Tag: Royalty

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.

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 ... Continue to full case
The Australian Taxation Office and Mining Giant BHP have settled yet another Transfer Pricing Dispute

The Australian Taxation Office and Mining Giant BHP have settled yet another Transfer Pricing Dispute

BHP Group has agreed to pay the state of Western Australia A$250 million to end a dispute over royalties paid on iron ore shipments sold through its Singapore marketing hub. The State government found in January that the world’s biggest miner had underpaid royalties on iron ore shipments sold via Singapore stretching back over more than a decade. BHP reached a deal to pay A$529 million in additional taxes to the Australian government late last year to settle a long-running tax dispute over the miner’s Singapore hub on its income from 2003-2018 ... Continue to full case
India vs Netafim Irrigation India Pvt. Ltd., May 2019, Tax Appellate Tribunal, Case No. ITA no.3668

India vs Netafim Irrigation India Pvt. Ltd., May 2019, Tax Appellate Tribunal, Case No. ITA no.3668

In dispute was royalty payments from an Indian subsidiary to it’s Israeli Parent company, Netafim, Israel. Following an audit the tax authorities set the royalty to nil. The Court dismissed the Revenue’s tax assessment. “Therefore, even assuming that CUP method has been applied by the Transfer Pricing Officer, it is apparent that he has not undertaken the exercise provided under rule 10B(i)(a) for determining the arm’s length price. Therefore, the contention of the learned Departmental Representative that the arm’s length price of royalty has been determined at nil by applying CUP method is totally unacceptable. Further, in case of Denso India Ltd. (supra), cited by the learned Departmental Representative, the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court has approved the decision of the Transfer Pricing Officer in applying TNMM for benchmarking the arm’s length price of royalty paid. In case of CLSA India Ltd. (supra) and Frigo Glass India Pvt. Ltd. (supra) cited by the learned Authorised Representative, the Tribunal has rejected applicability ... Continue to full case
Italy vs Christian Fishbacher S.p.A, May 2019, Corte di Cassazione No 9615 Anno 2019

Italy vs Christian Fishbacher S.p.A, May 2019, Corte di Cassazione No 9615 Anno 2019

According to the Tax Authorities, the content of Christian Fishbacher S.p.A’s contract with the Swiss parent of the Group, granting limited right of use of the trademark, did not justify a royalty of 3.5%, to which an additional 1.6% was added as a contribution to the investments for the promotion and development of the brand. The appellate judge held that exceeding the values taken as “normal” by the circular 32 of 09/22/1980 not it were justified in the light of the concrete elements of the case is that correctly the Office had re-determined the value of the services within 2%, following the aforementioned Circular, which incorporated the indications of the report drawn up by the OECD in 1979. The circular identifies three levels for assessing the normal value of royalties: the first, not suspected, up to 2%; the second from 2% to 5%, determined on the basis of technical data firm and to the content of the contract , in ... Continue to full case
Luxembourg vs Lux SARL, December 2018, Administrative Court, Case No 40455

Luxembourg vs Lux SARL, December 2018, Administrative Court, Case No 40455

In a case on hidden distribution of profits, the Luxembourg tax authorities stated the following on the issue of valuation methods for intangible assets (a patent): “…the evaluation of an intellectual property right is a rather complex subject; that evaluation reports from “independent” experts in this field are often rather subjective; whereas, therefore, reference should be made to a neutral and recognized body for the evaluation of patents, in this case WIPO, which proposes three different methods of valuation, including (a) the cost method, (b) the revenue method, as well as (c) the market method; that the first method of evaluation is to be dismissed from the outset in view of the absence of research and development expenses reported by the Claimant; that the second method is based on the future revenues of the patent invention; therefore, there must be a large enough amount of data to predict future revenues over the life of the patent, which is not the case here, as the tax dispute ... Continue to full case
Australia vs Satyam Computer Services Limited, October 2018, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCAFC 172

Australia vs Satyam Computer Services Limited, October 2018, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCAFC 172

