Tag: CUP method

The comparable uncontrolled price (CUP) method compares amounts charged in controlled transactions (between related parties) with amounts charged in comparable uncontrolled transactions.

Italy vs Ferrari SpA, September 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 26695/2022

Italy vs Ferrari SpA, September 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 26695/2022

In February 2016 the Regional Tax Commission rejected an appeal filed by the Revenue Agency against the first instance judgment, which had upheld an appeal brought by Italian car manufacturer, Ferrari S.p.A. against a notice of assessment issued by the Revenue Agency in which the company was accused of having applied prices lower than the ‘normal value’ in transactions with its foreign subsidiaries, in particular with the US company Ferrari NA (North America). In determining the arm’s length price of the relevant controlled transactions Ferrari had applied the CUP method. The Revenue Agency considered the TNMM to be the most appropriate method. The Regional Tax Commission observed that “for verifying the “normal value”, the Revenue Agency itself, in Circular No. 32 of 22/09/1980, had suggested the use of the CUP method instead of the less reliable TNMM method “which is not advisable due to its considerable approximation and arbitrariness’ for which reason the Office’s objection must be considered inadmissible”. On ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(5)(ii) Example.

Indirect evidence of comparable uncontrolled services price. (i) Company A is a United States insurance company. Company A’s wholly-owned Country X subsidiary, Company B, performs specialized risk analysis for Company A as well as for uncontrolled parties. In determining the price actually charged to uncontrolled entities for performing such risk analysis, Company B uses a proprietary, multi-factor computer program, which relies on the gross value of the policies in the customer’s portfolio, the relative composition of those policies, their location, and the estimated number of personnel hours necessary to complete the project. Uncontrolled companies that perform comparable risk analysis in the same industry or market-segment use similar proprietary computer programs to price transactions with uncontrolled customers (the competitors’ programs may incorporate different inputs, or may assign different weights or values to individual inputs, in arriving at the price). (ii) During the taxable year subject to audit, Company B performed risk analysis for uncontrolled parties as well as for Company A ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(5)(i) In general.

The price of a comparable uncontrolled services transaction may be derived based on indirect measures of the price charged in comparable uncontrolled services transactions, but only if – (A) The data are widely and routinely used in the ordinary course of business in the particular industry or market segment for purposes of determining prices actually charged in comparable uncontrolled services transactions; (B) The data are used to set prices in the controlled services transaction in the same way they are used to set prices in uncontrolled services transactions of the controlled taxpayer, or in the same way they are used by uncontrolled taxpayers to set prices in uncontrolled services transactions; and (C) The amount charged in the controlled services transaction may be reliably adjusted to reflect differences in quality of the services, contractual terms, market conditions, risks borne (including contingent-payment terms), duration or quantitative measure of services rendered, and other factors that may affect the price to which uncontrolled taxpayers would agree ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(4) Example 6.

Adjustments for differences. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 5, except that the engagement is undertaken with the client on a fixed fee basis. That is, prior to undertaking the engagement Company B and Company A estimate the resources required to undertake the engagement, and, based on hourly fee rates, charge the client a single fee for completion of the project. Company A’s portion of the engagement results in fees of $144,000. (ii) The engagement, once undertaken, requires 20% more hours by each of Companies A and B than originally estimated. Nevertheless, the unrelated client pays the fixed fee that was agreed upon at the start of the engagement. Company B pays Company A $144,000, in accordance with the fixed fee arrangement. (iii) Company A often enters into similar fixed fee engagements with clients. In addition, Company A’s records for similar engagements show that when it experiences cost overruns, it does not collect additional fees from the client for ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(4) Example 5.

Internal comparable. (i) Company A, a United States corporation, and its subsidiaries render computer consulting services relating to systems integration and networking to business clients in various countries. Company A and its subsidiaries render only consulting services, and do not manufacture computer hardware or software nor distribute such products. The controlled group is organized according to industry specialization, with key industry specialists working for Company A. These personnel typically form the core consulting group that teams with consultants from the local-country subsidiaries to serve clients in the subsidiaries’ respective countries. (ii) Company A and its subsidiaries sometimes undertake engagements directly for clients, and sometimes work as subcontractors to unrelated parties on more extensive supply-chain consulting engagements for clients. In undertaking the latter engagements with third party consultants, Company A typically prices its services based on consulting hours worked multiplied by a rate determined for each category of employee. The company also charges, at no markup, for out-of-pocket expenses such as ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(4) Example 4.

