Code of Administrative Procedure (Law 2690/1999) entitled ‘Reasons’ set out the following: “1. The individual administrative act must contain a statement of reasons, which must include a statement of the existence of the legal requirements for its issuance. 2. The statement of reasons must be clear, specific, adequate and must be apparent from the ... Read more
Italy vs Pompea S.p.A., October 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 27636/2021

Italy vs Pompea S.p.A., October 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 27636/2021

This case deals with a non-interest bearing intragroup loan granted by Pompea S.p.A. to a foreign subsidiary and deductibility of interest expenses incurred by Pompea S.p.A. to obtain the funding needed to grant this loan to the subsidiary. The company was of the opinion that interest free inter-company loans were not covered by the Italien arm’s length provision at the time where the loan in question was established. The Italien tax authorities claimed that the arrangement was covered by the transfer pricing regulations art. 110 paragraph 7, and that an arm’s length interest had to be paid on the loan. They also found that interest on the bank loan was not deductible. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Court found that non-interest-bearing loan, was covered by the rules laid down in Article 110(7) of the TUIR (the Italien arm’s length provisions). Furthermore, the court found that the OECD 2010 TP Guidelines were unambiguous in clarifying (Chapter VII of the 2010 Guidelines, paras. 7.14 ... Read more
Greece vs Cypriot company Ltd., September 2021, Tax Court, Case No 2940/2021

Greece vs Cypriot company Ltd., September 2021, Tax Court, Case No 2940/2021

This case deals with arm’s length pricing of various inter-company loans which had been granted – free of interest – by Cypriot company Ltd. to an affiliate group company. Following an audit of Cypriot company Ltd, an upwards adjustment of the taxable income was issued. The adjustment was based on a comparison of the terms of the controlled transaction and the terms prevailing in transactions between independent parties. The lack of interest on the funds provided (deposit of a remittance minus acceptance of a remittance) was not considered in accordance with the arm’s length principle. Cypriot company Ltd disagreed with the assessment and filed an appeal with the tax court. Judgement of the Tax Court The Tax Court dismissed the appeal of Cypriot company Ltd. in regards of the arm’s length pricing of the loans. Excerpt “It is evident from the above that the bond loan taken is related to the outstanding balance of the debt as at 31/12/2014 and ... Read more
El Salvador vs Corp, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 096-2021

El Salvador vs Corp, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 096-2021

Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment regarding interest payments on intra group loans and tax deductions for the costs for various services. An appeal was filed by the company. Judgement of the Tax Court The court upheld the assessment and decided in favour of the tax authorities. Click here for English translation TAIIA-R1704012TM ... Read more
Kenya vs PE of Man Diesel, August 2021, High Court of Kenya, Income Tax Appeal No. E125 OF 2020

Kenya vs PE of Man Diesel, August 2021, High Court of Kenya, Income Tax Appeal No. E125 OF 2020

A Permanent Establishment (PE) in Kenya of MAN Diesel and Turbo SE Germany (MAN) entered into a consortium with a firm called MPG Services to engineer, procure and construct an 87 MW generating capacity thermal power plant on behalf of Thika Power Ltd. The role of MAN’s Kenyan PE in the project was mobilization, engineering and design, reservation of the diesel sets, and steam turbine and other start-up costs associated with its part of the works which included supervision of the assembly and installation of engines and commissioning the engines. MAN Germany was to provide for the materials up to the port of export and the PE was to assist in the onshore part which included supervision of the assembly and installation work as well as commissioning the work but did not include supply of equipment. In 2015, the tax authorities initiated an audit which resulted in a final tax assessment issued in 2017. According to the assessment MAN’s Kenyan ... Read more
Italy vs INTERVET PRODUCTIONS SRL, January 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Case No 22539/2021

Italy vs INTERVET PRODUCTIONS SRL, January 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Case No 22539/2021

Intervet Productions SRL, a company resident in Italy, manufactures veterinary medicines and supplements. The Italian tax authorities issued a notice of assessment, relating to the 2004 tax year. In that notice, the tax authorities ascertained the inconsistency of the transfer prices concerning the sale of certain goods to a related party in Germany. For the determination of the transfer prices, the taxpayer had used two methods: the resale price method, for products subject to mere marketing, and the cost-plus method, for products subject to further processing by Intervet. The tax authorities had used the CUP method for the purpose of the adjustment. Intervet appealed against the assessment, contesting the comparability of the products compared by the tax authorities but lost in the proceedings on the merits An appeal was then filed with the Supreme Administrative Court. Judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court The Court set aside the assessment. The Court stated that the tax authorities has to prove that the ... Read more
Colombia vs SONY Music Entertainment Colombia S.A., July 2021, The Administrative Court, Case No. 20641

