Tag: Comparability adjustment

Adjustments made to improve the accuracy and reliability of the comparables to ensure that the financial results of the comparables are stated on the same basis as those of the tested party.

§ 1.482-6(c)(2)(ii)(D) Other factors affecting reliability.

Like the methods described in §§ 1.482-3, 1.482-4, 1.482-5, and 1.482-9, the comparable profit split relies exclusively on external market benchmarks. As indicated in § 1.482-1(c)(2)(i), as the degree of comparability between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions increases, the relative weight accorded the analysis under this method will increase. In addition, the reliability of the analysis under this method may be enhanced by the fact that all parties to the controlled transaction are evaluated under the comparable profit split. However, the reliability of the results of an analysis based on information from all parties to a transaction is affected by the reliability of the data and the assumptions pertaining to each party to the controlled transaction. Thus, if the data and assumptions are significantly more reliable with respect to one of the parties than with respect to the others, a different method, focusing solely on the results of that party, may yield more reliable results ... Read more

§ 1.482-6(c)(2)(ii)(C) Data and assumptions.

The reliability of the results derived from the comparable profit split is affected by the quality of the data and assumptions used to apply this method. In particular, the following factors must be considered – (1) The reliability of the allocation of costs, income, and assets between the relevant business activity and the participants’ other activities will affect the accuracy of the determination of combined operating profit and its allocation among the participants. If it is not possible to allocate costs, income, and assets directly based on factual relationships, a reasonable allocation formula may be used. To the extent direct allocations are not made, the reliability of the results derived from the application of this method is reduced relative to the results of a method that requires fewer allocations of costs, income, and assets. Similarly, the reliability of the results derived from the application of this method is affected by the extent to which it is possible to apply the method ... Read more

§ 1.482-6(c)(2)(ii)(B)(2) Adjustments for differences between the controlled and uncontrolled taxpayers.

If there are differences between the controlled and uncontrolled taxpayers that would materially affect the division of operating profit, adjustments must be made according to the provisions of § 1.482-1(d)(2) ... Read more

§ 1.482-5(e) Example 6.

Adjusting operating profit for differences in accounts payable. (i) USD is the U.S. subsidiary of a foreign corporation. USD purchases goods from its foreign parent and sells them in the U.S. market. For purposes of applying the comparable profits method, 10 uncontrolled distributors that are similar to USD have been identified. (ii) There are significant differences in the level of accounts payable among the uncontrolled distributors and USD. To adjust for these differences, the district director increases the operating profit of the uncontrolled distributors and USD to reflect interest expense imputed to the accounts payable. The imputed interest expense for each company is calculated by multiplying the company’s accounts payable by an interest rate appropriate for its short-term debt ... Read more

§ 1.482-5(e) Example 5.

Adjusting operating assets and operating profit for differences in accounts receivable. (i) USM is a U.S. company that manufactures parts for industrial equipment and sells them to its foreign parent corporation. For purposes of applying the comparable profits method, 15 uncontrolled manufacturers that are similar to USM have been identified. (ii) USM has a significantly lower level of accounts receivable than the uncontrolled manufacturers. Since the rate of return on capital employed is to be used as the profit level indicator, both operating assets and operating profits must be adjusted to account for this difference. Each uncontrolled comparable’s operating assets is reduced by the amount (relative to sales) by which they exceed USM’s accounts receivable. Each uncontrolled comparable’s operating profit is adjusted by deducting imputed interest income on the excess accounts receivable. This imputed interest income is calculated by multiplying the uncontrolled comparable’s excess accounts receivable by an interest rate appropriate for short-term debt ... Read more

§ 1.482-5(c)(2)(iv) Adjustments for the differences between the tested party and the uncontrolled taxpayers.

If there are differences between the tested party and an uncontrolled comparable that would materially affect the profits determined under the relevant profit level indicator, adjustments should be made according to the comparability provisions of § 1.482-1(d)(2). In some cases, the assets of an uncontrolled comparable may need to be adjusted to achieve greater comparability between the tested party and the uncontrolled comparable. In such cases, the uncontrolled comparable’s operating income attributable to those assets must also be adjusted before computing a profit level indicator in order to reflect the income and expense attributable to the adjusted assets. In certain cases it may also be appropriate to adjust the operating profit of the tested party and comparable parties. For example, where there are material differences in accounts payable among the comparable parties and the tested party, it will generally be appropriate to adjust the operating profit of each party by increasing it to reflect an imputed interest charge on each party’s ... Read more

§ 1.482-5(c)(2)(iii) Other comparability factors.