The question in this case was whether payments received by Satyam Computer Services Limited (now Tech Mahindra Ltd) from its Australian clients – that were royalties for the purposes of Article 12 of the tax treaty with India, but not otherwise royalties under Australian tax law – were deemed to be Australian source income by reason of Article 23 of the tax treaty and ss 4 and 5 of the International Tax Agreements Act 1953 and therefore included in the company’s assessable income for Australian tax purposes. The answer provided by the Federal Court confirmed this to be the case. Click here for translation 2018FCAFC0172 ... Continue to full case
Ghana vs Beiersdorf Gh. Ltd, August 2018, High Court, Case No CM/TAX/0001/2018

Ghana vs Beiersdorf Gh. Ltd, August 2018, High Court, Case No CM/TAX/0001/2018

Beiersdorf Gh. Ltd. imports and distributes Nivea skin care products from the parent company based in Germany, Beiersdorf AG). The tax authorities, CGRA, had issued an assessment where deductions for royalty payments to the German parent had been denied (non recognition – not legitimate business cost). Furthermore, alledged product discounts paid to third party vendors  had been characterized as sales commissions subject to withholding tax of 10%. Beiersdorf contended the assessment and filed an appeal. The appeal was based on three main grounds: The finding of CGRA that royalty payments made by the Appellant to Beiersdorf AG (BDF) pursuant to an agreement between Appellant and BDF for the use of the Nivea brand should not be allowed as a legitimate business cost because of the failure of the Appellant to comply with prior registration of the Royalty Agreement with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center is wrong in law. The finding of CGRA imposing liabilities with respect to withholding tax is wrong ... Continue to full case
Nokia paid 202 million euro to settle a long running dispute with the tax authorities in India

Nokia paid 202 million euro to settle a long running dispute with the tax authorities in India

Under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP), Finland and India have settled a long running tax dispute involving Nokia. The tax authorities in India issued a tax assessment to Nokia for violating withholding tax regulations in India while making royalty payments to its parent company in Finland. An additional assessment was then issued by the tax authorities in India to the parent company in Finland for the same transaction as – according to the tax authorities – the company had a permanent establishment in India. According to the MAP settlement Nokia will pay 102 million euro in addition to the 100 million euro already paid in India during 2013-2015 ... Continue to full case
European Commission vs. Netherlands and IKEA, Dec. 2017

European Commission vs. Netherlands and IKEA, Dec. 2017

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the Netherlands’ tax treatment of Inter IKEA, one of the two groups operating the IKEA business. The Commission has concerns that two Dutch tax rulings may have allowed Inter IKEA to pay less tax and given them an unfair advantage over other companies, in breach of EU State aid rules. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy said: “All companies, big or small, multinational or not, should pay their fair share of tax. Member States cannot let selected companies pay less tax by allowing them to artificially shift their profits elsewhere. We will now carefully investigate the Netherlands’ tax treatment of Inter IKEA.” In the early 1980s, the IKEA business model changed into a franchising model. Since then, it has been the Inter IKEA group that operates the franchise business of IKEA, using the “IKEA franchise concept”. What this means more concretely is that Inter IKEA does not own the ... Continue to full case
US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

Coca Cola collects royalties from foreign branches and subsidiaries for use of formulas, brand and other intellectual property. Years ago an agreement was entered by Coca Cola and the IRS on these royalty payments to settle an audit of years 1987 to 1995. According to the agreement Coca-Cola licensees in other countries would pay the US parent company royalties using a 10-50-50 formula where 10% of the gross sales revenue is treated as a normal return to the licensee and the rest of the revenue is split evenly between the licensee and the US parent, with the part going to the US parent paid in the form of a royalty. The agreement expired in 1995, but Coca-Cola continued to use the model for transfer pricing in the following years. Coca-Cola and the Mexican tax authorities had agreed on the same formula and Coca-Cola continued to use the pricing-formula in Mexico on the advice of Mexican counsel. In 2015, the IRS ... Continue to full case
European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, October 2017, State Aid - Comissions decision, SA.38944 

