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

India vs Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd, September 2022, High Court of Delhi, ITA 370/2022

India vs Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd, September 2022, High Court of Delhi, ITA 370/2022

The tax authorities had disallowed deductions for purported administrative services paid for by Akzo Nobel India to a group company in Singapore. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upheld the assessment in a Judgement issued in February 2022. An appeal was then filed by Akzo Nobel India with the High Court. Judgement of the High Court The High Court dismissed the Appeal of Akzo Nobel India and upheld the judgement of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. Excerpt “…this Court finds that all the three authorities below have given concurrent findings of fact that the Appellant had failed to furnish evidence to demonstrate that administrative services were actually rendered by the AE and the assessee had received such services. In fact, the ITAT has noted in the impugned order “….On a specific query made by the Bench to demonstrate the receipt of services from AE through cogent evidence, including, any communication with the AE, learned counsel for the assessee expressed his inability ... Read more
Italy vs Ferrari SpA, September 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 26695/2022

Italy vs Ferrari SpA, September 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 26695/2022

In February 2016 the Regional Tax Commission rejected an appeal filed by the Revenue Agency against the first instance judgment, which had upheld an appeal brought by Italian car manufacturer, Ferrari S.p.A. against a notice of assessment issued by the Revenue Agency in which the company was accused of having applied prices lower than the ‘normal value’ in transactions with its foreign subsidiaries, in particular with the US company Ferrari NA (North America). In determining the arm’s length price of the relevant controlled transactions Ferrari had applied the CUP method. The Revenue Agency considered the TNMM to be the most appropriate method. The Regional Tax Commission observed that “for verifying the “normal value”, the Revenue Agency itself, in Circular No. 32 of 22/09/1980, had suggested the use of the CUP method instead of the less reliable TNMM method “which is not advisable due to its considerable approximation and arbitrariness’ for which reason the Office’s objection must be considered inadmissible”. On ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(c) Effective/applicability date –

(1) In general. Paragraphs (a) and (b) Examples 10 through 12 of this section are generally applicable for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2006. Paragraph (b) Examples 13 through 18 of this section are generally applicable on January 5, 2009. (2) Election to apply regulation to earlier taxable years. A person may elect to apply the provisions of paragraph (b) Examples 10,11, and 12 of this section to earlier taxable years in accordance with the rules set forth in § 1.482-9(n)(2) ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 18.

Evaluation of alternative methods. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 17, except that FS has a patent on Compound Y, which the parties reasonably anticipate will be useful in mitigating potential side effects associated with Compound X and thereby contribute to the development of Oncol. The rights in Compound Y constitute a platform contribution for which compensation is due from USP as part of a PCT. The value of FS’s platform contribution cannot be reliably measured by market benchmarks. (ii) Under the facts, it is possible that either the acquisition price method and the income method together or the residual profit split method might reasonably be applied to determine the arm’s length PCT Payments due between USP and FS. Under the first option the PCT Payment for the platform contributions related to Company X’s workforce and Compound X would be determined using the acquisition price method referring to the lump sum price paid by USP for Company X. Because ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 17.

Evaluation of alternative methods. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 13, except that the acquisition occurred sometime prior to the CSA, and Company X has some areas of promising research that are not reasonably anticipated to contribute to developing Oncol. For purposes of this example, the CSA is assumed to divide divisional interests on a territorial basis. In general, the Commissioner determines that the acquisition price data is useful in informing the arm’s length price, but not necessarily determinative. Under the terms of the CSA, USP will undertake all R&D (consisting of laboratory research and clinical testing) and manufacturing associated with Oncol, as well as the distribution activities for its territory (the United States). FS will distribute Oncol in its territory (the rest of the world). FS’s distribution activities are routine in nature, and the profitability from its activities may be reliably determined from third-party comparables. At the time of the PCT, financial projections associated with the development of ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 16.

