Tag: Resale price method (RPM)

The resale price method is a transfer pricing method based on the price at which a product that has been purchased from an associated enterprise is resold to an independent enterprise. The resale price is reduced by the resale price margin. What is left after subtracting the resale price margin can be regarded, after adjustment for other costs associated with the purchase of the product (e.g. custom duties), as an arm’s length price of the original transfer of property between the associated enterprises.

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

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.198

In a transfer pricing analysis where the most appropriate transfer pricing method is the resale price method, the cost-plus method, or the transactional net margin method, the less complex of the parties to the controlled transaction is often selected as the tested party. In many cases, an arm’s length price or level of profit for the tested party can be determined without the need to value the intangibles used in connection with the transaction. That would generally be the case where only the non-tested party uses intangibles. In some cases, however, the tested party may in fact use intangibles notwithstanding its relatively less complex operations. Similarly, parties to potentially comparable uncontrolled transactions may use intangibles. Where either of these is the case, it becomes necessary to consider the intangibles used by the tested party and by the parties to potentially comparable uncontrolled transactions as one comparability factor in the analysis ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.62

This Part provides a discussion of transactional profit methods that may be used to approximate arm’s length conditions where such methods are the most appropriate to the circumstances of the case, see paragraphs 2.1 – 2.12. Transactional profit methods examine the profits that arise from particular transactions among associated enterprises. The only profit methods that satisfy the arm’s length principle are those that are consistent with Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and follow the requirement for a comparability analysis as described in these Guidelines. In particular, so-called “comparable profits methods” or “modified cost plus/resale price methods” are acceptable only to the extent that they are consistent with these Guidelines ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.51

For this purpose, it is particularly important to consider differences in the level and types of expenses – operating expenses and non- operating expenses including financing expenditures – associated with functions performed and risks assumed by the parties or transactions being compared. Consideration of these differences may indicate the following: a) If expenses reflect a functional difference (taking into account assets used and risks assumed) which has not been taken into account in applying the method, an adjustment to the cost plus mark up may be required. b) If the expenses reflect additional functions that are distinct from the activities tested by the method, separate compensation for those functions may need to be determined. Such functions may for example amount to the provision of services for which an appropriate reward may be determined. Similarly, expenses that are the result of capital structures reflecting non-arm’s length arrangements may require separate adjustment. c) If differences in the expenses of the parties being ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.44

A company sells a product through independent distributors in five countries in which it has no subsidiaries. The distributors simply market the product and do not perform any additional work. In one country, the company has set up a subsidiary. Because this particular market is of strategic importance, the company requires its subsidiary to sell only its product and to perform technical applications for the customers. Even if all other facts and circumstances are similar, if the margins are derived from independent enterprises that do not have exclusive sales arrangements or perform technical applications like those undertaken by the subsidiary, it is necessary to consider whether any adjustments must be made to achieve comparability ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.43

Assume that a warranty is offered with respect to all products so that the downstream price is uniform. Distributor C performs the warranty function but is, in fact, compensated by the supplier through a lower price. Distributor D does not perform the warranty function which is performed by the supplier (products are sent back to the factory). However, Distributor D’s supplier charges D a higher price than is charged to Distributor C. If Distributor C accounts for the cost of performing the warranty function as a cost of goods sold, then the adjustment in the gross profit margins for the differences is automatic. However, if the warranty expenses are accounted for as operating expenses, there is a distortion in the margins which must be corrected. The reasoning in this case would be that, if D performed the warranty itself, its supplier would reduce the transfer price, and therefore, D’s gross profit margin would be greater ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.42

Assume that there are two distributors selling the same product in the same market under the same brand name. Distributor A offers a warranty; Distributor B offers none. Distributor A is not including the warranty as part of a pricing strategy and so sells its product at a higher price resulting in a higher gross profit margin (if the costs of servicing the warranty are not taken into account) than that of Distributor B, which sells at a lower price. The two margins are not comparable until a reasonably accurate adjustment is made to account for that difference ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.41

Where the accounting practices differ from the controlled transaction to the uncontrolled transaction, appropriate adjustments should be made to the data used in calculating the resale price margin in order to ensure that the same types of costs are used in each case to arrive at the gross margin. For example, costs of R&D may be reflected in operating expenses or in costs of sales. The respective gross margins would not be comparable without appropriate adjustments ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.40

The resale price margin should also be expected to vary according to whether the reseller has the exclusive right to resell the goods. Arrangements of this kind are found in transactions between independent enterprises and may influence the margin. Thus, this type of exclusive right should be taken into account in any comparison. The value to be attributed to such an exclusive right will depend to some extent upon its geographical scope and the existence and relative competitiveness of possible substitute goods. The arrangement may be valuable to both the supplier and the reseller in an arm’s length transaction. For instance, it may stimulate the reseller to greater efforts to sell the supplier’s particular line of goods. On the other hand, such an arrangement may provide the reseller with a kind of monopoly with the result that the reseller possibly can realize a substantial turn over without great effort. Accordingly, the effect of this factor upon the appropriate resale price ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.39

In a case where there is a chain of distribution of goods through an intermediate company, it may be relevant for tax administrations to look not only at the resale price of goods that have been purchased from the intermediate company but also at the price that such company pays to its own supplier and the functions that the intermediate company undertakes. There could well be practical difficulties in obtaining this information and the true function of the intermediate company may be difficult to determine. If it cannot be demonstrated that the intermediate company either assumes an economically significant risk or performs an economic function in the chain that has increased the value of the goods, then any element in the price that is claimed to be attributable to the activities of the intermediate company would reasonably be attributed elsewhere in the MNE group, because independent enterprises would not normally have allowed such a company to share in the profits ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.38

