Tag: License agreement

The European Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike and Converse in the Netherlands

The European Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike and Converse in the Netherlands

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings granted by the Netherlands to Nike may have given the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules. Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “Member States should not allow companies to set up complex structures that unduly reduce their taxable profits and give them an unfair advantage over competitors. The Commission will investigate carefully the tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands, to assess whether it is in line with EU State aid rules. At the same time, I welcome the actions taken by the Netherlands to reform their corporate taxation rules and to help ensure that companies will operate on a level playing field in the EU.” Nike is a US based company involved worldwide in the design, marketing and manufacturing of footwear, clothing, equipment and accessories, in particular in the sports area. The formal investigation concerns ... Continue to full case
Finland vs A Group, December 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2018:173

Finland vs A Group, December 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2018:173

During fiscal years 2006–2008, A-Group had been manufacturing and selling products in the construction industry – insulation and other building components. License fees received by the parent company A OY from the manufacturing companies had been determined by application of the CUP method. The remuneration of the sales companies in the group had been determined by application of the resale price method. The Finnish tax administration, tax tribunal and administrative court all found that the comparable license agreements chosen with regard to determining the intercompany license fees had such differences regarding products, contract terms and market areas that they were incomparable. With regard to the sale of the finished products, they found that the resale price method had not been applied on a sufficiently reliable basis. By reference to the 2010 version of the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines, they considered the best method for determining the arm’s length remuneration of the group companies was the residual profit split method. The ... 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
US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

Coca Cola collects royalties from foreign branches and subsidiaries for use of formulas, brand and other intellectual property. Years ago an agreement was entered by Coca Cola and the IRS on these royalty payments to settle an audit of years 1987 to 1995. According to the agreement Coca-Cola licensees in other countries would pay the US parent company royalties using a 10-50-50 formula where 10% of the gross sales revenue is treated as a normal return to the licensee and the rest of the revenue is split evenly between the licensee and the US parent, with the part going to the US parent paid in the form of a royalty. The agreement expired in 1995, but Coca-Cola continued to use the model for transfer pricing in the following years. Coca-Cola and the Mexican tax authorities had agreed on the same formula and Coca-Cola continued to use the pricing-formula in Mexico on the advice of Mexican counsel. In 2015, the IRS ... Continue to full case

Luxembourg vs Lux SA, December 2016, Administrative Tribunal Case No 36954

By a trademark license agreement dated August 22, 2008, a group company in Luxembourg granted another group company a non-exclusive right to use and exploit the brands registered in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Benelux and the European Community for an initial period of ten years, renewable tacitly each time for a period of one year and this against a license fee paid and calculated annually corresponding to 3% of this turnover. By letters of 30 January 2015, the Tax Office informed the company that they intended to refuse to deduct the royalties paid to the company for the years 2010, 2011 and 2010. Click here for translation Lux vs taxpayer 21 dec 2016 36954 ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Corp. October 2015, Supreme Court, case nr. SKM2015.659.HR

Denmark vs Corp. October 2015, Supreme Court, case nr. SKM2015.659.HR

A Danish production company terminated a 10-year license and distribution agreement with a group distribution company one year prior to expiry of the agreement. The distribution agreement was transferred to another group company and the new distribution company agreed as a successor in interest to pay a "termination fee" to the former distribution company. However, the termination fee was paid by the Danish production company and the amount was depreciated in the tax-return. The Danish company claimed that it was a transfer pricing case and argued that the tax administration could only adjust agreed prices and conditions of the agreement if the requirements for making a transfer pricing correction were met. The Supreme Court stated that the general principles of tax law in the State Tax Act §§ 4-6 also applies to the related companies. Hence, the question was whether the termination fee was held for "acquiring, securing and maintaining the applicant's income", cf. the state tax act § 6 ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. Roche, January 2012, Supreme Court case nr. 1626/2008

Spain vs. Roche, January 2012, Supreme Court case nr. 1626/2008

This case is about the consequences of converting a manufacturer and full-fledged distributor into a toll manufacturer and commissionaire, without actually changing the underlying operations. The Supreme Court decided that the restructured Spanish entity acted as a manufacturing agent that created a PE. The profits attributed to the PE included not only the manufacturing profits but also the profits from the distribution activity on behalf of Roche Vitamins Europe Ltd. in Switzerland. Prior to a business restructuring in 1999, the Spanish subsidiary was a full-fledged distributor, involved in manufacturing, importing, and selling the pharmaceutical products in the Spanish and Portuguese markets. In 1999 the Spanish subsidiary and the Swiss parent entered into two agreements. Under the manufacturing agreement, the Spanish subsidiary manufactored products  according to directions and using formulas, know-how, patents, and trademarks from the Swiss parent. These manufacturing activities were remunerated at cost plus 3.3 percent. Under the distribution (agancy) agreement, the Spanish subsidiary would “represent, protect and promote” the products. These activities were remunerated at 2 percent of sales. After entering the ... Continue to full case