Other factors listed in § 1.482-1(d)(3) also may be particularly relevant under the comparable profits method. Because operating profit usually is less sensitive than gross profit to product differences, reliability under the comparable profits method is not as dependent on product similarity as the resale price or cost plus method. However, the reliability of profitability measures based on operating profit may be adversely affected by factors that have less effect on results under the comparable uncontrolled price, resale price, and cost plus methods. For example, operating profit may be affected by varying cost structures (as reflected, for example, in the age of plant and equipment), differences in business experience (such as whether the business is in a start-up phase or is mature), or differences in management efficiency (as indicated, for example, by objective evidence such as expanding or contracting sales or executive compensation over time). Accordingly, if material differences in these factors are identified based on objective evidence, the reliability of the ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(c)(3)(ii)(C) Adjustments for differences between controlled and uncontrolled transactions.

If there are material differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions that would affect the gross profit margin, adjustments should be made to the gross profit margin earned with respect to the uncontrolled transaction according to the comparability provisions of § 1.482-1(d)(2). For this purpose, consideration of operating expenses associated with functions performed and risks assumed may be necessary, because differences in functions performed are often reflected in operating expenses. If there are differences in functions performed, however, the effect on gross profit of such differences is not necessarily equal to the differences in the amount of related operating expenses. Specific examples of the factors that may be particularly relevant to this method include – (1) Inventory levels and turnover rates, and corresponding risks, including any price protection programs offered by the manufacturer; (2) Contractual terms (e.g., scope and terms of warranties provided, sales or purchase volume, credit terms, transport terms); (3) Sales, marketing, advertising programs and services, (including promotional programs, rebates, and ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(b)(2)(ii)(B) Adjustments for differences between controlled and uncontrolled transactions.

If there are differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions that would affect price, adjustments should be made to the price of the uncontrolled transaction according to the comparability provisions of § 1.482-1(d)(2). Specific examples of the factors that may be particularly relevant to this method include – (1) Quality of the product; (2) Contractual terms (e.g., scope and terms of warranties provided, sales or purchase volume, credit terms, transport terms); (3) Level of the market (i.e., wholesale, retail, etc.); (4) Geographic market in which the transaction takes place; (5) Date of the transaction; (6) Intangible property associated with the sale; (7) Foreign currency risks; and (8) Alternatives realistically available to the buyer and seller ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(b)(2)(ii)(A) In general.

The degree of comparability between controlled and uncontrolled transactions is determined by applying the provisions of § 1.482-1(d). Although all of the factors described in § 1.482-1(d)(3) must be considered, similarity of products generally will have the greatest effect on comparability under this method. In addition, because even minor differences in contractual terms or economic conditions could materially affect the amount charged in an uncontrolled transaction, comparability under this method depends on close similarity with respect to these factors, or adjustments to account for any differences. The results derived from applying the comparable uncontrolled price method generally will be the most direct and reliable measure of an arm’s length price for the controlled transaction if an uncontrolled transaction has no differences with the controlled transaction that would affect the price, or if there are only minor differences that have a definite and reasonably ascertainable effect on price and for which appropriate adjustments are made. If such adjustments cannot be made, ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(d)(3)(ii)(C) Example 2.

Reliability of adjustment for differences in volume. (i) FS manufactures product XX and sells that product to its parent corporation, P. FS also sells product XX to uncontrolled taxpayers at a price of $100 per unit. Except for the volume of each transaction, the sales to P and to uncontrolled taxpayers take place under substantially the same economic conditions and contractual terms. In uncontrolled transactions, FS offers a 2% discount for quantities of 20 per order, and a 5% discount for quantities of 100 per order. If P purchases product XX in quantities of 60 per order, in the absence of other reliable information, it may reasonably be concluded that the arm’s length price to P would be $100, less a discount of 3.5%. (ii) If P purchases product XX in quantities of 1,000 per order, a reliable estimate of the appropriate volume discount must be based on proper economic or statistical analysis, not necessarily a linear extrapolation from the ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(d)(2) Standard of comparability.

