Tag: Comparable Uncontrolled Price (CUP) Method

A transfer pricing method that compares the price for property or services transferred in a controlled transaction to the price charged for property or services transferred in a comparable uncontrolled transaction in comparable circumstances.

India vs Times Infotainment Media Ltd, August 2021, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Mumbai, TIA No 298/Mum/2014

India vs Times Infotainment Media Ltd, August 2021, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Mumbai, TIA No 298/Mum/2014

Times Infotainment Media Ltd (TIML India), is in the entertainment business, including running an FM Broadcasting channel in India. It successfully participated in the auction of the radio business of Virgin radio in March 2008 in the United Kingdom. To complete the acquisition, it acquired two SPV companies, namely TML Golden Square Limited and TIML Global Limited. TIML India wholly held TIML Global which in turn wholly held TIML Golden. TIML India received funding from its parent Bennet Coleman & Co. Limited and remitted money primarily as an interest-free loan to TIML Global on 27 June 2008. TIML Global, on behalf of TIL Golden, paid UKP 53.51 million for the acquisition of Virgin Radio Shares. The acquisition of shares in Virgin Radios by TIML Golden was completed on 30 June 2008. TIML India booked the transaction in its accounts as a loan to TIML Global Limited, but the arm’s length interest rate on the loan was claimed at zero percent ... Continue to full case
Norway vs "Distributor A AS", March 2021, Tax Board, Case No 01-NS 131/2017

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

A fully fledged Norwegian distributor in the H group was restructured and converted into a Limited risk distributor. The tax authorities issued an assessment where the income of the Norwegian distributor was adjusted to the median in a benchmark study prepared by the tax authorities, based on the “Transactional Net Margin Method” (TNMM method). Decision of the Tax Board In a majority decision, the Tax Board determined that the case should be send back to the tax administration for further processing. Excerpt “…The majority agrees with the tax office that deficits over time may give reason to investigate whether the intra-group prices are set on market terms. However, the case is not sufficiently informed for the tribunal to take a final position on this. In order to determine whether the income has been reduced as a result of incorrect pricing of intra-group transactions and debits, it is necessary to analyze the agreed prices and contract terms. A comparability analysis will ... Continue to full case
Italy vs E.I S.r.l., February 2021, Administrative Court, Case No 12/02/2021 n. 546

Italy vs E.I S.r.l., February 2021, Administrative Court, Case No 12/02/2021 n. 546

Transactions had taken place between E.I. S.r.l. and a related Spanish company, S. Sa. where the pricing had been determined based on the cost plus method. An assessment was issued by the tax authorities on the basis of a “comparable” transactions (internal CUP) between the E.I. S.r.l. and an independent third company where the price had been higher. The Court of first instance held in favour of E.I S.r.l. This decision was appealed by the tax authorities. Judgement of the Court The Court dismissed the appeal of the tax authorities and decided in favour of E.I. S.r.l. Excerpts: “The Commission observes that the judges at first instance correctly and in detail reasoned their decisions, with a wealth of detail and a careful examination of all the circumstances examined. On the other hand, the Office has slavishly repeated its observations, merely objecting to the fact that they were not given due consideration by the first instance judges.” “The OECD Guidelines state ... Continue to full case
Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 - 118

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

A tax assessment had been issued for FY 2013 resulting in additional taxes of to CZK 227,162,210. At first the tax administration disputed that the applicant had purchased 1 TB SSDs for the purpose of earning, maintaining and securing income. It therefore concluded that the Starcom Internatioal had not proved that the conditions for tax deductions were met. On appeal, the tax administrator changed its position and accepted that all the conditions for tax deductions were met, but now instead concluded that Starcom Internatioal was a connected party to its supplier AZ Group Czech s.r.o. It also concluded that the transfer prices had been set mainly for the purpose of reducing the tax base within the meaning of Section 23(7)(b)(5) of the ITA. It was thus for the tax authorities to prove that Starcom Internatioal and AZ Group Czech s.r.o. (‘AZ’) were ‘otherwise connected persons’ and that the prices agreed between them differed from those which would have been agreed ... Continue to full case
Nigeria vs Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited, February 2020, Tax Appeal Tribunal, Case No TAT/LZ/CIT/015/2017

