Tag: Cash pool

Cash pooling can be used to manage the multinational group’s cash position on a consolidated basis and concentrate the group’s cash in one place. A cash pool is normally administered by a group company which is to be referred as the cash pool leader.

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
France vs SAP France, September 2022, Conseil d'État, Case No. 461639

France vs SAP France, September 2022, Conseil d’État, Case No. 461639

SAP AG (now SAP SE) is a German multinational software corporation that develops enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. The company is especially known for its ERP software. SAP France, a 98% subsidiary of SA SAP France Holding, itself wholly owned by the German group, had deposited funds under a Cash Management Agreement as sight deposits carrying an interest of 0%. Following an audit for the financial years 2012 and 2013, two assessment proposals were issued in December 2015 and November 2016, relating in particular to the 0% interest rate charged on the cash deposits. The tax authorities had added interest to SA SAP France’s taxable income calculated by reference to the rate of remuneration on sight deposits. SAP France contested the adjustments and furthermore requested the benefit of the reduced rate of corporation tax on income from industrial property, pursuant to Article 39 of the French General Tax Code, with regard to the royalties from the ... Read more
Spain vs "XZ SA", March 2022, TEAC, Case No Rec. 4377-2018

Spain vs “XZ SA”, March 2022, TEAC, Case No Rec. 4377-2018

“XZ SA” is a Spanish parent of a tax consolidation group which is part of a multinational group. The Spanish group participates in the group’s cash pooling system, both as a borrower and as a provider of funds. The objective of cash pooling agreements is to manage the cash positions of the participating entities, optimising the group’s financial results by channelling the excess liquidity of the group companies that generate it to the group companies that need financing, resorting to third-party financing when the group itself is not able to finance itself. This achieves greater efficiency in the use of the group’s funds, as well as improving their profitability and reducing the administrative and general financial costs of the entities participating in the agreement. The tax authorities issued an assessment in which the interest rates on deposits and withdraws had been aligned and determined based on a group credit rating. A complaint was filed with the TEAC by XZ SA ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.148

These cross-guarantees and set-off rights are a feature of an arrangement which would not occur between independent parties. Each guarantor is providing a guarantee for all members of the pool but will not have control over membership of the pool, has no control over the quantum of the debt which it is guaranteeing, and may not be able to access information on the parties for whom it is providing a guarantee. With other parties providing guarantees on the same loans, it may not be possible for the guarantor to evaluate its real risk in the event of a default. Thus, the practical result of the cross- guaranteeing arrangement is such that the formal guarantee may represent nothing more than an acknowledgement that it would be detrimental to the interests of the MNE group not to support the performance of the cash pool leader and so, by extension, the borrower. In such circumstances the guaranteed borrower may not be benefitting beyond ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.147

As part of the cash pooling arrangement, cross-guarantees and rights of set-off between participants in the cash pool may be required. This raises the question of whether guarantee fees should be payable. It will always be appropriate to consider the particular facts and circumstances in any situation but there are certain factors which are likely to be common to many cash pools: there will be numerous members of the pool, there may be both entities with debit positions and entities with credit positions in the pool, each pool member may have a different stand-alone credit rating, and the pooling agreement with the bank is likely to require full cross-guarantees and rights of set-off between all pool participants ... 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 X paragraph 10.142

It should be borne in mind that the other group members which transact with T would still only do so if this left them no worse off than their next best option ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.141

Accordingly, T should be compensated for the functions it performs and the risks it assumes in accordance with the guidance in Section C.1. This may include earning part or all of the spread between the borrowing and lending positions which it adopts ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.140

The analysis under the guidance in Section D.1 of Chapter I indicates that the actual transactions should be accurately delineated as intra-group loans in the context of the treasury activities undertaken by Company T since Company T is performing functions and assuming risks that go beyond the coordination role of a cash pool leader. In particular, the functional analysis shows that Company T controls the financial risks contractually allocated to it and has the financial capacity to bear those risks ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.139

As part of the group liquidity arrangements, T operates an MNE group cash pooling arrangement and is responsible for deciding how to invest surplus funds or fund any shortfall. T sets the intra-group interest rates and is at risk for any differences between the rates it sets with other group members and the rates at which it transacts with the independent lenders. T also bears credit risk, liquidity risk and currency risk for intra-group finance and decides on how or whether to hedge such risks ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.138

Company T, a member of MNE Group Y, performs as the MNE group treasury entity and undertakes a range of different financial transactions both intra-group and externally. Company T’s main purpose is to provide treasury services to the other entities within the MNE group including strategy and management of group liquidity. T is responsible for raising finance across the MNE group by issuing bonds or borrowing from third party banks and arranges intra-group loans to meet the funding needs of other group members as necessary ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.137