Colombia vs SONY Music Entertainment Colombia S.A., July 2021, The Administrative Court, Case No. 20641

SONY Music Entertainment Colombia S.A. had filed transfer pricing information and documentation, on the basis of which the Colombian tax authorities concluded that payments for administrative services provided by a related party in the US had not been at arm’s length. SONY Colombia then filed new transfer pricing information and documentation covering the same years, but where the tested party had been changed to the US company. Under this new approach, the remuneration of the US service provider was determined to be within the arm’s length range. The tax authorities upheld the assessment issued based on the original documentation. A complaint was filed by SONY and later an appeal. Judgement of the Administrative Court The court allowed the appeal and issued a decision in favor of SONY. Excerpts “The legal problem is to determine, for the tax return of the taxable period 2007 of the plaintiff: (i) Whether it is appropriate to take into account the correction of the transfer ... Read more
Ukrain vs PJSP Gals-K, July 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 620/1767/19

Ukrain vs PJSP Gals-K, July 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 620/1767/19

Ukrainian company “PJSP Gals-K” had been involved in various controlled transactions – complex technological drilling services; sale of crude oil; transfer of fixed assets etc. The tax authority found, that prices had not been determined in accordance with the arm’s length principle and issued a tax assessment. Gals-K disagreed and filed a complaint. The Administrative Court dismissed the tax assessment and this decision was later upheld by the Administrative Court of Appeal. Judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court The Supreme Court set aside the decisions of the Court of Appeal and remanded the case to the court of first instance for a new hearing. The court considered that breaches of procedural and substantive law by both the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance have been committed, and the case should therefore be referred to the Court of First Instance for a new hearing. Excerpts “Thus, in order to properly resolve the dispute in this part, the courts ... Read more
Malaysia vs Ensco Gerudi Malaysia SDN. BHD., July 2021, Juridical Review, High Court, Case No. WA-25-233-08-2020

Malaysia vs Ensco Gerudi Malaysia SDN. BHD., July 2021, Juridical Review, High Court, Case No. WA-25-233-08-2020

Ensco Gerudi provided offshore drilling services to the petroleum industry in Malaysia, including leasing drilling rigs, to oil and gas operators in Malaysia. In order to provide these services, the Ensco entered into a Master Charter Agreement dated 21.9.2006 (amended on 17.8.2011) (“Master Charter Agreement”) with Ensco Labuan Limited (“ELL”), a third-party contractor, to lease drilling rigs from ELL. Ensco then rents out the drilling rigs to its own customers. As part of the Master Charter Agreement, Ensco agreed to pay ELL a percentage of the applicable day rate that Ensco earns from its drilling contracts with its customers for the drilling rigs. By way of a letter dated 12.10.2018, the tax authorities initiated its audit for FY 2015 to 2017. The tax authorities issued its first audit findings letter on 23.10.2019 where it took the position that the pricing of the leasing transactions between the Applicant and ELL are not at arm’s length pursuant to s 140A of the ... Read more
Italy vs TMC Italia SpA, June 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 18436/2021

Italy vs TMC Italia SpA, June 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 18436/2021

TMC Italy SpA is a parent company which provides services and support to the commercial production activities of its affiliated companies based in foreign countries (Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Israel, Brazil, United Kingdom). The costs of providing these intra-group services had been allocated between the related parties based on the number and salary of employees in FY 2008 and 2009. The tax administration issued an assessment where the allocation was instead be based on turnover – due to data supporting better correlation. The Court of first instance held in favour of the tax authorities. This decision was appealed by TMC to the Supreme Court. Judgement of the Court The Court dismissed the appeal of TMC in its entirety and decided in favour of the tax authorities. Excerpts: “CTR considered legitimate and correct the use of the method of allocation of the profits of the transactions adopted by the Office, as provided for by the OECD Guidelines 2010, since the ... Read more
Peru vs. Perupetro, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 05562-1-2021

Peru vs. Perupetro, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 05562-1-2021

