Tag: Non-recognition and re-characterisation

Poland vs A S.A., June 2021, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Gl 1649/20

Poland vs A S.A., June 2021, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Gl 1649/20

The business activity of A S.A. was wholesale of pharmaceutical products to external pharmacies, hospitals, wholesalers (including: to affiliated wholesalers). The tax authority had noted that the company’s name had been changed in FY 2013, and a loss in the amount of PLN […] had been reported in the company’s tax return. An audit revealed that the Company had transferred significant assets (real estate) to a related entity on non-arm’s length terms. The same real estate was then going forward made available to the company on a fee basis under lease and tenancy agreements. The tax authority issued an assessment where a “restructuring fee” in the amount of PLN […] was added to the taxable income, reflecting the amount which would have been achieved if the transaction had been agreed between independent parties. According to the company the tax authority was not entitled at all to examine the compliance of the terms of these transactions with the terms that would ... Continue to full case
Canada vs Cameco Corp., February 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 39368.

Canada vs Cameco Corp., February 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 39368.

Cameco, together with its subsidiaries, is a large uranium producer and supplier of the services that convert one form of uranium into another form. Cameco had uranium mines in Saskatchewan and uranium refining and processing (conversion) facilities in Ontario. Cameco also had subsidiaries in the United States that owned uranium mines in the United States. The Canadian Revenue Agency found that transactions between Cameco Corp and the Swiss subsidiary constituted a sham arrangement resulting in improper profit shifting. Hence, a tax assessment was issued for FY 2003, 2005, and 2006. Cameco disagreed with the Agency and brought the case to the Canadian Tax Court. In 2018 the Tax Court ruled in favor of Cameco and dismissed the assessment. This decision was appealed by the tax authorities to the Federal Court of Appeal. The Federal Court of Appeal in 2020 dismissed the appeal and also ruled in favor of Cameco A application for leave to appeal from the judgment of the ... Continue to full case
UK vs Blackrock, November 2020, First-tier Tribunal, Case No TC07920

UK vs Blackrock, November 2020, First-tier Tribunal, Case No TC07920

In 2009 the BlackRock Group acquired Barclays Global Investors for a total sum of $13,5bn . The price was paid in part by shares ($6.9bn) and in part by cash ($6.6bn). The cash payment was paid by BlackRock Holdco 5 LLC – a US Delaware Company tax resident in the UK – but funded by the parent company by issuing $4bn loan notes to the LLC. In the years following the acquisition Blackrock Holdco 5 LLC claimed tax deductions in the UK for interest payments on the intra-group loans. Following an audit in the UK the tax authorities disallowed the interest deductions. The tax authorities held that the transaction would not have happened between independent parties. They also found that the loans were entered into for an unallowable tax avoidance purpose. A UK taxpayer can be denied a deduction for interest where a loan has an unallowable purpose i.e, where a tax advantage is the company’s main purpose for entering ... Continue to full case
Canada vs AgraCity Ltd. and Saskatchewan Ltd. August 2020, Tax Court, 2020 TCC 91

Canada vs AgraCity Ltd. and Saskatchewan Ltd. August 2020, Tax Court, 2020 TCC 91

AgraCity Canada had entered into a Services Agreement with a group company, NewAgco Barbados, in connection with the sale by NewAgco Barbados directly to Canadian farmer-users of a glyphosate-based herbicide (“ClearOut”) a generic version of Bayer-Monsanto’s RoundUp. In reassessing the taxable income of AgraCity for 2007 and 2008 the Canada Revenue Agency relied upon the transfer pricing rules in paragraphs 247(2)(a) and (c) of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”) and re-allocated an amount equal to all of NewAgco Barbados’ profits from these sales activities to the income of AgraCity. According to the Canadian Revenue Agency the value created by the parties to the transactions did not align with what was credited to AgraCity and NewAgco Barbados. Hence, 100% of the net sales profits realized from the ClearOut sales by NewAgco Barbados to FNA members – according to the Revenue Agency – should have been AgraCity’s and none of those profits would have been NewAgco’s had they been dealing at ... Continue to full case
Canada vs Cameco Corp., June 2020, Federal Court of Appeal, Case No 2020 FCA 112.