A functional analysis shows that M is not subject to credit risk, which remains with the cash pool members, but merely performs a co-ordination function. Furthermore M is not performing the functions or assuming the risks that a bank would. Therefore M would not earn the kind of reward that a bank would earn such as retaining the interest spread between deposits and loans. Accordingly, M would earn a reward commensurate with the service functions it provides to the pool ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.136

As a result of the arrangements in place, M pays less interest to the bank or receives more interest than would have been the case absent the pooling arrangements ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.135

Under the cash management services agreement the bank makes any transfers necessary to meet the target balance for each pool participant with any net surplus deposited by M or any net overdrawn position being met by the bank lending to M. The facility that M may draw on is guaranteed by X. The third- party bank pays interest to, or receives interest from M based on the overall, pooled, position. In this instance, M receives surplus funds from MNE group members H and J and provides funds to MNE group members K and L which have a funding need. Interest on the balances of the pool participants is charged or paid in accordance with the pooling agreements ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.134

M sets up an intra-group cash pooling arrangement with an unrelated bank. Legal arrangements are put in place for all participants which allow transfers to or from M’s cash concentration account to meet a specified target balance for each pool participant ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.133

X is the parent entity of an MNE group which has subsidiaries H, J, K, and L which participate in a physical cash pooling arrangement with fellow subsidiary M acting as cash pool leader. All participants have the same functional currency and that is the only currency in the pool ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.131

Where accurate delineation of the actual transactions determines that a cash pool leader is carrying on activities other than coordination or agency functions, the pricing of such transactions would follow the approaches included in other parts of this guidance, as appropriate ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.130

In general, a cash pool leader performs no more than a co-ordination or agency function with the master account being a centralised point for a series of book entries to meet the pre-determined target balances for the pool members. Given such a low level of functionality, the cash pool leader’s remuneration as a service provider will generally be similarly limited ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.129

The appropriate reward of the cash pool leader will depend on the facts and circumstances, the functions performed, the assets used and the risks assumed in facilitating a cash pooling arrangement ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.128

As with many types of financial transactions, different intent and understanding can be ascribed to the labels or descriptions attached to particular transactions. Each case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances and in each case accurate delineation of the actual transactions in accordance with the principles of Chapter I will be needed before any attempt to decide on an approach to pricing a transaction ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.127

Credit risk refers to the risk of loss resulting from the inability of cash pool members with debit positions to repay their cash withdrawals. From the cash pool leader’s perspective, there needs to be a probability for it to incur losses derived from the default of cash pool members with debit positions to bear the credit risk. Therefore, an examination under Chapter I guidance will be required to determine, under the specific facts and circumstances, which entity within the MNE group is exercising control functions and has the financial capacity to assume the credit risk associated with the cash pool arrangement ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.126

Liquidity risk in a cash pool arrangement arises from the mismatch between the maturity of the credit and debit balances of the cash pool members. Assuming the liquidity risk associated to a cash pool requires the exercise of control functions beyond the mere offsetting of the credit and debit positions of the cash pool members. Therefore, an analysis of the decision-making process related to the amounts of the debit and credit positions within the cash pool arrangement will be required to allocate the liquidity risk under Chapter I ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.125

Before any attempt is made to determine the remuneration of the cash pool leader and participants, it is central to the transfer pricing analysis to identify and examine under Chapter I guidance the economically significant risks associated to the cash pooling arrangement. These could include liquidity risk and credit risk. These risks should be analysed taking into account the short-term nature of the credit and debit positions within the cash pooling arrangement (see paragraph 10.123) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.124

A potential difficulty for tax administrations in analysing cash pooling arrangements is that the various entities in a cash pool may be resident across a number of jurisdictions, potentially making it difficult to access sufficient information to verify the position as set out by the taxpayer. It would be of assistance to tax authorities if MNE groups would provide information on the structuring of the pool and the returns to the cash pool leader and the members in the cash pool as part of their transfer pricing documentation. (See Annex I to Chapter V of these Guidelines about the information to be included in the master file) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.123

One of the practical difficulties in such situations will be deciding how long a balance should be treated as part of the cash pool before it could potentially be treated as something else, for example a term loan. As cash pooling is intended to be a short-term, liquidity-driven arrangement, it may be appropriate to consider whether the same pattern is present year after year and to examine what policies the MNE group’s financial management has in place, given that yield on cash balances is a key financial management issue ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.122

