Tag: Functional analysis

A functional analysis is an analysis of the functions performed (taking into account assets used and risks assumed) by associated enterprises in controlled transactions and by independent enterprises in comparable uncontrolled transactions.

Spain vs "XZ SA", March 2022, TEAC, Case No Rec. 4377-2018

Spain vs “XZ SA”, March 2022, TEAC, Case No Rec. 4377-2018

“XZ SA” is a Spanish parent of a tax consolidation group which is part of a multinational group. The Spanish group participates in the group’s cash pooling system, both as a borrower and as a provider of funds. The objective of cash pooling agreements is to manage the cash positions of the participating entities, optimising the group’s financial results by channelling the excess liquidity of the group companies that generate it to the group companies that need financing, resorting to third-party financing when the group itself is not able to finance itself. This achieves greater efficiency in the use of the group’s funds, as well as improving their profitability and reducing the administrative and general financial costs of the entities participating in the agreement. The tax authorities issued an assessment in which the interest rates on deposits and withdraws had been aligned and determined based on a group credit rating. A complaint was filed with the TEAC by XZ SA ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.27

In some instances, the functions of the lender and the borrower may be undertaken by the same entity in different transactions. That could be the case, for example, of centralised treasury activities within an MNE group where the treasury entity raises and provides funds to other members of the MNE group. In those circumstances, the functional analysis should consider the applicability of the guidance in Section C of this chapter, and, in particular, paragraphs 10.44 and 10.45 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.26

From the perspective of the borrower, the relevant functions would usually refer to ensuring the availability of funds to repay the principal and the interest on the loan in due time; providing collateral, if needed; and monitoring and fulfilling any other obligation derived from the loan contract (see comments upon “The lender’s and borrower’s perspectives” in Section C.1.1.1 of this chapter) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.25

When, under accurate delineation, the lender is not exercising control over the risks associated to an advance of funds, or does not have the financial capacity to assume the risks, such risks should be allocated to the enterprise exercising control and having the financial capacity to assume the risk (see paragraph 1.98 of Chapter I). For instance, consider a situation where Company A advances funds to Company B. Consider further that the accurate delineation of the actual transaction indicates that Company A does not exercise control functions related to the advance of funds but that Company P, the parent company of the MNE group, is exercising control over those risks, and has the financial capacity to assume such risks. Under Chapter I analysis, Company P will bear the consequences of the playing out of such risks and Company A will be entitled to no more than a risk-free return (see Section D.1.2.1 in Chapter I) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.24

For instance, in the particular case of an intra-group loan, the key functions performed by a lender to decide whether and under which terms to advance funds would typically include an analysis and evaluation of the risks inherent in the loan, the capability to commit capital of the business to the investment, determining the terms of the loan and organising and documenting the loan. This may also include any ongoing monitoring and periodic review of the loan. Such a functional analysis is likely to include consideration of similar information to that which a commercial lender or ratings agency would consider in determining the creditworthiness of the borrower. An associated lender will not necessarily perform all of the same functions at the same intensity as an independent lender. However, in considering whether a loan has been advanced on conditions which would have been made between independent enterprises, the same commercial considerations and economic circumstances are relevant (see comments on “The lender’s ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.23

In accurately delineating the actual financial transaction, a functional analysis is necessary. This analysis seeks to identify the functions performed, the assets used and the risks assumed by the parties to that controlled transaction ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.85

Another aspect that may be necessary to examine in assessing whether the conditions of an arrangement in relation to an indemnification clause are arm’s length, is the remuneration of the transactions that are the object of the arrangement and the financial conditions of the termination thereof, as both can be inter-related. In effect, the terms of a termination clause (or the absence thereof) may be a significant element of the functional analysis of the transactions and specifically of the analysis of the risks of the parties, and may accordingly need to be taken into account in the determination of an arm’s length remuneration for the transactions. Similarly, the remuneration of the transactions will affect the determination of whether the conditions of the termination of the arrangement are at arm’s length ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.18