In order to be considered comparable to a controlled transaction, an uncontrolled transaction need not be identical to the controlled transaction, but must be sufficiently similar that it provides a reliable measure of an arm’s length result. If there are material differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions, adjustments must be made if the effect of such differences on prices or profits can be ascertained with sufficient accuracy to improve the reliability of the results. For purposes of this section, a material difference is one that would materially affect the measure of an arm’s length result under the method being applied. If adjustments for material differences cannot be made, the uncontrolled transaction may be used as a measure of an arm’s length result, but the reliability of the analysis will be reduced. Generally, such adjustments must be made to the results of the uncontrolled comparable and must be based on commercial practices, economic principles, or statistical analyses. The extent and ... Read more
France vs Ferragamo France, June 2022, Administrative Court of Appeal (CAA), Case No 20PA03601

France vs Ferragamo France, June 2022, Administrative Court of Appeal (CAA), Case No 20PA03601

Ferragamo France, which was set up in 1992 and is wholly owned by the Dutch company Ferragamo International BV, which in turn is owned by the Italian company Salvatore Ferragamo Spa, carries on the business of retailing shoes, leather goods and luxury accessories and distributes, in shops in France, products under the ‘Salvatore Ferragamo’ brand, which is owned by the Italian parent company. An assessment had been issued to Ferragamo France in which the French tax authorities asserted that the French subsidiary had not been sufficiently remunerated for additional expenses and contributions to the value of the Ferragamo trademark. The French subsidiary had been remunerated on a gross margin basis, but had incurred losses in previous years and had indirect cost exceeding those of the selected comparable companies. In 2017 the Administrative Court decided in favour of Ferragamo and dismissed the assessment issued by the tax authorities. According to the Court the tax administration had not demonstrated the existence of ... Read more
Korea vs "Semicon-sales", June 2022, Tax Court, Case No 2020-서-2311

Korea vs “Semicon-sales”, June 2022, Tax Court, Case No 2020-서-2311

A Korean subsidiary (“Semicon-sales”) of a foreign group was active in distribution and sales of semiconductors for the automotive and industrial industry. Following an audit, the tax authorities found that the subsidiary had purchased semiconductors from a foreign affiliated company at a higher price than the arm’s length price. An assessment was issued where the the sum of the difference between the arm’s length price and the reported price had been included in the taxable income for FY 2015-2018. Both “Semicon-sales” and the tax authorities had applied the TNMM to find the arm’s length price, but the tax authorities had rejected the comparables selected by “Semicon” and replaced them with others. Not satisfied with the assessment “Semicon-sales” filed an appeal. Judgement of the Court The court remanded the case with an order to exclude from the benchmark comparables where the sales volume is significantly different from that of the “Semicon-sales”. Since the proportion of the taxpayers transactions with large companies ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III Annex paragraph 1 – 8

Example of a Working Capital Adjustment See Chapter III, Section A.6 of these Guidelines for general guidance on comparability adjustments. The assumptions about arm’s length arrangements in the following examples are intended for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as prescribing adjustments and arm’s length arrangements in actual cases of particular industries. While they seek to demonstrate the principles of the sections of the Guidelines to which they refer, those principles must be applied in each case according to the specific facts and circumstances of that case. This example is provided for illustration purposes as it represents one way, but not necessarily the only way, in which such an adjustment can be calculated. Furthermore, the comments below relate to the application of a transactional net margin method in the situations where, given the facts and circumstances of the case and in particular the comparability (including functional) analysis of the transaction and the review of the information available on ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.218

The application of the CUP method to a transaction involving a captive insurance may encounter practical difficulties to determine the need for and quantification of comparability adjustments. In particular, account should be taken of potential differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions that may affect the reliability of the comparables. Those differences may refer, for instance, to situations where the functional analysis indicates that a captive insurance performs less functions than a commercial insurer (e.g. a captive insurance that only insures internal risks within the MNE group may not need to perform distribution and sales functions). Similarly, differences between the captive insurance and the potential comparables in business volume or in the level of capital between the captive insurance and unrelated parties may require comparability adjustments (see paragraph 10.221) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.106

