Tag: Royalty and License Payments

§ 1.482-4(c)(4) Example 1.

(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 quantities and at similar prices in ... Read more

§ 1.482-1T(i)(E) Example 1.

Aggregation of interrelated licensing, manufacturing, and selling activities. P enters into a license agreement with S1 that permits S1 to use a proprietary manufacturing process and to sell the output from this process throughout a specified region. S1 uses the manufacturing process and sells its output to S2, which in turn resells the output to uncontrolled parties in the specified region. In evaluating whether the royalty paid by S1 to P is an arm’s length amount, it may be appropriate to evaluate the royalty in combination with the transfer prices charged by S1 to S2 and the aggregate profits earned by S1 and S2 from the use of the manufacturing process and the sale to uncontrolled parties of the products produced by S1 ... Read more
McDonald’s has agreed to pay €1.25bn to settle a dispute with French authorities over excessive royalty payments to Luxembourg

McDonald’s has agreed to pay €1.25bn to settle a dispute with French authorities over excessive royalty payments to Luxembourg

On 16 June 2022 McDonald’s France entered into an settlement agreement according to which it will pay €1.245 billion in back taxes and fines to the French tax authorities. The settlement agreement resulted from investigations carried out by the French tax authorities in regards to abnormally high royalties transferred from McDonald’s France to McDonald’s Luxembourg following an intra group restructuring in 2009. McDonald’s France doubled its royalty payments from 5% to 10% of restaurant turnover, and instead of paying these royalties to McDonald’s HQ in the United States, going forward they paid them to a Swiss PE of a group company in Luxembourg, which was not taxable of the amounts. During the investigations it was discovered that McDonald’s royalty fees could vary substantially from one McDonald’s branch to the next without any justification other than tax savings for the group. This conclusion was further supported by statements of the managers of the various subsidiaries as well as documentation seized which ... Read more
Bulgaria vs CBS, March 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 3012

Bulgaria vs CBS, March 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 3012

By judgment of 22 May 2020, the Administrative Court set aside a tax assessment in which CBS International Netherlands B.V. had been denied reimbursement of withholding tax in the amount of BGN 156 830,27 related to royalties and license payments. An appeal was filed by the tax authorities with the Supreme Administrative Court. In the appeal the tax authorities held that the beneficial owner of the licence and royalty payments was not CBS International Netherlands B.V. but instead CBS CORPORATION, a company incorporated and domiciled in New York, USA. According to the tax authorities the main function of CBS International Netherlands B.V. was that of an intermediary between the end customers and the beneficial owner. This was further supported by the transfer pricing documentation, according to which the US company that bears the risk of the development activity, the market risk is borne equally by the two companies, and the only risks borne by the Dutch company are the currency, ... Read more
India vs Synamedia Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - BANGALORE, Case No ITA No. 3350/Bang/2018

India vs Synamedia Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – BANGALORE, Case No ITA No. 3350/Bang/2018

Synamedia Ltd. provides open end-to-end digital technology services to digital pay television platform operators. The company has expertise in the area of providing conditional access system, interactive systems and other software solutions as well as integration and support services for digital pay TV networks. For FY 2014-15 the company filed a tax return with nil income. The case was selected for a transfer pricing audit. The tax authorities in India accepted the arm’s length pricing determined by Synamedia, but some of the intra-group licence payments for software were considered subject to withholding taxes in India. Hence an assessment was issued. An appeal was filed by the company. Judgement of the Tax Appellate Tribunal The Tribunal decided in favor of Synamedia Ltd. and set aside the assessment. After analyzing the terms of the agreement the Tribunal concluded that the terms of agreement in the present case are similar to those considered by the Indian Supreme Court in the case of Engineering ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 26

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 26

92. Osnovni is the parent company of an MNE Group engaged in the development and sale of software products. Osnovni acquires 100% of the equity interests in Company S, a publicly traded company organised in the same country as Osnovni, for a price equal to 160. At the time of the acquisition, Company S shares had an aggregate trading value of 100. Competitive bidders for the Company S business offered amounts ranging from 120 to 130 for Company S. 93. Company S had only a nominal amount of fixed assets at the time of the acquisition. Its value consisted primarily of rights in developed and partially developed intangibles related to software products and its skilled workforce. The purchase price allocation performed for accounting purposes by Osnovni allocated 10 to tangible assets, 60 to intangibles, and 90 to goodwill. Osnovni justified the 160 purchase price in presentations to its Board of Directors by reference to the complementary nature of the existing ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 19