European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, October 2017, State Aid – Comissions decision, SA.38944 

Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon worth around €250 million The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million.  Following an in-depth investigation launched in October 2014, the Commission has concluded that a tax ruling issued by Luxembourg in 2003, and prolonged in 2011, lowered the tax paid by Amazon in Luxembourg without any valid justification. The tax ruling enabled Amazon to shift the vast majority of its profits from an Amazon group company that is subject to tax in Luxembourg (Amazon EU) to a company which is not subject to tax (Amazon Europe Holding Technologies). In particular, the tax ruling endorsed the payment of a royalty from Amazon EU to Amazon Europe Holding Technologies, which significantly reduced Amazon EU’s taxable profits. The Commission’s investigation showed that the level of the royalty payments, endorsed by the tax ruling, was inflated and did not reflect economic reality. On this basis, the Commission ... Continue to full case
US-vs-Analog-Devices-Subsidiaries-Nov-22-2016-United-State-Tax-Court-147-TC-no-15

US-vs-Analog-Devices-Subsidiaries-Nov-22-2016-United-State-Tax-Court-147-TC-no-15

The US Tax Court held that a closing agreement did not result in retroactive indebtedness. Analog Devices Corp. repatriated cash dividends from a foreign subsidiary and claimed an 85% dividends received deduction for FY 2005, cf. US regs § 965. No related party indebtedness was reported by the company which would have limited the deduction available. During the audit of Analog Devises Corp. the IRS claimed that a 2 pct. royalty from the subsidiary should be increased to 6% for FY 2001-2005. This was accepted and Analog Devises Corp. entered into a closing agreement with the IRS. The US Tax Court held that the closing agreement concerning accounts receivable, cf. the increased royalty, was not related party indebtedness for the purposes of § 965. US vs Analog Devices & Subsidiaries, Nov 22 2016, United State Tax Court 147 TC no 15 ... Continue to full case
Netherlands vs X BV, June 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 2016:1031 (14/05100)

Netherlands vs X BV, June 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 2016:1031 (14/05100)

In 1996, X BV acquired the right to commercially exploit an intangible asset (Z) for a period of 15 years for $ 63.5 million. X BV then entered a franchise agreements with group companies for the use of Z, including a Spanish PE of Y BV. According to the franchise agreement Y BV paid X BV a fee. According to X, in the calculation of the loss carry forward in Spain the franchise fee should not be fully attributed to the PE in Spain due to existing rules on internal roaylties. X states that the loss carry forward amounts to € 13.1 million. The tax authorities increases the loss carry forward with the fee paid to X, for the use of Z by the Spanish PE. According to the tax authorities, the loss carry forward is € 16.1 million. The District Court finds that no amount needs to be taken of the fees that Y BV paid to X BV ... Continue to full case
US vs. Guidant Corporation. February 2016

US vs. Guidant Corporation. February 2016

The U.S. Tax Court held in favor of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, stating that neither Internal Revenue Code §482 nor the regulations thereunder require the Respondent to always determine the separate taxable income of each controlled taxpayer in a consolidated group contemporaneously with the making of the resulting adjustments. The Tax Court further held that §482 and the regulations thereunder allow the Respondent to aggregate one or more related transactions instead of making specific adjustments with respect to each type of transaction. US-vs.-Guidant-Corporation-and-Subsidiares-v.-Commissioner-of-Internal-Revenue ... Continue to full case
Germany vs. License GmbH, January 2016, Supreme Tax Court, Case No I R 22 14

Germany vs. License GmbH, January 2016, Supreme Tax Court, Case No I R 22 14

The Supreme Tax Court has held that a parent company cannot be deemed to have earned income from allowing its Polish subsidiary to register locally in the group name. A German business was active in a field of patented technology associated with its own firm name, “B”. It allowed its Polish subsidiaries to register in that name, “B Sp.z.o.o.”, but made an appropriate charge for the use of the technology. It also did not authorise the Polish companies to use its logo, but left it up to them to design their own. The tax office maintained that the group name was a valuable intangible and demanded an income adjustment to reflect its use by foreign subsidiaries. However, the Supreme Tax Court has now confirmed its previous case law in holding that the mere use of the group name in the company registration of a subsidiary – including the right to trade under that name – does not give rise to ... Continue to full case
European Commission opens investigation of transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Amazon in Luxembourg, October 2014