The reliability of economic models’ outcomes depends upon the parameters factored into the specific model and the underlying assumptions adopted. In evaluating the reliability of economic models as an approach to pricing intra-group loans it is important to note that economic models’ outcomes do not represent actual transactions between independent parties and that, therefore, comparability adjustments would be likely required. However, in situations where reliable comparable uncontrolled transactions cannot be identified, economic models may represent tools that can be usefully applied in identifying an arm’s length price for intra-group loans, subject to the same constraints regarding market conditions discussed in paragraph 10.98 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.95

Whereas it is unlikely that an MNE group’s average interest rate paid on its external debt meets the comparability requirements to be considered as an internal CUP, it may be possible to identify potential comparable loans within the borrower’s or its MNE group’s financing with an independent lender as the counterparty. As with external CUPs, it may be necessary to make appropriate adjustments to improve comparability. See Example 1 at 1.164 – 1.166 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.93

Arm’s length interest rates can also be based on the return of realistic alternative transactions with comparable economic characteristics. Depending on the facts and circumstances, realistic alternatives to intra-group loans could be, for instance, bond issuances, loans which are uncontrolled transactions, deposits, convertible debentures, commercial papers, etc. In the evaluation of those alternatives as potential comparables it is important to bear in mind that, based on facts and circumstances, comparability adjustments may be required to eliminate the material effects of differences between the controlled intra-group loan and the selected alternative in terms of, for instance, liquidity, maturity, existence of collateral or currency ... Read more

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

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.110

There are cases where comparables (including internal comparables) are available, subject to possible comparability adjustments being performed. One example of a possible application of the CUP method would be the case where an enterprise that used to transact independently with the MNE group is acquired, and the acquisition is followed by a restructuring of the now controlled transactions. Subject to a review of the five economically relevant characteristics or comparability factors and of the possible effect of the controlled and uncontrolled transactions taking place at different times, it might be the case that the conditions of the pre-acquisition uncontrolled transactions provide a CUP for the post-acquisition controlled transactions. Even where the conditions of the transactions are restructured, it might still be possible, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, to adjust for the transfer of functions, assets and/or risks that occurred upon the restructuring. For instance, a comparability adjustment might be performed to account for the fact that ... Read more

TPG2022 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

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.207

Where the need to make comparability adjustments arises because of differences in the intangibles used by the tested party in a controlled transaction and the intangibles used by a party to a potentially comparable uncontrolled transaction, difficult factual questions can arise in quantifying reliable comparability adjustments. These issues require thorough consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances and of the available data regarding the impact of the intangibles on prices and profits. Where the impact on price of a difference in the nature of the intangibles used is clearly material, but not subject to accurate estimation, it may be necessary to utilise a different transfer pricing method that is less dependent on identification of reliable comparables ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.129

The principles of paragraphs 3.47 to 3.54 relating to comparability adjustments apply with respect to transactions involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles. It is important to note that differences between intangibles can have significant economic consequences that may be difficult to adjust for in a reliable manner. Particularly in situations where amounts attributable to comparability adjustments represent a large percentage of the compensation for the intangible, there may be reason to believe, depending on the specific facts, that the computation of the adjustment is not reliable and that the intangibles being compared are in fact not sufficiently comparable to support a valid transfer pricing analysis. If reliable comparability adjustments are not possible, it may be necessary to select a transfer pricing method that is less dependent on the identification of comparable intangibles or comparable transactions ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.54

Ensuring the needed level of transparency of comparability adjustments may depend upon the availability of an explanation of any adjustments performed, the reasons for the adjustments being considered appropriate, how they were calculated, how they changed the results for each comparable and how the adjustment improves comparability. Issues regarding documentation of comparability adjustments are discussed in Chapter V ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.53