Use of valuable intangible property. (i) Company A, a United States corporation in the biotechnology sector, renders research and development services exclusively to its affiliates. Company B is Company A’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Country X. Company A renders research and development services to Company B. (ii) In performing its research and development services function, Company A uses proprietary software that it developed internally. Company A uses the software to evaluate certain genetically engineered compounds developed by Company B. Company A owns the copyright on this software and does not license it to uncontrolled parties. (iii) No uncontrolled parties can be identified that perform services identical or with a high degree of similarity to those performed by Company A. Because there are material differences for which reliable adjustments cannot be made, the comparable uncontrolled services price method is unlikely to provide a reliable measure of the arm’s length price. See paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(4) Example 3.

External comparable uncontrolled services price. The facts are the same as in Example 2, except that uncontrolled parties in Country X render similar loading and stevedoring services, but only under contracts that have a minimum term of one year. If the difference in the duration of the services has a material effect on prices, adjustments to account for these differences must be made to the results of the uncontrolled transactions according to the provisions of § 1.482-1(d)(2), and such adjusted results may be used as a measure of the arm’s length result ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(4) Example 2.

External comparable uncontrolled services price. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Company A performs services for Company B, but not for uncontrolled parties. Based on information obtained from unrelated parties (which is determined to be reliable under the comparability standards set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section), it is determined that uncontrolled parties in Country X perform services comparable to those rendered by Company A to Company B, and that such parties charge $60 per cargo container. (ii) In evaluating the appropriate measure of an arm’s length price for the loading services that Company A renders to Company B, the $60 per cargo container charge is considered evidence of a comparable uncontrolled services price. See paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(4) Example 1.

Internal comparable uncontrolled services price. Company A, a United States corporation, performs shipping, stevedoring, and related services for controlled and uncontrolled parties on a short-term or as-needed basis. Company A charges uncontrolled parties in Country X a uniform fee of $60 per container to place loaded cargo containers in Country X on oceangoing vessels for marine transportation. Company A also performs identical services in Country X for its wholly-owned subsidiary, Company B, and there are no substantial differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions. In evaluating the appropriate measure of the arm’s length price for the container-loading services performed for Company B, because Company A renders substantially identical services in Country X to both controlled and uncontrolled parties, it is determined that the comparable uncontrolled services price constitutes the best method for determining the arm’s length price for the controlled services transaction. Based on the reliable data provided by Company A concerning the price charged for services in comparable uncontrolled ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(2)(iii) Data and assumptions.

The reliability of the results derived from the comparable uncontrolled services price method is affected by the completeness and accuracy of the data used and the reliability of the assumptions made to apply the method. See § 1.482-1(c) (best method rule) ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(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 factors that may be particularly relevant to application of this method include – (1) Quality of the services rendered; (2) Contractual terms (for example, scope and terms of warranties or guarantees regarding the services, volume, credit and payment terms, allocation of risks, including any contingent-payment terms and whether costs were incurred without a provision for current reimbursement); (3) Intangible property (if any) used in rendering the services; (4) Geographic market in which the services are rendered or received; (5) Risks borne (for example, costs incurred to render the services, without provision for current reimbursement); (6) Duration or quantitative measure of services rendered; (7) Collateral transactions or ongoing business relationships between the renderer and the recipient, including arrangement for the provision of tangible property in connection with the services; and (8) Alternatives realistically ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(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 the services rendered, and of the intangible property (if any) used in performing the services, generally will have the greatest effects 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 services 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 from the controlled transaction that would affect the price, or if there are only minor differences that have a definite and reasonably ascertainable effect ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(2)(i) In general.

Whether results derived from application of this method are the most reliable measure of the arm’s length result must be determined using the factors described under the best method rule in § 1.482-1(c). The application of these factors under the comparable uncontrolled services price method is discussed in paragraphs (c)(2)(ii) and (iii) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-9(c)(1) In general.

The comparable uncontrolled services price method evaluates whether the amount charged in a controlled services transaction is arm’s length by reference to the amount charged in a comparable uncontrolled services transaction ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 7.