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 19

67. Company P, a resident of country A conducts a retailing business, operating several department stores in country A. Over the years, Company P has developed special know-how and a unique marketing concept for the operation of its department stores. It is assumed that the know-how and unique marketing concept constitute intangibles within the meaning of Section A of Chapter VI. After years of successfully conducting business in country A, Company P establishes a new subsidiary, Company S, in country B. Company S opens and operates new department stores in country B, obtaining profit margins substantially higher than those of otherwise comparable retailers in country B. 68. A detailed functional analysis reveals that Company S uses in its operations in country B, the same know-how and unique marketing concept as the ones used by Company P in its operations in country A. Under these circumstances, the conduct of the parties reveals that a transaction has taken place consisting in the ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 18

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 18

64. Primarni is organised in and conducts business in country A. Company S is an associated enterprise of Primarni. Company S is organised in and does business in country B. Primarni develops a patented invention and manufacturing know-how related to Product X. It obtains valid patents in all countries relevant to this example. Primarni and Company S enter into a written licence agreement pursuant to which Primarni grants Company S the right to use the Product X patents and know-how to manufacture and sell Product X in country B, while Primarni retains the patent and know-how rights to Product X throughout Asia, Africa, and in country A. 65. Assume Company S uses the patents and know-how to manufacture Product X in country B. It sells Product X to both independent and associated customers in country B. Additionally, it sells Product X to associated distribution entities based throughout Asia and Africa. The distribution entities resell the units of Product X to ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 15

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 15

49. Shuyona is the parent company of an MNE group. Shuyona is organised in and operates exclusively in country X. The Shuyona group is involved in the production and sale of consumer goods. In order to maintain and, if possible, improve its market position, ongoing research is carried out by the Shuyona group to improve existing products and develop new products. The Shuyona group maintains two R&D centres, one operated by Shuyona in country X, and the other operated by Company S, a subsidiary of Shuyona, operating in country Y. 50. The Shuyona group sells two lines of products. All R&D with respect to product line A is conducted by Shuyona. All R&D with respect to product line B is conducted by the R&D centre operated by Company S. Company S also functions as the regional headquarters of the Shuyona group in North America and has global responsibility for the operation of the business relating to product line B. However, ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 13

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 13

42. The facts in this example are the same as those set out in Example 10 with the following additions: At the end of Year 3, Primair stops manufacturing watches and contracts with a third party to manufacture them on its behalf. As a result, Company S will import unbranded watches directly from the manufacturer and undertake secondary processing to apply the R name and logo and package the watches before sale to the final customer. It will then sell and distribute the watches in the manner described in Example 10. As a consequence, at the beginning of Year 4, Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long term licensing agreement. The new agreement, to start at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years, with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under the new agreement, Company S is granted the exclusive right within country Y to process, market ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 12

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 12

39. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 9 with the following additions: By the end of Year 3, the R brand is successfully established in the country Y market and Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long-term licensing agreement. The new agreement, which is to commence at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under this agreement, Company S agrees to pay a royalty to Primair based on the gross sales of all watches bearing the R trademark. In all other respects, the new agreement has the same terms and conditions as in the previous arrangement between the parties. There is no adjustment made to the price payable by Company S for the branded watches as a result of the introduction of the royalty. Company S’s sales of R brand watches in Years 4 and ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 3

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 3

8. The facts are the same as in Example 2. However, after licensing the patents to associated and independent enterprises for a few years, Company S, again acting under the direction and control of Premiere, sells the patents to an independent enterprise at a price reflecting appreciation in the value of the patents during the period that Company S was the legal owner. The functions of Company S throughout the period it was the legal owner of the patents were limited to performing the patent registration functions described in Examples 1 and 2. 9. Under these circumstances, the income of Company S should be the same as in Example 2. It should be compensated for the registration functions it performs, but should not otherwise share in the returns derived from the exploitation of the intangibles, including the returns generated from the disposition of the intangibles ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 2

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 2

5. The facts related to the development and control of patentable inventions are the same as in Example 1. However, instead of granting a perpetual and exclusive licence of its patents back to Premiere, Company S, acting under the direction and control of Premiere, grants licences of its patents to associated and independent enterprises throughout the world in exchange for periodic royalties. For purposes of this example, it is assumed that the royalties paid to Company S by associated enterprises are all arm’s length. 6. Company S is the legal owner of the patents. However, its contributions to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, and exploitation of the patents are limited to the activities of its three employees in registering the patents and maintaining the patent registrations. The Company S employees do not control or participate in the licensing transactions involving the patents. Under these circumstances, Company S is only entitled to compensation for the functions it performs. Based on an ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.60

