Tag: Comparability

Comparison of controlled transaction conditions with conditions prevailing in transactions between independent enterprises (uncontrolled transactions). Controlled and uncontrolled transactions are comparable if none of the differences between the transactions could materially affect the factor being examined in the methodology (e.g. price or margin), or if reasonably accurate adjustments can be made to eliminate the material effects of any such differences.

Denmark vs Pharma Distributor A A/S, March 2020, National Court, Case No SKM2020.105.OLR

Denmark vs Pharma Distributor A A/S, March 2020, National Court, Case No SKM2020.105.OLR

Results in a Danish company engaged in distribution of pharmaceuticals were significantly below the arm’s length range of net profit according to the benchmark study, but by disregarding annual goodwill amortization of DKK 57.1 million, the results were within the arm’s length range. The goodwill being amortized in Pharma Distributor A A/S had been determined under a prior acquisition of the company, and later – due to a merger with the acquiring danish company – booked in Pharma Distributor A A/S. The main question in the case was whether Pharma Distributor A A/S were entitled to disregard the goodwill amortization in the comparability analysis. The national tax court had ruled in favor of the company, but the national court reached the opposite result. Thus, the National Court found that the goodwill in question had to be regarded as an operating asset, and therefore the depreciation had to be regarded as operating expenses when calculating the net profit (EBIT margin). In ... Continue to full case
Finland vs A Group, December 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2018:173

Finland vs A Group, December 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2018:173

During fiscal years 2006–2008, A-Group had been manufacturing and selling products in the construction industry – insulation and other building components. License fees received by the parent company A OY from the manufacturing companies had been determined by application of the CUP method. The remuneration of the sales companies in the group had been determined by application of the resale price method. The Finnish tax administration, tax tribunal and administrative court all found that the comparable license agreements chosen with regard to determining the intercompany license fees had such differences regarding products, contract terms and market areas that they were incomparable. With regard to the sale of the finished products, they found that the resale price method had not been applied on a sufficiently reliable basis. By reference to the 2010 version of the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines, they considered the best method for determining the arm’s length remuneration of the group companies was the residual profit split method. The ... Continue to full case
Norway vs Stanley Black & Decker Norway AS , December 2018, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2016-105694

Norway vs Stanley Black & Decker Norway AS , December 2018, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2016-105694

At issue was the transfer pricing method applied on transactions between Black & Deckers Norwegian distribution company and the group trading hub in Luxembourg, Black & Decker Ltd SARL. The Norwegian tax authorities in 2013 issued a tax assessment of Black and Decker Norway AS where the taxable income for years 2005 – 2008 was increased with a total amount of NOK 50 million. The assessment was appealed to the Tax Appeals Committee where the amount was reduced to a total of NOK 26 million in line with recommendations of the tax authorities during the proceedings. The decision of the Tax Appeals Committee was upheld by the District Court and later the Court of Appeal where the appeal of Black & Decker was rejected. Click here for translation Norway vs Black & Decker december 2018 case no LB-2016-105694 ... Continue to full case
Russia vs Togliattiazot, September 2018, Russian Arbitration Court, Case No. No. А55-1621 / 2018

Russia vs Togliattiazot, September 2018, Russian Arbitration Court, Case No. No. А55-1621 / 2018

A Russian company, Togliattiazot, supplied ammonia to the external market through a Swiss trading hub, Nitrochem Distribution AG. The tax authority found that the selling price of the ammonia to Nitrochem Distribution AG had not been determined by Togliattiazot in accordance with the arm’s length principle but had been to low. Hence, a transfer pricing assessment was issued where the CUP method was applied. At first, the company argued that Togliattiazot and Nitrochem Distribution AG were not even affiliates. Later, the company argued that transfer prices had been determined in accordance with the TNM-method. The court ruled in favor of the Russian tax authority. Based on information gathered by the tax authorities – SPARK-Interfax and Orbis Bureau Van Djik bases, Switzerland’s trade register, Internet sites, and e-mail correspondence etc – the tax authorities were able to prove in court, the presence of actual control between Togliattiazot and Nitrochem. The TNMM method applied by Togliattiazot was rejected by the court because ... Continue to full case
US vs Medtronic, August 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No: 17-1866