Preference for comparable uncontrolled transaction method. (i) USpharm, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, develops a new drug Z that is a safe and effective treatment for the disease zeezee. USpharm has obtained patents covering drug Z in the United States and in various foreign countries. USpharm has also obtained the regulatory authorizations necessary to market drug Z in the United States and in foreign countries. (ii) USpharm licenses its subsidiary in country X, Xpharm, to produce and sell drug Z in country X. At the same time, it licenses an unrelated company, Ydrug, to produce and sell drug Z in country Y, a neighboring country. Prior to licensing the drug, USpharm had obtained patent protection and regulatory approvals in both countries and both countries provide similar protection for intellectual property rights. Country X and country Y are similar countries in terms of population, per capita income and the incidence of disease zeezee. Consequently, drug Z is expected to sell in similar ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 1.

Preference for comparable uncontrolled price method. Company A is the U.S. distribution subsidiary of Company B, a foreign manufacturer of consumer electrical appliances. Company A purchases toaster ovens from Company B for resale in the U.S. market. To exploit other outlets for its toaster ovens, Company B also sells its toaster ovens to Company C, an unrelated U.S. distributor of toaster ovens. The products sold to Company A and Company C are identical in every respect and there are no material differences between the transactions. In this case application of the CUP method, using the sales of toaster ovens to Company C, generally will provide a more reliable measure of an arm’s length result for the controlled sale of toaster ovens to Company A than the application of any other method. See §§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(i) and -3(b)(2)(ii)(A) ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(iii)(A) Evaluation based on CUT.

The present value of the PCT Payor’s licensing alternative may be determined using the comparable uncontrolled transaction method, as described in § 1.482-4(c)(1) and (2). In this case, the present value of the PCT Payor’s licensing alternative is the present value of the stream, over what would be the duration of the CSA Activity under the cost sharing alternative, of the reasonably anticipated residuals of the divisional profits or losses that would be achieved under the cost sharing alternative, minus operating cost contributions that would be made under the cost sharing alternative, minus the licensing payments as determined under the comparable uncontrolled transaction method ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(3) Comparable uncontrolled transaction method.

The comparable uncontrolled transaction (CUT) method described in § 1.482-4(c), and the comparable uncontrolled services price (CUSP) method described in § 1.482-9(c), may be applied to evaluate whether the amount charged in a PCT is arm’s length by reference to the amount charged in a comparable uncontrolled transaction. Although all of the factors entering into a best method analysis described in § 1.482-1(c) and (d) must be considered, comparability and reliability under this method are particularly dependent on similarity of contractual terms, degree to which allocation of risks is proportional to reasonably anticipated benefits from exploiting the results of intangible development, similar period of commitment as to the sharing of intangible development risks, and similar scope, uncertainty, and profit potential of the subject intangible development, including a similar allocation of the risks of any existing resources, capabilities, or rights, as well as of the risks of developing other resources, capabilities, or rights that would be reasonably anticipated to contribute to exploitation within ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(f)(2)(ii)(B) Transactions involving comparable intangible.

If the arm’s length result is derived from the application of the comparable uncontrolled transaction method based on the transfer of a comparable intangible under comparable circumstances to those of the controlled transaction, no allocation will be made under paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section if each of the following facts is established – (1) The controlled taxpayers entered into a written agreement (controlled agreement) that provided for an amount of consideration with respect to each taxable year subject to such agreement, such consideration was an arm’s length amount for the first taxable year in which substantial periodic consideration was required to be paid under the agreement, and such agreement remained in effect for the taxable year under review; (2) There is a written agreement setting forth the terms of the comparable uncontrolled transaction relied upon to establish the arm’s length consideration (uncontrolled agreement), which contains no provisions that would permit any change to the amount of consideration, a renegotiation, or a termination of the ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(4) Example 4.

(i) USdrug, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, has developed a new drug, Nosplit, that is useful in treating migraine headaches and produces no significant side effects. Nosplit replaces another drug, Lessplit, that USdrug had previously produced and marketed as a treatment for migraine headaches. A number of other drugs for treating migraine headaches are already on the market, but Nosplit can be expected rapidly to dominate the worldwide market for such treatments and to command a premium price since all other treatments produce side effects. Thus, USdrug projects that extraordinary profits will be derived from Nosplit in the U.S. market and other markets. (ii) USdrug licenses its newly established European subsidiary, Eurodrug, the rights to produce and market Nosplit in the European market. In setting the royalty rate for this license, USdrug considers the royalty that it established previously when it licensed the right to produce and market Lessplit in the European market to an unrelated European pharmaceutical company. In many ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(4) Example 3.