Also in the case where a local operation disposes of the legal ownership of its intangibles to a foreign associated enterprise and continues to use the intangibles further to the disposal, but does so in a different legal capacity (e.g. as a licensee), the conditions of the transfer should be assessed from both the transferor’s and the transferee’s perspectives. The determination of an arm’s length remuneration for the subsequent ownership, control and exploitation of the transferred intangible should take account of the extent of the functions performed, assets used and risks assumed by the parties in relation to the intangible transferred, and in particular analysing control of risks and control of functions performed relating to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, or exploitation of the intangibles ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.57

Business restructurings sometimes involve the transfer of the legal ownership of intangibles or rights in intangibles that were previously owned by one or more local operation(s) to a central location situated in another tax jurisdiction (e.g. a foreign associated enterprise that operates as a principal or as a so-called “IP company”). In some cases the transferor continues to use the intangible transferred, but does so in another legal capacity (e.g. as a licensee of the transferee, or through a contract that includes limited rights to the intangible such as a contract manufacturing arrangement using patents that were transferred; or a limited risk distribution arrangement using a trademark that was transferred). In accordance with the guidance in Chapter VI, it is important to remember that the legal ownership of an intangible by itself does not confer any right ultimately to retain returns derived by the MNE group from exploiting that intangible (see 6.42). Instead, the compensation required to be paid to ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VIII paragraph 8.11

Under a development CCA, each participant has an entitlement to rights in the developed intangible(s) or tangible asset(s). In relation to intangibles, such rights often take the form of separate rights to exploit the intangible in a specific geographic location or for a particular application. The separate rights obtained may constitute actual legal ownership; alternatively, it may be that only one of the participants is the legal owner of the property but the other participants have certain rights to use or exploit the property. In cases where a participant has such rights in any property developed by the CCA, there is no need for a royalty payment or other further consideration for the use of the developed property consistent with the interest to which the participant is entitled under the CCA (however, the contributions of a participant may need to be adjusted if they are not proportionate to their expected benefits; see Section C.5) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.130

Comparability, and the possibility of making comparability adjustments, is especially important in considering potentially comparable intangibles and related royalty rates drawn from commercial databases or proprietary compilations of publicly available licence or similar agreements. The principles of Section A.4.3.1 of Chapter III apply fully in assessing the usefulness of transactions drawn from such sources. In particular, it is important to assess whether publicly available data drawn from commercial databases and proprietary compilations is sufficiently detailed to permit an evaluation of the specific features of intangibles that may be important in conducting a comparability analysis. In evaluating comparable licence arrangements identified from databases, the specific facts of the case, including the methodology being applied, should be considered in the context of the provisions of paragraph 3.38 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.78

When the distributor actually bears the cost of its marketing activities (for example, when there is no arrangement for the legal owner to reimburse the expenditures), the analysis should focus on the extent to which the distributor is able to share in the potential benefits deriving from its functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed currently or in the future. In general, in arm’s length transactions the ability of a party that is not the legal owner of trademarks and other marketing intangibles to obtain the benefits of marketing activities that enhance the value of those intangibles will depend principally on the substance of the rights of that party. For example, a distributor may have the ability to obtain benefits from its functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed in developing the value of a trademark and other marketing intangibles from its turnover and market share when it has a long-term contract providing for sole distribution rights for the trademarked ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.13

The guidance contained in this chapter is intended to address transfer pricing matters exclusively. It is not intended to have relevance for other tax purposes. For example, the Commentary on Article 12 of the OECD Model Tax Convention contains a detailed discussion of the definition of royalties under that Article (paragraphs 8 to 19). The Article 12 definition of “royalties” is not intended to provide any guidance on whether, and if so at what price, the use or transfer of intangibles would be remunerated between independent parties. It is therefore not relevant for transfer pricing purposes. Moreover, the manner in which a transaction is characterised for transfer pricing purposes has no relevance to the question of whether a particular payment constitutes a royalty or may be subjected to withholding tax under Article 12. The concept of intangibles for transfer pricing purposes and the definition of royalties for purposes of Article 12 of the OECD Model Tax Convention are two different ... Read more
Russia vs LLC OTIS LIFT, December 2021, Arbitration Court of Moscow, Case № А40-180523/20-140-3915