Canada vs Cameco Corp., June 2020, Federal Court of Appeal, Case No 2020 FCA 112.

Cameco, together with its subsidiaries, is a large uranium producer and supplier of the services that convert one form of uranium into another form. Cameco had uranium mines in Saskatchewan and uranium refining and processing (conversion) facilities in Ontario. Cameco also had subsidiaries in the United States that owned uranium mines in the United States. In 1993, the United States and Russian governments executed an agreement that provided the means by which Russia could sell uranium formerly used in its nuclear arsenal. The net result of this agreement was that a certain quantity of uranium would be offered for sale in the market. Cameco initially attempted to secure this source of uranium on its own but later took the lead in negotiating an agreement for the purchase of this uranium by a consortium of companies. When the final agreement was signed in 1999, Cameco designated its Luxembourg subsidiary, Cameco Europe S.A. (CESA), to be the signatory to this agreement. The ... Continue to full case
Finland vs A Group, April 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2020:35

Finland vs A Group, April 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2020:35

In 2008, the A Group had reorganized its internal financing function so that the Group’s parent company, A Oyj, had established A Finance NV in Belgium. Thereafter, A Oyj had transferred to intra-group long-term loan receivables of approximately EUR 223,500,000 to A Finance NV. In return, A Oyj had received shares in A Finance NV. The intra-group loan receivables transferred in kind had been unsecured and the interest income on the loan receivables had been transferred to A Finance NV on the same day. A Finance NV had entered the receivables in its balance sheet as assets. In addition, A Oyj and A Finance NV had agreed that target limits would be set for the return on investment achieved by A Finance NV through its operations. A Finance NV has reimbursed A Oyj for income that has exceeded the target limit or, alternatively, invoiced A Oyj for income that falls below the target limit. Based on the functional analysis prepared ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.10

Although countries may have different views on the application of Article 9 to determine the balance of debt and equity funding of an entity within an MNE group, the purpose of this section is to provide guidance for countries that use the accurate delineation under Chapter I to determine whether a purported loan should be regarded as a loan for tax purposes (or should be regarded as some other kind of payment, in particular a contribution to equity capital) ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.7

Where it is considered that the arrangements made in relation to the transaction, viewed in their totality, differ from those which would have been adopted by independent enterprises behaving in a commercially rational manner in comparable circumstances, the guidance at Section D.2 of Chapter I may also be relevant ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.5

Commentary to Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention notes at paragraph 3(b) that Article 9 is relevant “not only in determining whether the rate of interest provided for in a loan contract is an arm’s length rate, but also whether a prima facie loan can be regarded as a loan or should be regarded as some other kind of payment, in particular a contribution to equity capital.” ... Continue to full case
Argentina vs Transportadora de Energía SA, December 2019, Supreme Court, Case No CAF 39109/2014/3/RH2

Argentina vs Transportadora de Energía SA, December 2019, Supreme Court, Case No CAF 39109/2014/3/RH2

The tax authorities had recharacterized debt to equity and disallowed deductions for interest payments etc. Decision of the Supreme Court The Court decided in favour of Transportadora de Energía SA and set aside the debt to equity re-characterisation. The court also points to the relevance of transfer pricing studies. The Court noted that the tax authorities had failed to properly review the transfer pricing documentation and benchmarking of the intra-group financing for transfer pricing purposes, and on that basis set aside the assessment. Click here for English Translation Argentina 26 dec 2FALLO CAF 039109_2014_3_RH002 ... Continue to full case
Israel vs Broadcom, Aug 2019, Israeli Supreme Court, Case No 2454/19

Israel vs Broadcom, Aug 2019, Israeli Supreme Court, Case No 2454/19

In 2012 Broadcom Corporation acquired all the shares of Broadlight Inc, another US corporation which owned a subsidiary in Israel, for around $200 million. Three months later, the subsidiary in Israel sold its IP to a group company for $59.5m and then an agreement was entered according to which the subsidiary going forward would supply R&D, marketing and support services to the other group companies for a cost plus fee. Based on these facts the Israeli tax authorities issued an assessment equivalent to $168.5m. The tax authorities found that the full value of the company in Israel had been transferred. The tax assessment was brought to court where Broadcom claimed that the tax authorities had re-characterised the transaction and that the onus of proof was on the tax authorities to justify the value of $168.5m. The District Court held that all the values in the Israeli subsidiary had been transferred and ruled in favor of the tax authorities. This ruling ... Continue to full case
The Kering Group - owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Pomellato - has settled an Italian Tax Case for an Amount of 1.250 Billion Euro

