Tag: Most appropriate method (MAM)

The selection of a transfer pricing method always aims at finding the most appropriate method for a particular case. For this purpose, the selection process should take account of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the OECD recognised methods; the appropriateness of the method considered in view of the nature of the controlled transaction, determined in particular through a functional analysis; the availability of reliable information (in particular on uncontrolled comparables) needed to apply the selected method and/or other methods; and the degree of comparability between controlled and uncontrolled transactions, including the reliability of comparability adjustments that may be needed to eliminate material differences between them. No one method is suitable in every possible situation, nor is it necessary to prove that a particular method is not suitable under the circumstances. See TPG 2.2

Italy vs Promgas s.p.a., May 2022, Supreme Court, Cases No 15668/2022

Italy vs Promgas s.p.a., May 2022, Supreme Court, Cases No 15668/2022

Promgas s.p.a. is 50% owned by the Italian company Eni s.p.a. and 50% owned by the Russian company Gazprom Export. It deals with the purchase and sale of natural gas of Russian origin destined for the Italian market. It sells the gas to a single Italian entity not belonging to the group, Edison spa, on the basis of a contract signed on 24 January 2000. In essence, Promgas s.p.a. performes intermediary function between the Russian company, Gazprom Export (exporter of the gas), and the Italian company, Edison s.p.a. (final purchaser of the gas). Following an audit for FY 2005/06, the tax authorities – based on the Transaction Net Margin Method – held that the operating margin obtained by Promgas s.p.a. (0.23% in 2025 and 0.06% in 2006) were not in line with the results that the company could have achieved at arm’s length. Applying an operating margin of l.39% resulted in a arm’s length profit of €4,227,438.07, for the year ... Read more
India vs Olympus Medical Systems India Pvt. Ltd., April 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - New Delhi, Case No 838/DEL/2021

India vs Olympus Medical Systems India Pvt. Ltd., April 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – New Delhi, Case No 838/DEL/2021

Olympus Medical Systems India is a subsidiary of Olympus Corp and engaged in the import, sale and maintenance of medical equipment in India. For FY 2012 and 2013 the company reported losses. An transfer pricing audit was initiated by the tax authorities and later an assessment was issued. Since Olympus India had failed to provide audited financials of its associated enterprises to determine the overall profits of the group, it adopted the Resale Price Method using the Bright Line Test approach. An appeal was then filed by Olympus with the Tax Appellate Tribunal. Olympus India argued that the tax authorities was erroneous in adopting the Residual Profit Split Method in determining the arm’s length price of the AMP expenses and furthermore that the tax authorities could not make an adjustment without having information on the total profits of the group. Judgement of the Tax Appellate Tribunal The tribunal held that Olympus India should not benefit for non-cooperation in providing audited ... Read more
France vs ST Dupont , April 2022, CAA of Paris, No 19PA01644

France vs ST Dupont , April 2022, CAA of Paris, No 19PA01644

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 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. “The investigation revealed that the administration found that ST Dupont was making significant and persistent losses, with an operating loss of between EUR 7,260,086 and EUR 32,408,032 for the financial years from 2003 to 2009. It also noted that its marketing subsidiary in Hong Kong, ST Dupont Marketing, in which it held the entire capital, was making a profit, with results ranging from EUR 920,739 to EUR 3,828,051 for the same ... Read more
Costa Rica vs GlaxoSmithKline Costa Rica S.A., February 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 4-001638-1027-CA

Costa Rica vs GlaxoSmithKline Costa Rica S.A., February 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 4-001638-1027-CA

GlaxoSmithKline Costa Rica S.A. manufactures pharma products which is sold to both independent customers in the region and to group companies abroad. For FY 2004 and 2005 pricing of the controlled transactions had been determined based on the TNMM method using return on total costs (ROTC) as PLI. GSK said the range of return on total costs “for the comparable independent companies ranges from 4.7 per cent to 14.5 per cent, with a median of 9.6 per cent. GSK CR obtained an average ROTC of 50.6 percent during fiscal years 2004 and 2005, which was not below the range identified for comparable independent companies. Accordingly, the transfer prices used by GSK CR in its controlled transactions did not distort GSK CR’s profitability and satisfied the arm’s length principle set out in the OECD Guidelines. In 2009 the tax authorities issued an assessment for FY 2004 and 2005 based on the internal CUP method. “…between the transactions under study, namely sales ... Read more
India vs Kellogg India Private Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Mumbai, Case NoITA No. 7342/Mum/2018