A foreign group had transferred funds to one of its branches, Perupetro, in Peru and claimed that the transfer was a capital contribution – and not a loan. Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment, where the funds transferred were considered a loan and withholding taxes on the interest payments had been lifted. An appeal was filed by Perupetro. Perupetro held that the transfers of funds made by its non-domiciled parent company in its favour in the financial year 2014 constitute assigned capital (capital contributions) and not loans as considered by the Administration. It pointed out that the tax authorities has not followed the procedure established by the Income Tax Law and the OECD Guidelines to delineate the operation observed, a situation that would have allowed it to note that it does not qualify as a loan. Perupetro further claimed that the tax authorities had not carried out a correct comparability analysis for the transaction subject to assessment, ... Read more
Italy vs Enoplastic SpA, June 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 15906/2021

Italy vs Enoplastic SpA, June 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 15906/2021

Enoplastic SpA is engaged in production of closures for vine, spirits, oil and vinegars. Following an audit an assessment was issued by the tax authorities regarding transfer pricing. An appeal was filed by Enoplastic and the Regional Court later set aside the assessment stating that the tax authorities had not proved the existence of a tax advantage nor that the pricing determined by Enoplastic had not been at arm’s length. An appeal was then filed by the tax authorities claiming that the burden of proof was on Enoplastic due to the principle of proximity of evidence and that transfer pricing adjustments was not premised on proof of an intention to obtain tax savings. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court upheld the decision to set aside the tax assessment. However, the basis on which the decision of Regional Court had been issued was incorrect. According to the Supreme Court transfer pricing adjustments should not be confused with tax fraud ... Read more
India vs Sabic India Pvt Ltd, June 2021, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Delhi, ITA No.454/Del/2021

India vs Sabic India Pvt Ltd, June 2021, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Delhi, ITA No.454/Del/2021

Sabic India Pvt Ltd was primarily engaged in providing marketing support services to facilitate the selling of fertilizers and chemicals in India on behalf of the Sabic Group holding company. The Indian company did not hold any title to inventories and all products sold were directly invoiced to the holding companies of the taxpayer. To determine the arm’s length remuneration for marketing support services Sabic India Pvt Ltd found that the TNMM was the most appropriate method The tax authorities disagreed and instead held that the CUP method was more appropriate. On that basis an assessment was issued. Judgement of the Tax Appellate Tribunal The Tribunal decided in favor of Sabic India Pvt Ltd and set aside the tax assessment. The Tribunal held that the TNMM cannot be discarded without any valid justification as the method was widely accepted by the Indian revenue since 2009. The Tribunal concluded that the tax authorities were not able to provide any justification for ... Read more
Italy vs GI Group S.p.A., May 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 13850/2021

Italy vs GI Group S.p.A., May 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 13850/2021

A non-interest-bearing loan had been granted by GI Group S.p.A., to a related company – Goldfinger Limited – in Hong Kong, in order to acquire a 56% shareholding in the Chinese company Ningbo Gi Human Resources Co. Limited. The Italien tax authorities had issued an assessment, where an interest rate on the loan had been determined and an amount equal to the interest calculated on that basis had been added to the taxable income of GI Group S.p.A. GI Group brought this assessment to the Regional Tax Commission where a decision was rendered setting aside the assessment. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court by the tax authorities. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme court upheld the appeal of the tax authorities and referred the case back to the Regional Tax Commission. According to the Supreme Court, the decision of the Tax Commission dit not comply with the principles of law concerning the subject matter of evidence and ... 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
Norway vs "Distributor A AS", March 2021, Tax Board, Case No 01-NS 131/2017

Norway vs “Distributor A AS”, March 2021, Tax Board, Case No 01-NS 131/2017

A fully fledged Norwegian distributor in the H group was restructured and converted into a Limited risk distributor. The tax authorities issued an assessment where the income of the Norwegian distributor was adjusted to the median in a benchmark study prepared by the tax authorities, based on the “Transactional Net Margin Method” (TNMM method). Decision of the Tax Board In a majority decision, the Tax Board determined that the case should be send back to the tax administration for further processing. Excerpt “…The majority agrees with the tax office that deficits over time may give reason to investigate whether the intra-group prices are set on market terms. However, the case is not sufficiently informed for the tribunal to take a final position on this. In order to determine whether the income has been reduced as a result of incorrect pricing of intra-group transactions and debits, it is necessary to analyze the agreed prices and contract terms. A comparability analysis will ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 - 118

Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 – 118

A tax assessment had been issued for FY 2013 resulting in additional taxes of to CZK 227,162,210. At first the tax administration disputed that the applicant had purchased 1 TB SSDs for the purpose of earning, maintaining and securing income. It therefore concluded that the Starcom Internatioal had not proved that the conditions for tax deductions were met. On appeal, the tax administrator changed its position and accepted that all the conditions for tax deductions were met, but now instead concluded that Starcom Internatioal was a connected party to its supplier AZ Group Czech s.r.o. It also concluded that the transfer prices had been set mainly for the purpose of reducing the tax base within the meaning of Section 23(7)(b)(5) of the ITA. It was thus for the tax authorities to prove that Starcom Internatioal and AZ Group Czech s.r.o. (‘AZ’) were ‘otherwise connected persons’ and that the prices agreed between them differed from those which would have been agreed ... Read more
Denmark vs. "H Borrower and Lender A/S", January 2021, Tax Tribunal, Case no SKM2021.33.LSR

Denmark vs. “H Borrower and Lender A/S”, January 2021, Tax Tribunal, Case no SKM2021.33.LSR

“H Borrower and Lender A/S”, a Danish subsidiary in the H Group, had placed deposits at and received loans from a group treasury company, H4, where the interest rate paid on the loans was substantially higher than the interest rate received on the deposits. Due to insufficient transfer pricing documentation, the tax authorities (SKAT) issued a discretionary assessment of taxable income where the interest rate on the loans had been adjusted based on the rate received on the deposits. Decision of the Tax Tribunal The National Tax Tribunal stated that the documentation was deficient to such an extent that it could be equated with a lack of documentation. The tax authorities had therefore been entitled to make a discretionary assessment. The National Tax Tribunal referred, among other things, to the fact that the company’s transfer pricing documentation lacked a basic functional analysis of the group treasury company with which the company had controlled transactions. “The National Tax Tribunal finds that ... Read more
Italy vs "Plastic Pipes s.p.a.", January 2021, Supreme Court, Case 230-2021

Italy vs “Plastic Pipes s.p.a.”, January 2021, Supreme Court, Case 230-2021

Plastic Pipes s.p.a. produces and sells flexible plastic pipes, via foreign subsidiaries, to which it supplies the product to be resold to foreign customers and it operates abroad, selling the product directly to customers, also in foreign countries where it has a subsidiary. The tax authorities had issued a notice of assessment for FY 2006 claiming that Plastic Pipes s.p.a. had incurred (and deducted) marketing costs in the interest of its subsidiaries, without recharging their share of the expenses. The Court of first instance set aside the assessment of the tax authorities. Judgement of the Supreme Court. The supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the tax authorities. Excerps “…the burden of proof on the tax authorities is limited to providing evidence of the existence of the intra-group transaction and of the agreement of a consideration lower than the normal market value; the taxpayer who intends to contest the tax claim must instead provide evidence that the agreed consideration, or the ... Read more
Netherlands vs X B.V., December 2020, Supreme Court (Preliminary ruling by the Advocate General), Case No 20/02096 ECLI:NL:PHR:2020:1198

Netherlands vs X B.V., December 2020, Supreme Court (Preliminary ruling by the Advocate General), Case No 20/02096 ECLI:NL:PHR:2020:1198

This case concerns a private equity takeover structure with apparently an intended international mismatch, i.e. a deduction/no inclusion of the remuneration on the provision of funds. The case was (primarily) decided by the Court of Appeal on the basis of non-business loan case law. The facts are as follows: A private equity fund [A] raised LP equity capital from (institutional) investors in its subfund [B] and then channelled it into two (sub)funds configured in the Cayman Islands, Fund [C] and [D] Fund. Participating in those two Funds were LPs in which the limited partners were the external equity investors and the general partners were Jersey-based [A] entities and/or executives. The equity raised in [A] was used for leveraged, debt-financed acquisitions of European targets to be sold at a capital gain after five to seven years, after optimising their EBITDA. One of these European targets was the Dutch [F] group. The equity used in its acquisition was provided not only by ... Read more
France vs Sté Paule Ka Holding, December 2020, Paris Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 18PA02715

France vs Sté Paule Ka Holding, December 2020, Paris Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 18PA02715

Sté Paule Ka Holding, was set up as part of a leveraged buy-out (LBO) operation to finance the acquisition of the Paule Ka group, and in 2011 it acquired the entire capital of the group a price of 42 million euros. The acquisition was financed by issuing convertible bonds carrying an interest rate of 8%. The French tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions for certain payments related to the acquisition and part of the interest payments on the bonds were disallowed. Decision from the Administrative court of appeal The Court found in favor of the company in regards to the payment related to the acquisition and in favor of the tax administration in regards to the partially disallowed deduction of interest payments. “It follows from the foregoing that the elements invoked by the administration do not provide proof that the expenditure of EUR 390,227 correctly entered in the accounts was not incurred in the interest of the company Paule Ka Holding. The ... Read more
France vs WB Ambassador, December 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 428522

