Tag: Royalty fee payments

Payments of any kind received as consideration for the use of, or the right to use intellectual property, such as a copyright, patent, trade mark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process.

France vs Société Planet, May 2022, Conseil d'État, Case No 444451

France vs Société Planet, May 2022, Conseil d’État, Case No 444451

In view of its purpose and the comments made on Article 12 of the OECD Model Convention, the Conseil d’État found that Article 12(2) of the Franco-New Zealand tax treaty was applicable to French source royalties whose beneficial owner resided in New Zealand, even if the royalties had been paid to an intermediary company established in a third country. The Supreme Court thus set aside the previous 2020 Judgement of the Administrative Court of Appeal. The question of whether the company in New Zealand actually qualified as the beneficial owner of the royalties for the years in question was referred to the Court of Appeal. Excerpt “1. It is clear from the documents in the file submitted to the judges of the court of first instance that the company Planet, which carries on the business of distributing sports programmes to fitness clubs, was subject to reminders of withholding tax in respect of sums described as royalties paid to the companies ... Read more
France vs Rayonnages de France, February 2022, CAA of Douai, No 19DA01682

France vs Rayonnages de France, February 2022, CAA of Douai, No 19DA01682

Rayonnages de France paid royalties and management fees to a related Portuguese company. Following an audit for FY 2010 – 2012 the French tax authorities denied tax deductions for the payments by reference to the the arm’s length principle. The court of first instance decided in favor of the tax authorities and Rayonnages de France then filed an appeal with the CAA of Douai. Judgement of the CAA The Court of appeal upheld the decision of the court of first instance and decided in favor of the tax authorities. Excerpt “However, as the Minister points out, in order to be eligible for deduction, the management services invoiced by VJ Trans.Fer to SARL Rayonnages de France must necessarily cover tasks distinct from those relating to the day-to-day management of the latter company, which were the responsibility of Mr B. as statutory manager of SARL Rayonnages de France, it being for the latter to determine, where appropriate, the remuneration to be paid ... Read more
France vs IKEA, February 2022, CAA of Versailles, No 19VE03571

France vs IKEA, February 2022, CAA of Versailles, No 19VE03571

Ikea France (SNC MIF) had concluded a franchise agreement with Inter Ikea Systems BV (IIS BV) in the Netherlands by virtue of which it benefited, in particular, as a franchisee, from the right to operate the ‘Ikea Retail System’ (the Ikea concept), the ‘Ikea Food System’ (food sales) and the ‘Ikea Proprietary Rights’ (the Ikea trade mark) in its shops. In return, Ikea France paid Inter Ikea Systems BV a franchise fee equal to 3% of the amount of net sales made in France, which amounted to EUR 68,276,633 and EUR 72,415,329 for FY 2010 and 2011. These royalties were subject to the withholding tax provided for in the provisions of Article 182 B of the French General Tax Code, but under the terms of Article 12 of the Convention between France and the Netherlands: “1. Royalties arising in one of the States and paid to a resident of the other State shall be taxable only in that other State”, ... Read more
The European Commission vs. Nike and the Netherlands, July 2021, European Court of Justice Case No T-648/19

The European Commission vs. Nike and the Netherlands, July 2021, European Court of Justice Case No T-648/19

In 2016 the European Commission announced that it had opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings (unilateral APA’s) granted by the Netherlands had given Nike an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules. The formal investigation concerned the tax treatment in the Netherlands of two Nike group companies, Nike European Operations Netherlands BV and Converse Netherlands BV. These two operating companies develops, markets and records the sales of Nike and Converse products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (the EMEA region). Nike European Operations Netherlands BV and Converse Netherlands BV obtained licenses to use intellectual property rights relating to Nike and Converse products in the EMEA region. The two companies obtained the licenses, in return for a tax-deductible royalty payment, from two Nike group entities, which are currently Dutch entities that are “transparent” for tax purposes (i.e., not taxable in the Netherlands). From 2006 to 2015, the Dutch tax authorities issued five ... Read more
France vs Société Planet, July 2020, CAA, Case No 18MA04302

France vs Société Planet, July 2020, CAA, Case No 18MA04302

The Administrative Court of Appeal (CAA) set aside a judgement of the administrative court and upheld the tax authorities claims of withholding taxes on royalties paid by Société Planet to companies in Belgium and Malta irrespective of the beneficial owner of those royalties being a company in New Zealand. Hence, Article 12(2) of the Franco-New Zealand tax treaty was not considered applicable to French source royalties whose beneficial owner resided in New Zealand, where they had been paid to an intermediary company established in a third country. Click here for English translation Click here for other translation France vs Planet July 2020 CAA 18MA04302 ... Read more
The European Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike and Converse in the Netherlands

The European Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike and Converse in the Netherlands

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings granted by the Netherlands to Nike may have given the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules. Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “Member States should not allow companies to set up complex structures that unduly reduce their taxable profits and give them an unfair advantage over competitors. The Commission will investigate carefully the tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands, to assess whether it is in line with EU State aid rules. At the same time, I welcome the actions taken by the Netherlands to reform their corporate taxation rules and to help ensure that companies will operate on a level playing field in the EU.” Nike is a US based company involved worldwide in the design, marketing and manufacturing of footwear, clothing, equipment and accessories, in particular in the sports area. The formal investigation concerns ... Read more
European Commission vs McDonald, December 2018, European Commission Case no. SA.38945

