Tag: Microsoft

Microsoft - Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Microsoft – Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Microsoft’s tax affairs have been in the spotlight of tax authorities all over the World during the last decade. Why? The setup used by Microsoft involves shifting profits from sales in the US, Europe and Asia to regional operating centers placed in low tax jurisdictions (Bermuda, Luxembourg, Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico). The following text has been provided by Microsoft in a US filing concerning effective tax and global allocation of income: “Our effective tax rate for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 was 18% and 17%, respectively. Our effective tax rate was lower than the U.S. federal statutory rate primarily due to earnings taxed at lower rates in foreign jurisdictions resulting from producing and distributing our products and services through our foreign regional operations centers in Ireland, Singapore, and Puerto Rico.“ “In fiscal year 2017, our U.S. income before income taxes was $6.8 billion and our foreign income before income taxes was $23.1 billion. In fiscal year 2016, ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Microsoft Denmark, January 2019, Danish Supreme Court

Denmark vs Microsoft Denmark, January 2019, Danish Supreme Court

The Danish tax authorities were of the opinion that Microsoft Denmark had not been properly remunerated for performing marketing activities due to the fact that OEM sales to Danish customers via MNE OEM’s had not been included in the calculation of local commissions. According to the Market Development Agreement (MDA agreement) concluded between Microsoft Denmark and MIOL with effect from 1 July 2003, Microsoft Denmark received the largest amount of either a commission based on sales invoiced in Denmark or a markup on it’s costs. Microsoft Denmark’s commission did not take into account the sale of Microsoft products that occurred through the sale of computers by multinational computer manufacturers with pre-installed Microsoft software to end users in Denmark – (OEM sales). In court, Microsoft required a dismissal. In a narrow 3:2 decision the Danish Supreme Court found in favor of Microsoft. “…Microsoft Denmark’s marketing may have had some derivative effect, especially in the period around the launch in 2007 of ... Continue to full case
Major US MNE's in Ireland

Major US MNE’s in Ireland

Major US MNE’s with regional Headquarters in Ireland for European business activities. The corporation tax rate in Ireland is only 12.5%. However to further sweeten the deal for MNE’s, Ireland has been known to offer special tax deals to MNE’s resulting in much lower effective tax rates. Ireland provides MNEs with both low tax centers for European activities and conduit holding companies serving as hubs for transferring profits and capital to low tax jurisdictions such as Cyprus and Bermuda. Especially MNEs within the IT sector have been known to use a combination of subsidiaries in Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Bermuda to reduce their taxes (“Double Duch Irish sandwich”). Ireland has been involved in investigations concerning corporate taxes in both the EU and US. An investigation of Apple discovered that two of the company’s Irish subsidiaries were not classified as tax residents in the U.S. nor Ireland, despite being incorporated in Ireland. Ireland offers low tax, many tax treaties, low ... Continue to full case
Tax avoidance in Australia

Tax avoidance in Australia

In May 2018 the final report on corporate tax avoidance in Australia was published by the Australian Senate. The report contains the findings, conclusions and recommendations based on 4 years of hearings and investigations into tax avoidance practices by multinationals in Australia. Australian-final-report-on-tax-avoidance ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Microsoft Denmark, March 2018, Danish National Court, SKM2018.416.ØLR

Denmark vs Microsoft Denmark, March 2018, Danish National Court, SKM2018.416.ØLR

The Danish Tax Ministry and Microsoft meet in Court in a case where the Danish tax authorities had issued an assessment of DKK 308 million. The Danish tax authorities were of the opinion that Microsoft had not been properly remunerated for performing marketing activities due to the fact that OEM sales to Danish customers via MNE OEM’s had not been included in the calculation of local commissions. In court, Microsoft required a dismissal with reference to the fact that Sweden, Norway and Finland had either lost or resigned similar tax cases against Micorosoft. The National Court ruled in favor of Microsoft. The decision has now been appealed to the Supreme Court by the Danish tax ministery. Click here for translation DK vs MS Marketing-and Sales Commissioner ... Continue to full case
Australian Parliament Hearings - Tax Avoidance