Russia vs LLC OTIS LIFT, December 2021, Arbitration Court of Moscow, Case № А40-180523/20-140-3915

The Russian company LLC OTIS LIFT carries out service and maintenance activities for lifts and escalators both under the registered trademarks and designations of Otis and lifts and escalators of other manufacturers. A License Agreement was in force between the Russian subsidiary and its US parent OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY (NJ) (Licensor). In accordance with the License Agreement, LLC OTIS LIFT should pay to OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY (NJ) an amount equal to three and a half percent (3.5%) of the net amount invoiced by Otis Lift for Goods and Services as payment for the right to manufacture, promote, sell, install, repair and maintain Goods under the registered trademarks and designations “Otis”. Hence, the License Agreement did not provide for charging royalties from the revenue for the services provided by LLC OTIS LIFT for the maintenance of lift equipment of third-party manufacturers. Following an audit it was established that in violation of the terms and conditions of the license agreement the royalties ... Read more
Greece vs "GSS Ltd.", December 2021, Tax Court, Case No 4450/2021

Greece vs “GSS Ltd.”, December 2021, Tax Court, Case No 4450/2021

An assessment was issued for FY 2017, whereby additional income tax was imposed on “GSS Ltd” in the amount of 843.344,38 €, plus a fine of 421.672,19 €, i.e. a total amount of 1.265.016,57 €. Various adjustments had been made and among them interest rates on intra group loans, royalty payments, management fees, and losses related to disposal of shares. Not satisfied with the assessment, an appeal was filed by “GSS Ltd.” Judgement of the Tax Court The court dismissed the appeal of “GSS Ltd.” and upheld the assessment of the tax authorities Excerpts “Because only a few days after the entry of the holdings in its books, it sold them at a price below the nominal value of the companies’ shares, which lacks commercial substance and is not consistent with normal business behaviour. Since it is hereby held that, by means of the specific transactions, the applicant indirectly wrote off its unsecured claims without having previously taken appropriate steps ... Read more
Austria vs S GmbH, November 2020, Verwaltungsgerichtshof, Case No Ra 2019/15/0162-3

Austria vs S GmbH, November 2020, Verwaltungsgerichtshof, Case No Ra 2019/15/0162-3

S GmbH was an Austrian trading company of a group. In the course of business restructuring, the real estate division of the Austrian-based company was initially separated from the “trading operations/brands” division on the demerger date of 31 March 2007. The trademark rights remained with the previous trading company, which was the parent company of the group, now M GmbH. On 25 September 2007, M GmbH transferred all trademark rights to a permanent establishment in Malta, which was set up in the same year, to which it also moved its place of management on 15 January 2008. Licence agreements were concluded between S GmbH and M GmbH, which entitle S GmbH to use the trademarks of M GmbH for advertising and marketing measures in connection with its business operations in return for a (turnover-dependent) licence fee. The tax authorities (re)assessed the corporate income tax for the years 2008 and 2009. The audit had shown that the licence fees were to ... Read more
Bulgaria vs CBS, October 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 12349

Bulgaria vs CBS, October 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 12349

By judgment of 22 May 2020, the Administrative Court set aside a tax assessment in which CBS International Netherlands B.V. had been denied reimbursement of withholding tax related to royalties and license payments. An appeal was filed by the tax authorities with the Supreme Administrative Court. In the appeal the tax authorities held that the beneficial owner of the licence and royalty payments was not CBS International Netherlands B.V. but instead CBS CORPORATION, a company incorporated and domiciled in New York, USA. According to the tax authorities the main function of CBS International Netherlands B.V. was that of an intermediary between the end customers and the beneficial owner. This was further supported by the transfer pricing documentation, according to which the US company that bears the risk of the development activity, the market risk is borne equally by the two companies, and the only risks borne by the Dutch company are the currency, operational and credit risks, which in turn ... Read more
Denmark vs. Adecco A/S, June 2020, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2020.303.HR

Denmark vs. Adecco A/S, June 2020, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2020.303.HR

