Tag: Legal ownership

The Netherlands releases New 2022 Decree on application of the Arm's Length Principle

The Netherlands releases New 2022 Decree on application of the Arm’s Length Principle

On 1 July 2022, the tax authorities in the Netherlands published Decree No. 2022-0000139020 of 14 June 2022 containing local guidance on application of the arm’s length principle. The Decree is based on article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and also contains references to local case laws. In the Decree, particular focus is on areas that have been updated in the most recent releases of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines – Legal ownership, DEMPE functions, Services, HTVI and Valuation Methods, Government policies (COVID-19), Remuneration of Procurement activities, Financial transactions etc. Click here for Unofficial English translation Click here for other translation NL TP decree stcrt-2022-16685 ... Read more
McDonald’s has agreed to pay €1.25bn to settle a dispute with French authorities over excessive royalty payments to Luxembourg

McDonald’s has agreed to pay €1.25bn to settle a dispute with French authorities over excessive royalty payments to Luxembourg

On 16 June 2022 McDonald’s France entered into an settlement agreement according to which it will pay €1.245 billion in back taxes and fines to the French tax authorities. The settlement agreement resulted from investigations carried out by the French tax authorities in regards to abnormally high royalties transferred from McDonald’s France to McDonald’s Luxembourg following an intra group restructuring in 2009. McDonald’s France doubled its royalty payments from 5% to 10% of restaurant turnover, and instead of paying these royalties to McDonald’s HQ in the United States, going forward they paid them to a Swiss PE of a group company in Luxembourg, which was not taxable of the amounts. During the investigations it was discovered that McDonald’s royalty fees could vary substantially from one McDonald’s branch to the next without any justification other than tax savings for the group. This conclusion was further supported by statements of the managers of the various subsidiaries as well as documentation seized which ... Read more
Poland vs "Fertilizer Licence SA", April 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Po 788/21

Poland vs “Fertilizer Licence SA”, April 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Po 788/21

“Fertilizer Licence SA” (“A”) transferred its trademarks to “B” in 2013, previously financed the transfer through a cash contribution, and then, following the transfer, paid royalties to “A” in exchange for the ability to use the assets. According to the tax authorities, a situation where an entity transfers its assets to another entity, finances the transfer and then pays for access to use those assets does not reflect the conditions that unrelated parties would establish. An unrelated party, in order to obtain such licence fees from another unrelated party, would first have to incur the costs of manufacturing or acquiring the trademarks and to finance these costs itself without the involvement of the licensee. An independent entity which has finances the creation or purchase of an intangible asset, should not incur further costs for the use of that asset. Furthermore, in determining the licence fee to “B” for the use of trademarks, “A” relied on formal legal ownership, granting “B” ... Read more
Poland vs "Sport O.B. SA", March 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Rz 4/22

Poland vs “Sport O.B. SA”, March 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Rz 4/22

Following a business restructuring, rights in a trademark developed and used by O.B SA was transferred to a related party “A”. The newly established company A had no employees and all functions in the company was performed by O.B. SA. Anyhow, going forward O.B SA would now pay a license fee to A for using the trademark. The payments from O.B SA were the only source of income for “A” (apart from interest). According to the O.B. group placement of the trademark into a separate entity was motivated by a desire to increase recognition and creditworthiness of the group, which was a normal practice for business entities at the time. In 2014 and 2015 O.B. SA deducted license fees paid to A of PLN 6 647 596.19 and PLN 7 206 578.24. The tax authorities opened an audited of O.B. SA and determined that the license fees paid to A were excessive. To establish an arm’s length remuneration of A ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.64

When funding is provided to a party for the development of an intangible, the relevant decisions relating to taking on, laying off or declining a risk bearing opportunity and the decisions on whether and how to respond to the risks associated with the opportunity, are the decisions related to the provision of funding and the conditions of the transaction. Depending on the facts and circumstances, such decisions may depend on an assessment of the creditworthiness of the party receiving the funds and an assessment of how the risks related to the development project may impact the expectations in relation to the returns on funding provided or additional funding required. The conditions underlying the provision of the funding may include the possibility to link funding decisions to key development decisions which will impact the funding return. For example, decisions may have to be made on whether to take the project to the next stage or to allow the investments in costly ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.43

Legal ownership and contractual relationships serve simply as reference points for identifying and analysing controlled transactions relating to the intangible and for determining the appropriate remuneration to members of a controlled group with respect to those transactions. Identification of legal ownership, combined with the identification and compensation of relevant functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed by all contributing members, provides the analytical framework for identifying arm’s length prices and other conditions for transactions involving intangibles. As with any other type of transaction, the analysis must take into account all of the relevant facts and circumstances present in a particular case and price determinations must reflect the realistic alternatives of the relevant group members. The principles of this paragraph are illustrated by Examples 1 to 6 in the Annex I to Chapter VI ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.42

While determining legal ownership and contractual arrangements is an important first step in the analysis, these determinations are separate and distinct from the question of remuneration under the arm’s length principle. For transfer pricing purposes, legal ownership of intangibles, by itself, does not confer any right ultimately to retain returns derived by the MNE group from exploiting the intangible, even though such returns may initially accrue to the legal owner as a result of its legal or contractual right to exploit the intangible. The return ultimately retained by or attributed to the legal owner depends upon the functions it performs, the assets it uses, and the risks it assumes, and upon the contributions made by other MNE group members through their functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed. For example, in the case of an internally developed intangible, if the legal owner performs no relevant functions, uses no relevant assets, and assumes no relevant risks, but acts solely as a ... Read more
German TP-Legislation updated as of June 2021