Australian Parliament Hearings – Tax Avoidance

In a public hearing held 22 August 2017 in Sydney Australia by the Economics References Committee, tech companies IBM, Microsoft, and Apple were called to the witnesses stand to explain about tax avoidance schemes – use of “regional headquarters” in low tax jurisdictions (Singapore, Ireland and the Netherlands) to avoid or reduce taxes. Follow the ongoing Australian hearings into corporate tax avoidance on this site: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Corporatetax45th Transcript from the hearing: Tax Avoidance, Australian Senate Hearing, 22 August 2017 ... Continue to full case
Israel vs. Gteko Ltd (Microsoft), June 2017, District Court

Israel vs. Gteko Ltd (Microsoft), June 2017, District Court

In November 2006 Microsoft Corp. purchased 100% of the shares of Gteko Ltd. (IT Support technology), for USD 90 million. The purchase was made with the intention of integrating Gteko’s technology into Microsoft’s own products. Following this purchase of Gteko Ltd., the employees were transferred to the local Microsoft subsidiary and a few months later another agreement was entered transferring Gteko’s intellectual property/intangibles to Microsoft. This transfer was priced at USD 26 million based on the purchase price allocation (PPA). The tax authorities of Israel found that the price of 26 mio USD used in the transaction was not at arm’s length. It was further argued, that the transaction was not only a transfer of some intangibles but rather a transfer of all assets owned by Gteko as a going concern to Microsoft Corp. The arm’s length price for the transfer was set at USD 80 million. The District Court agreed with the assessment and held that “value does not disappear or evaporate” and that Gteko had not succeeded in ... Continue to full case
US vs Microsoft, May 2017, US District Court

US vs Microsoft, May 2017, US District Court

In an ongoing transfer pricing battle between Microsoft and the IRS related to Microsofts’ use of a IP subsidiary in Puerto Rico to shift income and reduce taxes, the District Court of Washington has now ordered Microsoft to provide a number of documents as requested by the IRS. US vs Microsoft May 2017 US District Court In a prior decision from November 2015 the District Court ruled, that the IRS’ use of an external representative was not in conflict with US regulations. Microsoft argued that the IRS’ use of an outside law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, to assist in the audit was an improper delegation of its authority to examine taxpayer books. The Court ruled that the government had a legitimate purpose in continuing to pursue the audit, and that the use of Quinn Emanuel was not a breach of IRS authority that would invalidate the summonses. “The court’s role in this matter is not to pass judgment ... Continue to full case
US Senate Hearings on Offshore Profit Shifting and Abusive Tax Schemes 

US Senate Hearings on Offshore Profit Shifting and Abusive Tax Schemes 

See the documents from the US Senate hearings on offshore profit shifting and abusive tax schemes https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/issues/tax-havens-and-abusive-tax-schemes Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code – Part 1 (Microsoft & Hewlett-Packard) and Part 2 (Apple Inc.), Carl Levin’s opening statements. Profit Shifting Part 1, September 2012 OPENING, LEVIN-Carl US Senate hearing on Profit Shifting, May 2013, OPENING LEVIN-Carl ... Continue to full case
France vs. Microsoft, Feb 2012, CCA, No 10VE00752

France vs. Microsoft, Feb 2012, CCA, No 10VE00752

In the Microsoft case, the distribution activity of a French subsidiary of an American group was transferred to its Irish sister company. The French subsidiary was then converted into a sales agent of the Irish subsidiary. The Commission rate earned by the French subsidiary was reduced from 25% to 18%. The French tax authorities, taking into account the previous 25% commission rate, considered that it should not have been reduced and reinstated the corresponding income into the French company’s taxable income. To support their position, the French tax authorities conducted a benchmarking study. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that the mere fact that the commission rate has been reduced does not demonstrate the transfer of profits abroad. Moreover, the Court confirmed that the transfer of profits abroad was not proved due to the irrelevance of the methods used and of the comparables found by the French tax authorities. The companies were not suitable for comparison because they were not ... Continue to full case