(i) FP, is a foreign company that designs, manufactures and sells industrial equipment. FP has developed proprietary components that are incorporated in its products. These components are important in the operation of FP’s equipment and some of them have distinctive features, but other companies produce similar components and none of these components by itself accounts for a substantial part of the value of FP’s products. (ii) FP licenses its U.S. subsidiary, USSub, exclusive North American rights to use the patented technology for producing component X, a heat exchanger used for cooling operating mechanisms in industrial equipment. Component X incorporates proven technology that makes it somewhat more efficient than the heat exchangers commonly used in industrial equipment. FP also agrees to provide technical support to help adapt component X to USSub’s products and to assist with initial production. Under the terms of the license agreement USSub pays FP a royalty equal to 3 percent of sales of USSub equipment incorporating component ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(4) Example 2.

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that the incidence of the disease zeezee in Country Y is much higher than in Country X. In this case, the profit potential from exploitation of the right to make and sell drug Z is likely to be much higher in country Y than it is in Country X. Consequently, the Ydrug license agreement is unlikely to provide a reliable measure of the arm’s length royalty rate for the Xpharm license ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(4) Example 1.

(i) USpharm, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, develops a new drug Z that is a safe and effective treatment for the disease zeezee. USpharm has obtained patents covering drug Z in the United States and in various foreign countries. USpharm has also obtained the regulatory authorizations necessary to market drug Z in the United States and in foreign countries. (ii) USpharm licenses its subsidiary in country X, Xpharm, to produce and sell drug Z in country X. At the same time, it licenses an unrelated company, Ydrug, to produce and sell drug Z in country Y, a neighboring country. Prior to licensing the drug, USpharm had obtained patent protection and regulatory approvals in both countries and both countries provide similar protection for intellectual property rights. Country X and country Y are similar countries in terms of population, per capita income and the incidence of disease zeezee. Consequently, drug Z is expected to sell in similar quantities and at similar prices in ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(2)(iii)(iv) Data and assumptions.

The reliability of the results derived from the comparable uncontrolled transaction method is affected by the completeness and accuracy of the data used and the reliability of the assumptions made to apply this method. See § 1.482-1(c) (Best method rule) ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(2)(iii)(B)(2) Comparable circumstances.

In evaluating the comparability of the circumstances of the controlled and uncontrolled transactions, although all of the factors described in § 1.482-1(d)(3) must be considered, specific factors that may be particularly relevant to this method include the following – (i) The terms of the transfer, including the exploitation rights granted in the intangible, the exclusive or nonexclusive character of any rights granted, any restrictions on use, or any limitations on the geographic area in which the rights may be exploited; (ii) The stage of development of the intangible (including, where appropriate, necessary governmental approvals, authorizations, or licenses) in the market in which the intangible is to be used; (iii) Rights to receive updates, revisions, or modifications of the intangible; (iv) The uniqueness of the property and the period for which it remains unique, including the degree and duration of protection afforded to the property under the laws of the relevant countries; (v) The duration of the license, contract, or other agreement, and any termination or ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(2)(iii)(B)(1) Comparable intangible property.

In order for the intangible property involved in an uncontrolled transaction to be considered comparable to the intangible property involved in the controlled transaction, both intangibles must – (i) Be used in connection with similar products or processes within the same general industry or market; and (ii) Have similar profit potential. The profit potential of an intangible is most reliably measured by directly calculating the net present value of the benefits to be realized (based on prospective profits to be realized or costs to be saved) through the use or subsequent transfer of the intangible, considering the capital investment and start-up expenses required, the risks to be assumed, and other relevant considerations. The need to reliably measure profit potential increases in relation to both the total amount of potential profits and the potential rate of return on investment necessary to exploit the intangible. If the information necessary to directly calculate net present value of the benefits to be realized is unavailable, and ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(2)(iii)(A) In general.

The degree of comparability between controlled and uncontrolled transactions is determined by applying the comparability provisions of § 1.482-1(d). Although all of the factors described in § 1.482-1(d)(3) must be considered, specific factors may be particularly relevant to this method. In particular, the application of this method requires that the controlled and uncontrolled transactions involve either the same intangible property or comparable intangible property, as defined in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(B)(1) of this section. In addition, because differences in contractual terms, or the economic conditions in which transactions take place, could materially affect the amount charged, comparability under this method also depends on similarity with respect to these factors, or adjustments to account for material differences in such circumstances ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(2)(ii) Reliability.