Income method (applied using CPM) preferred to acquisition price method. The facts are the same as in Example 13, except that the acquisition occurred significantly in advance of formation of the CSA, and reliable adjustments cannot be made for this time difference. In addition, Company X has other valuable molecular patents and associated research capabilities, apart from Compound X, that are not reasonably anticipated to contribute to the development of Oncol and that cannot be reliably valued. The CSA divides divisional interests on a territorial basis. Under the terms of the CSA, USP will undertake all R&D (consisting of laboratory research and clinical testing) and manufacturing associated with Oncol, as well as the distribution activities for its territory (the United States). FS will distribute Oncol in its territory (the rest of the world). FS’s distribution activities are routine in nature, and the profitability from its activities may be reliably determined from third-party comparables. FS does not furnish any platform contributions. At the ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 15.

Preference for market capitalization method. (i) MicroDent, Inc. (MDI) is a publicly traded company that developed a new dental surgical microscope ScopeX-1, which drastically shortens many surgical procedures. On January 1 of Year 1, MDI entered into a CSA with a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary (FS) to develop ScopeX-2, the next generation of ScopeX-1. In the CSA, divisional interests are divided on a territorial basis. The rights associated with ScopeX-1, as well as MDI’s research capabilities are reasonably anticipated to contribute to the development of ScopeX-2 and are therefore platform contributions for which compensation is due from FS as part of a PCT. At the time of the PCT, MDI’s only product was the ScopeX-I microscope, although MDI was in the process of developing ScopeX-2. Concurrent with the CSA, MDI separately transfers exclusive and perpetual exploitation rights associated with ScopeX-1 to FS in the same territory as assigned to FS in the CSA. (ii) Although the transactions between MDI and FS ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 14.

Preference for market capitalization method. (i) Company X is a publicly traded U.S. company solely engaged in oncological pharmaceutical research and its only significant resources and capabilities are its workforce and its sole patent, which is associated with Compound Y, a promising molecular compound derived from a rare plant. Company X has no marketable products. Company X enters into a CSA with FS, a newly-formed foreign subsidiary, to develop a new oncological drug, Oncol, derived from Compound Y. Compound Y is reasonably anticipated to contribute to developing Oncol. All of Company X researchers will be engaged solely in research that is reasonably anticipated to contribute to developing Oncol under the CSA. The rights in Compound Y and the commitment of Company X’s researchers are platform contributions for which compensation is due from FS as part of a PCT. (ii) In this case, given that Company X’s platform contributions covered by PCTs relate to its entire economic value, the application of ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 13.

Preference for acquisition price method. (i) USP develops, manufacturers, and distributes pharmaceutical products. USP and FS, USP’s wholly-owned subsidiary, enter into a CSA to develop a new oncological drug, Oncol. Immediately prior to entering into the CSA, USP acquires Company X, an unrelated U.S. pharmaceutical company. Company X is solely engaged in oncological pharmaceutical research, and its only significant resources and capabilities are its workforce and its sole patent, which is associated with Compound X, a promising molecular compound derived from a rare plant, which USP reasonably anticipates will contribute to developing Oncol. All of Company X researchers will be engaged solely in research that is reasonably anticipated to contribute to developing Oncol as well. The rights in the Compound X and the commitment of Company X’s researchers to the development of Oncol are platform contributions for which compensation is due from FS as part of a PCT. (ii) In this case, the acquisition price method, based on the lump ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 12.

Residual profit split preferred to other methods. (i) USP is a manufacturer of athletic apparel sold under the AA trademark, to which FP owns the worldwide rights. USP sells AA trademark apparel in countries throughout the world, but prior to year 1, USP did not sell its merchandise in Country X. In year 1, USP acquires an uncontrolled Country X company which becomes its wholly-owned subsidiary, XSub. USP enters into an exclusive distribution arrangement with XSub in Country X. Before being acquired by USP in year 1, XSub distributed athletic apparel purchased from uncontrolled suppliers and resold that merchandise to retailers. After being acquired by USP in year 1, XSub continues to distribute merchandise from uncontrolled suppliers and also begins to distribute AA trademark apparel. Under a separate agreement with USP, XSub uses its best efforts to promote the AA trademark in Country X, with the goal of maximizing sales volume and revenues from AA merchandise. (ii) Prior to year ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 11.