US vs Medtronic, August 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No: 17-1866

The IRS was of the opinion, that Medtronic erred in allocating the profit earned from its devises and leads between its businesses located in the United States and its device manufacturer in Puerto Rico. To determine the arm’s length price for Medtronic’s intercompany licensing agreements the comparable profits method was therefor applied by the IRS, rather than the comparable uncontrolled transaction (CUT) used by Medtronic. Medtronic brought the case to the Tax Court. The Tax Court applied its own valuation analysis and concluded that the Pacesetter agreement was the best CUT to calculate the arm’s length result for intangible property. This decision from the Tax Court was then appealed by the IRS to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeal found that the Tax Court’s factual findings were insufficient to enable the Court to conduct an evaluation of Tax Court’s determination. Specifically, the Tax Court failed to: address whether the circumstances of the Pacesetter settlement was comparable to the licensing ... Continue to full case
India vs Amphenol Interconnect India (Private) Ltd., March 2018, Bombay High Court, case no. 536

India vs Amphenol Interconnect India (Private) Ltd., March 2018, Bombay High Court, case no. 536

In the case of Amphenol Interconnect the issue was whether two transactions – the resale of goods and sales assistance services for a commission – could be aggregated for transfer pricing purposes and whether the CUP or the TNM was the most appropriate transfer pricing method. The court found that that the CUP Method could not be used for the buy/sell transaction because of differences in location, volumes and customisation. The transactions could be aggregated and benchmarked together using the TNM Method. India vs Amphenol-Transfer-Pricing-CUP-TNMM ... Continue to full case
France vs. Sté Amycel France, 16 March 2016, CE, No 372372),

France vs. Sté Amycel France, 16 March 2016, CE, No 372372),

In Sté Amycel France the Court held that the Tax Administration must use an “appropriate” comparable when making transfer pricing adjustments. The French company was selling goods to both group companies and unrelated final customers. The tax administration had used a transaction with the third party customers as an internal comparable. However, as the related companies were acting as distributors, the comparison with the pricing applied to a third party customers was considered inappropriate for the purposes of assessing an arm’s length dealing. The court found that the pricing difference actually reflected the fact that the contractual relationship in the two situations was not comparable. Click here for translation France vs Amycel France _16_03_2016_CE no 372372 ... Continue to full case
Australia vs. Chevron Australia Holdings Pty Ltd . October 2015, Federal Court of Australia, case No. 3 and 4

Australia vs. Chevron Australia Holdings Pty Ltd . October 2015, Federal Court of Australia, case No. 3 and 4

The Australien Chevron case was about a $US 2.5 billion intercompany loan between Chevron Australia and its US subsidiary, Chevron Texaco, and whether the interest paid on the loan by Chevron Australia exceeded the arm’s length price. Chevron Australia had set up a company in the US, Chevron Texaco Funding Corporation, which borrowed money in US dollars at an interest rate of 1.2% and then made an Australian dollar loan at 8.9% to the Australian parent company. This 8,9% interest increased Chevron Australia’s costs, and reduced taxable profits. These interest payments, which was not taxed in the US, came back to Australia in the form of tax free dividends. The US company was just a shell created for the sole purpose of raising funds in the commercial paper market and then lending those funds to the Australian company. Chevron argued that the 8,9% interest rate was taking into account the risk of raising loans written in US dollars and then turning that into an Australian dollar loan. The Court ruled in favor ... Continue to full case
France vs. Microsoft, Feb 2012, CCA, No 10VE00752

