Tag: Separate entity

Sweden vs TELE2 AB, November 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No 1298-21

Sweden vs TELE2 AB, November 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No 1298-21

The Swedish group TELE2, one of Europe’s largest telecommunications operators, had invested in an entity in Kazakhstan, MTS, that was owned via a joint venture together with an external party. Tele2 owned 51% of the Joint venture and MTS was financed by Tele2’s financing entity, Tele2 Treasury AB, which, during 2011-2015, had issued multiple loans to MTS. In September 2015, the currency on the existing internal loans to MTS was changed from dollars to KZT. At the same time a ‘Form of Selection Note’ was signed according to which Tele2 Treasury AB could recall the currency denomination within six months. A new loan agreement denominated in KZT, replacing the existing agreements, was then signed between Tele2 Treasury AB and MTS. In the new agreement the interest rate was also changed from LIBOR + 4.6% to a fixed rate of 11.5%. As a result of these contractual changes to the loan agreements with MTS, Tele2 Treasury AB in its tax filing ... Read more
UK vs BlackRock, July 2022, Upper Tribunal, Case No [2022] UKUT 00199 (TCC)

UK vs BlackRock, July 2022, Upper Tribunal, Case No [2022] UKUT 00199 (TCC)

In 2009 the BlackRock Group acquired Barclays Global Investors for a total sum of $13,5bn. The price was paid in part by shares ($6.9bn) and in part by cash ($6.6bn). The cash payment was paid by BlackRock Holdco 5 LLC – a US Delaware Company tax resident in the UK – but funded by the parent company by issuing $4bn loan notes to the LLC. In the years following the acquisition Blackrock Holdco 5 LLC claimed tax deductions in the UK for interest payments on the intra-group loans. Following an audit in the UK the tax authorities disallowed the interest deductions. The tax authorities held that the transaction would not have happened between independent parties. They also found that the loans were entered into for an unallowable tax avoidance purpose. A UK taxpayer can be denied a deduction for interest where a loan has an unallowable purpose i.e, where a tax advantage is the company’s main purpose for entering into ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.146

It is expected that all cash pool participants will be better off than in the absence of the cash pool arrangement. Under prevailing facts and circumstances that could imply, for instance, that all cash pool participants would benefit from enhanced interest rates applicable to debit and credit position within the cash pooling arrangement compared to the rates that they would expect to obtain from borrowing or depositing cash outside of the pool. However, it is important to note that cash pool members might be willing to participate in cash pool arrangements to access benefits from the membership of the cash pool other than an enhanced interest rate like, for instance, access to a permanent source of financing; reduced exposure to external banks; or access to liquidity that may not be available otherwise ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.118

No member of the pooling arrangement would expect to participate in the transaction if it made them any worse off than their next best option. The analysis of an MNE’s decision to participate in a cash pool arrangement should be done with reference to its options realistically available, taking into account that an MNE can obtain benefits as a member of the cash pool other than an improved interest rate (see paragraph 10.146) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.37

There can be group-level business reasons for an MNE group to restructure. However, it is worth re-emphasising that the arm’s length principle treats the members of an MNE group as separate entities rather than as inseparable parts of a single unified business (see paragraph 1.6). As a consequence, it is not sufficient from a transfer pricing perspective that a restructuring arrangement makes commercial sense for the group as a whole: the arrangement must be arm’s length at the level of each individual taxpayer, taking account of its rights and other assets, expected benefits from the arrangement (i.e. any consideration of the post-restructuring arrangement plus, if applicable, any compensation payments for the restructuring itself), and realistically available options. Where a restructuring makes commercial sense for the group as a whole on a pre-tax basis, it is expected that an appropriate transfer price (that is, any compensation for the post-restructuring arrangement plus, if applicable, any compensation payments for the restructuring itself) would ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.12

The arm’s length principle requires an evaluation of the conditions made or imposed between associated enterprises, at the level of each of them. The fact that a business restructuring may be motivated by sound commercial reasons at the level of the MNE group, e.g. in order to try to derive synergies at a group level, does not answer the question whether it is arm’s length from the perspectives of each of the restructured entities ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.6

The authoritative statement of the arm’s length principle is found in paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, which forms the basis of bilateral tax treaties involving OECD member countries and an increasing number of non-member countries. Article 9 provides: [Where] conditions are made or imposed between the two [associated] enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly. By seeking to adjust profits by reference to the conditions which would have obtained between independent enterprises in comparable transactions and comparable circumstances (i.e. in “comparable uncontrolled transactions”), the arm’s length principle follows the approach of treating the members of an MNE group as operating as separate entities rather than ... Read more
France vs SAS Microchip Technology Rousset, December 2021, CAA of MARSEILLE, Case No. 19MA04336

France vs SAS Microchip Technology Rousset, December 2021, CAA of MARSEILLE, Case No. 19MA04336

SAS Microchip Technology Rousset (former SAS Atmel Rousset) is a French subsidiary of the American Atmel group, which designs, manufactures, develops and sells a wide range of semiconductor integrated circuits. It was subject to an audit covering the FY 2010 and 2011 and as a result of this audit, the tax authorities imposed additional corporate income tax and an additional assessments for VAT. The administration also subjected SAS Atmel Rousset to withholding tax due to income deemed to be distributed to one of the Atmel group companies. The authorities invoked the provisions of Article 57 of the General Tax Code as the new legal basis for the additional corporate tax contributions and the social contribution on corporate tax, resulting from the reintegration of the capital loss arising from the sale of SAS Fabco shares and the assumption of responsibility for SAS Fabco’s social plan, instead of the provisions of Article 38(1) and Article 39(1) of the same code. The tax ... Read more
Finland vs A Oyj, May 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2021:66