It is not appropriate to view some comparability adjustments, such as for differences in levels of working capital, as “routine” and uncontroversial, and to view certain other adjustments, such as for country risk, as more subjective and therefore subject to additional requirements of proof and reliability. The only adjustments that should be made are those that are expected to improve comparability ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.52

It is not always the case that adjustments are warranted. For instance, an adjustment for differences in accounts receivable may not be particularly useful if major differences in accounting standards were also present that could not be resolved. Likewise, sophisticated adjustments are sometimes applied to create the false impression that the outcome of the comparables search is “scientific”, reliable and accurate ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.51

It bears emphasis that comparability adjustments are only appropriate for differences that will have a material effect on the comparison. Some differences will invariably exist between the taxpayer’s controlled transactions and the third party comparables. A comparison may be appropriate despite an unadjusted difference, provided that the difference does not have a material effect on the reliability of the comparison. On the other hand, the need to perform numerous or substantial adjustments to key comparability factors may indicate that the third party transactions are in fact not sufficiently comparable ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.50

Comparability adjustments should be considered if (and only if) they are expected to increase the reliability of the results. Relevant considerations in this regard include the materiality of the difference for which an adjustment is being considered, the quality of the data subject to adjustment, the purpose of the adjustment and the reliability of the approach used to make the adjustment ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.49

An example of a working capital adjustment designed to reflect differing levels of accounts receivable, accounts payable and inventory is provided in the Annex to Chapter III. The fact that such adjustments are found in practice does not mean that they should be performed on a routine or mandatory basis. Rather, the improvement to comparability should be shown when proposing these types of adjustments (as for any type of adjustment). Further, a significantly different level of relative working capital between the controlled and uncontrolled parties may result in further investigation of the comparability characteristics of the potential comparable ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.48

Examples of comparability adjustments include adjustments for accounting consistency designed to eliminate differences that may arise from differing accounting practices between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions; segmentation of financial data to eliminate significant non- comparable transactions; adjustments for differences in capital, functions, assets, risks ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.47

The need to adjust comparables and the requirement for accuracy and reliability are pointed out in these Guidelines on several occasions, both for the general application of the arm’s length principle and more specifically in the context of each method. To be comparable means that none of the differences (if any) between the situations being compared could materially affect the condition being examined in the methodology or that reasonably accurate adjustments can be made to eliminate the effect of any such differences. Whether comparability adjustments should be performed (and if so, what adjustments should be performed) in a particular case is a matter of judgment that should be evaluated in light of the discussion of costs and compliance burden at Section C ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.28

On the other hand, internal comparables are not always more reliable and it is not the case that any transaction between a taxpayer and an independent party can be regarded as a reliable comparable for controlled transactions carried on by the same taxpayer. Internal comparables where they exist must satisfy the five comparability factors in the same way as external comparables, see paragraphs 1.33-1.138. Guidance on comparability adjustments also applies to internal comparables, see paragraphs 3.47-3.54. Assume for instance that a taxpayer manufactures a particular product, sells a significant volume thereof to its foreign associated retailer and a marginal volume of the same product to an independent party. In such a case, the difference in volumes is likely to materially affect the comparability of the two transactions. If it is not possible to make a reasonably accurate adjustment to eliminate the effects of such difference, the transaction between the taxpayer and its independent customer is unlikely to be a reliable ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.113

The facts are the same as in paragraph 2.42. However, the amount of the warranty expenses incurred by Distributor A proves impossible to ascertain so that it is not possible to reliably adjust the gross profit of A to make the gross profit margin properly comparable with that of B. However, if there are no other material functional differences between A and B and the net profit of A relative to its sales is known, it might be possible to apply the transactional net margin method to B by comparing the margin relative to A’s sales to net profits with the margin calculated on the same basis for B ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.92

The selection of the denominator should be consistent with the comparability (including functional) analysis of the controlled transaction, and in particular it should reflect the allocation of risks between the parties (provided said allocation of risks is arm’s length, see Section D.1.2.1 in Chapter I). For instance, capital-intensive activities such as certain manufacturing activities may involve significant investment risk, even in those cases where the operational risks (such as market risks or inventory risks) might be limited. Where a transactional net margin method is applied to such cases, the investment-related risks are reflected in the net profit indicator if the latter is a return on investment (e.g. return on assets or return on capital employed). Such indicator might need to be adjusted (or a different net profit indicator selected) depending on what party to the controlled transaction bears that risk, as well as on the degree of differences in risk that may be found in the taxpayer’s controlled transaction and ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.87