France vs. Microsoft, Feb 2012, CCA, No 10VE00752

In the Microsoft case, the distribution activity of a French subsidiary of an American group was transferred to its Irish sister company. The French subsidiary was then converted into a sales agent of the Irish subsidiary. The Commission rate earned by the French subsidiary was reduced from 25% to 18%. The French tax authorities, taking into account the previous 25% commission rate, considered that it should not have been reduced and reinstated the corresponding income into the French company’s taxable income. To support their position, the French tax authorities conducted a benchmarking study. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that the mere fact that the commission rate has been reduced does not demonstrate the transfer of profits abroad. Moreover, the Court confirmed that the transfer of profits abroad was not proved due to the irrelevance of the methods used and of the comparables found by the French tax authorities. The companies were not suitable for comparison because they were not ... Continue to full case
Australia vs SNF, June 2011

Australia vs SNF, June 2011

SNF was a member of a global group with headquarters in France. SNF bought polyacrylamides from group companies overseas, and sold them to unrelated end-users in various industries in Australia. From its incorporation in 1990 until 2004, SNF consistently returned tax losses. SNF was subject to a transfer pricing audit. Determinations were made under Division 13 of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to adjust the consideration for the company’s international related party transactions to reflect an arm’s length amount. For the income years from 1997 to 2003, the Commissioner made determinations under ss136AD(3) and (4) of the Act as to the arm’s length price of the chemicals. The tax authorities issued notices of assessment in 2007, and subsequently disallowed the taxpayer’s objections to those assessments. Before the Court the commissioner submitted that the taxpayer was able to continue to trade, not because of the alleged price support, but because of an injection over the period of ... Continue to full case
Canada vs Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd., April 2011, Tax Court of Canada, Case No 2011 TCC 232

Canada vs Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd., April 2011, Tax Court of Canada, Case No 2011 TCC 232

Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd (APC, the taxpayer) was a Canadian manufacturer of custom prototype circuit boards. The manufacturing process was initially manual and later automated. In 1996, a Barbados company, APCI Inc.,  was formed via a complex ownership structure. The Barbados company provided services to Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd. by performing setup functions, software and website development, and maintenance services. APCI charged the appellant a fixed fee for the setup services and a square-inch fee for non-setup services. Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd charged the same fee for the same services to third-party customers. The tax authorities asserted that the Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd overpaid APCI $3.4 million because the terms and conditions of the agreements differed from those that would have been entered at arm’s length. Alberta Printed Circuits Ltd provided evidence of internal comparable transactions and transfer prices were determined by the comparable uncontrolled price (CUP) method. The court held that the price paid to APCI for the setup fees was arm’s length. It ... Continue to full case
UK vs. DSG Retail (Dixon case), Tax Tribunal, Case No. UKFT 31

UK vs. DSG Retail (Dixon case), Tax Tribunal, Case No. UKFT 31

This case concerns the sale of extended warranties to third-party customers of Dixons, a large retail chain in the UK selling white goods and home electrical products. The DSG group captive (re)insurer in the Isle of Man (DISL) insured these extended warranties for DSG’s UK customers. Until 1997 this was structured via a third-party insurer (Cornhill) that reinsured 95% on to DISL. From 1997 onwards the warranties were offered as service contracts that were 100% insured by DISL. The dispute concerned the level of sales commissions and profit commissions received by DSG. The Tax Tribunal rejected the taxpayer’s contentions that the transfer pricing legislation did not apply to the particular series of transactions (under ICTA 88 Section 770 and Schedule 28AA) – essentially the phrases ‘facility’ (Section 770) and ‘provision’ (Schedule 28AA) were interpreted broadly so that there was something to price between DSG and DISL, despite the insertion of a third party and the absence of a recognised transaction ... Continue to full case
Japan vs Imabari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., October 2006, Takamatsu High Court, Case No. 17

Japan vs Imabari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., October 2006, Takamatsu High Court, Case No. 17