Finland vs A Oyj, May 2021, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2021:66

A Oyj was the parent company of the A-group, and responsible for the group’s centralised financial activities. It owned the entire share capital of D Oy and B Oy. D Oy in turn owned the entire share capital of ZAO C, a Russian company. A Oyj had raised funds from outside the group and lent these funds to its Finnish subsidiary B Oy, which in turn had provided a loan to ZAO C. The interest charged by B Oy on the loans to ZAO C was based on the cost of A Oyj’s external financing. The interest rate also included a margin of 0,55 % in tax year 2009, 0,58 % in tax year 2010 and 0,54 % in tax year 2011. The margins had been based on the average margin of A Oyj’s external financing plus 10 %. The Tax Administration had considered that the level of interest to be charged to ZAO C should have been determined taking ... Read more
Sweden vs TELE2 AB, January 2021, Administrative Court, Case No 13259-19 and 19892-19

Sweden vs TELE2 AB, January 2021, Administrative Court, Case No 13259-19 and 19892-19

The Swedish group TELE2, one of Europe’s largest telecommunications operators, had invested in an entity in Kazakhstan, MTS, that was owned via a joint venture together with an external party. Tele2 owned 51% of the Joint venture and MTS was financed by Tele2’s financing entity, Tele2 Treasury AB, which, during 2011-2015, had issued multiple loans to MTS. In September 2015, the currency on the existing internal loans to MTS was changed from dollars to KZT. At the same time a ‘Form of Selection Note’ was signed according to which Tele2 Treasury AB could recall the currency denomination within six months. A new loan agreement denominated in KZT, replacing the existing agreements, was then signed between Tele2 Treasury AB and MTS. In the new agreement the interest rate was also changed from LIBOR + 4.6% to a fixed rate of 11.5%. As a result of these contractual changes to the loan agreements with MTS, Tele2 Treasury AB in its tax filing ... Read more

OECD COVID-19 TPG paragraph 43

Given the current economic environment, it is possible that independent parties may not strictly hold another party to their contractual obligations, particularly if it is in the interest of both parties to renegotiate the contract or to amend certain aspects of their For example, unrelated enterprises may opt to renegotiate a contract to support the financial survival of any of the transactional counterparties given the potential costs or business disruptions of enforcing the contractual obligations, or in view of anticipated increased future business with the counterparty. This behaviour should be considered when determining whether or not associated parties would agree to revise their intercompany agreements in response to COVID-19 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.37

There can be group-level business reasons for an MNE group to restructure. However, it is worth re-emphasising that the arm’s length principle treats the members of an MNE group as separate entities rather than as inseparable parts of a single unified business (see paragraph 1.6). As a consequence, it is not sufficient from a transfer pricing perspective that a restructuring arrangement makes commercial sense for the group as a whole: the arrangement must be arm’s length at the level of each individual taxpayer, taking account of its rights and other assets, expected benefits from the arrangement (i.e. any consideration of the post-restructuring arrangement plus, if applicable, any compensation payments for the restructuring itself), and realistically available options. Where a restructuring makes commercial sense for the group as a whole on a pre-tax basis, it is expected that an appropriate transfer price (that is, any compensation for the post-restructuring arrangement plus, if applicable, any compensation payments for the restructuring itself) would ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.12

The arm’s length principle requires an evaluation of the conditions made or imposed between associated enterprises, at the level of each of them. The fact that a business restructuring may be motivated by sound commercial reasons at the level of the MNE group, e.g. in order to try to derive synergies at a group level, does not answer the question whether it is arm’s length from the perspectives of each of the restructured entities ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.6

The authoritative statement of the arm’s length principle is found in paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, which forms the basis of bilateral tax treaties involving OECD member countries and an increasing number of non-member countries. Article 9 provides: [Where] conditions are made or imposed between the two [associated] enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly. By seeking to adjust profits by reference to the conditions which would have obtained between independent enterprises in comparable transactions and comparable circumstances (i.e. in “comparable uncontrolled transactions”), the arm’s length principle follows the approach of treating the members of an MNE group as operating as separate entities rather than ... Read more

TPG2017 Preface paragraph 6

In order to apply the separate entity approach to intra-group transactions, individual group members must be taxed on the basis that they act at arm’s length in their transactions with each other. However, the relationship among members of an MNE group may permit the group members to establish special conditions in their intra-group relations that differ from those that would have been established had the group members been acting as independent enterprises operating in open markets. To ensure the correct application of the separate entity approach, OECD member countries have adopted the arm’s length principle, under which the effect of special conditions on the levels of profits should be eliminated ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. ARROW International CR, a. s., June 2014, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 7 Afs 94/2012 – 74

Czech Republic vs. ARROW International CR, a. s., June 2014, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 7 Afs 94/2012 – 74

The applicant, ARROW International CR, a.s., seeks a judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court annulling the judgment of the Regional Court, and referring the case back to that court for further proceedings. The question of whether the applicant carried out business transactions in the tax year 2005/2006 with a related party (Arrow International, Inc., hereinafter referred to as ‘Arrow US’) in a manner which did not comply with the principles of normal business relations and whether, as a result, the applicant’s basis for calculating the corporate income tax rebate was unjustifiably increased and the special condition for applying the tax rebate under Article 35a(2)(d) of Act No 586/1992 Coll. was breached is decisive for the assessment of the merits of the present case, on income taxes, as in force until 31 December 2006 (‘the Income Tax Act’). Pursuant to Section 35(6) of the same Act, such an act has the effect that the entitlement to the discount ceases and the ... Read more