Tag: Business strategies

Business strategy is a comparability factor in setting transfer prices

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.20

In an ideal scenario, a comparability analysis would enable the identification of financial transactions between independent parties which match the tested transaction in all respects. With the many variables involved, it is more likely that potential comparables will differ from the tested transaction. Where differences exist between the tested transaction and any proposed comparable, it will be necessary to consider whether such differences will have a material impact on the price. If so, it may be possible, where appropriate, to make comparability adjustments to improve the reliability of a comparable. This is more likely to be achievable where the adjustment is based on a quantitative factor and there is good quality data easily available (e.g. on currency differences) than, for instance, in trying to compare loans to borrowers with qualitative differences or where data is not so readily available (e.g. borrowers with different business strategies) ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.38

In any case, the reliability of results is generally improved to the extent comparable borrowers pursue similar business strategies to the tested borrower involved in an intra-group transaction ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.37

For example, consider that Company A, a member of AB Group, advances funds with a term of 10 years to an associated enterprise, Company B, which will use the funding for short-term working capital purposes. This advance is the only loan in Company B’s balance sheet. AB Group’s policy and practices demonstrate that the MNE group uses a one-year revolving loan to manage short-term working capital. In this scenario, under the prevailing facts and circumstances, the accurate delineation of the actual transaction may conclude that an unrelated borrower under the same conditions of Company B would not enter into a 10-year loan agreement to manage its short-term working capital needs and the transaction would be accurately delineated as a one-year revolving loan rather than a 10-year loan. The consequences of this delineation would be that assuming the working capital requirements continue to exist, the pricing approach would be to price a series of refreshed one-year revolver loans ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.36

The analysis of the business strategies will also include consideration of the MNE group’s global financing policy, and the identification of existing relationships between the associated enterprises such as pre-existing loans and shareholder interests (see Annex I to Chapter V of these Guidelines about the information to be included in the master file) ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.35

For example, independent lenders may be prepared to lend on terms and conditions to an enterprise undertaking a merger or acquisition which might otherwise not be acceptable to the lender for the same business if it were in a steady state. In this kind of scenario, the lender may take a view over the term of the loan and consider the borrower’s business plans and forecasts, effectively acknowledging that there will be temporary changes in the financial metrics of the business for a period as it undergoes changes. Section D.1.5 of Chapter I gives other examples of business strategies that must be examined in accurately delineating the actual transaction and determining comparability ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.34

Business strategies must also be examined in accurately delineating the actual financial transaction and in determining comparability for transfer pricing purposes since different business strategies can have a significant effect on the terms and conditions which would be agreed between independent enterprises ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. AZETKO s.r.o., September 2019, Supreme Court, No. 5 Afs 341/2017 - 47

Czech Republic vs. AZETKO s.r.o., September 2019, Supreme Court, No. 5 Afs 341/2017 – 47

The tax authorities of the Czech Republic issued an assessment of additional income taxes and penalties for FY 2010 and 2011, because AZETKO s.r.o. according to the tax authorities did not receive an arm’s length remuneration for administration and operation of a website and e-shop on behalf on a related party, Quantus Consulting s.r.o. AZETKO disagreed with the assessment and brought the case to court. The regional court ruled in favor of AZETKO, but the tax administration appealed the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court found the tax administrations change in pricing method under the appeal of the case unsubstantiated. The tax administration had originally applied the CUP method, but in the appeal proceedings instead used the net margin transaction method (TNMM). On that basis, the appeal was dismissed by the Court. The conditions for application of the transfer pricing provisions in Section 23(7) of the Czech Income Tax Act was summarised ... Read more
Italy vs J.T.G.P. spa, September 2019, Lombardi Regional Tribunal, Case No 928/20/2019

Italy vs J.T.G.P. spa, September 2019, Lombardi Regional Tribunal, Case No 928/20/2019

The Italian company J.T.G.P spa, a subsidiary in a multinational pharma group ALPHA J, had recorded operating losses for fiscal years 1997 to 2013, where, at a consolidated level, the group had showed positive results. According to the Italian tax authorities, the reason why the Italian company was still in operation was due to the fact that the group had an interest in keeping an international profile, and to that end the Italian company performed marketing activities benefiting the Group. An assessment was issued where the taxable income of the Italian company was added compensation for inter-company marketing services carried out by the Italian company on behalf of the group. The company argued that the pharmaceutical market and the governmental policy on the prices of medicines in Italy was the reason for the losses. In support of this claim the company submitted broad documentary evidence during the audit. Judgement of the regional Court The Court held in favor of the ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.208