Imabari Shipbuilding Co.Ltd., was a Japanese shipbuilding company constructing ships for an affiliate company located in Panama, Panama S.A. The Japanese tax authorities found that prices used in transactions between Imabari Co. and Panama S.A. had not been at arm’s length. A tax assessment was therefore issued where the pricing was based on the comparable uncontrolled pricing method (CUP). Imabari disagreed with the assessement and filed an appeal. At trial, the Takamatsu High Court rejected Imabari’s claim and held that the tax authority’s analysis could be limited to the factors that significantly affected the price, and that not all differences were required to be considered in the calculation of the arm’s length price. A final appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed 14 April 2007. Click here for translation Shipbuilding-Oct-2006-034729_hanrei ... Continue to full case
Korea vs Defence Corp, March 2006, Supreme Court, Case No 2004두4239

Korea vs Defence Corp, March 2006, Supreme Court, Case No 2004두4239

In this case the Korean Supreme Court concluded that the tax authorities had used transactions with different terms and conditions to price the controlled transactions. According to Article 5 (1) of the National Development and Reform Act in Korea, the TNM method can be applied only when the normal price can not be calculated by a conventional transfer pricing method, e.g. due to lack of comparable transactions. In addition, there was no proper way to adjust for the significant differences between the controlled transaction and transaction. Taxation based on the conventional transfer pricing methods may later be performed by the tax referee or the court. In fact, some cases have admitted the unlawfulness of tax disposition on the grounds of unreasonable selection of comparable transactions or lack of rational adjustment. However, if the tax assesssment is canceled in court, there will be cases where the taxation can no longer be carried out due to statues of limitations. Click here for ... Continue to full case
Korea vs MedImpo Corp, August 2004, Tax Tribunal, Case No 심사법인 2003-0076

Korea vs MedImpo Corp, August 2004, Tax Tribunal, Case No 심사법인 2003-0076

The Korean company (hereinafter ‘MedImpo Corp’) imported medicines from foreign related parties and sold them locally. The tax authorities issued an assessment based on transfer prices between two unrelated comparable companies and then applied the resale price method to calculate the “normal price” on the imported medicines. MedImpo Corp argued that the selection of a comparable company by the taxation authority was unlawful. They held that the selected transactions between local companies were not comparable because MedImpo Corp purchased and sold goods from overseas related parties. The Korean Tax Tribunal ruled in favor of the tax authorities. “Even if the price is applied in transactions with foreign related parties, if the transaction is conducted at a price that is considered to be applied or applied in a normal transaction with a person who is not a related party, the price may be the normal price (meaning: In the case of calculating the normal price, the normal price range should be ... Continue to full case
Korea vs Corp, March 2004, Case No 2003서2424

Korea vs Corp, March 2004, Case No 2003서2424

In this case, the court states that “Even if the price is applied in transactions with foreign related parties, if the transaction is conducted at a price that is considered to be applied or applied in a normal transaction with a person who is not a related party, the price may be the normal price” The normal price range should be calculated based on two or more comparable transactions between the persons who have no relation with each other. Click here for English translation 2003서2424 ... Continue to full case
France Lindt & Sprungli, December 2002, CE No 97BX01746

France Lindt & Sprungli, December 2002, CE No 97BX01746

In the case of Lindt & Sprungli, the Court approved the position taken by the FTA, even though the FTA did not support its position by reference to independent comparable data. The FTA based the case on facts and circumstances. Click here for translation Lindt & Sprungli, caa ... Continue to full case
Korea vs Corp, October 2001, Supreme Court, Case No 99두3423

Korea vs Corp, October 2001, Supreme Court, Case No 99두3423

In Korea the tax authorities usually regarded domestic transactions as better comparables and there were only few cases where transfer pricing had been applied based on foreign transactions. In this case, the Korean Supreme Court confirms that international transactions can be used as comparables for the pricing of domestic transaktions. Click here for English Translation 99두3423 ... Continue to full case
France vs. Reynolds Tobacco, Nov 1990, CAA

France vs. Reynolds Tobacco, Nov 1990, CAA

In Reynolds Tobacco, the 2%-3% commission received was considered arm’s-length, even though competitors received 8% for providing similar services. The services provided by the French company were sufficiently different, and this justified the lower commission rate charged. Click here for translation France vs Raynolds Tobacco ... Continue to full case