Nigeria vs Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited, February 2020, Tax Appeal Tribunal, Case No TAT/LZ/CIT/015/2017

Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited is a private limited company which engages in the business of trading in imported plastics and petrochemicals. Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited had applied an internal CUP in determining the arm’s length price of its purchase of petrochemical products from its offshore related party, Vinmar Overseas Limited by comparing the controlled prices of products with the prices whereby the products were sold to third party customers. However, in 2014, Vinmar Overseas Limited did not sell to third party customers in Nigeria and there was no basis for applying the internal CUP. Prime Plastichem Nigeria Limited instead applied the TNMM. In 2016, the Nigerian Tax Authorities reviewed the transfer pricing and disregarded the CUP analysis applied in the 2013 TP documentation, applied TNMM to both 2013 and 2014 transactions, and issued an assessment of ₦1.74 billion. Both parties disagreed on the applicable profit level indicator (PLI) to be adopted in applying the TNMM and the comparables selected in ... Continue to full case
Italy vs Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A, September 2017, Supreme Court, Case No 20805

Italy vs Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A, September 2017, Supreme Court, Case No 20805

Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A had been issued an assessment by the tax authorities for FY 2003 on various issues related to transfer pricing. Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A. disagreed with the assessment and brought the case to court. The Regional Tax Commission of Lombardy (Ctr) issued a decision where it partially annulled the assessment. This decision was challenged both by the tax authorities and Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A. Judgement of the Supreme Court Before the Supreme Court there were 29 issues to be resolved. The Supreme Court predominantly ruled in favour of the tax authorities. The court confirms that transfer pricing adjustments are applicable even in the absence of proof by the administration of a concrete tax advantage by the taxpayer. The shift of taxable income following transactions between companies belonging to the same group and subject to different national regulations, does not require the administration to prove the elusive function, but only the existence ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.39

A transactional profit split method might in appropriate circumstances be considered without comparable data, e.g. where the absence of comparable data is due to the presence of unique and valuable intangibles contributed by each party to the transaction (see paragraph 2.115). However, even in cases where comparable data are scarce and imperfect, the selection of the most appropriate transfer pricing method should be consistent with the functional analysis of the parties, see paragraph 2.2 ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.38

The identification of potential comparables has to be made with the objective of finding the most reliable data, recognising that they will not always be perfect. For instance, independent transactions may be scarce in certain markets and industries. A pragmatic solution may need to be found, on a case-by-case basis, such as broadening the search and using information on uncontrolled transactions taking place in the same industry and a comparable geographical market, but performed by third parties that may have different business strategies, business models or other slightly different economic circumstances; information on uncontrolled transactions taking place in the same industry but in other geographical markets; or information on uncontrolled transactions taking place in the same geographical market but in other industries. The choice among these various options will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, and in particular on the significance of the expected effects of comparability defects on the reliability of the analysis ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.37

The transactional focus of transfer pricing methods and the question of a possible aggregation of the taxpayer’s controlled transactions are discussed at paragraphs 3.9-3.12. A different question is whether non- transactional third party data can provide reliable comparables for a taxpayer’s controlled transactions (or set of transactions aggregated consistently with the guidance at paragraphs 3.9-3.12). In practice, available third party data are often aggregated data, at a company-wide or segment level, depending on the applicable accounting standards. Whether such non- transactional third party data can provide reliable comparables for the taxpayer’s controlled transaction or set of transactions aggregated consistently with the guidance at paragraphs 3.9-3.12 depends in particular on whether the third party performs a range of materially different transactions. Where segmented data are available, they can provide better comparables than company-wide, non-segmented data, because of a more transactional focus, although it is recognised that segmented data can raise issues in relation to the allocation of expenses to various segments ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.36

Tax administrators may have information available to them from examinations of other taxpayers or from other sources of information that may not be disclosed to the taxpayer. However, it would be unfair to apply a transfer pricing method on the basis of such data unless the tax administration was able, within the limits of its domestic confidentiality requirements, to disclose such data to the taxpayer so that there would be an adequate opportunity for the taxpayer to defend its own position and to safeguard effective judicial control by the courts ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.35

