Tag: Intangibles

European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, May 2021, State Aid - European General Court, Case No T-816/17 and T-318/18

European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, May 2021, State Aid – European General Court, Case No T-816/17 and T-318/18

In 2017 the European Commission concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million.  Following an in-depth investigation the Commission concluded that a tax ruling issued by Luxembourg in 2003, and prolonged in 2011, lowered the tax paid by Amazon in Luxembourg without any valid justification. The tax ruling enabled Amazon to shift the vast majority of its profits from an Amazon group company that is subject to tax in Luxembourg (Amazon EU) to a company which is not subject to tax (Amazon Europe Holding Technologies). In particular, the tax ruling endorsed the payment of a royalty from Amazon EU to Amazon Europe Holding Technologies, which significantly reduced Amazon EU’s taxable profits. This decision was brought before the European Court of Justice by Luxembourg and Amazon. Judgement of the EU Court  The European General Court found that Luxembourg’s tax treatment of Amazon was not illegal under EU State aid rules. According to a press release ” The ... Continue to full case
Bristol-Myers Squibb in Dispute with IRS over "Abusive Offshore Scheme"

Bristol-Myers Squibb in Dispute with IRS over “Abusive Offshore Scheme”

According to the IRS, Bristol-Myers Squibb reduces its U.S. taxes by holding valuable intangibles in an Irish subsidiary. In a legal analysis, the IRS concluded that the Irish scheme saves Bristol-Myers Squibb up to $1.38 billion in US taxes. From Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 2019 10-K form, “Note 7. Income Taxes” “BMS is currently under examination by a number of tax authorities which have proposed or are considering proposing material adjustments to tax positions for issues such as transfer pricing, certain tax credits and the deductibility of certain expenses. It is reasonably possible that new issues will be raised by tax authorities which may require adjustments to the amount of unrecognized tax benefits; however, an estimate of such adjustments cannot reasonably be made at this time. It is also reasonably possible that the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits at December 31, 2019 could decrease in the range of approximately $290 million to $330 million in the next twelve months as a ... Continue to full case
Colombia vs. Taxpayer, November 2020, The Constitutional Court, Sentencia No. C-486/20

Colombia vs. Taxpayer, November 2020, The Constitutional Court, Sentencia No. C-486/20

A Colombian taxpayer had filed an unconstitutionality complaint against Article 70 (partial) of Law 1819 of 2016, “Whereby a structural tax reform is adopted, mechanisms for the fight against tax evasion and avoidance are strengthened, and other provisions are enacted.” The Constitutional Court ruled that the Colombian GAAR legislation was not unconstitutional. Click here for English translation Click here for other translation (1) Corte Constitucional - Sentencia C-480 del 19 de noviembre de 2020 ... Continue to full case
Singapore vs Intevac Asia Pte Ltd, October 2020, High Court, Case No [2020] SGHC 218, Tax Appeal No 3 of 2020

Singapore vs Intevac Asia Pte Ltd, October 2020, High Court, Case No [2020] SGHC 218, Tax Appeal No 3 of 2020

The Intevac group initially focused on designing and producing thin-film production systems for the manufacturing of hard disk drives (“HDD”). However, sometime in or around the mid-2000s, Intevac Asia Pte Ltd received a purchase order for a tool designed for the manufacturing of solar cells. Intevac Asia Pte Ltd did not possess the relevant R&D capabilities to develop such a tool and therefore entered into a Research and Development Services Agreement with Intevac US dated 1 October 2008 (“the RDSA”). The RDSA provided that Intevac US would undertake R&D activities in the US for the benefit of Intevac Asia Pte Ltd. In 2009, the management of the Intevac group decided to plan for the possibility that Intevac Asia Pte Ltd would expand its R&D capabilities in relation to non-HDD products. Accordingly, Intevac Asia Pte Ltd and Intevac US entered into a Cost-Sharing Agreement dated 1 November 2009 (“the CSA”), which superseded the RDSA. The purpose of the CSA was to ... 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) method 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. The Tax Court failed to: address whether the circumstances of the Pacesetter settlement was comparable to the licensing agreements in this case, the degree of comparability of the contractual ... Continue to full case
Guidance for Tax Administrations on the Application of Guidance on Hard-to-Value Intangibles