The Kering Group – owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Pomellato – has settled an Italian Tax Case for an Amount of 1.250 Billion Euro

The Kering group – owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Pomellato –  has settled a case with the Italian tax agency for an amount of euro 1.250 billion in taxes and penalties relating to fiscal years 2011-2017. The case was started by the Italian tax police in 2017 and resulted in a recommendation to charge the president and chief executive officer of the Italian company Guccio Gucci S.p.A. with the crimes of tax evasion and failure to file Italian income tax return. Guccio Gucci S.p.A., the Italian operating company of the group and owner of the GUCCI brand, had licensed the brand to a Swiss affiliate company, Luxury Goods International S.A., together with the rights to exploit and manage the brand for the purpose of the global marketing, commercialization and sale of GUCCI products in Italy and worldwide. However, most of the marketing activities for the distribution and sale of the GUCCI products actually took place at the ... Continue to full case
Germany vs "Waiver KG", February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 51/17

Germany vs “Waiver KG”, February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 51/17

Waiver KG had an outstanding (non-interest-bearing and unsecured) trade receivable of EUR 2,560,000 from a wholly-owned subsidiary in China related to deliveries made in FY 2004 and 2005. Waiver KG had first issued a partial waiver (EUR 560,000) on the receivable and then a complete waiver in December 2008, after a partial write-down had previously been made in the commercial balance sheet. The initial partial write-down had not been given effect to the taxable income, but in the course of a tax audit Waiver AG requested that the partial write-off be taken into account for tax purposes as well. The tax office refused to do so and instead applied an interest rate of 3% on the outstanding receivable. A complaint was then filed by Waiver KG to the tax court. The tax court issued a decision in favour of Waiver KG with reference to German jurisprudence on the blocking effect of Art. 9 OECD-MA. However, at the same time, the tax ... Continue to full case
Germany vs "C A GmbH", February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 73/16

Germany vs “C A GmbH”, February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 73/16

C A GmbH managed an unsecured clearing account for a Belgian subsidiary. After financial difficulties in the Belgian subsidiary, C A GmbH waived their claim from the clearing account and booked this in their balance sheet as a loss. However, the tax office disallowed the loss according to § 1 Abs. 1 AStG. Up until now, the Bundesfinanzhof has assumed for cases that are subject to a double taxation agreement (DTA), that Art. 9 para. 1 OECD was limited to so-called price corrections, while the non-recognition of a loan claim or a partial depreciation was excluded (so-called Blocking effect). The Bundesfinanzhof overturned the previous judgment of the FG. According to the court it was not necessary to determine whether it was really a tax credit or a contribution of equity to the Belgian subsidiary. However, this could be left out, since the profit-reducing waiver by C A GmbH should be corrected in any case according to § 1 Abs. 1 AStG. A ... Continue to full case
India vs Aegis Ltd, January 2018, High Court of Bombay, Case No 1248 of 2016

India vs Aegis Ltd, January 2018, High Court of Bombay, Case No 1248 of 2016

Aegis Ltd had advanced money to an assosiated enterprice (AE)  and recived preference shares carrying no dividend in return. The Indian Transfer Pricing Officer (TPO) held that the “acqusition of preference shares” were in fact equivalent to an interest free loan advanced by Aegis Ltd to the assosiated enterprice and accordingly re-characterised the transaction and issued an assessment for 2009 and 2010 where interest was charged on notional basis. Aegis Ltd disagreed with the assessment of the TPO and brought the case before the Tax Tribunal. The Tribunal did not accept the conclusions of the TPO. “The TPO cannot disregard the apparent transaction and substitute the same without any material of exceptional circumstances pointing out that the assessee had tried to conceal the real transaction or that the transaction in question was sham. The Tribunal observed that the TPO cannot question the commercial expediency of the assessee entered into such transaction.” The Indian Revenue Service then filed an appeal to the High ... Continue to full case
Canada vs Cameco Corp., October 2018, Tax Court of Canada, Case No 2018 TCC 195