CPM for services preferred to other methods. (i) FP manufactures furniture and accessories for residential use. FP sells its products to retailers in Europe under the trademark, “Moda.” FP holds all worldwide rights to the trademark, including in the United States. USSub is FP’s wholly-owned subsidiary in the U.S. market and the exclusive U.S. distributor of FP’s merchandise. Historically, USSub dealt only with specialized designers in the U.S. market and advertised in trade publications targeted to this market. Although items sold in the U.S. and Europe are physically identical, USSub’s U.S. customers generally resell the merchandise as non-branded merchandise. (ii) FP retains an independent firm to evaluate the feasibility of selling FP’s trademarked merchandise in the general wholesale and retail market in the United States. The study concludes that this segment of the U.S. market, which is not exploited by USSub, may generate substantial profits. Based on this study, FP enters into a separate agreement with USSub, which provides that ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 10.

Cost of services plus method preferred to other methods. (i) FP designs and manufactures consumer electronic devices that incorporate advanced technology. In year 1, FP introduces Product X, an entertainment device targeted primarily at the youth market. FP’s wholly-owned, exclusive U.S. distributor, USSub, sells Product X in the U.S. market. USSub hires an independent marketing firm, Agency A, to promote Product X in the U.S. market. Agency A has successfully promoted other electronic products on behalf of other uncontrolled parties. USSub executes a one-year, renewable contract with Agency A that requires it to develop the market for Product X, within an annual budget set by USSub. In years 1 through 3, Agency A develops advertising, buys media, and sponsors events featuring Product X. Agency A receives a markup of 25% on all expenses of promoting Product X, with the exception of media buys, which are reimbursed at cost. During year 3, sales of Product X decrease sharply, as Product X ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 9.

Comparable profits method preferred to profit split. (i) Company X is a large, complex U.S. company that carries out extensive research and development activities and manufactures and markets a variety of products. Company X has developed a new process by which compact disks can be fabricated at a fraction of the cost previously required. The process is expected to prove highly profitable, since there is a large market for compact disks. Company X establishes a new foreign subsidiary, Company Y, and licenses it the rights to use the process to fabricate compact disks for the foreign market as well as continuing technical support and improvements to the process. Company Y uses the process to fabricate compact disks which it supplies to related and unrelated parties. (ii) The process licensed to Company Y is unique and highly valuable and no uncontrolled transfers of intangible property can be found that are sufficiently comparable to permit reliable application of the comparable uncontrolled transaction ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 8.

Residual profit split method preferred to other methods. (i) USC is a U.S. company that develops, manufactures and sells communications equipment. EC is the European subsidiary of USC. EC is an established company that carries out extensive research and development activities and develops, manufactures and sells communications equipment in Europe. There are extensive transactions between USC and EC. USC licenses valuable technology it has developed to EC for use in the European market but EC also licenses valuable technology it has developed to USC. Each company uses components manufactured by the other in some of its products and purchases products from the other for resale in its own market. (ii) Detailed accounting information is available for both USC and EC and adjustments can be made to achieve a high degree of consistency in accounting practices between them. Relatively reliable allocations of costs, income and assets can be made between the business activities that are related to the controlled transactions and ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 7.

Preference for comparable uncontrolled transaction method. (i) USpharm, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, develops a new drug Z that is a safe and effective treatment for the disease zeezee. USpharm has obtained patents covering drug Z in the United States and in various foreign countries. USpharm has also obtained the regulatory authorizations necessary to market drug Z in the United States and in foreign countries. (ii) USpharm licenses its subsidiary in country X, Xpharm, to produce and sell drug Z in country X. At the same time, it licenses an unrelated company, Ydrug, to produce and sell drug Z in country Y, a neighboring country. Prior to licensing the drug, USpharm had obtained patent protection and regulatory approvals in both countries and both countries provide similar protection for intellectual property rights. Country X and country Y are similar countries in terms of population, per capita income and the incidence of disease zeezee. Consequently, drug Z is expected to sell in similar ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 6.

Comparable profits method preferred to cost plus method. The facts are the same as in Example 5, except that there are significant differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions in terms of the types of parts and components manufactured and the complexity of the manufacturing process. The resulting functional differences are likely to materially affect gross profit margins, but it is not possible to identify the specific differences and reliably adjust for their effect on gross profit. Because these functional differences would be reflected in differences in operating expenses, the operating profit measures used under the comparable profits method implicitly reflect to some extent these functional differences. Therefore, because in this case the comparable profits method is less sensitive than the cost plus method to the potentially significant functional differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions, the comparable profits method is likely to produce a more reliable measure of an arm’s length result than the cost plus method. See § 1.482-1(c) (Best method rule) ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 5.