Another key consideration in analysing intra-group funding arrangements which might be described as cash pooling are situations where members of an MNE group maintain debit and credit positions which, rather than functioning as part of a short-term liquidity arrangement, become more long term. It would usually be appropriate to consider whether, on accurate delineation, it would be correct to treat them as something other than a short-term cash pool balance, such as a longer term deposit or a term loan ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.121

An advantage of a cash pooling arrangement may be the reduction of interest paid or the increase of interest received, which results from netting credit and debit balances. The amount of that group synergy benefit, calculated by reference to the results that the cash pool members would have obtained had they dealt solely with independent enterprises, would generally be shared by the cash pool members, provided that an appropriate reward is allocated to the cash pool leader for the functions it provides in accordance with Section C.2.3. of this chapter ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.120

As indicated in paragraph 1.179, the determination of the results that arise from deliberate concerted group actions must be established through a thorough functional analysis. Accordingly, in the context of cash pooling arrangements, it is necessary to determine (i) the nature of the advantage or disadvantage, (ii) the amount of the benefit or detriment provided, and (iii) how that benefit or detriment should be divided among members of the MNE group ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.119

In delineating the cash pool transactions, it may be that the savings and efficiencies achieved are determined to arise as a result of group synergies created through deliberate concerted action (as discussed in Section D.8 of Chapter I) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.118

No member of the pooling arrangement would expect to participate in the transaction if it made them any worse off than their next best option. The analysis of an MNE’s decision to participate in a cash pool arrangement should be done with reference to its options realistically available, taking into account that an MNE can obtain benefits as a member of the cash pool other than an improved interest rate (see paragraph 10.146) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.117

The cash pool member is likely to be participating in providing liquidity as part of a broader group strategy, an arrangement in which the member can have a credit or debit position, which may include among its aims a range of benefits that can only be achieved as part of a collective strategy involving the pool members, done for the benefit of all of the pool participants, and the membership of which is limited to entities within the MNE group. Pool participants deposit cash to the pool (or withdraw cash from the pool), and not to (or from) a particular cash pool member ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.116

The accurate delineation of cash pooling arrangements would need to take into account not only the facts and circumstances of the balances transferred but the wider context of the conditions of the pooling arrangement as a whole. For example, a cash pool is likely to differ from a straightforward overnight deposit with a bank or similar financial institution in that a cash pool member with a credit position is not depositing money as a transaction in isolation with a view to a simple depositor return ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.115

The accurate delineation of the cash pooling transactions will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. As cash pooling is not undertaken regularly, if at all, by independent enterprises, the application of transfer pricing principles requires careful consideration. As paragraph 1.11 notes “Where independent enterprises seldom undertake transactions of the type entered into by associated enterprises, the arm’s length principle can be difficult to apply because there is little or no direct evidence of what conditions would have been established by independent enterprises.” ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.114

With no physical transfers of funds, the transactional costs of operating a notional pool are likely to be less than transactional costs of operating a physical pool. Functions carried out by the bank would be accounted for in the charges or interest rate of the bank. With minimal functions carried out by the pool leader (because functions are primarily performed by the bank), there will be little, if any, value added by the pool leader to be reflected in the intra-group pricing. An appropriate allocation of the benefit created as a result of the elimination of the bank spread and/or the optimisation of a single debit or credit position would need to consider the contribution or burden of each pool participant ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.113

In a notional cash pool, some of the benefits of combining credit and debit balances of several accounts are achieved without any physical transfer of balances between the participating members’ accounts although the bank will usually require cross-guarantees from pool participants to enable the right to set off between accounts if necessary. The bank notionally aggregates the various balances of the individual accounts of participating members and pays or charges interest according to the net balance, either to a designated master account or to all participating accounts under a formula determined in the cash pooling agreement ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.112

In a typical physical pooling arrangement, the bank account balances of all the pool members are transferred daily to a single central bank account owned by the cash pool leader. Any account in deficit is brought to a target balance (usually zero) by a transfer from the master account to the relevant sub account. Depending on whether there is a surplus or a deficit after the members’ accounts have been adjusted to the target balance, the cash pool leader may borrow from the bank to meet the net funding requirement of the pool or deposit any surplus as appropriate ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.111

Although there are two basic types of cash pooling arrangements – physical and notional – other variations and combinations may be arranged to meet specific business needs. For example, a number of physical pools might be held, one for each currency in which the business operates, along with a notional pool which then combines those individual currency pools ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.110