In those cases where there is a correlation between the credit terms and the sales prices, it could be appropriate to reflect interest income in respect of short-term working capital within the calculation of the net profit indicator and/or to proceed with a working capital adjustment, see paragraphs 3.47-3.54. An example would be where a large retail business benefits from long credit terms with its suppliers and from short credit terms with its customers, thus making it possible to derive excess cash that in turn may make it possible to have lower sales prices to customers than if such advantageous credit terms were not available ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.82

In applying the transactional net margin method, the selection of the most appropriate net profit indicator should follow the guidance at paragraphs 2.2 and 2.8 in relation to the selection of the most appropriate method to the circumstances of the case. It should take account of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the various possible indicators; the appropriateness of the indicator considered in view of the nature of the controlled transaction, determined in particular through a functional analysis; the availability of reliable information (in particular on uncontrolled comparables) needed to apply the transactional net margin method based on that indicator; and the degree of comparability between controlled and uncontrolled transactions, including the reliability of comparability adjustments that may be needed to eliminate differences between them, when applying the transactional net margin method based on that indicator. These factors are discussed below in relation to both the determination of the net profit and its weighting ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.81

Another important aspect of comparability is measurement consistency. The net profit indicators must be measured consistently between the associated enterprise and the independent enterprise. In addition, there may be differences in the treatment across enterprises of operating expenses and non-operating expenses affecting the net profits such as depreciation and reserves or provisions that would need to be accounted for in order to achieve reliable comparability ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.80

The transactional net margin method may afford a practical solution to otherwise insoluble transfer pricing problems if it is used sensibly and with appropriate adjustments to account for differences of the type referred to above. The transactional net margin method should not be used unless the net profit indicators are determined from uncontrolled transactions of the same taxpayer in comparable circumstances or, where the comparable uncontrolled transactions are those of an independent enterprise, the differences between the associated enterprises and the independent enterprises that have a material effect on the net profit indicator being used are adequately taken into account. Many countries are concerned that the safeguards established for the traditional transaction methods may be overlooked in applying the transactional net margin method. Thus where differences in the characteristics of the enterprises being compared have a material effect on the net profit indicators being used, it would not be appropriate to apply the transactional net margin method without making adjustments ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.59

A is a domestic manufacturer of timing mechanisms for mass- market clocks. A sells this product to its foreign subsidiary B. A earns a 5% gross profit mark up with respect to its manufacturing operation. X, Y, and Z are independent domestic manufacturers of timing mechanisms for mass- market watches. X, Y, and Z sell to independent foreign purchasers. X, Y, and Z earn gross profit mark ups with respect to their manufacturing operations that range from 3% to 5%. A accounts for supervisory, general, and administrative costs as operating expenses, and thus these costs are not reflected in cost of goods sold. The gross profit mark ups of X, Y, and Z, however, reflect supervisory, general, and administrative costs as part of costs of goods sold. Therefore, the gross profit mark ups of X, Y, and Z must be adjusted to provide accounting consistency ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.52

Another important aspect of comparability is accounting consistency. Where the accounting practices differ in the controlled transaction and the uncontrolled transaction, appropriate adjustments should be made to the data used to ensure that the same type of costs are used in each case to ensure consistency. The gross profit mark ups must be measured consistently between the associated enterprise and the independent enterprise. In addition, there may be differences across enterprises in the treatment of costs that affect gross profit mark ups that would need to be accounted for in order to achieve reliable comparability. In some cases it may be necessary to take into account certain operating expenses in order to achieve consistency and comparability; in these circumstances the cost plus method starts to approach a net rather than gross profit analysis. To the extent that the analysis takes into account operating expenses, its reliability may be adversely affected for the reasons set forth in paragraphs 2.70 – 2.73 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.24