German TP-Legislation updated as of June 2021

German legislation on transfer pricing has been updated to align the rules with the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines 2017. The new amendments are effective as of fiscal year 2022. The update includes revised content on Substance over form Risk analysis Best method rule Use of interquartile range Aggregation of transactions Determination of actual ownership vs legal ownership DEMPE functions Valuation of Hard to value intangibles Click here for unofficial English translation 4-Verkuendetes-Gesetz ... Read more
Austria vs S GmbH, November 2020, Verwaltungsgerichtshof, Case No Ra 2019/15/0162-3

Austria vs S GmbH, November 2020, Verwaltungsgerichtshof, Case No Ra 2019/15/0162-3

S GmbH was an Austrian trading company of a group. In the course of business restructuring, the real estate division of the Austrian-based company was initially separated from the “trading operations/brands” division on the demerger date of 31 March 2007. The trademark rights remained with the previous trading company, which was the parent company of the group, now M GmbH. On 25 September 2007, M GmbH transferred all trademark rights to a permanent establishment in Malta, which was set up in the same year, to which it also moved its place of management on 15 January 2008. Licence agreements were concluded between S GmbH and M GmbH, which entitle S GmbH to use the trademarks of M GmbH for advertising and marketing measures in connection with its business operations in return for a (turnover-dependent) licence fee. The tax authorities (re)assessed the corporate income tax for the years 2008 and 2009. The audit had shown that the licence fees were to ... Read more
Indonesia vs PK manufacturing Ltd, March 2020 Supreme Court, Case No. 366/B/PK/Pjk/2020

Indonesia vs PK manufacturing Ltd, March 2020 Supreme Court, Case No. 366/B/PK/Pjk/2020

PK manufacturing Ltd was a contract manufacturer of cabins for excavators for the Japanese parent and paid royalties for use of IP owned by the parent. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions for royalty payments were disallowed due to lack of documentation for ownership to Intellectual Property by the Japanese parent. Furthermore, the tax authorities did not see any economic benefit for the contract manufacturer in paying the royalties, as it had been continuously loss making. The Company disagreed and brought the case to court. The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the tax authorities. Existence and ownership to the Intellectual Property in question had not been sufficiently documented by the Japanese parent company. The Supreme Court dismissed the request for review filed by PK Co. Ltd. Click here for translation putusan_366_b_pk_pjk_2020_20200908cl ... Read more
Indonesia vs PK manufacturing Ltd, January 2019 Court of Appeal, Case No. PUT-115599.15/2014/PP/M.XIIIB Tahun 2019

Indonesia vs PK manufacturing Ltd, January 2019 Court of Appeal, Case No. PUT-115599.15/2014/PP/M.XIIIB Tahun 2019

PK manufacturing Ltd was a contract manufacturer of cabins for excavators for the Japanese parent and paid royalties for use of IP owned by the parent. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions for royalty payments were disallowed due to lack of documentation for ownership to Intellectual Property by the Japanese parent. Furthermore, the tax authorities did not see any economic benefit for the contract manufacturer in paying the royalties, as it had been continuously loss making. The Company disagreed and brought the case to court. The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the tax authorities. Existence and ownership to the Intellectual Property in question had not been sufficiently documented by the Japanese parent company. Part 1 – Click here for translation Part 2 – Click here for translation Putusan Nomor ... Read more
Indonesia vs "Indonesia Ltd", April 2016 Supreme Court, Case No. Put-70118/PP/M.IA/15/2016

Indonesia vs “Indonesia Ltd”, April 2016 Supreme Court, Case No. Put-70118/PP/M.IA/15/2016

In this case “Indonesia Ltd” paid royalties for use of IP owned by the Japanese parent. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment where the royalty payments were disallowed. Judgement of the Court The Court ruled in favour of the taxpayer. According to the court “Indonesia Ltd” had been able to prove that services had actually been rendered. Click here for translation Putusan Pengadilan Pajak Nomor Put70118-PP-M-IA-15-2016y ... Read more
Norway vs Accenture, May 2013, Borgarting lagmannsrett, Case No 11-190854ASD-BORG/01

Norway vs Accenture, May 2013, Borgarting lagmannsrett, Case No 11-190854ASD-BORG/01

In this case, the royalty payments of Accenture Norway to the Accenture Groups Swiss IP owner was at issue. The Norwegian tax authorities held that the royalty payments to Accenture Global Services in Switzerland had been excessive. The Court disagreed and decided in favor of Accenture. Click here for translation BORGARTING LAGMANNSRETT 11-190854ASD-BORG ... Read more
The Netherlands vs X BV, February 2004, Appellate Court of Amsterdam V-N 2004/39.9.

The Netherlands vs X BV, February 2004, Appellate Court of Amsterdam V-N 2004/39.9.

X BV, is member of the English XX-group. One of X’s parents is XX Ltd., based in the United Kingdom. In 1992, X BV acquired licensing rights relating to the trade name J from J Ltd. Their value was determined to be GBP 19.2 million. According to the agreement, X BV paid GBP 19 million for the ten-year economic ownership of the licensing rights. J Ltd. sold the legal ownership to W BV for GBP 200,000 in which X BV owned all shares. In 1996, X BV sells the ten-year economic ownership to W BV for GBP 2 million. To support the GBP 19 million price for the economic ownership, a valuation report is drawn up in 1992. The valuation is based on “projected royalty streams” which showed increasing royalty streams over the ten-year period 1992-2002. The tax authorities disagrees with the price of GBP 19 mio. and argue that the total value of the brand was GBP 43 mio ... Read more