Tag: Singapore

India vs UPS Asia Group Pte. Ltd., March 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Mumbai, Case No 220/Mum./2021

India vs UPS Asia Group Pte. Ltd., March 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Mumbai, Case No 220/Mum./2021

UPS Asia is a company incorporated under the laws of Singapore and is engaged in the business of provision of supply chain management including the provision of freight forwarding and logistic services. In 2012 UPS Asia had entered into a Regional Transportation Services Agreement with UPS SCS (India) Pvt. Ltd. for the provisions of freight and logistics services. Under the Transportation Agreement, UPS Asia arranged to perform international freight transportation and provide overseas support services, while UPS India performed freight and logistics services in India to its India customers and to UPS Asia. Following an audit an assessment was issued according to which UPS Asia had a PE in India in the form of UPS India. Furthermore, profits of Rs.2,09,53,496 was considered attributable to operation in India. The tax authorities held that UPS India constitutes a PE of UPS Asia in India within the meaning of Article 5 of India–Singapore DTAA. Not satisfied with the assessment UPS Asia filed an ... Read more
India vs Kellogg India Private Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Mumbai, Case NoITA No. 7342/Mum/2018

India vs Kellogg India Private Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Mumbai, Case NoITA No. 7342/Mum/2018

Kellogg India Private Limited is engaged in manufacturing and sales of breakfast cereals and convenience foods and it operates as a licensed manufacturer under the Kellogg brand. During the year under consideration, Kellogg India had commenced business of distributing Pringles products in the Indian markets. Kellogg India purchases the pringles product from its AE Pringles International Operations SARL, based in Singapore. Singapore AE does not manufacture pringles, but in turn gets it manufactured from a third party contract manufacturer. Thereafter, the goods are supplied at a cost plus mark up of 5% on third party manufacturer’s cost. These Pringles are later imported by Kellogg India from its AE and distributed in the Indian market. Kellogg India characterised itself as a distributor of Pringles products and is responsible for the strategic and overall management of Pringles business in India. Singapore AE, being the least complex entity, was selected as the tested party for benchmarking the international transaction of import of finished ... Read more
Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd entered into a loan note issuance agreement (the LNIA) with a company (the subscriber) that was resident in Singapore. Singapore Telecom Australia and the subscriber were ultimately 100% owned by the same company. The loan notes issued totalled approximately $5.2 billion to the subscriber. The terms of the LNIA was amendet on three occasions – the first amendment and the second amendment were expressed to have effect as from the date when the LNIA was originally entered into. The interest rate under the LNIA as amended by the third amendment was 13.2575% Following an audit the tax authorities issued an amended assessment under the transfer pricing provisions and denied interest deductions totalling approximately $894 million in respect of four years of income. According to the tax authorities the conditions agreed between the parties differed from the arm’s length principle. Singapore Telecom Australia appealed the assessment to the Federal Court. Judgement of the Federal Court ... Read more
ResMed Inc has entered a $381.7 million tax settlement agreement with the Australian Tax Office

ResMed Inc has entered a $381.7 million tax settlement agreement with the Australian Tax Office

ResMed – a world-leading digital health company – in an October 2021 publication of results for the first quarter of FY 2022, informs that a $381.7 million tax settlement agreement has been entered with the Australian Tax Office. The dispute concerns the years 2009 through 2018, in which the ATO alleged that ResMed should have paid additional Australian taxes on income derived from the company’s Singapore operations. Excerpts from the announcement “Operating cash flow for the quarter was negative $65.7 million and was impacted by a payment to the Australian Tax Office of $284.8 million, which was the settlement amount of $381.7 million net of prior remittances.” “During the quarter, concluded the settlement agreement with the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”), which fully resolves the transfer pricing dispute for all prior years since 2009. ResMed previously recognized a tax reserve in êscal year 2021 in anticipation of the settlement. The net impact of the settlement was $238.7 million ($381.7 million gross ... Read more
South Africa vs Levi Strauss SA (PTY) LTD, April 2021, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No (509/2019) [2021] ZASCA 32

South Africa vs Levi Strauss SA (PTY) LTD, April 2021, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No (509/2019) [2021] ZASCA 32

Levi Strauss South Africa (Pty) Ltd, has been in a dispute with the African Revenue Services, over import duties and value-added tax (VAT) payable by it in respect of clothing imports. The Levi’s Group uses procurement Hubs in Singapore and Hong Kong but channeled goods via Mauritius to South Africa, thus benefiting from a favorable duty protocol between Mauritius and South Africa. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment in which it determined that the place of origin certificates issued in respect of imports from countries in the South African Development Community (SADC) and used to clear imports emanating from such countries were invalid, and therefore disentitled Levi SA from entering these goods at the favorable rate of zero percent duty under the Protocol on Trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region (the Protocol). The tax authorities also determined that the transaction value of the imported goods on which duty was payable should include certain commissions ... Read more