The CUP method is a particularly reliable method where an independent enterprise sells the same product as is sold between two associated enterprises. For example, an independent enterprise sells unbranded Colombian coffee beans of a similar type, quality, and quantity as those sold between two associated enterprises, assuming that the controlled and uncontrolled transactions occur at about the same time, at the same stage in the production/distribution chain, and under similar conditions. If the only available uncontrolled transaction involved unbranded Brazilian coffee beans, it would be appropriate to inquire whether the difference in the coffee beans has a material effect on the price. For example, it could be asked whether the source of coffee beans commands a premium or requires a discount generally in the open market. Such information may be obtainable from commodity markets or may be deduced from dealer prices. If this difference does have a material effect on price, some adjustments would be appropriate. If a reasonably ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.17

In considering whether controlled and uncontrolled transactions are comparable, regard should be had to the effect on price of broader business functions other than just product comparability (i.e. factors relevant to determining comparability under Chapter I). Where differences exist between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions or between the enterprises undertaking those transactions, it may be difficult to determine reasonably accurate adjustments to eliminate the effect on price. The difficulties that arise in attempting to make reasonably accurate adjustments should not routinely preclude the possible application of the CUP method. Practical considerations dictate a more flexible approach to enable the CUP method to be used and to be supplemented as necessary by other appropriate methods, all of which should be evaluated according to their relative accuracy. Every effort should be made to adjust the data so that it may be used appropriately in a CUP method. As for any method, the relative reliability of the CUP method is affected by the ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.16

It may be difficult to find a transaction between independent enterprises that is similar enough to a controlled transaction such that no differences have a material effect on price. For example, a minor difference in the property transferred in the controlled and uncontrolled transactions could materially affect the price even though the nature of the business activities undertaken may be sufficiently similar to generate the same overall profit margin. When this is the case, some adjustments will be appropriate. As discussed below in paragraph 2.17, the extent and reliability of such adjustments will affect the relative reliability of the analysis under the CUP method ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.177

Comparability issues, and the need for comparability adjustments, can also arise because of the existence of MNE group synergies. In some circumstances, MNE groups and the associated enterprises that comprise such groups may benefit from interactions or synergies amongst group members that would not generally be available to similarly situated independent enterprises. Such group synergies can arise, for example, as a result of combined purchasing power or economies of scale, combined and integrated computer and communication systems, integrated management, elimination of duplication, increased borrowing capacity, and numerous similar factors. Such group synergies are often favourable to the group as a whole and therefore may heighten the aggregate profits earned by group members, depending on whether expected cost savings are, in fact, realised, and on competitive conditions. In other circumstances such synergies may be negative, as when the size and scope of corporate operations create bureaucratic barriers not faced by smaller and more nimble enterprises, or when one portion of the ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.172

Some businesses are successful in assembling a uniquely qualified or experienced cadre of employees. The existence of such an employee group may affect the arm’s length price for services provided by the employee group or the efficiency with which services are provided or goods produced by the enterprise. Such factors should ordinarily be taken into account in a transfer pricing comparability analysis. Where it is possible to determine the benefits or detriments of a unique assembled workforce vis-à- vis the workforce of enterprises engaging in potentially comparable transactions, comparability adjustments may be made to reflect the impact of the assembled workforce on arm’s length prices for goods or services ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.167

The need for comparability adjustments related to features of the local market in cases where reasonably reliable local market comparables cannot be identified may arise in several different contexts. In some circumstances, market advantages or disadvantages may affect arm’s length prices of goods transferred or services provided between associated enterprises ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.166

In situations where reasonably reliable local market comparables cannot be identified, the determination of appropriate comparability adjustments for features of the local market should consider all of the relevant facts and circumstances. As with location savings, in each case where reliable local market comparables cannot be identified, it is necessary to consider (i) whether a market advantage or disadvantage exists, (ii) the amount of any increase or decrease in revenues, costs or profits, vis-à-vis those of identified comparables from other markets, that are attributable to the local market advantage or disadvantage, (iii) the degree to which benefits or burdens of local market features are passed on to independent customers or suppliers, and (iv) where benefits or burdens attributable to local market features exist and are not fully passed on to independent customers or suppliers, the manner in which independent enterprises operating under similar circumstances would allocate such net benefits or burdens between them ... Read more