The question in this case was whether royalty payments from a loss making Danish subsidiary Adecco A/S (H1 A/S in the decision) to its Swiss parent company Adecco SA (G1 SA in the decision – an international provider of temporary and permanent employment services active throughout the entire range of sectors in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia – for use of trademarks and trade names, knowhow, international network intangibles, and business concept were deductible expenses for tax purposes or not. In  2013, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) had amended Adecco A/S’s taxable income for the years 2006-2009 by a total of DKK 82 million. Adecco A/S submitted that the company’s royalty payments were operating expenses deductible under section 6 (a) of the State Tax Act and that it was entitled to tax deductions for royalty payments of 1.5% of the company’s turnover in the first half of 2006 and 2% up to and including 2009, as these ... Read more
India vs Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited, March 2020, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - BANGALORE, Case No IT(TP) No.1915/Bang/2017 & 3377/Bang/2018

India vs Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited, March 2020, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – BANGALORE, Case No IT(TP) No.1915/Bang/2017 & 3377/Bang/2018

Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited manufactures auto parts and sold them to Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited, another Indian corporation in the Toyota Group. In FY 2013-14 Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited paid a 5% royalty to the Japanese parent Toyota Motor Corporation for use of know-how. The royalty rate had been determined by application of the TNMM method. The Indian tax authorities did not agree with the choice of method and argued that the most appropriate method was the Profit Split Method (PSM). Judgement of the Tax Appellate Tribunal The Tribunal decided in favor of Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts and set aside the assessment. Excerpt “17. It is clear from the above OECD guidelines that in ‘order to determine the profits to be split, the crux is to understand the functional profile of the entities under consideration. Although the comparability analysis is at the “heart of the application of the arm’s length principle”, likewise, a functional analysis has always ... Read more
Denmark vs Engine branch, January 2020, Tax Tribunal, Case No SKM2020.30.LSR

Denmark vs Engine branch, January 2020, Tax Tribunal, Case No SKM2020.30.LSR

The main activity in a Danish branch of a German group was development, licensing and services related to engines that were being produced by external licensees. Under a restructuring of the group, it was decided that royalty income for a particular engine type previously received by the Danish branch should be transferred to the German company. The Danish branch received a compensation corresponding to the net earnings for a two-year notice period. The tax administration increased the taxable income of the branch claiming that the branch had made valuable contributions to the development of the type of engine in question and thereby obtained co-ownership. The Tax Tribunal found that valuable intangible assets had been transferred, The decision was based on prior contractual arrangements and conduct of the parties.  Click here for English translation Click here for other translation SKM 2020-30 ... Read more
Uruguay vs Nestlé del Uruguay S.A., December 2019, Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo, Case No 786/2019

Uruguay vs Nestlé del Uruguay S.A., December 2019, Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo, Case No 786/2019

Nestlé del Uruguay S.A. had deducted royalty payments to its parent company located in Switzerland for the right to use certain local brands such as Águila, El Chaná, Vascolet, Bracafé and Copacabana. Royalties were calculated as 5% of sales, with the exception of payments for the Águila brand products, where royalties were calculated as 2% of sales. The tax administration (DGI) found that the royalty payments had not been at arm’s length. In defense of this position, it was argued that these local brands had been developed by Nestlé Uruguay itself, and then transferred to Nestlé Switzerland in 1999 for a sum of USD 1. Nestle Uruguay disagreed and argued that the tax administration was applying transfer pricing rules retroactively to a transaction concluded in 1999, when such rules did not yet exist. Judgement of the Court The Court considered that the Nestlé Uruguay should not pay 5% in royalties for the right to use trademarks it had developed itself ... Read more
Denmark vs Adecco A/S, Oct 2019, High Court, Case No SKM2019.537.OLR

Denmark vs Adecco A/S, Oct 2019, High Court, Case No SKM2019.537.OLR

The question in this case was whether royalty payments from a loss making Danish subsidiary Adecco A/S (H1 A/S in the decision) to its Swiss parent company Adecco SA (G1 SA in the decision – an international provider of temporary and permanent employment services active throughout the entire range of sectors in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia – for use of trademarks and trade names, knowhow, international network intangibles, and business concept were deductible expenses for tax purposes or not. In  2013, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) had amended Adecco A/S’s taxable income for the years 2006-2009 by a total of DKK 82 million. “Section 2 of the Tax Assessment Act. Paragraph 1 states that, when calculating the taxable income, group affiliates must apply prices and terms for commercial or economic transactions in accordance with what could have been agreed if the transactions had been concluded between independent parties. SKAT does not consider it in accordance with section ... Read more
Denmark vs MAN Energy Solutions, September 2019, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2019.486.HR

Denmark vs MAN Energy Solutions, September 2019, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2019.486.HR

