§ 1.482-5(c)(2)(iv) Adjustments for the differences between the tested party and the uncontrolled taxpayers.
If there are differences between the tested party and an uncontrolled comparable that would materially affect the profits determined under the relevant profit level indicator, adjustments should be made according to the comparability provisions of § 1.482-1(d)(2). In some cases, the assets of an uncontrolled comparable may need to be adjusted to achieve greater comparability between the tested party and the uncontrolled comparable. In such cases, the uncontrolled comparable’s operating income attributable to those assets must also be adjusted before computing a profit level indicator in order to reflect the income and expense attributable to the adjusted assets. In certain cases it may also be appropriate to adjust the operating profit of the tested party and comparable parties. For example, where there are material differences in accounts payable among the comparable parties and the tested party, it will generally be appropriate to adjust the operating profit of each party by increasing it to reflect an imputed interest charge on each party’s ... Read more
Other factors listed in § 1.482-1(d)(3) also may be particularly relevant under the comparable profits method. Because operating profit usually is less sensitive than gross profit to product differences, reliability under the comparable profits method is not as dependent on product similarity as the resale price or cost plus method. However, the reliability of profitability measures based on operating profit may be adversely affected by factors that have less effect on results under the comparable uncontrolled price, resale price, and cost plus methods. For example, operating profit may be affected by varying cost structures (as reflected, for example, in the age of plant and equipment), differences in business experience (such as whether the business is in a start-up phase or is mature), or differences in management efficiency (as indicated, for example, by objective evidence such as expanding or contracting sales or executive compensation over time). Accordingly, if material differences in these factors are identified based on objective evidence, the reliability of the ... Read more
Costa Rica vs GlaxoSmithKline Costa Rica S.A., February 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 4-001638-1027-CA
GlaxoSmithKline Costa Rica S.A. manufactures pharma products which is sold to both independent customers in the region and to group companies abroad. For FY 2004 and 2005 pricing of the controlled transactions had been determined based on the TNMM method using return on total costs (ROTC) as PLI. GSK said the range of return on total costs “for the comparable independent companies ranges from 4.7 per cent to 14.5 per cent, with a median of 9.6 per cent. GSK CR obtained an average ROTC of 50.6 percent during fiscal years 2004 and 2005, which was not below the range identified for comparable independent companies. Accordingly, the transfer prices used by GSK CR in its controlled transactions did not distort GSK CR’s profitability and satisfied the arm’s length principle set out in the OECD Guidelines. In 2009 the tax authorities issued an assessment for FY 2004 and 2005 based on the internal CUP method. “…between the transactions under study, namely sales ... Read more
Because of the importance of the underlying assumptions and valuation parameters, taxpayers and tax administrations making use of valuation techniques in determining arm’s length prices for transferred intangibles should explicitly set out each of the relevant assumptions made in creating the valuation model, should describe the basis for selecting valuation parameters, and should be prepared to defend the reasonableness of such assumptions and valuation parameters. Moreover, it is a good practice for taxpayers relying on valuation techniques to present as part of their transfer pricing documentation some sensitivity analysis reflecting the consequential change in estimated intangible value produced by the model when alternative assumptions and parameters are adopted ... Read more
The reliability of the intangible value produced using a valuation model is particularly sensitive to the reliability of the underlying assumptions and estimates on which it is based and on the due diligence and judgment exercised in confirming assumptions and in estimating valuation parameters ... Read more
When applying valuation techniques, including valuation techniques based on projected cash flows, it is important to recognise that the estimates of value based on such techniques can be volatile. Small changes in one or another of the assumptions underlying the valuation model or in one or more of the valuation parameters can lead to large differences in the intangible value the model produces. A small percentage change in the discount rate, a small percentage change in the growth rates assumed in producing financial projections, or a small change in the assumptions regarding the useful life of the intangible can each have a profound effect on the ultimate valuation. Moreover, this volatility is often compounded when changes are made simultaneously to two or more valuation assumptions or parameters ... Read more