European Commission opens investigation of transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Amazon in Luxembourg, October 2014

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the decision by Luxembourg’s tax authorities with regard to the corporate income tax to be paid by Amazon in Luxembourg comply with the EU rules on state aid. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties and the Member States concerned an opportunity to submit comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The tax ruling in favour of Amazon under investigation dates back to 2003 and is still in force. It applies to Amazon’s subsidiary Amazon EU Sàrl, which is based in Luxembourg and records most of Amazon’s European profits. Based on a methodology set by the tax ruling, Amazon EU Sàrl pays a tax deductible royalty to a limited liability partnership established in Luxembourg but which is not subject to corporate taxation in Luxembourg. As a result, most European profits of Amazon are recorded in Luxembourg but are not taxed in Luxembourg. The ... Continue to full case
France vs. SA Cap Gemini, Nov. 2005, CE, No 266436

France vs. SA Cap Gemini, Nov. 2005, CE, No 266436

In Cap Gemini, the Court concluded that the tax administration did not demonstrate the “indirect transfer of benefit” in the absence of a comparability study. The transaction in question consisted of a licence of the Cap Gemini trademark and logo. The French subsidiaries were charged with a 4% royalty, whereas European and American subsidiaries were charged no or lower royalty. The court found that the value of a trademark and logo may differ depending on each situation and market. In the ruling, the court reaffirmed that a transfer pricing assessment must be based on solid evidence. Click here for translation France vs SA Cap Gemini 7 Nov 2005 No 266436 ... Continue to full case
France vs. SA Bossard Consultants, March 1998, Adm. Court, no 96pa00673N° 96PA00673

France vs. SA Bossard Consultants, March 1998, Adm. Court, no 96pa00673N° 96PA00673

A subsidiary company, which paid royalties for a licence of a trademark to its parent company, could not deduct part of the sums paid as a temporary increase of the royalties by one point because it could not justify the benefit from the use of the trademark. Click here for translation SA Bossard Consultants, March 1998, Adm. Court, no 96pa00673 ... Continue to full case
US vs Seagate Tech, 1994, US Tax Court 102 T.C. 149

US vs Seagate Tech, 1994, US Tax Court 102 T.C. 149

In the Seagate Tech case the US Tax Court was asked to decide on several distinct transfer pricing issues arising out of a transfer pricing adjustments issued by the IRS. Whether respondent’s reallocations of gross income under section 482 for the years in issue are arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable; whether respondent should bear the burden of proof for any of the issues involved in the instant case; whether petitioner Seagate Technology, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as Seagate Scotts Valley), paid Seagate Technology Singapore, Pte. Ltd. (Seagate Singapore), a wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate Scotts Valley, arm’s-length prices for component parts; whether Seagate Scotts Valley paid Seagate Singapore arm’s-length prices for completed disk drives; whether Seagate Singapore paid Seagate Scotts Valley arm’s-length royalties for the use of certain intangibles; whether the royalty fee Seagate Singapore paid Seagate Scotts Valley for disk drives covered under a section 367 private letter ruling applies to all such disk drives shipped to the United States, ... Continue to full case
US vs. Sundstrand Corp, Feb. 1991, United States Tax Court

US vs. Sundstrand Corp, Feb. 1991, United States Tax Court

Sunstrand licenced technology to its Singapore-based subsidiary, SunPac. The United States Tax Court ruled that the amounts paid by Sunstrand to SunPac did not constitute and arm’s-length consideration under Section 482, but also that the IRS overstepped its authority in calculating taxable net income. The Court also eliminated interest penalties imposed by the IRS. US-Sundstrand_decision_02191991 ... Continue to full case