A Danish subsidiary in the German MAN group was the owner of certain intangible assets. The German parent, acting as an intermediate for the Danish subsidiary, licensed rights in those intangibles to other parties. In 2002-2005, the Danish subsidiary received royalty payments corresponding to the prices agreed between the German parent company and independent parties for use of the intangibles. The group had requested an adjustment of the royalty payments to the Danish subsidiary due to withholding taxes paid on inter-company license fees received by the German Parent. This was rejected by the Danish tax authorities. The Supreme Court found no basis for an adjustment for withholding taxes as the agreed prices between the German parent and the Danish Subsidiary matched the market price paid by independent parties. Click here for translation Denmark vs MAN Energy Solutions, September 2019, Supreme Court, Case No BS-4280-2019-HJR ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Mexico vs "Drink Distributor S.A.", April 2019, TRIBUNAL FEDERAL DE JUSTICIA ADMINISTRATIVA, Case No 15378/16-17-09-2/1484/18-S2-08-04

Mexico vs “Drink Distributor S.A.”, April 2019, TRIBUNAL FEDERAL DE JUSTICIA ADMINISTRATIVA, Case No 15378/16-17-09-2/1484/18-S2-08-04

“Drinks Distributor S.A.” was involved in purchase, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in Mexico. “Drinks Distributor s.a” had entered into a non-exclusive trademark license agreement with a related party for the sale of its product. Following a restructuring process, the related party moved to Switzerland. Following an audit the Mexican tax administration, determined that deductions for marketing and advertising costs related to brands and trademarks used under the licensing agreement, were not “strictly indispensable” and therefore not deductible, cf. requirement established by the Income Tax Law in Mexico. Drinks Distributor S.A on its side held that the marketing and advertising costs were strictly indispensable and that the tax deductions should be accepted. The dispute ended up in the Federal Court of Administrative Justice. Judgement: The Court determined what should be understood as “strictly indispensable“. To establish this concept the purposes of the specific company and the specific costs must first be determined – in particular that the costs are ... Read more
Switzerland vs R&D Pharma, December 2018, Tribunal fédéral suisse, 2C_11/2018

Switzerland vs R&D Pharma, December 2018, Tribunal fédéral suisse, 2C_11/2018

The Swiss company X SA (hereinafter: the Company or the Appellant), is part of the multinational pharmaceutical group X, whose parent holding is X BV (hereinafter referred to as the parent company) in Netherlands, which company owns ten subsidiaries, including the Company and company X France SAS (hereinafter: the French company). According to the appendices to the accounts, the parent company did not employ any employees in 2006 or in 2007, on the basis of a full-time employment contract. In 2010 and 2011, an average of three employees worked for this company. By agreement of July 5, 2006, the French company undertook to carry out all the works and studies requested by the parent company for a fee calculated on the basis of their cost, plus a margin of 15%. The French company had to communicate to the parent company any discoveries or results relating to the work entrusted to it. It should also keep the parent company informed of ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 26

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 26

92. Osnovni is the parent company of an MNE Group engaged in the development and sale of software products. Osnovni acquires 100% of the equity interests in Company S, a publicly traded company organised in the same country as Osnovni, for a price equal to 160. At the time of the acquisition, Company S shares had an aggregate trading value of 100. Competitive bidders for the Company S business offered amounts ranging from 120 to 130 for Company S. 93. Company S had only a nominal amount of fixed assets at the time of the acquisition. Its value consisted primarily of rights in developed and partially developed intangibles related to software products and its skilled workforce. The purchase price allocation performed for accounting purposes by Osnovni allocated 10 to tangible assets, 60 to intangibles, and 90 to goodwill. Osnovni justified the 160 purchase price in presentations to its Board of Directors by reference to the complementary nature of the existing ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 19

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 19

67. Company P, a resident of country A conducts a retailing business, operating several department stores in country A. Over the years, Company P has developed special know-how and a unique marketing concept for the operation of its department stores. It is assumed that the know-how and unique marketing concept constitute intangibles within the meaning of Section A of Chapter VI. After years of successfully conducting business in country A, Company P establishes a new subsidiary, Company S, in country B. Company S opens and operates new department stores in country B, obtaining profit margins substantially higher than those of otherwise comparable retailers in country B. 68. A detailed functional analysis reveals that Company S uses in its operations in country B, the same know-how and unique marketing concept as the ones used by Company P in its operations in country A. Under these circumstances, the conduct of the parties reveals that a transaction has taken place consisting in the ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 18