Where the reseller is clearly carrying on a substantial commercial activity in addition to the resale activity itself, then a reasonably substantial resale price margin might be expected. If the reseller in its activities employs certain assets (e.g. intangibles used by the reseller, such as its marketing organisation), it may be inappropriate to evaluate the arm’s length conditions in the controlled transaction using an unadjusted resale price margin derived from uncontrolled transactions in which the uncontrolled reseller does not employ similar assets. If the reseller possesses valuable marketing intangibles, the resale price margin in the uncontrolled transaction may underestimate the profit to which the reseller in the controlled transaction is entitled, unless the comparable uncontrolled transaction involves the same reseller or a reseller with similarly valuable marketing intangibles ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.37

It should be expected that the amount of the resale price margin will be influenced by the level of activities performed by the reseller. This level of activities can range widely from the case where the reseller performs only minimal services as a forwarding agent to the case where the reseller takes on the full risk of ownership together with the full responsibility for and the risks involved in advertising, marketing, distributing and guaranteeing the goods, financing stocks, and other connected services. If the reseller in the controlled transaction does not carry on a substantial commercial activity but only transfers the goods to a third party, the resale price margin could, in light of the functions performed, be a small one. The resale price margin could be higher where it can be demonstrated that the reseller has some special expertise in the marketing of such goods, in effect bears special risks, or contributes substantially to the creation or maintenance of ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.36

A resale price margin is more accurate where it is realised within a short time of the reseller’s purchase of the goods. The more time that elapses between the original purchase and resale the more likely it is that other factors – changes in the market, in rates of exchange, in costs, etc. – will need to be taken into account in any comparison ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.35

An appropriate resale price margin is easiest to determine where the reseller does not add substantially to the value of the product. In contrast, it may be more difficult to use the resale price method to arrive at an arm’s length price where, before resale, the goods are further processed or incorporated into a more complicated product so that their identity is lost or transformed (e.g. where components are joined together in finished or semi-finished goods). Another example where the resale price margin requires particular care is where the reseller contributes substantially to the creation or maintenance of intangible property associated with the product (e.g. trademarks or trade names) which are owned by an associated enterprise. In such cases, the contribution of the goods originally transferred to the value of the final product cannot be easily evaluated ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.34

The resale price method also depends on comparability of functions performed (taking into account assets used and risks assumed). It may become less reliable when there are differences between the controlled and uncontrolled transactions and the parties to the transactions, and those differences have a material effect on the attribute being used to measure arm’s length conditions, in this case the resale price margin realised. Where there are material differences that affect the gross margins earned in the controlled and uncontrolled transactions (e.g. in the nature of the functions performed by the parties to the transactions), adjustments should be made to account for such differences. The extent and reliability of those adjustments will affect the relative reliability of the analysis under the resale price method in any particular case ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.33

When the resale price margin used is that of an independent enterprise in a comparable transaction, the reliability of the resale price method may be affected if there are material differences in the ways the associated enterprises and independent enterprises carry out their businesses. Such differences could include those that affect the level of costs taken into account (e.g. the differences could include the effect of management efficiency on levels and ranges of inventory maintenance), which may well have an impact on the profitability of an enterprise but which may not necessarily affect the price at which it buys or sells its goods or services in the open market. These types of characteristics should be analysed in determining whether an uncontrolled transaction is comparable for purposes of applying the resale price method ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.32

It may be appropriate to give more weight to other attributes of comparability discussed in Chapter I (i.e. functions performed, economic circumstances, etc.) when the profit margin relates primarily to those other attributes and only secondarily to the particular product being transferred. This circumstance will usually exist where the profit margin is determined for an associated enterprise that has not used unique assets (such as valuable, unique intangibles) to add significant value to the product being transferred. Thus, where uncontrolled and controlled transactions are comparable in all characteristics other than the product itself, the resale price method might produce a more reliable measure of arm’s length conditions than the CUP method, unless reasonably accurate adjustments could be made to account for differences in the products transferred. The same point is true for the cost plus method, discussed below ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.31

Although broader product differences can be allowed in the resale price method, the property transferred in the controlled transaction must still be compared to that being transferred in the uncontrolled transaction. Broader differences are more likely to be reflected in differences in functions performed between the parties to the controlled and uncontrolled transactions. While less product comparability may be required in using the resale price method, it remains the case that closer comparability of products will produce a better result. For example, where there is a valuable or unique intangible involved in the transaction, product similarity may assume greater importance and particular attention should be paid to it to ensure that the comparison is valid ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.30

In a market economy, the compensation for performing similar functions would tend to be equalized across different activities. In contrast, prices for different products would tend to equalize only to the extent that those products were substitutes for one another. Because gross profit margins represent gross compensation, after the cost of sales for specific functions performed (taking into account assets used and risks assumed), product differences are less significant. For example, the facts may indicate that a distribution company performs the same functions (taking into account assets used and risks assumed) selling toasters as it would selling blenders, and hence in a market economy there should be a similar level of compensation for the two activities. However, consumers would not consider toasters and blenders to be particularly close substitutes, and hence there would be no reason to expect their prices to be the same ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter II paragraph 2.29

Following the principles in Chapter I, an uncontrolled transaction is comparable to a controlled transaction (i.e. it is a comparable uncontrolled transaction) for purposes of the resale price method if one of two conditions is met: a) none of the differences (if any) between the transactions being compared or between the enterprises undertaking those transactions could materially affect the resale price margin in the open market; or, b) reasonably accurate adjustments can be made to eliminate the material effects of such differences. In making comparisons for purposes of the resale price method, fewer adjustments are normally needed to account for product differences than under the CUP method, because minor product differences are less likely to have as material an effect on profit margins as they do on price ... Read more
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