Guidance for Tax Administrations on the Application of Guidance on Hard-to-Value Intangibles

A new report from the OECD contains guidance for tax administration on the application of the approach to hard-to-value intangibles (HTVI), under BEPS Action 8. This new guidance present the principles that should underlie the application of the HTVI approach by tax administration, with the aim of improving consistency and reduce the risk of economic double taxation. The new guidance also includes a number of examples clarifying the application of the HTVI approach in different scenarios; and addresses the interaction between the HTVI approach and the access to the mutual agreement procedure under the applicable tax treaty. guidance-for-tax-administrations-on-the-application-of-the-approach-to-hard-to-value-intangibles-BEPS-action-8 ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter II Annex II example 3

TPG2017 Chapter II Annex II example 3

10. Company A and Company B are members of an MNE group that sells electronic appliances. For the launch of a new line of products, Company A will be responsible for its design, development and manufacturing whereas Company B will undertake the marketing functions and the global distribution of the goods. 11. In particular, Company A performs the research and development functions and decides on the lines of research and the timelines. For the manufacturing of the new line of products, Company A decides on the levels of production and performs the quality controls. In doing so, Company A uses its valuable know-how and expertise regarding the manufacturing of electronic appliances. 12. Once the products are manufactured, they are sold to Company B, which develops and executes cutting-edge global marketing activities relating to the new line of products. In particular, Company B is responsible for designing the marketing strategy, deciding on the level of marketing expenditure in each country where ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter II Annex II example 2

TPG2017 Chapter II Annex II example 2

5. A Co, a member of T Group, is a company incorporated in Country A whose principal activity is the growing and processing of tea. A Co identifies, acquires and cultivates land with extremely good soil for growing tea. A Co has developed extensive know- how in respect of tea-growing, including maximising the desirable qualities of the tea it grows through its cultivation methods. The properties of the soil together with the cultivation methods give A Co’s tea a highly sought after flavour. 6. A Co processes tea by undertaking the following activities: sorting leaf, grading, full or partial fermenting, and blending and packaging for export as per customer order specifications. Blending entails using extensive proprietary know-how to mix the various teas in order to get blends with the unique tastes appreciated by customers of T Group. Tea produced by A Co has won international acclaim for its unique taste and aroma. 7. A Co sells its tea to B ... Continue to full case

TPG2018 Chapter II paragraph 2.175

For instance, where an asset-based profit splitting factor is used, it may be based on data extracted from the balance sheets of the parties to the transaction. It will often be the case that not all the assets of the taxpayers relate to the transaction at hand and that accordingly some analytical work is needed for the taxpayer to draw up a “transactional” balance sheet that will be used for the application of the transactional profit split method. In addition, certain assets, such as self-developed intangibles, may not be reflected on the balance sheet at all, and accordingly must be separately evaluated. In this regard, valuation techniques, such as those based on the discounted value of projected future income streams or cash flows derived from the exploitation of the intangible may be useful. See Section D.2.6.3 of Chapter VI of these guidelines. See also paragraph 2.104 for a discussion of valuation of assets in the context of the transactional net ... Continue to full case
European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, October 2017, State Aid - Comissions decision, SA.38944 

European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, October 2017, State Aid – Comissions decision, SA.38944 

Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon worth around €250 million The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million.  Following an in-depth investigation launched in October 2014, the Commission has concluded that a tax ruling issued by Luxembourg in 2003, and prolonged in 2011, lowered the tax paid by Amazon in Luxembourg without any valid justification. The tax ruling enabled Amazon to shift the vast majority of its profits from an Amazon group company that is subject to tax in Luxembourg (Amazon EU) to a company which is not subject to tax (Amazon Europe Holding Technologies). In particular, the tax ruling endorsed the payment of a royalty from Amazon EU to Amazon Europe Holding Technologies, which significantly reduced Amazon EU’s taxable profits. The Commission’s investigation showed that the level of the royalty payments, endorsed by the tax ruling, was inflated and did not reflect economic reality. On this basis, the Commission ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 29

