Tag: License fee

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
Poland vs "X-TM" sp. z o.o., March 2022, Administrative Court, SA/PO 1058/21

Poland vs “X-TM” sp. z o.o., March 2022, Administrative Court, SA/PO 1058/21

On 30 November 2012, X sold its trademarks to subsidiary C which in turn sold the trademarks to subsidiary D. X and D then entered into a trademark license agreement according to which X would pay license fees to D. These license fees were deducted by X in its 2013 tax return. The tax authorities claimed that X had understated its taxabel income as the license fees paid by X to D for the use of trademarks were not related to obtaining or securing a source of revenue. The decision stated that in the light of the principles of logic and experience, the actions taken by the taxpayer made no sense and were not aimed at achieving the revenue in question, but instead at generating costs artificially – only for tax purposes. An appeal was filed by X. Judgement of the Administrative Court The court set aside the assessment of the tax authorities and decided in favor of X. According ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.95

A second and related issue involves the importance of ensuring that all intangibles transferred in a particular transaction have been identified. It may be the case, for example, that intangibles are so intertwined that it is not possible, as a substantive matter, to transfer one without transferring the other. Indeed, it will often be the case that a transfer of one intangible will necessarily imply the transfer of other intangibles. In such cases it is important to identify all of the intangibles made available to the transferee as a consequence of an intangibles transfer, applying the principles of Section D. 1 of Chapter I. For example, the transfer of rights to use a trademark under a licence agreement will usually also imply the licensing of the reputational value, sometimes referred to as goodwill, associated with that trademark, where it is the licensor who has built up such goodwill. Any licence fee required should consider both the trademark and the associated ... Read more
France vs ST Dupont, March 2019, Administrative Court of Paris, No 1620873, 1705086/1-3

France vs ST Dupont, March 2019, Administrative Court of Paris, No 1620873, 1705086/1-3

ST Dupont is a French luxury manufacturer of lighters, pens and leather goods. It is majority-owned by the Dutch company, D&D International, which is wholly-owned by Broad Gain Investments Ltd, based in Hong Kong. ST Dupont is the sole shareholder of distribution subsidiaries located abroad, in particular ST Dupont Marketing, based in Hong Kong. Following an audit, an adjustment was issued for FY 2009, 2010 and 2011 where the tax administration considered that the prices at which ST Dupont sold its products to ST Dupont Marketing (Hong Kong) were lower than the arm’s length prices, that royalty rates had not been at arm’s length. Furthermore adjustments had been made to losses carried forward. Not satisfied with the adjustment ST Dupont filed an appeal with the Paris administrative Court. Judgement of the Administrative Court The Court set aside the tax assessment in regards to license payments and resulting adjustments to loss carry forward but upheld in regards of pricing of the ... Read more
European Commission vs. Netherlands and IKEA, Dec. 2017

European Commission vs. Netherlands and IKEA, Dec. 2017

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the Netherlands’ tax treatment of Inter IKEA, one of the two groups operating the IKEA business. The Commission has concerns that two Dutch tax rulings may have allowed Inter IKEA to pay less tax and given them an unfair advantage over other companies, in breach of EU State aid rules. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy said: “All companies, big or small, multinational or not, should pay their fair share of tax. Member States cannot let selected companies pay less tax by allowing them to artificially shift their profits elsewhere. We will now carefully investigate the Netherlands’ tax treatment of Inter IKEA.” In the early 1980s, the IKEA business model changed into a franchising model. Since then, it has been the Inter IKEA group that operates the franchise business of IKEA, using the “IKEA franchise concept”. What this means more concretely is that Inter IKEA does not own the ... Read more
Germany vs License GmbH, February 2014, Local Tax Court, Case No 4 K 1053/11 E

Germany vs License GmbH, February 2014, Local Tax Court, Case No 4 K 1053/11 E

The Local Tax Court found that the arm’s-length principle requires a licence to be paid for the use of group name where the name/trademark has value in itself. The decision of the Local Court was later overturned by the Supreme Tax Court ruling in Case no. I R 22 14  Click here for English translation Click here for other translation FG Münster Urteil vom 14 02 2014 - 4 K 1053-11 E ... Read more
New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

The tax scheme in the Ben Nevis-case involved land owned by the subsidiary of a charitable foundation being licensed to a group of single purpose investor loss attributing qualifying companies (LAQC’s). The licensees were responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting the forest through a forestry management company. The investors paid $1,350 per hectare for the establishment of the forest and $1,946 for an option to buy the land in 50 years for half its then market value. There were also other payments, including a $50 annual license fee. The land had been bought for around $580 per hectare. This meant that the the investors, if it wished to acquire the land after harvesting the forest, had to pay half its then value, even though they had already paid over three times the value at the inception of the scheme. In addition to the above payments, the investors agreed to pay a license premium of some $2 million per hectare, payable ... Read more
Germany vs "Trademark GmbH", November 2006, FG München, Case No 6 K 578/06

Germany vs “Trademark GmbH”, November 2006, FG München, Case No 6 K 578/06

A German company on behalf of its Austrian Parent X-GmbH distributed products manufactured by the Austrian X-KG. By a contract of 28 May 1992, X-GmbH granted the German company the right to use the trade mark ‘X’ registered in Austria. According to the agreement the German company paid a license fee for the right to use the trade mark. In 1991, X-GmbH had also granted X-KG a corresponding right. By a contract dated 1 July 1992, X-KG was granted exclusive distribution rights for the German market. In the meantime, the mark ‘X’ had been registered as a Community trade mark in the Internal Market. The tax authorities dealt with the payment of royalties to X-GmbH for the years in question as vGA (hidden profit distribution). Click here for English translation Click here for other translation K 578-06 ... Read more
Australia vs Estee Lauder, July 1991, Federal Court of Australia, Case No [1991] FCA 359

Australia vs Estee Lauder, July 1991, Federal Court of Australia, Case No [1991] FCA 359

An Australian subsidiary of Estee Lauder paid a licence fees to licensor on sales of cosmetics in Australia whether imported or made locally. At issue is whether this fees should be taken into account in determining price and thus “transaction value” of goods for purposes of assessing customs duty. Judgement of the Federal Court The Court found that the fee should not be included. “The royalties will also be part of the price of the goods if it were open to a Collector to conclude that the licence agreement was so closely connected with the contracts of sale pursuant to which the goods were imported and to the goods that together they formed a single transaction. I do not think there is any basis for the taking of such a view. The licence agreement was made in 1969 and appointed the applicant exclusive licensee of the relevant trade marks in Australia. The agreement entitled the applicant to use the trade ... Read more