Cost plus method preferred to comparable profits method. (i) USS is a U.S. company that manufactures machine tool parts and sells them to its foreign parent corporation, FP. Four U.S. companies are identified that also manufacture various types of machine tool parts but sell them to uncontrolled purchasers. (ii) Except for some differences in payment terms, the manufacture and sales of machine tool parts by the four uncontrolled companies are closely similar to the controlled transactions in terms of the functions performed and risks assumed. Reliable adjustments can be made for the differences in payment terms. In addition, sufficiently detailed accounting information is available to permit adjustments to be made for differences between the controlled transaction and the uncontrolled comparables in accounting methods and in the reporting of costs between cost of goods sold and operating expenses. (iii) There is close functional similarity between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions and reliable adjustments can be made for material differences that would ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 4.

Comparable profits method preferred to resale price method. The facts are the same as in Example 3, except that the accounting information available for the uncontrolled comparables is not sufficiently detailed to ensure consistent reporting between cost of goods sold and operating expenses of material items such as discounts, insurance, warranty costs, and supervisory, general and administrative expenses. These expenses are significant in amount. Therefore, whether these expenses are treated as costs of goods sold or operating expenses would have a significant effect on gross margins. Because in this case reliable adjustments can not be made for such accounting differences, the reliability of the resale price method is significantly reduced. There is, however, close functional similarity between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions and reliable adjustments have been made for all material differences other than the potential accounting differences. Because the comparable profits method is not adversely affected by the potential accounting differences, under these circumstances the comparable profits method is likely to ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 3.

Resale price method preferred to comparable profits method. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 2 except that Company A purchases all its products from Company B and Company B makes no uncontrolled sales into the United States. However, six uncontrolled U.S. distributors are identified that purchase a similar line of products from unrelated parties. The uncontrolled distributors purchase toaster ovens from unrelated parties, but there are significant differences in the characteristics of the toaster ovens, including the brandnames under which they are sold. (ii) Under the facts of this case, reliable adjustments for the effect of the different brandnames cannot be made. Except for some differences in payment terms and inventory levels, the purchases and resales of toaster ovens by the three uncontrolled distributors are closely similar to the controlled purchases in terms of the markets in which they occur, the volume of the transactions, the marketing activities undertaken by the distributor, inventory levels, warranties, allocation of currency risk, ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 2.

Resale price method preferred to comparable uncontrolled price method. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that the toaster ovens sold to Company A are of substantially higher quality than those sold to Company C and the effect on price of such quality differences cannot be accurately determined. In addition, in order to round out its line of consumer appliances Company A purchases blenders from unrelated parties for resale in the United States. The blenders are resold to substantially the same customers as the toaster ovens, have a similar resale value to the toaster ovens, and are purchased under similar terms and in similar volumes. The distribution functions performed by Company A appear to be similar for toaster ovens and blenders. Given the product differences between the toaster ovens, application of the resale price method using the purchases and resales of blenders as the uncontrolled comparables is likely to provide a more reliable measure of an arm’s ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(b) Example 1.

Preference for comparable uncontrolled price method. Company A is the U.S. distribution subsidiary of Company B, a foreign manufacturer of consumer electrical appliances. Company A purchases toaster ovens from Company B for resale in the U.S. market. To exploit other outlets for its toaster ovens, Company B also sells its toaster ovens to Company C, an unrelated U.S. distributor of toaster ovens. The products sold to Company A and Company C are identical in every respect and there are no material differences between the transactions. In this case application of the CUP method, using the sales of toaster ovens to Company C, generally will provide a more reliable measure of an arm’s length result for the controlled sale of toaster ovens to Company A than the application of any other method. See §§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(i) and -3(b)(2)(ii)(A) ... Read more

§ 1.482-8(a) Introduction.

In accordance with the best method rule of § 1.482-1(c), a method may be applied in a particular case only if the comparability, quality of data, and reliability of assumptions under that method make it more reliable than any other available measure of the arm’s length result. The following examples illustrate the comparative analysis required to apply this rule. As with all of the examples in these regulations, these examples are based on simplified facts, are provided solely for purposes of illustrating the type of analysis required under the relevant rule, and do not provide rules of general application. Thus, conclusions reached in these examples as to the relative reliability of methods are based on the assumed facts of the examples, and are not general conclusions concerning the relative reliability of any method ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(F)(2) Use of differential income stream as a consideration in assessing the best method.