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 18

64. Primarni is organised in and conducts business in country A. Company S is an associated enterprise of Primarni. Company S is organised in and does business in country B. Primarni develops a patented invention and manufacturing know-how related to Product X. It obtains valid patents in all countries relevant to this example. Primarni and Company S enter into a written licence agreement pursuant to which Primarni grants Company S the right to use the Product X patents and know-how to manufacture and sell Product X in country B, while Primarni retains the patent and know-how rights to Product X throughout Asia, Africa, and in country A. 65. Assume Company S uses the patents and know-how to manufacture Product X in country B. It sells Product X to both independent and associated customers in country B. Additionally, it sells Product X to associated distribution entities based throughout Asia and Africa. The distribution entities resell the units of Product X to ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 15

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 15

49. Shuyona is the parent company of an MNE group. Shuyona is organised in and operates exclusively in country X. The Shuyona group is involved in the production and sale of consumer goods. In order to maintain and, if possible, improve its market position, ongoing research is carried out by the Shuyona group to improve existing products and develop new products. The Shuyona group maintains two R&D centres, one operated by Shuyona in country X, and the other operated by Company S, a subsidiary of Shuyona, operating in country Y. 50. The Shuyona group sells two lines of products. All R&D with respect to product line A is conducted by Shuyona. All R&D with respect to product line B is conducted by the R&D centre operated by Company S. Company S also functions as the regional headquarters of the Shuyona group in North America and has global responsibility for the operation of the business relating to product line B. However, ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 13

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 13

42. The facts in this example are the same as those set out in Example 10 with the following additions: At the end of Year 3, Primair stops manufacturing watches and contracts with a third party to manufacture them on its behalf. As a result, Company S will import unbranded watches directly from the manufacturer and undertake secondary processing to apply the R name and logo and package the watches before sale to the final customer. It will then sell and distribute the watches in the manner described in Example 10. As a consequence, at the beginning of Year 4, Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long term licensing agreement. The new agreement, to start at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years, with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under the new agreement, Company S is granted the exclusive right within country Y to process, market ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 12

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 12

39. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 9 with the following additions: By the end of Year 3, the R brand is successfully established in the country Y market and Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long-term licensing agreement. The new agreement, which is to commence at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under this agreement, Company S agrees to pay a royalty to Primair based on the gross sales of all watches bearing the R trademark. In all other respects, the new agreement has the same terms and conditions as in the previous arrangement between the parties. There is no adjustment made to the price payable by Company S for the branded watches as a result of the introduction of the royalty. Company S’s sales of R brand watches in Years 4 and ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 3

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 3

8. The facts are the same as in Example 2. However, after licensing the patents to associated and independent enterprises for a few years, Company S, again acting under the direction and control of Premiere, sells the patents to an independent enterprise at a price reflecting appreciation in the value of the patents during the period that Company S was the legal owner. The functions of Company S throughout the period it was the legal owner of the patents were limited to performing the patent registration functions described in Examples 1 and 2. 9. Under these circumstances, the income of Company S should be the same as in Example 2. It should be compensated for the registration functions it performs, but should not otherwise share in the returns derived from the exploitation of the intangibles, including the returns generated from the disposition of the intangibles ... Read more
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 2

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 2

5. The facts related to the development and control of patentable inventions are the same as in Example 1. However, instead of granting a perpetual and exclusive licence of its patents back to Premiere, Company S, acting under the direction and control of Premiere, grants licences of its patents to associated and independent enterprises throughout the world in exchange for periodic royalties. For purposes of this example, it is assumed that the royalties paid to Company S by associated enterprises are all arm’s length. 6. Company S is the legal owner of the patents. However, its contributions to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, and exploitation of the patents are limited to the activities of its three employees in registering the patents and maintaining the patent registrations. The Company S employees do not control or participate in the licensing transactions involving the patents. Under these circumstances, Company S is only entitled to compensation for the functions it performs. Based on an ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.60

Also in the case where a local operation disposes of the legal ownership of its intangibles to a foreign associated enterprise and continues to use the intangibles further to the disposal, but does so in a different legal capacity (e.g. as a licensee), the conditions of the transfer should be assessed from both the transferor’s and the transferee’s perspectives. The determination of an arm’s length remuneration for the subsequent ownership, control and exploitation of the transferred intangible should take account of the extent of the functions performed, assets used and risks assumed by the parties in relation to the intangible transferred, and in particular analysing control of risks and control of functions performed relating to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, or exploitation of the intangibles ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.57

