Tag: Know-how

All undivulged technical information, whether or not capable of being patented, that is necessary for the industrial reproduction of a product or process, i.e. knowing how a product is made or how a particular process works. Payments for knowhow may be taxed as royalties in many cases. The distinction from contracts for the provision of services is addressed in the OECD Commentary to Article 12.

Denmark vs. Adecco A/S, June 2020, Supreme Court, Case no BS-42036/2019-HJR

Denmark vs. Adecco A/S, June 2020, Supreme Court, Case no BS-42036/2019-HJR

The question in this case was whether royalty payments from a loss making Danish subsidiary Adecco A/S (H1 A/S in the decision) to its Swiss parent company Adecco SA (G1 SA in the decision – an international provider of temporary and permanent employment services active throughout the entire range of sectors in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia – for use of trademarks and trade names, knowhow, international network intangibles, and business concept were deductible expenses for tax purposes or not. In  2013, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) had amended Adecco A/S’s taxable income for the years 2006-2009 by a total of DKK 82 million. Adecco A/S submitted that the company’s royalty payments were operating expenses deductible under section 6 (a) of the State Tax Act and that it was entitled to tax deductions for royalty payments of 1.5% of the company’s turnover in the first half of 2006 and 2% up to and including 2009, as these ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Adecco A/S, Oct 2019, High Court, Case No SKM2019.537.OLR

Denmark vs Adecco A/S, Oct 2019, High Court, Case No SKM2019.537.OLR

The question in this case was whether royalty payments from a loss making Danish subsidiary Adecco A/S (H1 A/S in the decision) to its Swiss parent company Adecco SA (G1 SA in the decision – an international provider of temporary and permanent employment services active throughout the entire range of sectors in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia – for use of trademarks and trade names, knowhow, international network intangibles, and business concept were deductible expenses for tax purposes or not. In  2013, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) had amended Adecco A/S’s taxable income for the years 2006-2009 by a total of DKK 82 million. “Section 2 of the Tax Assessment Act. Paragraph 1 states that, when calculating the taxable income, group affiliates must apply prices and terms for commercial or economic transactions in accordance with what could have been agreed if the transactions had been concluded between independent parties. SKAT does not consider it in accordance with section ... 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) 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 to enable the Court to conduct an evaluation of Tax Court’s determination. Specifically, the Tax Court failed to: address whether the circumstances of the Pacesetter settlement was comparable to the licensing ... Continue to full case
Tokyo District Court, judgment of November 24 2017

Tokyo District Court, judgment of November 24 2017

A Japanese company had entered into a series of controlled transactions with foreing group companies granting services and licences to use intangibles – know-how related to manufacturing and sales, training, and provided support by sending over technical experts. The company had used a CUP method to price these transactions based on select “internal comparables”. Tax authorities disagreed with the company and found that the residual profit split method should be applied to price the transactions. The court found the transactions should be aggregated and that the price should be determined for the full packaged deal – not separately for each transaction. The foreign related-party transactions were compared – as a whole – to the comparable transactions selected by the company and the court found that the product lines, how to use them and frequency of dispatching employees to support the foreing group company were not comparable. This could have resulted in differences the value of the intangibles and services provided ... Continue to full case
US vs. Medtronic Inc. June 2016, US Tax Court

US vs. Medtronic Inc. June 2016, US Tax Court

The IRS argued that Medtronic Inc failed to accurately account for the value of trade secrets and other intangibles owned by Medtronic Inc and used by Medtronic’s Puerto Rico manufacturing subsidiary in 2005 and 2006 when determening the royalty payments from the subsidiary. In 2016 the United States Tax Court found in favor of Medtronic, sustaining the use of the CUT method to analyze royalty payments. The Court also found that adjustments to the CUT were required. These included additional adjustments not initially applied by Medtronic Inc for know-how, profit potential and scope of product. The decision from the United States Tax Court has been appealed by the IRS in 2017. US-Memo-2016-112-Medtronic-v.-Commissioner ... Continue to full case
Italy vs GE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS SPA, December 2014, Supreme Court 27296