An analysis under the income method that uses a different discount rate for the cost sharing alternative than for the licensing alternative will be more reliable the greater the extent to which the implied discount rate for the projected present value of the differential income stream is consistent with reliable direct evidence of the appropriate discount rate applicable for activities reasonably anticipated to generate an income stream with a similar risk profile to the differential income stream. Such differential income stream is defined as the stream of the reasonably anticipated residuals of the PCT Payor’s licensing payments to be made under the licensing alternative, minus the PCT Payor’s cost contributions to be made under the cost sharing alternative. See Example 8 of paragraph (g)(4)(viii) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(F)(1) Reflection of similar risk profiles of cost sharing alternative and licensing alternative.

Because the financial projections associated with the licensing and cost sharing alternatives are the same, except for the licensing payments to be made under the licensing alternative and the cost contributions and PCT Payments to be made under the cost sharing alternative, the analysis of the risk profile and financial projections for a realistic alternative to the cost sharing alternative must be closely associated with the risk profile and financial projections associated with the cost sharing alternative, differing only in the treatment of licensing payments, cost contributions, and PCT Payments. When using discount rates in applying the income method, this means that even if different discount rates are warranted for the two alternatives, the risk profiles for the two discount rates are closely related to each other because the discount rate for the licensing alternative and the discount rate for the cost sharing alternative are both derived from the single probability-weighted financial projections associated with the CSA Activity. The difference, ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(E) Certain Circumstances Concerning PCT Payor.

This method may be used even if the PCT Payor furnishes significant operating contributions, or commits to assume the risk of significant operating cost contributions, to the PCT Payor’s division. However, in such a case, any comparable uncontrolled transactions described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) of this section, and any comparable transactions used under § 1.482-5(c) as described in paragraphs (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, should be consistent with such contributions (or reliable adjustments must be made for material differences) ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(D) Coordination with § 1.482-5(c).

If the licensing alternative is evaluated using the comparable profits method, as described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, any additional comparability and reliability considerations stated in § 1.482-5(c) may apply ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(C) Coordination with § 1.482-4(c)(2).

If the licensing alternative is evaluated using the comparable uncontrolled transactions method, as described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) of this section, any additional comparability and reliability considerations stated in § 1.482-4(c)(2) may apply ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(B) Assumptions Concerning Tax Rates.

This method will be more reliable to the extent that the controlled participants’ respective tax rates are not materially affected by whether they enter into the cost sharing or licensing alternative. Even if this assumption of invariant tax rates across alternatives does not hold, this method may still be reliable to the extent that reliable adjustments can be made to reflect the variation in tax rates ... Read more

§ 1.482-7(g)(4)(vi)(A) Coordination with § 1.482-1(c).

Whether results derived from this method are the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result is determined using the factors described under the best method rule in § 1.482-1(c). Thus, comparability and the quality of data, the reliability of the assumptions, and the sensitivity of the results to possible deficiencies in the data and assumptions, must be considered in determining whether this method provides the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2) (iii) Confirmation of results by another method.

If two or more methods produce inconsistent results, the best method rule will be applied to select the method that provides the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result. If the best method rule does not clearly indicate which method should be selected, an additional factor that may be taken into account in selecting a method is whether any of the competing methods produce results that are consistent with the results obtained from the appropriate application of another method. Further, in evaluating different applications of the same method, the fact that a second method (or another application of the first method) produces results that are consistent with one of the competing applications may be taken into account ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(ii)(C) Sensitivity of results to deficiencies in data and assumptions.

Deficiencies in the data used or assumptions made may have a greater effect on some methods than others. In particular, the reliability of some methods is heavily dependent on the similarity of property or services involved in the controlled and uncontrolled transaction. For certain other methods, such as the resale price method, the analysis of the extent to which controlled and uncontrolled taxpayers undertake the same or similar functions, employ similar resources, and bear similar risks is particularly important. Finally, under other methods, such as the profit split method, defining the relevant business activity and appropriate allocation of costs, income, and assets may be of particular importance. Therefore, a difference between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions for which an accurate adjustment cannot be made may have a greater effect on the reliability of the results derived under one method than the results derived under another method. For example, differences in management efficiency may have a greater effect on a comparable ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(ii)(B) Reliability of assumptions.

