Tag: Cost plus method

The cost plus method is a transfer pricing method using the costs incurred by the supplier of property (or services) in a controlled transaction. An appropriate cost plus mark up is added to this cost, to make an appropriate profit in light of the functions performed (taking into account assets used and risks assumed) and the market conditions. What is arrived at after adding the cost plus mark up to the above costs may be regarded as an arm’s length price of the original controlled transaction.

Germany vs Lender GmbH, June 2021, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No IR 4/17

Germany vs Lender GmbH, June 2021, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No IR 4/17

Applicable method for determining the arm’s length price in the case of a loan granted by a sister corporation domiciled abroad: (1) Are the three recognised methods for determining arm’s length prices (price comparison method, resale method and cost plus method) equally applicable? (2) Should the price comparison method be used if a comparable price can be determined on the basis of identical service relationships and conditions, and the cost-plus method if there are no comparable service relationships within or outside the group? (3) is an estimate of the appropriate transfer pricing to be made if the domestic borrower which receives a loan from the foreign sister corporation, in breach of its obligations to cooperate under section 90(2) sentence 1 AO, is unable to provide all the evidence necessary to determine a transfer pricing in accordance with arm’s length principles? Background In the specific facts of the case (I R 4/17), a domestic limited liability company (plaintiff) is held by ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
Norway vs Petrolia Noco AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-5842

Norway vs Petrolia Noco AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-5842

In 2011, Petrolia SE established a wholly owned subsidiary in Norway – Petrolia Noco AS – to conduct oil exploration activities on the Norwegian shelf. From the outset, Petrolia Noco AS received a loan from the parent company Petrolia SE. The written loan agreement was first signed later on 15 May 2012. The loan limit was originally MNOK 100 with an agreed interest rate of 3 months NIBOR with the addition of a margin of 2.25 percentage points. When the loan agreement was formalized in writing in 2012, the agreed interest rate was changed to 3 months NIBOR with the addition of an interest margin of 10 percentage points. The loan limit was increased to MNOK 150 in September 2012, and then to MNOK 330 in April 2013. In the tax return for 2012 and 2013, Petrolia Noco AS demanded a full deduction for actual interest costs on the intra-group loan to the parent company Petrolia SE. Following an audit ... 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
Canada vs AgraCity Ltd. and Saskatchewan Ltd. August 2020, Tax Court, 2020 TCC 91

Canada vs AgraCity Ltd. and Saskatchewan Ltd. August 2020, Tax Court, 2020 TCC 91

AgraCity Canada had entered into a Services Agreement with a group company, NewAgco Barbados, in connection with the sale by NewAgco Barbados directly to Canadian farmer-users of a glyphosate-based herbicide (“ClearOut”) a generic version of Bayer-Monsanto’s RoundUp. In reassessing the taxable income of AgraCity for 2007 and 2008 the Canada Revenue Agency relied upon the transfer pricing rules in paragraphs 247(2)(a) and (c) of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”) and re-allocated an amount equal to all of NewAgco Barbados’ profits from these sales activities to the income of AgraCity. According to the Canadian Revenue Agency the value created by the parties to the transactions did not align with what was credited to AgraCity and NewAgco Barbados. Hence, 100% of the net sales profits realized from the ClearOut sales by NewAgco Barbados to FNA members – according to the Revenue Agency – should have been AgraCity’s and none of those profits would have been NewAgco’s had they been dealing at ... Continue to full case
Poland vs "Fish Factory" sp. z o.o., July 2020, Administrative Court, I SA/Gd 184/20 - Wyrok

Poland vs “Fish Factory” sp. z o.o., July 2020, Administrative Court, I SA/Gd 184/20 – Wyrok

The activity of Spółka A sp. z o.o. included salmon breeding, processing, smoking and sale and distribution of the finished products. The company operated within Group A with head quarter in the Netherlands. By decision of 27 May 2019, the tax authorities determined that the operating expenses determined by transactions with related parties were inflated by PLN 29,613,156.00. The authorities did not accept calculations presented by the Company, as there were no reliable accounting records regarding the amount of costs incurred. Furthermore, the authorities held that the cost plus method, which should guarantee profit on the transaction in the Company, had been applied incorrect. The dispute before the administrative Court boils down to assessing whether the court of first instance, in compliance with the provisions in force, reversed the decision of the authorities in its entirety and referred the case back for reconsideration due to the deficiencies found in the evidentiary proceedings, making it necessary to conduct the proceedings in ... Continue to full case
Netherlands vs Zinc Smelter B.V., March 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2020:968

Netherlands vs Zinc Smelter B.V., March 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2020:968

A Dutch company, Zinc Smelter B.V., transferred part of it’s business to a Swiss group company in 2010. In dispute was whether the payment for the transferred activities had been set at arm’s length, and whether the cost-plus remuneration applied to the Dutch company after the business restructuring constituted an arm’s length remuneration for the remaining activities in the company. The case had previously been presented before the lower court where a decision had been issued in October 2017. After hearings in the Court of Appeal, Zinc Smelter B.V. and the Dutch tax authorities reached a settlement which was laid down in the decision. According to the agreement the profit split method was the correct method for determining the arm’s length remuneration of the Dutch company after the restructuring. Click here for English translation ECLI_NL_GHSHE_2020_968 ... Continue to full case
Israel vs Broadcom, December 2019, Lod District Court, Case No 26342-01-16