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 29

104. Pervichnyi is the parent of an MNE group organised and doing business in country X. Prior to Year 1, Pervichnyi developed patents and trademarks related to Product F. It manufactured Product F in country X and supplied the product to distribution affiliates throughout the world. For purposes of this example assume the prices charged to distribution affiliates were consistently arm’s length. 105. At the beginning of Year 1, Pervichnyi organises a wholly owned subsidiary, Company S, in country Y. In order to save costs, Pervichnyi transfers all of its production of Product F to Company S. At the time of the organisation of Company S, Pervichnyi sells the patents and trademarks related to Product F to Company S for a lump sum. Under these circumstances, Pervichnyi and Company S seek to identify an arm’s length price for the transferred intangibles by utilising a discounted cash flow valuation technique. 106. According to this valuation analysis, Pervichnyi could have generated after ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 28

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 28

101. Company A is the Parent company of an MNE group with operations in country S. Company B is a member of the MNE group with operations in country T, and Company C is also a member of the MNE group with operations in country U. For valid business reasons the MNE group decides to centralise all of its intangibles related to business conducted outside of country S in a single location. Accordingly, intangibles owned by Company B are sold to Company C for a lump sum, including patents, trademarks, know-how, and customer relationships. At the same time, Company C retains Company B to act as a contract manufacturer of products previously produced and sold by Company B on a full-risk basis. Company C has the personnel and resources required to manage the acquired lines of business, including the further development of intangibles necessary to the Company B business. 102. The MNE group is unable to identify comparable uncontrolled transactions ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 27

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 27

97. Company A is the Parent of an MNE group with operations in country X. Company A owns patents, trademarks and know-how with regard to several products produced and sold by the MNE group. Company B is a wholly owned subsidiary of Company A. All of Company B’s operations are conducted in country Y. Company B also owns patents, trademarks and know-how related to Product M. 98. For sound business reasons related to the coordination of the group’s patent protection and anti-counterfeiting activities, the MNE group decides to centralise ownership of its patents in Company A. Accordingly, Company B sells the Product M patents to Company A for a lump-sum price. Company A assumes responsibility to perform all ongoing functions and it assumes all risks related to the Product M patents following the sale. Based on a detailed comparability and functional analysis, the MNE group concludes that it is not able to identify any comparable uncontrolled transactions that can be ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 26

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 26

92. Osnovni is the parent company of an MNE Group engaged in the development and sale of software products. Osnovni acquires 100% of the equity interests in Company S, a publicly traded company organised in the same country as Osnovni, for a price equal to 160. At the time of the acquisition, Company S shares had an aggregate trading value of 100. Competitive bidders for the Company S business offered amounts ranging from 120 to 130 for Company S. 93. Company S had only a nominal amount of fixed assets at the time of the acquisition. Its value consisted primarily of rights in developed and partially developed intangibles related to software products and its skilled workforce. The purchase price allocation performed for accounting purposes by Osnovni allocated 10 to tangible assets, 60 to intangibles, and 90 to goodwill. Osnovni justified the 160 purchase price in presentations to its Board of Directors by reference to the complementary nature of the existing ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 24

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 24

86. Zhu is a company engaged in software development consulting. In the past Zhu has developed software supporting ATM transactions for client Bank A. In the process of doing so, Zhu created and retained an interest in proprietary copyrighted software code that is potentially suitable for use by other similarly situated banking clients, albeit with some revision and customisation. 87. Assume that Company S, an associated enterprise of Zhu, enters into a separate agreement to develop software supporting ATM operations for another bank, Bank B. Zhu agrees to support its associated enterprise by providing employees who worked on the Bank A engagement to work on Company S’s Bank B engagement. Those employees have access to software designs and know-how developed in the Bank A engagement, including proprietary software code. That code and the services of the Zhu employees are utilised by Company S in executing its Bank B engagement. Ultimately, Bank B is provided by Company S with a software ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 23