Italy vs GE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS SPA, December 2014, Supreme Court 27296

In this case the Italien tax administration concluded that transactions between an Italien company an a German sister company had been priced lower than the “normal value”. The Court found that in relation to intercompany transactions GE Transportation Systems S.p.A. was a contract manufacturer. The German company owned the intellectual property. In relation to transactions with independent companies, GE Transportation Systems S.p.A. assumed the risks of the transaction and had the rights to manufacture and sell the products. These differences justified the different price and led to the incomparability of them. The Court concluded that a contract manufacturer cannot be compared to full-fledged manufacturers. The former is in a weak barganing position compared to the German principal. The principal is in fact the owner of all of the intangibles, and this puts the Italien contract manufacturer in a weaker barganing position compared to a full-fledged manufacturer that owns the relevant intangibles. The Court ruled in favor of the GE Transportation ... Continue to full case
Finland vs. Corp. March 2013, Supreme Administrative Court HFD 2013:36

Finland vs. Corp. March 2013, Supreme Administrative Court HFD 2013:36

A AB purchased manufacturing services of its subsidiary B AS, which had its headquarters in Estonia. The internal pricing of services had since July 2004 been under the net margin method. The price data beside B AS’s realized expenses also included half of the so-called location-savings. On taxation of A AB approved as deductible expenditure only B AS’s actual expenses plus a calculated profit margin. The Supreme Administrative Court stated that A AB in Finland did not have such manufacturing as B AS was conducted in Estonia during the tax year. B AS’s production of the products differed substantially from A ABs former manufacturing in Finland, where A AB had manufactured the products by hand. Most of the new working methods and stages developed in Estonia had never been used in Finland. Hence the situation was not comparable to the location savings by moving the activities as described in the OECD report, and the pricing of would not be judged ... Continue to full case
UK vs. DSG Retail (Dixon case), Tax Tribunal, Case No. UKFT 31

UK vs. DSG Retail (Dixon case), Tax Tribunal, Case No. UKFT 31

This case concerns the sale of extended warranties to third-party customers of Dixons, a large retail chain in the UK selling white goods and home electrical products. The DSG group captive (re)insurer in the Isle of Man (DISL) insured these extended warranties for DSG’s UK customers. Until 1997 this was structured via a third-party insurer (Cornhill) that reinsured 95% on to DISL. From 1997 onwards the warranties were offered as service contracts that were 100% insured by DISL. The dispute concerned the level of sales commissions and profit commissions received by DSG. The Tax Tribunal rejected the taxpayer’s contentions that the transfer pricing legislation did not apply to the particular series of transactions (under ICTA 88 Section 770 and Schedule 28AA) – essentially the phrases ‘facility’ (Section 770) and ‘provision’ (Schedule 28AA) were interpreted broadly so that there was something to price between DSG and DISL, despite the insertion of a third party and the absence of a recognised transaction ... Continue to full case
US vs Eli Lilly & Co, October 1998, United States Court of Appeals

US vs Eli Lilly & Co, October 1998, United States Court of Appeals

In this case a pharmaceutical company in the US, Eli Lilly & Co, transferred valuable pharmaceutical patents and manufacturing know-how to its subsidiary in Puerto Rico. The IRS argued that the transaction should be disregarded (substance over form) and claimed that all of the income from the transferred intangibles should be allocated to the U.S. parent. The Judgment from the Tax Court: “Respondent’s argument, that petitioner, having originally developed the patents and know-how, is forever required to report the income from those intangibles, is without merit. Respondent ignores the fact that petitioner, as developer and owner of the intangible property, was free to and did transfer the property to the Puerto Ricanaffiliate in 1966.” The Court of Appeals altered the judgement from the Tax Court. According to the Court of Appeals, the parent company had received an arm’s length consideration for the transfer of intangibles in the form of stock in the subsidiary. Hence, the Court disallowed the allocation of ... Continue to full case