The accurate delineation of the transactions comprising the business restructuring requires performing a functional analysis that seeks to identify the economically significant activities and responsibilities undertaken, assets used or contributed, and risks assumed before and after the restructuring by the parties involved. Accordingly, the analysis focuses on what the parties actually do and the capabilities, as well as the type and nature of assets used or contributed by the parties in a pre-restructuring and post-restructuring scenarios. See Section D. 1.2 of Chapter I. Given the importance of risk in the analysis of business restructurings, the following section provides specific guidance on the analysis of risk in transactions comprising the business restructuring ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.32

It may be necessary to perform a functional analysis of the various members of the group to establish the relationship between the relevant services and the members’ activities and performance. In addition, it may be necessary to consider not only the immediate impact of a service, but also its long-term effect, bearing in mind that some costs will never actually produce the benefits that were reasonably expected when they were incurred. For example, expenditure on preparations for a marketing operation might prima facie be too heavy to be borne by a member in the light of its current resources; the determination whether the charge in such a case is arm’s length should consider expected benefits from the operation and the possibility that the amount and timing of the charge in some arm’s length arrangements might depend on the results of the operation. The taxpayer should be prepared to demonstrate the reasonableness of its charges to associated enterprises in such cases ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.133

This chapter makes it clear that in matters involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles it is important not to simply assume that all residual profit, after a limited return to those providing functions, should necessarily be allocated to the owner of intangibles. The selection of the most appropriate transfer pricing method should be based on a functional analysis that provides a clear understanding of the MNE’s global business processes and how the transferred intangibles interact with other functions, assets and risks that comprise the global business. The functional analysis should identify all factors that contribute to value creation, which may include risks borne, specific market characteristics, location, business strategies, and MNE group synergies among others. The transfer pricing method selected, and any adjustments incorporated in that method based on the comparability analysis, should take into account all of the relevant factors materially contributing to the creation of value, not only intangibles and routine functions ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.128

In conducting a comparability analysis involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles, the existence of risks related to the likelihood of obtaining future economic benefits from the transferred intangibles must be considered, including the allocation of risk between the parties which should be analysed within the framework set out in Section D. 1.2 of Chapter I. The following types of risks, among others, should be considered in evaluating whether transfers of intangibles or combinations of intangibles are comparable, and in evaluating whether the intangibles themselves are comparable. Risks related to the future development of the intangibles. This includes an evaluation of whether the intangibles relate to commercially viable products, whether the intangibles may support commercially viable products in the future, the expected cost of required future development and testing, the likelihood that such development and testing will prove successful and similar considerations. The consideration of development risk is particularly important in situations involving transfers of partially developed intangibles ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.89

In transactions involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles, it is essential to identify with specificity the nature of the intangibles and rights in intangibles that are transferred between associated enterprises. Where limitations are imposed on the rights transferred, it is also essential to identify the nature of such limitations and the full extent of the rights transferred. It should be noted in this regard that the labels applied to transactions do not control the transfer pricing analysis. For example, in the case of a transfer of the exclusive right to exploit a patent in Country X, the taxpayer’s decision to characterise the transaction either as a sale of all of the Country X patent rights, or as a perpetual exclusive licence of a portion of the worldwide patent rights, does not affect the determination of the arm’s length price if, in either case, the transaction being priced is a transfer of exclusive rights to exploit the patent ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.49

The relative importance of contributions to the creation of intangible value by members of the group in the form of functions performed, assets used and risks assumed will vary depending on the circumstances. For example, assume that a fully developed and currently exploitable intangible is purchased from a third party by a member of a group and exploited through manufacturing and distribution functions performed by other group members while being actively managed and controlled by the entity purchasing the intangible. It is assumed that this intangible would require no development, may require little or no maintenance or protection, and may have limited usefulness outside the area of exploitation intended at the time of the acquisition. There would be no development risk associated with the intangible, although there are risks associated with acquiring and exploiting the intangible. The key functions performed by the purchaser are those necessary to select the most appropriate intangible on the market, to analyse its potential benefits ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.48