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 23

83. Birincil acquires 100% of the equity interests in an independent enterprise, Company T for 100. Company T is a company that engages in research and development and has partially developed several promising technologies but has only minimal sales. The purchase price is justified primarily by the value of the promising, but only partly developed, technologies and by the potential of Company T personnel to develop further new technologies in the future. Birincil’s purchase price allocation performed for accounting purposes with respect to the acquisition attributes 20 of the purchase price to tangible property and identified intangibles, including patents, and 80 to goodwill. 84. Immediately following the acquisition, Birincil causes Company T to transfer all of its rights in developed and partially developed technologies, including patents, trade secrets and technical know-how to Company S, a subsidiary of Birincil. Company S simultaneously enters into a contract research agreement with Company T, pursuant to which the Company T workforce will continue to ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 22

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 22

78. Company A owns a government licence for a mining activity and a government licence for the exploitation of a railway. The mining licence has a standalone market value of 20. The railway licence has a standalone market value of 10. Company A has no other net assets. 79. Birincil, an entity which is independent of Company A, acquires 100% of the equity interests in Company A for 100. Birincil’s purchase price allocation performed for accounting purposes with respect to the acquisition attributes 20 of the purchase price to the mining licence; 10 to the railway licence; and 70 to goodwill based on the synergies created between the mining and railway licences. 80. Immediately following the acquisition, Birincil causes Company A to transfer its mining and railway licences to Company S, a subsidiary of Birincil. 81. In conducting a transfer pricing analysis of the arm’s length price to be paid by Company S for the transaction with Company A, it ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 20

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 20

69. Ilcha is organised in country A. The Ilcha group of companies has for many years manufactured and sold Product Q in countries B and C through a wholly owned subsidiary, Company S1, which is organised in country B. Ilcha owns patents related to the design of Product Q and has developed a unique trademark and other marketing intangibles. The patents and trademarks are registered by Ilcha in countries B and C. 70. For sound business reasons, Ilcha determines that the group’s business in countries B and C would be enhanced if those businesses were operated through separate subsidiaries in each country. Ilcha therefore organises in country C a wholly owned subsidiary, Company S2. With regard to the business in country C: Company S1 transfers to Company S2 the tangible manufacturing and marketing assets previously used by Company S1 in country C. Ilcha and Company S1 agree to terminate the agreement granting Company S1 the following rights with relation to ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 19

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 19

67. Company P, a resident of country A conducts a retailing business, operating several department stores in country A. Over the years, Company P has developed special know-how and a unique marketing concept for the operation of its department stores. It is assumed that the know-how and unique marketing concept constitute intangibles within the meaning of Section A of Chapter VI. After years of successfully conducting business in country A, Company P establishes a new subsidiary, Company S, in country B. Company S opens and operates new department stores in country B, obtaining profit margins substantially higher than those of otherwise comparable retailers in country B. 68. A detailed functional analysis reveals that Company S uses in its operations in country B, the same know-how and unique marketing concept as the ones used by Company P in its operations in country A. Under these circumstances, the conduct of the parties reveals that a transaction has taken place consisting in the ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 18

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 18

64. Primarni is organised in and conducts business in country A. Company S is an associated enterprise of Primarni. Company S is organised in and does business in country B. Primarni develops a patented invention and manufacturing know-how related to Product X. It obtains valid patents in all countries relevant to this example. Primarni and Company S enter into a written licence agreement pursuant to which Primarni grants Company S the right to use the Product X patents and know-how to manufacture and sell Product X in country B, while Primarni retains the patent and know-how rights to Product X throughout Asia, Africa, and in country A. 65. Assume Company S uses the patents and know-how to manufacture Product X in country B. It sells Product X to both independent and associated customers in country B. Additionally, it sells Product X to associated distribution entities based throughout Asia and Africa. The distribution entities resell the units of Product X to ... Continue to full case