France vs WB Ambassador, December 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 428522

WB Ambassador took out two loans with its Luxembourg parent company and another group company, each bearing an annual interest rate of 7%. Following an audit, the tax authorities considering that the company did not justify that the 7% interest rate of the above-mentioned intra-group loans corresponded to the rate it could have obtained from independent financial institutions or organisations under similar conditions and partially disallowed deductions of the interest incurred. Supreme Administrative Court The Supreme Administrative Court overturned the decision of the Administrative court of Appeal and ruled in favor of the WB Ambassador. It stated that the Lower Court had erred in law in ruling out the possibility that a company, in order to justify the rate it could have obtained from independent financial institutions for a loan granted under similar conditions, could rely, in order to assess that rate, on the yield of bond issues granted by undertakings in comparable economic conditions. Consequently, WB Ambassador was entitled, ... Read more
New German Administrative Ordinance on transfer pricing issues AO 2020, DOK 2020/1174240

New German Administrative Ordinance on transfer pricing issues AO 2020, DOK 2020/1174240

In december 2020 the Federal Ministry of Finance in German issued a new administrative ordinance related to various transfer pricing issues. Among the issues are enhanced requirement to cooperate and submit additional documentation related to controlled transactions, but most notable may be the conditions under which estimated tax assessments can be issued. Below is an unofficial translation of the document. Click here for the original document  2020-12-03-Verwaltungsgrundsaetze-2020-Unofficial-Eng-transnw (1) ... Read more
Denmark vs. ECCO A/S , October 2020, High Court, Case No SKM2020.397.VLR

Denmark vs. ECCO A/S , October 2020, High Court, Case No SKM2020.397.VLR

ECCO A/S is the parent company of a multinational group, whose main activity is the design, development, production and sale of shoes. The group was founded in 1963, and has since gone from being a small Danish shoe manufacturer to being a global player with about 20,000 employees and with sales and production subsidiaries in a large number of countries. ECCO purchased goods from both internal and external producers, and at issue was whether transactions with it’s foreign subsidiaries had been conducted at arm’s length terms. ECCO had prepared two sets of two transfer pricing documentation, both of which were available when the tax authorities issued its assessment. The transfer pricing documentation contained a review of the parent company’s pricing and terms in relation to both internal and external production companies, and a comparability analyzes. The High Court issued a decision in favor of the ECCO A/S. The Court found that the transfer pricing documentation was not deficient to such ... Read more
Panama vs X S.A., September 2020, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT-RF-065

Panama vs X S.A., September 2020, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT-RF-065

An assessment was issued where the tax administration denied the application treaty benefits, understanding that the dividends distributed by X S.A. a company with tax residence in Panama, to its shareholder NL Corp in the Netherlands did not qualify for the reduced rate provided for in the DTA because the latter was not the “beneficial owner” of the dividends. Judgement of the Tax Court The court upheld the assessment. “By virtue of the above, we consider that the possibility that the tax administration of the State in which the benefits of the Convention are requested, in this case Panama, also depends on the analysis of the body of evidence, and it is not apparent that the taxpayer has provided, in a timely manner, documentation related to the elements described above, therefore, we do not consider the request to be admissible, as it has not been duly supported by the taxpayer. By virtue of the foregoing considerations, and the fact that ... Read more
Canada vs AgraCity Ltd. and Saskatchewan Ltd. August 2020, Tax Court, 2020 TCC 91

Canada vs AgraCity Ltd. and Saskatchewan Ltd. August 2020, Tax Court, 2020 TCC 91

AgraCity Canada had entered into a Services Agreement with a group company, NewAgco Barbados, in connection with the sale by NewAgco Barbados directly to Canadian farmer-users of a glyphosate-based herbicide (“ClearOut”) a generic version of Bayer-Monsanto’s RoundUp. In reassessing the taxable income of AgraCity for 2007 and 2008 the Canada Revenue Agency relied upon the transfer pricing rules in paragraphs 247(2)(a) and (c) of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”) and re-allocated an amount equal to all of NewAgco Barbados’ profits from these sales activities to the income of AgraCity. According to the Canadian Revenue Agency the value created by the parties to the transactions did not align with what was credited to AgraCity and NewAgco Barbados. Hence, 100% of the net sales profits realized from the ClearOut sales by NewAgco Barbados to FNA members – according to the Revenue Agency – should have been AgraCity’s and none of those profits would have been NewAgco’s had they been dealing at ... Read more