If an uncontrolled transaction involves the transfer of the same intangible under the same, or substantially the same, circumstances as the controlled transaction, the results derived from applying the comparable uncontrolled transaction method will generally be the most direct and reliable measure of the arm’s length result for the controlled transfer of an intangible. Circumstances between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions will be considered substantially the same if there are at most only minor differences that have a definite and reasonably ascertainable effect on the amount charged and for which appropriate adjustments are made. If such uncontrolled transactions cannot be identified, uncontrolled transactions that involve the transfer of comparable intangibles under comparable circumstances may be used to apply this method, but the reliability of the analysis will be reduced ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(2)(i) In general.

Whether results derived from applications of this method are the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result is determined using the factors described under the best method rule in § 1.482-1(c). The application of these factors under the comparable uncontrolled transaction method is discussed in paragraphs (c)(2)(ii), (iii), and (iv) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c)(1) In general.

The comparable uncontrolled transaction method evaluates whether the amount charged for a controlled transfer of intangible property was arm’s length by reference to the amount charged in a comparable uncontrolled transaction. The amount determined under this method may be adjusted as required by paragraph (f)(2) of this section (Periodic adjustments) ... Read more

§ 1.482-4(c) Comparable uncontrolled transaction method –

Under the comparable profits method, the determination of an arm’s length result is based on the amount of operating profit that the tested party would have earned on related party transactions if its profit level indicator were equal to that of an uncontrolled comparable (comparable operating profit). Comparable operating profit is calculated by determining a profit level indicator for an uncontrolled comparable, and applying the profit level indicator to the financial data related to the tested party’s most narrowly identifiable business activity for which data incorporating the controlled transaction is available (relevant business activity). To the extent possible, profit level indicators should be applied solely to the tested party’s financial data that is related to controlled transactions. The tested party’s reported operating profit is compared to the comparable operating profits derived from the profit level indicators of uncontrolled comparables to determine whether the reported operating profit represents an arm’s length result ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(b)(5)(iii) Example 2.

Extraordinary Market Conditions. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that before USOil and FS enter into their contract, war breaks out in Countries X and Y, major oil producing countries, causing significant instability in world petroleum markets. As a result, given the significant instability in the price of oil, the prices listed on the quotation medium may not reflect a reliable measure of an arm’s length result. See § 1.482-3(b)(5)(ii) ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(b)(5)(iii) Example 1.

Use of Quotation Medium. (i) On June 1, USOil, a United States corporation, enters into a contract to purchase crude oil from its foreign subsidiary, FS, in Country Z. USOil and FS agree to base their sales price on the average of the prices published for that crude in a quotation medium in the five days before August 1, the date set for delivery. USOil and FS agree to adjust the price for the particular circumstances of their transactions, including the quantity of the crude sold, contractual terms, transportation costs, risks borne, and other factors that affect the price. (ii) The quotation medium used by USOil and FS is widely and routinely used in the ordinary course of business in the industry to establish prices for uncontrolled sales. Because USOil and FS use the data to set their sales price in the same way that unrelated parties use the data from the quotation medium to set their sales prices, and ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(b)(5)(i) In general.

A comparable uncontrolled price may be derived from data from public exchanges or quotation media, but only if the following requirements are met – (A) The data is widely and routinely used in the ordinary course of business in the industry to negotiate prices for uncontrolled sales; (B) The data derived from public exchanges or quotation media is used to set prices in the controlled transaction in the same way it is used by uncontrolled taxpayers in the industry; and (C) The amount charged in the controlled transaction is adjusted to reflect differences in product quality and quantity, contractual terms, transportation costs, market conditions, risks borne, and other factors that affect the price that would be agreed to by uncontrolled taxpayers ... Read more

§ 1.482-3(b)(4) Example 4.

Effect of Geographic Differences. FM, a foreign specialty radio manufacturer, sells its radios to a controlled U.S. distributor, AM, that serves the West Coast of the United States. FM sells its radios to uncontrolled distributors to serve other regions in the United States. The product in the controlled and uncontrolled transactions is the same, and all other circumstances surrounding the controlled and uncontrolled transactions are substantially the same, other than the geographic differences. If the geographic differences are unlikely to have a material effect on price, or they have definite and reasonably ascertainable effects for which adjustments are made, then the adjusted results of the uncontrolled sales may be used under the comparable uncontrolled price method to establish an arm’s length range pursuant to § 1.482-1(e)(2)(iii)(A). If the effects of the geographic differences would be material but cannot be reliably ascertained, then the reliability of the results will be diminished. However, the comparable uncontrolled price method may still provide the ... Read more