Canada vs Cameco Corp., October 2018, Tax Court of Canada, Case No 2018 TCC 195

Canadian mining company, Cameco Corp., sells uranium to a wholly owned trading hub, Cameco Europe Ltd., registred in low tax jurisdiction, Switzerland, which then re-sells the uranium to independent buyers. The parties had entered into a series of controlled transactions related to this activity and as a result the Swiss trading hub, Cameco Europe Ltd., was highly profitable. Following an audit, the Canadian tax authorities issued a transfer pricing tax assessment covering years 2003, 2005, 2006, and later tax assessments for subsequent tax years, adding up to a total of approximately US 1.5 bn in taxes, interest and penalties. The tax authorities first position was that the controlled purchase and sale agreements should be disregarded as a sham as all important functions and decisions were in fact made by Cameco Corp. in Canada. As a second and third position the tax authorities held that the Canadian transfer pricing rules applied to either recharacterise or reprice the transactions. The Tax Court concluded that the ... Continue to full case
UK vs CJ Wildbird Foods Limited, June 2018, First-tier Tribunal, case no. UKFTT0341 (TC06556)

UK vs CJ Wildbird Foods Limited, June 2018, First-tier Tribunal, case no. UKFTT0341 (TC06556)

In the transfer pricing case of C J Wildbird Foods Limited the issue was whether a related party loan should be treated as such for tax purposes. There was a loan agreement between the parties and the agreement specified that there was an obligation to repay the loan and interest. However, no interest had actually been paid and a tax deduction had also been claimed by the tax payer on the basis that the debt was unlikely to be repaid. The tax authorities argued that the loan did not have the characteristics of a loan. The borrower was loss making  and did not have the financial capacity to pay any interest. The tribunal found that there was a legal obligation to repay the loan and interest. Whether the loan or interest was actually repaid was irrelevant. “The modern business world has many famous examples of companies, especially in the technology sector, with no cash and no immediate prospect of generating ... Continue to full case
Finland vs Loss Corp, December 2017, Administrative Court, Case no 17/0979/4

Finland vs Loss Corp, December 2017, Administrative Court, Case no 17/0979/4

The Finnish tax authorities had made a transfer pricing adjustment to a Finnish marketing and sales subsidiary with continuous losses. The tax authorities had identified a “hidden” services transaction between the Finnish subsidiary and an unidentified foreign group company. The Administrative Court ruled in favor of the tax authorities. The adjustment was not considered by the Court as a recharacterisation. Reference was made to TPG 2010, paragraphs 1.34, 1.42 to 1.49, 1.64, 1.65 and 1.70 to 1.72. Click here for translation Finland vs Loss Corp 29 December 2017 Administrative Court 17-0979-4 ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.35

Business restructurings often lead MNE groups to implement global business models that are hardly if ever found between independent enterprises, taking advantage of the very fact that they are MNE groups and that they can work in an integrated fashion. For instance, MNE groups may implement global supply chains or centralised functions that may not be found between independent enterprises. This lack of comparables does not mean that the implementation of such global business models is not arm’s length. Every effort should be made to determine the pricing for the restructured transactions as accurately delineated under the arm’s length principle. A tax administration should not disregard part or all of the restructuring or substitute other transactions for it unless the exceptional circumstances described in paragraph 1.122 are met. In those cases, the guidance in Section D.2 of Chapter I may be applicable. The structure that for transfer pricing purposes, replaces that actually adopted by the taxpayers should comport as closely ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VIII paragraph 8.40

As indicated in paragraph 8.33, the guidance in Chapter VI on hard-to-value intangibles may equally apply in situations involving CCAs. This will be the case if the objective of the CCA is to develop a new intangible that is hard to value at the start of the development project, but also in valuing contributions involving pre-existing intangibles. Where the arrangements viewed in their totality lack commercial rationality in accordance with the criteria in Section D.2 of Chapter I, the CCA may be disregarded ... Continue to full case