India vs Kellogg India Private Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Mumbai, Case NoITA No. 7342/Mum/2018

Kellogg India Private Limited is engaged in manufacturing and sales of breakfast cereals and convenience foods and it operates as a licensed manufacturer under the Kellogg brand. During the year under consideration, Kellogg India had commenced business of distributing Pringles products in the Indian markets. Kellogg India purchases the pringles product from its AE Pringles International Operations SARL, based in Singapore. Singapore AE does not manufacture pringles, but in turn gets it manufactured from a third party contract manufacturer. Thereafter, the goods are supplied at a cost plus mark up of 5% on third party manufacturer’s cost. These Pringles are later imported by Kellogg India from its AE and distributed in the Indian market. Kellogg India characterised itself as a distributor of Pringles products and is responsible for the strategic and overall management of Pringles business in India. Singapore AE, being the least complex entity, was selected as the tested party for benchmarking the international transaction of import of finished ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter II Annex II example 5

TPG2022 Chapter II Annex II example 5

20. WebCo is a member of an MNE group that develops IT solutions for business customers. Recently, WebCo designed the architecture of a web crawler to collect pricing data from internet sites. WebCo has written the code of the program so it is able to systematically scan web pages in a more efficient and faster way than any other similar search engines available in the market. 21. At this stage, WebCo licenses the program to ScaleCo, a company in the same MNE group. ScaleCo is responsible for scaling-up the web crawler and for deciding the crawling strategy. ScaleCo is a specialist in designing add-ons for the web crawler and in customising the product to address gaps in the market. Without these contributions, the system would not be able to meet potential customers’ needs. 22. Under the terms of the licence, WebCo will continue developing the underlying base technology and ScaleCo will use these developments to scale up the web crawler ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter II Annex II example 4

TPG2022 Chapter II Annex II example 4

16. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 3, except that the marketing activities performed by Company B are more limited and do not significantly enhance the goodwill or reputation associated with the trademark. Company B has a mechanism whereby customer feedback on the products it sells is relayed to Company A, but this is a relatively simple process, and does not constitute a unique and valuable contribution. In sum, its distribution activities are not a particular source of competitive advantage in its industry. In particular, the potential success of the new line of products is largely dependent on its technical specifications, its design, and the price at which the products are sold to final customers. 17. The functional analysis concludes that Company A assumes the risks associated with the design, development and manufacturing of the product and Company B assumes the risks relating to marketing and distribution. 18. Marketing and distribution risks assumed by Company ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter II Annex II example 2

TPG2022 Chapter II Annex II example 2

5. A Co, a member of T Group, is a company incorporated in Country A whose principal activity is the growing and processing of tea. A Co identifies, acquires and cultivates land with extremely good soil for growing tea. A Co has developed extensive know- how in respect of tea-growing, including maximising the desirable qualities of the tea it grows through its cultivation methods. The properties of the soil together with the cultivation methods give A Co’s tea a highly sought after flavour. 6. A Co processes tea by undertaking the following activities: sorting leaf, grading, full or partial fermenting, and blending and packaging for export as per customer order specifications. Blending entails using extensive proprietary know-how to mix the various teas in order to get blends with the unique tastes appreciated by customers of T Group. Tea produced by A Co has won international acclaim for its unique taste and aroma. 7. A Co sells its tea to B ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.216

The following paragraphs outline different approaches to pricing intra-group transactions involving captive insurance and reinsurance. Each case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances and in each case accurate delineation of the actual transactions in accordance with the principles of Chapter I will be needed before any attempt to decide on an approach to pricing a transaction. As in any other transfer pricing situation, the most appropriate method should be selected under the guidance of Chapter II ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.170

The CUP method could be used where there are external or internal comparables; independent guarantors providing guarantees in respect of comparable loans to other borrowers or where the same borrower has other comparable loans which are independently guaranteed ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.169

This section describes a number of pricing approaches for those circumstances where a guarantee is found to be appropriate. However, when the accurate delineation of the actual transaction indicates that the purported guarantee is not a guarantee, other pricing approaches should be considered, in particular the guidance in Chapter VII. As in any other transfer pricing situation, the selection of the most appropriate method should be consistent with the actual transaction as accurately delineated, in particular, through a functional analysis. (See Chapter II) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.88