European Commission vs McDonald, December 2018, European Commission Case no. SA.38945

The European Commission found that Luxembourg did not grant illegal State aid to McDonald’s as a consequence of the exemption of income attributed to a US branch. ...it is not established that the Luxembourg tax authorities misapplied the Luxembourg – US double taxation treaty. Therefore, on the basis of the doubts raised in the Opening Decision and taking into account its definition of the reference system, the Commission cannot establish that the contested rulings granted a selective advantage to McD Europe by misapplying the Luxembourg – US double taxation treaty ... Read more
France vs IKEA, May 2017, CAA of Versailles, No 15VE00571

France vs IKEA, May 2017, CAA of Versailles, No 15VE00571

The French tax authorities had issued an assessment for the fiscal years 2002, 2003 and 2004 related to royalty fees paid by IKEA France to foreign group companies. It was claimed that the royalty fees paid were exessive. The Court reject the position of the authorities. It had not been proven that the fees paid by IKEA France to foreign IKEA companies were excessive based on the arm’s length principle and on Article 57 of the CGI. The Court stresses the irrelevance of the comparables presented by the administration: “Considering that the nine trademarks used as comparables by the administration relate to the French market, the furniture sector and distribution methods similar to that of Ikea; that, however, as the company Ikea Holding France argues, the Minister does not give any precise indication on the content of the services rendered to the franchisees of these trademarks in return for their royalty; these trademarks are notoriously inferior to Ikea’s and they ... Read more
India vs LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd, December 2014, ITA

India vs LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd, December 2014, ITA

LG India is a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Korea, a multinational manufacturer of electronic products and electrical appliances. LG Korea and LG India entered into a technical assistance and royalty agreement in 2001 where LG India, as a licensed manufacturer, would pay a 1% royalty to LG Korea for the use of various rights for the manufacture and sale of products in India. The agreement also gave LG India a royalty-free use of the LG brand name and trademarks. The tax tribunal in 2013 held that the advertising, marketing and promotion (AMP) expenditure in excess of the arm’s length range helps to promote the brand of the foreign associated enterprise and that the Indian associated enterprise should necessarily be compensated by the foreign one. In reaching the above conclusion, the special bench applied the “bright line” test used by a US Court in DHL Corp v Commissioner. The 2014 Appeal Case Lg_Electronics_India_Pvt._Ltd.,_..._vs_Assessee_on_8_December,_2014 The Prior 2013 Judgement from the ITA LG_Electronics_AMP_Expenditure_Bright_Line ... Read more
Norway vs Accenture, May 2013, Borgarting lagmannsrett, Case No 11-190854ASD-BORG/01

Norway vs Accenture, May 2013, Borgarting lagmannsrett, Case No 11-190854ASD-BORG/01

In this case, the royalty payments of Accenture Norway to the Accenture Groups Swiss IP owner was at issue. The Norwegian tax authorities held that the royalty payments to Accenture Global Services in Switzerland had been excessive. The Court disagreed and decided in favor of Accenture. Click here for translation BORGARTING LAGMANNSRETT 11-190854ASD-BORG ... Read more
South Africa vs. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, March 2007, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No 60 / 06, 2007-07

South Africa vs. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, March 2007, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No 60 / 06, 2007-07

the Supreme Court of Appeal held that royalty payments are tax deductible in terms of s 11(a) of the Income Tax Act. It accordingly upheld an appeal by BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd against a judgment of the Income Tax Special Court. During 1997 BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd concluded a written trade mark licence agreement with its parent company BP plc in terms whereof it was granted authorisation to use and display the licensed marks and licensed marketing indicia of the latter against payment of royalties. For the tax years 1997, 1998 and 1999 the royalty fee payments were respectively R 40.190.000, R 45.150.000 and R 42.519.000. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd subsequently claimed those payments as deductions in terms of section 11(a) of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 in the determination of its taxable income. The South African Revenue Services disallowed those deductions. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd’s objection to the disallowance was overruled by the ... Read more
US vs Hyatt Group Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries, October 1999, United States Tax Court, No T.C. Memo. 1999-334

US vs Hyatt Group Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries, October 1999, United States Tax Court, No T.C. Memo. 1999-334

At issue in this case were (the lack of) royalties payments to Hyatt and Hyatt International from foreign subsidiaries. Hyatt US had not recieved royalties from its foreign Subsidiaries. The IRS had determined a 1.5 % rate of hotel gross revenues for foreign subsidiaries use of Hyatt trade names and trademarks. The Tax Court found the 1,5 % rate unreasonable, but did not accept taxpayer’s argument that no royalties were due either. The Tax Court instead found that 0,4 % of hotel gross revenues was an arm’s length charge. H Group Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries, Formerly HG, Inc. and Subsidiaries, et al. v. Commissioner ... Read more