Taxpayers do not always perform searches for comparables on a country-by-country basis, e.g. in cases where there are insufficient data available at the domestic level and/or in order to reduce compliance costs where several entities of an MNE group have comparable functional analyses. Non-domestic comparables should not be automatically rejected just because they are not domestic. A determination of whether non- domestic comparables are reliable has to be made on a case-by-case basis and by reference to the extent to which they satisfy the five comparability factors. Whether or not one regional search for comparables can be reliably used for several subsidiaries of an MNE group operating in a given region of the world depends on the particular circumstances in which each of those subsidiaries operates. See paragraphs 1.112-1.113 on market differences and multi-country analyses. Difficulties may also arise from differing accounting standards ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.34

There are also proprietary databases that are developed and maintained by some advisory firms. In addition to the issues raised above for commercial databases that are more broadly commercialised, proprietary databases also raise a further concern with respect to their coverage of data if they are based on a more limited portion of the market than commercial databases. When a taxpayer has used a proprietary database to support its transfer prices, the tax administration may request access to the database to review the taxpayer’s results, for obvious transparency reasons ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.33

Use of commercial databases should not encourage quantity over quality. In practice, performing a comparability analysis using a commercial database alone may give rise to concerns about the reliability of the analysis, given the quality of the information relevant to assessing comparability that is typically obtainable from a database. To address these concerns, database searches may need to be refined with other publicly available information, depending on the facts and circumstances. Such a refinement of the database search with other sources of information is meant to promote quality over standardised approaches and is valid both for database searches made by taxpayers/practitioners and for those made by tax administrations. It should be understood in light of the discussion of the costs and compliance burden created for the taxpayer at paragraphs 3.80-3.83 ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.32

It may be unnecessary to use a commercial database if reliable information is available from other sources, e.g. internal comparables. Where they are used, commercial databases should be used in an objective manner and genuine attempts should be made to use the databases to identify reliable comparable information ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.31

A number of limitations to commercial databases are frequently identified. Because these commercial databases rely on publicly available information, they are not available in all countries, since not all countries have the same amount of publicly available information about their companies. Moreover, where they are available, they do not include the same type of information for all the companies operating in a given country because disclosure and filing requirements may differ depending on the legal form of the company and on whether or not it is listed. Care must be exercised with respect to whether and how these databases are used, given that they are compiled and presented for non-transfer pricing purposes. It is not always the case that commercial databases provide information that is detailed enough to support the chosen transfer pricing method. Not all databases include the same level of detail and can be used with similar assurance. Importantly, it is the experience in many countries that commercial ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.30

A common source of information is commercial databases, which have been developed by editors who compile accounts filed by companies with the relevant administrative bodies and present them in an electronic format suitable for searches and statistical analysis. They can be a practical and sometimes cost-effective way of identifying external comparables and may provide the most reliable source of information, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.29

There are various sources of information that can be used to identify potential external comparables. This sub-section discusses particular issues that arise with respect to commercial databases, foreign comparables and information undisclosed to taxpayers. Additionally, whenever reliable internal comparables exist, it may be unnecessary to search for external ones, see paragraphs 3.27-3.28 ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 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 1.33-1.118. 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 ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.27

Step 4 of the typical process described at paragraph 3.4 is a review of existing internal comparables, if any. Internal comparables may have a more direct and closer relationship to the transaction under review than external comparables. The financial analysis may be easier and more reliable as it will presumably rely on identical accounting standards and practices for the internal comparable and for the controlled transaction. In addition, access to information on internal comparables may be both more complete and less costly ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.26

The presence of minority shareholders may be one factor leading to the outcomes of a taxpayer’s controlled transactions being closer to arm’s length, but it is not determinative in and of itself. The influence of minority shareholders depends on a number of factors, including whether the minority shareholder has a participation in the capital of the parent company or in the capital of a subsidiary, and whether it has and actually exercises some influence on the pricing of intra-group transactions ... Continue to full case