All methods rely on certain assumptions. The reliability of the results derived from a method depends on the soundness of such assumptions. Some assumptions are relatively reliable. For example, adjustments for differences in payment terms between controlled and uncontrolled transactions may be based on the assumption that at arm’s length such differences would lead to price differences that reflect the time value of money. Although selection of the appropriate interest rate to use in making such adjustments involves some judgement, the economic analysis on which the assumption is based is relatively sound. Other assumptions may be less reliable. For example, the residual profit split method may be based on the assumption that capitalized intangible development expenses reflect the relative value of the intangible property contributed by each party. Because the costs of developing an intangible may not be related to its market value, the soundness of this assumption will affect the reliability of the results derived from this method ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(ii)(A) Completeness and accuracy of data.

The completeness and accuracy of the data affects the ability to identify and quantify those factors that would affect the result under any particular method. For example, the completeness and accuracy of data will determine the extent to which it is possible to identify differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions, and the reliability of adjustments that are made to account for such differences. An analysis will be relatively more reliable as the completeness and accuracy of the data increases ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(ii) Data and assumptions.

Whether a method provides the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result also depends upon the completeness and accuracy of the underlying data, the reliability of the assumptions, and the sensitivity of the results to possible deficiencies in the data and assumptions. Such factors are particularly relevant in evaluating the degree of comparability between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions. These factors are discussed in paragraphs (c)(2)(ii) (A), (B), and (C) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2)(i) Comparability.

The relative reliability of a method based on the results of transactions between unrelated parties depends on the degree of comparability between the controlled transaction or taxpayers and the uncontrolled comparables, taking into account the factors described in § 1.482-1(d)(3) (Factors for determining comparability), and after making adjustments for differences, as described in § 1.482-1(d)(2) (Standard of comparability). As the degree of comparability increases, the number and extent of potential differences that could render the analysis inaccurate is reduced. In addition, if adjustments are made to increase the degree of comparability, the number, magnitude, and reliability of those adjustments will affect the reliability of the results of the analysis. Thus, an analysis under the comparable uncontrolled price method will generally be more reliable than analyses obtained under other methods if the analysis is based on closely comparable uncontrolled transactions, because such an analysis can be expected to achieve a higher degree of comparability and be susceptible to fewer differences than ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(2) Determining the best method.

Data based on the results of transactions between unrelated parties provides the most objective basis for determining whether the results of a controlled transaction are arm’s length. Thus, in determining which of two or more available methods (or applications of a single method) provides the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result, the two primary factors to take into account are the degree of comparability between the controlled transaction (or taxpayer) and any uncontrolled comparables, and the quality of the data and assumptions used in the analysis. In addition, in certain circumstances, it also may be relevant to consider whether the results of an analysis are consistent with the results of an analysis under another method. These factors are explained in paragraphs (c)(2)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c)(1) In general.

The arm’s length result of a controlled transaction must be determined under the method that, under the facts and circumstances, provides the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result. Thus, there is no strict priority of methods, and no method will invariably be considered to be more reliable than others. An arm’s length result may be determined under any method without establishing the inapplicability of another method, but if another method subsequently is shown to produce a more reliable measure of an arm’s length result, such other method must be used. Similarly, if two or more applications of a single method provide inconsistent results, the arm’s length result must be determined under the application that, under the facts and circumstances, provides the most reliable measure of an arm’s length result. See § 1.482-8 for examples of the application of the best method rule. See § 1.482-7 for the applicable methods in the case of a cost sharing arrangement ... Read more

§ 1.482-1(c) Best method rule –

Section 1.482-7 provides the specific methods to be used to determine arm’s length results of controlled transactions in connection with a cost sharing arrangement as defined in § 1.482-7. Sections 1.482-4 and 1.482-9, as appropriate, provide the specific methods to be used to determine arm’s length results of arrangements, including partnerships, for sharing the costs and risks of developing intangibles, other than a cost sharing arrangement covered by § 1.482-7. See also §§ 1.482-4(g) (Coordination with rules governing cost sharing arrangements) and 1.482-9(m)(3) (Coordination with rules governing cost sharing arrangements) ... Read more
India vs Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., September 2022, High Court of Delhi, Case No ITA 313/2022