Israel vs Broadcom, December 2019, Lod District Court, Case No 26342-01-16

Broadcom Semiconductors Ltd is an Israeli company established in 2001 under the name Dune Semiconductors Ltd. The Company is engaged in development, production, and sale of components to routers, switches etc. The shares in Dune Semiconductors were acquired by the Broadcom Corporation (a US group) in 2009 and following the acquisition intellectual property was transferred to the new Parent for a sum of USD 17 million. The company also entered into tree agreements to provide marketing and support services to a related Broadcom affiliate under a cost+10%, to provide development services to a related Broadcom affiliate for cost+8%, and a license agreement to use Broadcom Israel’s intellectual property for royalties of approximately 14% of the affiliate’s turnover. The tax authorities argued that functions, assets, and risks had been transferred leaving only an empty shell in Israel and a tax assessment was issued based on the purchase price for the shares resulting in additional taxes of USD 29 millions. According to the ... Continue to full case
Aruba vs PriceSmart Inc., September 2019, Council for Tax Affairs of Aruba, Case No 2010/45712

Aruba vs PriceSmart Inc., September 2019, Council for Tax Affairs of Aruba, Case No 2010/45712

PriceSmart Inc (PSMT) operates a retail chain including approximately 25 department stores in the Caribbean and Central America. PSMT’s local branch had recognised losses in their profit tax returns for the years 2001 to 2006. In 2009, the tax authorities audited the tax returns for the years 2002 to 2006. At issue was the definition and interpretation of the various functions of the interested party and the risks incurred. In particular, the dispute concerned transfer pricing typologies, and whether the local branch could be characterised as a ‘Limited Risk Distributor’ or as a ‘Buy-Sell Distributor’ with a ‘proprietary’ risk in respect of, inter alia, accounts receivable, stock and currency. The tax authorities characterised the local branch as a ‘Limited Distributor’ as it was not the local branch but PSMT Inc. that determined the marketing strategy, mix of products. The branch hasd virtually no decision-making influence in this, because its tasks and activities are determined by functions and employees of PSMT ... Continue to full case
France vs SAP Laps SAS, February 2019, Administrative Tribunal of Montreuil, Case No. 1801945

France vs SAP Laps SAS, February 2019, Administrative Tribunal of Montreuil, Case No. 1801945

SAP Labs France SAS provided IT-related services to its German parent company, SAP AG, and received a cost-plus 6 % remuneration. According to the R&D agreement all income taxes, including withholding tax, applied on the amount paid by the parent company pursuant to the agreement would be paid for by the French company. However, the French tax administration held that the French company should have included the CVAE tax in the cost base on which it was remunerated, and by not doing so SAP Laps France had indirectly transferred profit to SAP AG. A tax reassessments under the French arm’s length provisions was then issued. SAP disagreed with the assessment and brought the case before the Administrative Tribunal. The Administrative Tribunal issued a decision in favor of the tax administration. “6. The contribution on the added value of companies is a burden on the company. Consequently, this tax could not be disregarded when determining the transfer price of the services ... Continue to full case
Russia vs Ashin Steel Trading House, February 2019, Court of Appeal, Case No. A76-19287/2018

Russia vs Ashin Steel Trading House, February 2019, Court of Appeal, Case No. A76-19287/2018

A group company, PI, purportedly provided management services to the Ashin Steel Trading House. During the audit for FY 2013-2015 the tax authority came to the conclusions that Ashin Steel Trading House and the PI had “deliberately created a management relationship scheme so that service providers are listed on the staff of an entrepreneur who pays tax on the ONS with the object of taxation “income””. Significant sums of money was transferred to PIs in the form of payments for the provision of management services for their subsequent withdrawal and to the accounts of an individual (from the accounts of the PI), which allowed the Company to minimize tax revenues. The tax authority recalculated the Company’s expenses for the management services, using a combination of transfer pricing methods – cost plus and comparable profitability. The Decision of the Court of Appeal: The CUP method has priority, but in cases where it is not subject to application, the tax authority has ... Continue to full case
France vs Philips, September 2018, Conseil d’État, Case No 405779

France vs Philips, September 2018, Conseil d’État, Case No 405779

Philips France SAS provides contract R&D to it’s Dutch parent. Compensation for the service was calculated as cost plus 10%. In the years 2003 to 2007 Philips France received government subsidies for performing R&D. These subsidies had been deducted by the company from the cost base before calculating of the cost plus remuneration. The French tax authorities issued a tax assessment where the deduction was denied and the remuneration calculated on the full cost base. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that a deduction of subsidies from the cost base does not constitute a “transfer of profits abroad” and allowed the reduced cost base for calculation of the arm’s length remuneration.  Click here for English translation Click here for other translation CÉt_8ème_-_3ème_chambres_réunies_19_09_2018_405779 ... Continue to full case
France vs GE Healthcare Clinical Systems, June 2018, CE n° 409645