In identifying arm’s length prices for transactions among associated enterprises, the contributions of members of the group related to the creation of intangible value should be considered and appropriately rewarded. The arm’s length principle and the principles of Chapters I – III require that all members of the group receive appropriate compensation for any functions they perform, assets they use, and risks they assume in connection with the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, and exploitation of intangibles. It is therefore necessary to determine, by means of a functional analysis, which member(s) perform and exercise control over development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, and exploitation functions, which member(s) provide funding and other assets, and which member(s) assume the various risks associated with the intangible. Of course, in each of these areas, this may or may not be the legal owner of the intangible. As noted in paragraph 6.133, it is also important in determining arm’s length compensation for functions performed, assets used, and risks ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.3

The principles of Chapters I – III of these Guidelines apply equally to transactions involving intangibles and those transactions which do not. Under those principles, as is the case with other transfer pricing matters, the analysis of cases involving the use or transfer of intangibles should begin with a thorough identification of the commercial or financial relations between the associated enterprises and the conditions and economically relevant circumstances attaching to those relations in order that the actual transaction involving the use or transfer of intangibles is accurately delineated. The functional analysis should identify the functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed1 by each relevant member of the MNE group. In cases involving the use or transfer of intangibles, it is especially important to ground the functional analysis on an understanding of the MNE’s global business and the manner in which intangibles are used by the MNE to add or create value across the entire supply chain. Where necessary, the analysis ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.138

An additional consideration is whether there is a plausible expectation that following the business strategy will produce a return sufficient to justify its costs within a period of time that would be acceptable in an arm’s length arrangement. It is recognised that a business strategy such as market penetration may fail, and the failure does not of itself allow the strategy to be ignored for transfer pricing purposes. However, if such an expected outcome was implausible at the time of the transaction, or if the business strategy is unsuccessful but nonetheless is continued beyond what an independent enterprise would accept, the arm’s length nature of the business strategy may be doubtful and may warrant a transfer pricing adjustment. In determining what period of time an independent enterprise would accept, tax administrations may wish to consider evidence of the commercial strategies evident in the country in which the business strategy is being pursued. In the end, however, the most important consideration ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.137

When evaluating whether a taxpayer was following a business strategy that temporarily decreased profits in return for higher long-run profits, several factors should be considered. Tax administrations should examine the conduct of the parties to determine if it is consistent with the purported business strategy. For example, if a manufacturer charges its associated distributor a below-market price as part of a market penetration strategy, the cost savings to the distributor may be reflected in the price charged to the distributor’s customers or in greater market penetration expenses incurred by the distributor. A market penetration strategy of an MNE group could be put in place either by the manufacturer or by the distributor acting separately from the manufacturer (and the resulting cost borne by either of them), or by both of them acting in a co-ordinated manner. Furthermore, unusually intensive marketing and advertising efforts would often accompany a market penetration or market share expansion strategy. Another factor to consider is whether ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.136

Timing issues can pose particular problems for tax administrations when evaluating whether a taxpayer is following a business strategy that distinguishes it from potential comparables. Some business strategies, such as those involving market penetration or expansion of market share, involve reductions in the taxpayer’s current profits in anticipation of increased future profits. If in the future those increased profits fail to materialise because the purported business strategy was not actually followed by the taxpayer, the appropriate transfer pricing outcome would likely require a transfer pricing adjustment. However legal constraints may prevent re-examination of earlier tax years by the tax administrations. At least in part for this reason, tax administrations may wish to subject the issue of business strategies to particular scrutiny ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.135

Business strategies also could include market penetration schemes. A taxpayer seeking to penetrate a market or to increase its market share might temporarily charge a price for its product that is lower than the price charged for otherwise comparable products in the same market. Furthermore, a taxpayer seeking to enter a new market or expand (or defend) its market share might temporarily incur higher costs (e.g. due to start-up costs or increased marketing efforts) and hence achieve lower profit levels than other taxpayers operating in the same market ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.134

Business strategies must also be examined in delineating the transaction and in determining comparability for transfer pricing purposes. Business strategies would take into account many aspects of an enterprise, such as innovation and new product development, degree of diversification, risk aversion, assessment of political changes, input of existing and planned labour laws, duration of arrangements, and other factors bearing upon the daily conduct of business. Such business strategies may need to be taken into account when determining the comparability of controlled and uncontrolled transactions and enterprises ... Read more