In the context of this section, cash pooling is the pooling of cash balances as part of a short- term liquidity management arrangement. Cash pool arrangements are complex contracts which may involve controlled and uncontrolled transactions. For instance, one common structure is that the participating members of the MNE group conclude a contract with an unrelated bank that renders cash pooling services, and each participating member opens a bank account with that bank ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.109

The use of a cash pool is popular among multinational enterprises as a way of achieving more efficient cash management by bringing together, either physically or notionally, the balances on a number of separate bank accounts. Depending on the particular arrangements in place, a cash pool can help to achieve more effective liquidity management, whereby reliance on external borrowing can be reduced or, where there is a cash surplus, an enhanced return may be earned on any aggregated cash balance. Financing costs may also be reduced by eliminating the bank spread embedded in the interest which would be payable or receivable on a number of separate debit or credit account balances and by reducing banking transaction costs ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.50

The following sections outline the transfer pricing considerations which arise from some relevant treasury activities that are often performed within MNE groups, i.e. the provision of intra-group loans, cash pooling, and hedging activities ... Read more
France vs SAP France, December 2021, CAA de VERSAILLES, Case No. 20VE01009

France vs SAP France, December 2021, CAA de VERSAILLES, Case No. 20VE01009

SAP AG (now SAP SE) is a German multinational software corporation that develops enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. The company is especially known for its ERP software. SA SAP France, a 98% subsidiary of SA SAP France Holding, itself wholly owned by the German group, had deposited funds under a Cash Management Agreement as sight deposits carrying an interest of 0%. Following an audit for the financial years 2012 and 2013, two assessment proposals were issued in December 2015 and November 2016, relating in particular to the 0% interest rate charged on the cash deposits. The tax authorities had added interest to SA SAP France’s taxable income calculated by reference to the rate of remuneration on sight deposits. SA SAP France contested the adjustments and furthermore requested the benefit of the reduced rate of corporation tax on income from industrial property, pursuant to Article 39 of the French General Tax Code, with regard to the royalties ... Read more
Hungary vs VSSB V. Service Center Budapest Zrt., December 2021, Court of Appeals, Case No. Kfv.V.35.184/2021/16

Hungary vs VSSB V. Service Center Budapest Zrt., December 2021, Court of Appeals, Case No. Kfv.V.35.184/2021/16

The VSSB Group provided liquidity to the group members by means of a cash-pool. Under the cash pool agreement, short-term and longer-term multi-currency financing transactions were carried out, including the applicant as a member of the group; the intermediary was the group member VSSB V. Service Center Budapest Zrt. (‘VSSB’). At the end of each month, the balances of the group members’ short positions (cash pool) with monthly settlement were transferred to the long term loan between the holding company, VSSB Group Plc. The members of the cash pool have either been continuously depositing funds or drawing on funds within the group. The Hungarian Service Center only deposited funds throughout the period under examination and had received a fixed rate of interest on the deposits. The funds deposited by the members of the group were transferred to the main account of the VSSB Group and from there to the company at the top of the financing structure, VGP. The cash ... Read more
Finland vs A Oyj, May 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2021:66

Finland vs A Oyj, May 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2021:66

A Oyj was the parent company of the A-group, and responsible for the group’s centralised financial activities. It owned the entire share capital of D Oy and B Oy. D Oy in turn owned the entire share capital of ZAO C, a Russian company. A Oyj had raised funds from outside the group and lent these funds to its Finnish subsidiary B Oy, which in turn had provided a loan to ZAO C. The interest charged by B Oy on the loans to ZAO C was based on the cost of A Oyj’s external financing. The interest rate also included a margin of 0,55 % in tax year 2009, 0,58 % in tax year 2010 and 0,54 % in tax year 2011. The margins had been based on the average margin of A Oyj’s external financing plus 10 %. The Tax Administration had considered that the level of interest to be charged to ZAO C should have been determined taking ... Read more
UK vs GE Capital, April 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No [2021] EWCA Civ 534

UK vs GE Capital, April 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No [2021] EWCA Civ 534

In 2005 an agreement was entered between the UK tax authority and GE Capital, whereby GE Capital was able to obtain significant tax benefits by routing billions of dollars through Australia, the UK and the US. HMRC later claimed, that GE Capital had failed to disclose all relevant information to HMRC prior to the agreement and therefore asked the High Court to annul the agreement. In December 2020 the High Court decided in favour of HMRC GE Capital then filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal. Judgement of the Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and set aside the decision of the High Court and thus the assessment af the HMRC. HMRC-v-GE CAPITAL 2021 ... 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