The following paragraphs present different approaches to pricing intra-group loans. As in any other transfer pricing situation, the selection of the most appropriate method should be consistent with the actual transaction as accurately delineated, in particular, through a functional analysis (see Chapter II) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.53

The choice of the appropriate transfer pricing method depends in part on which part of the transaction is the less complex and can be evaluated with the greater certainty (the functions performed, assets used and risks assumed by the manufacturer, or the marketing and sales functions that remain to be performed taking account of the assets to be used and risks to be assumed to perform these functions). See paragraphs 3.18-3.19 on the choice of the tested party ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VII paragraph 7.31

The method to be used to determine arm’s length transfer pricing for intra-group services should be determined according to the guidelines in Chapters I, II, and III. Often, the application of these guidelines will lead to use of the CUP or a cost-based method (cost plus method or cost-based TNMM) for pricing intra-group services. A CUP method is likely to be the most appropriate method where there is a comparable service provided between independent enterprises in the recipient’s market, or by the associated enterprise providing the services to an independent enterprise in comparable circumstances. For example, this might be the case where accounting, auditing, legal, or computer services are being provided subject to the controlled and uncontrolled transactions being comparable. A cost based method would likely be the most appropriate method in the absence of a CUP where the nature of the activities involved, assets used, and risks assumed are comparable to those undertaken by independent enterprises. As indicated in ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.207

Where the need to make comparability adjustments arises because of differences in the intangibles used by the tested party in a controlled transaction and the intangibles used by a party to a potentially comparable uncontrolled transaction, difficult factual questions can arise in quantifying reliable comparability adjustments. These issues require thorough consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances and of the available data regarding the impact of the intangibles on prices and profits. Where the impact on price of a difference in the nature of the intangibles used is clearly material, but not subject to accurate estimation, it may be necessary to utilise a different transfer pricing method that is less dependent on identification of reliable comparables ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.204

It will often be the case that, notwithstanding the use of intangibles by one or both parties to a controlled sale of goods or provision of services, reliable comparables can be identified. Depending on the specific facts, any of the five OECD transfer pricing methods described in Chapter II might constitute the most appropriate transfer pricing method where the transaction involves the use of intangibles in connection with a controlled sale of goods or provision of services and reliable comparables are present ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.201

Where the tested party and the potential comparable have comparable intangibles, the intangibles will not constitute unique and valuable intangibles within the meaning of paragraph 6.17, and therefore no comparability adjustments will be required with regard to the intangibles. The potential comparable will, in these circumstances, provide the best evidence of the profit contribution of the tested party’s intangibles. If, however, either the tested party or the potential comparable has and uses in its business unique and valuable intangibles, it may be necessary either to make appropriate comparability adjustments or to revert to a different transfer pricing method. The principles contained in Sections D.2.1 to D.2.4 apply in evaluating the comparability of intangibles in such situations ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.145

The transfer pricing methods most likely to prove useful in matters involving transfers of one or more intangibles are the CUP method and the transactional profit split method. Valuation techniques can be useful tools. Supplemental guidance on the transfer pricing methods most likely to be useful in connection with transfers of intangibles is provided below ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.141

Care should be used, in applying certain of the OECD transfer pricing methods in a matter involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles. One sided methods, including the resale price method and the TNMM, are generally not reliable methods for directly valuing intangibles. In some circumstances such mechanisms can be utilised to indirectly value intangibles by determining values for some functions using those methods and deriving a residual value for intangibles. However, the principles of paragraph 6.133 are important when following such approaches and care should be exercised to ensure that all functions, risks, assets and other factors contributing to the generation of income are properly identified and evaluated ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.139

Where information regarding reliable comparable uncontrolled transactions cannot be identified, the arm’s length principle requires use of another method to determine the price that uncontrolled parties would have agreed under comparable circumstances. In making such determinations, it is important to consider: The functions, assets and risks of the respective parties to the transaction. The business reasons for engaging in the transaction. The perspectives of and options realistically available to each of the parties to the transaction. The competitive advantages conferred by the intangibles including especially the relative profitability of products and services or potential products and services related to the intangibles. The expected future economic benefits from the transaction. Other comparability factors such as features of local markets, location savings, assembled workforce, and MNE group synergies ... Read more