India vs Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., September 2022, High Court of Delhi, Case No ITA 313/2022

Amway India is engaged in the business of direct selling of consumer products through multi-level marketing. For FY 2013-2014 Amway paid royalties to a foreign Amway group company. Following an audit, an assessment was issued by the tax authorities where the royalty had been reduced based on a benchmark study resulting in additional taxable income. An appeal was filed by Amway India with the Income Tax Tribunal where the assessment was set aside. An appeal was then filed by the tax authorities with the High Court. In the appeal the tax authorities stated that the Tribunal had failed to appreciate the fact that the royalty payments were excessive considering the Advertisement, Marketing and Promotion (‘AMP’) expenses incurred by Amway India for the benefit of the group’s trademark and brand. According to the tax authorities Amway India created marketing intangibles for the group and should be compensated with a payment from the group rather than having to pay huge royalties. Judgement ... Read more
Norway vs Equinor Energy AS, August 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2021-126759

Norway vs Equinor Energy AS, August 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2021-126759

The case concerned pricing of the wet gas in FY 2012-2014 sold between Equinor Energy (subsidiary) and Equinor ASA (parent). The intra-group sales from Equinor Energy to Equinor were regulated by an internal agreement that was entered into as part of the transfer of rights in 2009. The income that Equinor Energy receives from the internal sales is subject to section 5 of the Petroleum Tax Act with a special tax that comes in addition to the general income tax. This means that Equinor Energy had a total tax burden of 78%. Equinor, for its part, is charged with ordinary income tax, which was 27/28%. In 2012 the pricing model was changed rom the so-called “OTS price model” to a “dividend model”, which led to the price (and taxable income in Equinor Energy) being reduced compared to the previously used pricing model. The reason stated by the group for this change was that Equinor Energy had later entered into an agreement ... Read more
India vs Sulzer Tech India Pvt Ltd, July 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Case No ITAT No 633-MUM-2021

India vs Sulzer Tech India Pvt Ltd, July 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Case No ITAT No 633-MUM-2021

Sulzer Tech India Pvt Ltd (the assessee) is in the business of providing design and engineering services. To that end Sulzer Management AG, an associated enterprise provided various IT and support services to Sulzer Tech India. The payment for these services had been determined based on a benchmark study where Sulzer Management AG was chosen as the tested party. The cost plus margin for the selected comparables ranged from 4.08% to 7.08%, with a median of 5.69%, and on that basis the payment to Sulzer Management of Rs. 2,52,49,650, which was equal to cost plus 5%, was considered to be at arm’s length. The tax authorities disagreed and held that Sulzer Tech India at arm’s length would not have paid any amount toward services which are not availed to it and have not benefited its business. Accordingly, an adjustment of additional income of Rs. 2,52,49,650, was issued. Judgement of the Income Tax Appellant Tribunal The Tribunal set aside the assessment ... Read more
France vs Ferragamo France, June 2022, Administrative Court of Appeal (CAA), Case No 20PA03601

France vs Ferragamo France, June 2022, Administrative Court of Appeal (CAA), Case No 20PA03601

Ferragamo France, which was set up in 1992 and is wholly owned by the Dutch company Ferragamo International BV, which in turn is owned by the Italian company Salvatore Ferragamo Spa, carries on the business of retailing shoes, leather goods and luxury accessories and distributes, in shops in France, products under the ‘Salvatore Ferragamo’ brand, which is owned by the Italian parent company. An assessment had been issued to Ferragamo France in which the French tax authorities asserted that the French subsidiary had not been sufficiently remunerated for additional expenses and contributions to the value of the Ferragamo trademark. The French subsidiary had been remunerated on a gross margin basis, but had incurred losses in previous years and had indirect cost exceeding those of the selected comparable companies. In 2017 the Administrative Court decided in favour of Ferragamo and dismissed the assessment issued by the tax authorities. According to the Court the tax administration had not demonstrated the existence of ... Read more
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