It should also be recognised that comparability adjustments for factors other than differences in the nature of the intangibles used may be required in matters involving the use of intangibles in connection with a controlled sale of goods or services. In particular, comparability adjustments may be required for matters such as differences in markets, locational advantages, business strategies, assembled workforce, corporate synergies and other similar factors. While such factors may not be intangibles as that term is described in Section A. 1 of this chapter, they can nevertheless have important effects on arm’s length prices in matters involving the use of intangibles ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.118

An additional consideration is whether there is a plausible expectation that following the business strategy will produce a return sufficient to justify its costs within a period of time that would be acceptable in an arm’s length arrangement. It is recognised that a business strategy such as market penetration may fail, and the failure does not of itself allow the strategy to be ignored for transfer pricing purposes. However, if such an expected outcome was implausible at the time of the transaction, or if the business strategy is unsuccessful but nonetheless is continued beyond what an independent enterprise would accept, the arm’s length nature of the business strategy may be doubtful and may warrant a transfer pricing adjustment. In determining what period of time an independent enterprise would accept, tax administrations may wish to consider evidence of the commercial strategies evident in the country in which the business strategy is being pursued. In the end, however, the most important consideration ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.117

When evaluating whether a taxpayer was following a business strategy that temporarily decreased profits in return for higher long-run profits, several factors should be considered. Tax administrations should examine the conduct of the parties to determine if it is consistent with the purported business strategy. For example, if a manufacturer charges its associated distributor a below-market price as part of a market penetration strategy, the cost savings to the distributor may be reflected in the price charged to the distributor’s customers or in greater market penetration expenses incurred by the distributor. A market penetration strategy of an MNE group could be put in place either by the manufacturer or by the distributor acting separately from the manufacturer (and the resulting cost borne by either of them), or by both of them acting in a co-ordinated manner. Furthermore, unusually intensive marketing and advertising efforts would often accompany a market penetration or market share expansion strategy. Another factor to consider is whether ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.116

Timing issues can pose particular problems for tax administrations when evaluating whether a taxpayer is following a business strategy that distinguishes it from potential comparables. Some business strategies, such as those involving market penetration or expansion of market share, involve reductions in the taxpayer’s current profits in anticipation of increased future profits. If in the future those increased profits fail to materialise because the purported business strategy was not actually followed by the taxpayer, the appropriate transfer pricing outcome would likely require a transfer pricing adjustment. However legal constraints may prevent re-examination of earlier tax years by the tax administrations. At least in part for this reason, tax administrations may wish to subject the issue of business strategies to particular scrutiny ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.115

Business strategies also could include market penetration schemes. A taxpayer seeking to penetrate a market or to increase its market share might temporarily charge a price for its product that is lower than the price charged for otherwise comparable products in the same market. Furthermore, a taxpayer seeking to enter a new market or expand (or defend) its market share might temporarily incur higher costs (e.g. due to start-up costs or increased marketing efforts) and hence achieve lower profit levels than other taxpayers operating in the same market ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.114

Business strategies must also be examined in delineating the transaction and in determining comparability for transfer pricing purposes. Business strategies would take into account many aspects of an enterprise, such as innovation and new product development, degree of diversification, risk aversion, assessment of political changes, input of existing and planned labour laws, duration of arrangements, and other factors bearing upon the daily conduct of business. Such business strategies may need to be taken into account when determining the comparability of controlled and uncontrolled transactions and enterprises ... Read more
India vs. L’oreal India Pvt. Ltd. May 2016, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

India vs. L’oreal India Pvt. Ltd. May 2016, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

L’oreal in India is engaged in manufacturing and distribution of cosmetics and beauty products. In respect of the distribution L’oreal had applied the RPM by benchmarking the gross margin of at 4o.80% against that of comparables at 14.85%. The tax administration rejected the RPM method on the basis that the L’oreal India was consistently incurring losses and the gross margins cannot be relied upon because of product differences in comparables. Accordingly, the tax administration applied Transactional Net Margin Method. L’oreal argued that the years of losses was due to a market penetration strategy in India – not non-arm’s-length pricing of transactions. The comparables had been on the Indian market much longer than L’oreal and had established themselves firmly in the Indian market. The Appellate Tribunal observed that L’oreal India buys products from its parent and sells to unrelated parties without any further processing. According to the OECD TPG, in such a situation, RPM is the most appropriate transfer pricing method. L’oreal India had also produced evidence from its parent that margin earned by the ... Read more