France vs GE Healthcare Clinical Systems, June 2018, CE n° 409645

In this case, the French tax authorities questioned the method implemented by GE Healthcare Clinical Systems to determine the purchase price of the equipment it was purchasing from other General Electric subsidiaries in the United States, Germany and Finland for distribution in France. The method used by the GE Group for determining the transfer prices was to apply a margin of 5% to all direct and indirect production costs borne by the foreign group suppliers. For the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 the tax authorities applied a TNM-method based on a study of twenty-six comparable companies. The operating results of GE Healthcare France was then determined by multiplying the median value of the ratio “operating result/turnover” from the benchmark study to the turnover in GE Healthcare Clinical Systems. The additional profit was declared and qualified as constituting an indirect transfer of profits to the related party suppliers in the General Electric Group. The GE Group disagreed and brought the case ... Continue to full case
Israel vs Kontera and Finisar, April 2018, Supreme Court, Case No. 943/16

Israel vs Kontera and Finisar, April 2018, Supreme Court, Case No. 943/16

In these two cases from Israel the Supreme Court rules on the issue of whether or not companies using the cost plus method must include stock-based compensation in the cost base. The Court concludes that stock-based compensation is an integral part of the compensation package of the Israeli subsidiaries’ employees with the objective of improving the quality of services rendered and strengthening the bond between the companies’ and employees’ cohesive goals. Therefore, such compensation should be included in the cost base. The Court also addressed the burden of proof in relation to transfer pricing disputes in Israel. Section 85 A (c) (2) provides that the burden of proof is with the tax authority if the taxpayer have submitted all required documentation, including a transfer pricing study, that “adequately substantiate” intercompany prices to be in accordance with arm’s length principle ... Continue to full case
Netherlands vs Restructuring BV, September 2017, Rechtbank ZWB, No BRE 15/5683

Netherlands vs Restructuring BV, September 2017, Rechtbank ZWB, No BRE 15/5683

A Dutch company was engaged in smelting of zinc. The business was then restructured, for which the company received a small compensation payment. Dutch tax authorities disagreed with both the amount of compensation payment and the arm’s-length remuneration of the post restructuring manufacturing activities. Until 2003 the Dutch Company was a fully fledged business. The company owned the assets and controlled the risks relating to the activities. In the years after 2003, the company was involved in several business restructurings: Activities other than the actual production activities were gradually transferred to other group companies, among others the global marketing and services team (GMS), took over purchasing, sales and deployment of personnel. After becoming part of another group in 2007, the company entered a consultancy agreement with another group company under witch strategic and business development, marketing, sales, finance, legal support, IT, staffing and environmental services was now provided on a cost plus 7.5% basis. Under ‘Project X’, a Belgian company was established in April 2009, which concluded both a business transfer agreement and a cooperation agreement with related smelting companies ... 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 VII paragraph 7.36

For example, it may be the case that the market value of intra-group services is not greater than the costs incurred by the service provider. This could occur where, for example, the service is not an ordinary or recurrent activity of the service provider but is offered incidentally as a convenience to the MNE group. In determining whether the intra-group services represent the same value for money as could be obtained from an independent enterprise, a comparison of functions and expected benefits would be relevant to assessing comparability of the transactions. An MNE group may still determine to provide the service intra-group rather than using a third party for a variety of reasons, perhaps because of other intra-group benefits (for which arm’s length compensation may be appropriate). It would not be appropriate in such a case to increase the price for the service above what would be established by the CUP method just to make sure the associated enterprise makes ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.35

Depending on the method being used to establish an arm’s length charge for intra-group services, the issue may arise whether it is necessary that the charge be such that it results in a profit for the service provider. In an arm’s length transaction, an independent enterprise normally would seek to charge for services in such a way as to generate profit, rather than providing the services merely at cost. The economic alternatives available to the recipient of the service also need to be taken into account in determining the arm’s length charge. However, there are circumstances (e.g. as outlined in the discussion on business strategies in Chapter I) in which an independent enterprise may not realise a profit from the performance of services alone, for example where a supplier’s costs (anticipated or actual) exceed market price but the supplier agrees to provide the service to increase its profitability, perhaps by complementing its range of activities. Therefore, it need not always ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.34

When an associated enterprise is acting only as an agent or intermediary in the provision of services, it is important in applying a cost based method that the return or mark-up is appropriate for the performance of an agency function rather than for the performance of the services themselves. In such a case, it may not be appropriate to determine arm’s length pricing as a mark-up on the cost of the services but rather on the costs of the agency function itself. For example, an associated enterprise may incur the costs of renting advertising space on behalf of group members, costs that the group members would have incurred directly had they been independent. In such a case, it may well be appropriate to pass on these costs to the group recipients without a mark-up, and to apply a mark-up only to the costs incurred by the intermediary in performing its agency function ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VII paragraph 7.33

Where a cost based method is determined to be the most appropriate method to the circumstances of the case, the analysis would require examining whether the costs incurred by the group service provider need some adjustment to make the comparison of the controlled and uncontrolled transactions reliable ... Continue to full case
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