Business restructurings sometimes involve the transfer of the legal ownership of intangibles or rights in intangibles that were previously owned by one or more local operation(s) to a central location situated in another tax jurisdiction (e.g. a foreign associated enterprise that operates as a principal or as a so-called “IP company”). In some cases the transferor continues to use the intangible transferred, but does so in another legal capacity (e.g. as a licensee of the transferee, or through a contract that includes limited rights to the intangible such as a contract manufacturing arrangement using patents that were transferred; or a limited risk distribution arrangement using a trademark that was transferred). In accordance with the guidance in Chapter VI, it is important to remember that the legal ownership of an intangible by itself does not confer any right ultimately to retain returns derived by the MNE group from exploiting that intangible (see 6.42). Instead, the compensation required to be paid to ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VIII paragraph 8.11

Under a development CCA, each participant has an entitlement to rights in the developed intangible(s) or tangible asset(s). In relation to intangibles, such rights often take the form of separate rights to exploit the intangible in a specific geographic location or for a particular application. The separate rights obtained may constitute actual legal ownership; alternatively, it may be that only one of the participants is the legal owner of the property but the other participants have certain rights to use or exploit the property. In cases where a participant has such rights in any property developed by the CCA, there is no need for a royalty payment or other further consideration for the use of the developed property consistent with the interest to which the participant is entitled under the CCA (however, the contributions of a participant may need to be adjusted if they are not proportionate to their expected benefits; see Section C.5) ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.130

Comparability, and the possibility of making comparability adjustments, is especially important in considering potentially comparable intangibles and related royalty rates drawn from commercial databases or proprietary compilations of publicly available licence or similar agreements. The principles of Section A.4.3.1 of Chapter III apply fully in assessing the usefulness of transactions drawn from such sources. In particular, it is important to assess whether publicly available data drawn from commercial databases and proprietary compilations is sufficiently detailed to permit an evaluation of the specific features of intangibles that may be important in conducting a comparability analysis. In evaluating comparable licence arrangements identified from databases, the specific facts of the case, including the methodology being applied, should be considered in the context of the provisions of paragraph 3.38 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.78

When the distributor actually bears the cost of its marketing activities (for example, when there is no arrangement for the legal owner to reimburse the expenditures), the analysis should focus on the extent to which the distributor is able to share in the potential benefits deriving from its functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed currently or in the future. In general, in arm’s length transactions the ability of a party that is not the legal owner of trademarks and other marketing intangibles to obtain the benefits of marketing activities that enhance the value of those intangibles will depend principally on the substance of the rights of that party. For example, a distributor may have the ability to obtain benefits from its functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed in developing the value of a trademark and other marketing intangibles from its turnover and market share when it has a long-term contract providing for sole distribution rights for the trademarked ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.25

Rights under contracts may also be important to a particular business and can cover a wide range of business relationships. They may include, among others, contracts with suppliers and key customers, and agreements to make available the services of one or more employees. Rights under contracts are intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.13

The guidance contained in this chapter is intended to address transfer pricing matters exclusively. It is not intended to have relevance for other tax purposes. For example, the Commentary on Article 12 of the OECD Model Tax Convention contains a detailed discussion of the definition of royalties under that Article (paragraphs 8 to 19). The Article 12 definition of “royalties” is not intended to provide any guidance on whether, and if so at what price, the use or transfer of intangibles would be remunerated between independent parties. It is therefore not relevant for transfer pricing purposes. Moreover, the manner in which a transaction is characterised for transfer pricing purposes has no relevance to the question of whether a particular payment constitutes a royalty or may be subjected to withholding tax under Article 12. The concept of intangibles for transfer pricing purposes and the definition of royalties for purposes of Article 12 of the OECD Model Tax Convention are two different ... Read more

April 2013: Draft Handbook on Transfer Pricing Risk Assessment

The 2013 Draft Handbook on Transfer Pricing Risk Assessment is a detailed, practical resource that countries can follow in developing their own risk assessment approaches. The handbook supplements useful materials already available with respect to transfer pricing risk assessment. The OECD Forum on Tax Administration published a report entitled “Dealing Effectively with the Challenges of Transfer Pricing” in January 2012. One chapter of that report also addresses transfer pricing risk assessment. Draft-Handbook-TP-Risk-Assessment-ENG ... Read more