Mining Group Rio Tinto in new $86 million Dispute with ATO over pricing of Aluminium

In March 2020 the Australian Taxation Office issued an tax assessment regarding transfer pricing to Rio Tinto’s aluminium division according to which additional taxes in an amount of $86.1 million must be paid for fiscal years 2010 – 2016. According to the assessment Rio’s Australian subsidiaries did not charge an arm’s length price for the aluminium they sold to Rio’s Singapore marketing hub. This new aluminum case is separate to Rio’s long-running $447 million dispute with the ATO over the transfer pricing of Australian iron ore. Rio intents to object to the ATO’s aluminium claim and states that the pricing of iron ore and aluminium has been determined in accordance with the OECD guidelines and Australian and Singapore domestic tax laws ... Read more
Google - Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Google – Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Google’s tax affairs are back in the spotlight after filings in the Netherlands have showed that billions of dollars were moved to Bermuda in 2016 using the “double Irish Dutch sandwich”. According to the Washington Post, Google’s cash transfers to Bermuda reached $27b in 2016. Google uses the double Irish Dutch sandwich structure to shield the majority of it’s international profits from taxation. The setup involves shifting revenue from one Irish subsidiary to a Dutch company with no employees, and then on to a Bermuda-mailbox owned by another company registered in Ireland. US According to US filings, Google’s global effective tax rate in 2016 was 19.3%. New US tax law will give companies such as Google an incentive to repatriate much of that cash by offering them a “one-time”, 15.5% tax rate on offshore funds. After that, foreign earnings will be taxed at 10.5%, with companies allowed to deduct foreign tax liabilities from this amount. The law will also impose ... Read more
Microsoft - Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Microsoft – Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Microsoft’s tax affairs have been in the spotlight of tax authorities all over the World during the last decade. Why? The setup used by Microsoft involves shifting profits from sales in the US, Europe and Asia to regional operating centers placed in low tax jurisdictions (Bermuda, Luxembourg, Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico). The following text has been provided by Microsoft in a US filing concerning effective tax and global allocation of income: “Our effective tax rate for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 was 18% and 17%, respectively. Our effective tax rate was lower than the U.S. federal statutory rate primarily due to earnings taxed at lower rates in foreign jurisdictions resulting from producing and distributing our products and services through our foreign regional operations centers in Ireland, Singapore, and Puerto Rico.“ “In fiscal year 2017, our U.S. income before income taxes was $6.8 billion and our foreign income before income taxes was $23.1 billion. In fiscal year 2016, ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Indonesia vs ARPTe Ltd, January 2019, Tax Court, Case No. PUT-108755.15/2013/PP/M.XVIIIA

Indonesia vs ARPTe Ltd, January 2019, Tax Court, Case No. PUT-108755.15/2013/PP/M.XVIIIA

ARPTe Ltd had paid a subsidiary for management services and use of intangibles. The benefit of those payments were challenged by the tax authorities and an assessment was issued where these deductions had been denied. An appeal was filed with the tax court Judgement of the Tax Court The Court set aside the assessment of the tax authorities and decided in favor of ARPTe Ltd. According to the Court ARPTe Ltd had been able to provide sufficient evidence that the management services and intangibles provided by the subsidiary had actually benefited the company. “ Click here for translation PUT-108755-15-2013 Jan 2019 ... Read more
Analog Devices hit by $52m tax demand in Ireland

Analog Devices hit by $52m tax demand in Ireland

Analog Devices has been issued a $52m tax demand from the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland. The assessment is related to inter-company transfers back in 2013, where – according to the tax authorities – the Irish entity has failed to conform to OECD transfer pricing guidelines. Analog Devices specialises in data converters and chips that translate a button press or sound – into electronic signals. The company was established in Ireland in 1977, where today about 1,200 people is employed at its original and main hub in Limerick, in addition to its design facility in Cork. Analog Devises 10K filing “The Company has numerous audits ongoing at any time throughout the world, including an Internal Revenue Service income tax audit for Linear’s pre-acquisition fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016, various U.S. state and local tax audits, and transfer pricing audits in Spain, the Philippines and Ireland. With the exception of the Linear pre-acquisition audit, the Company’s U.S. federal tax returns prior to fiscal ... Read more
The Australian Taxation Office and Mining Giant BHP have settled an ongoing Transfer Pricing Dispute

The Australian Taxation Office and Mining Giant BHP have settled an ongoing Transfer Pricing Dispute

The Australian Taxation Office has agreed on a settlement with BHP Mining Group to resolve a transfer pricing dispute relating to transfer pricing treatment of commodities sold to a Singapore marketing hub. BHP had originally been assessed with over AUD 1 billion in additional taxes. According to the settlement BHP will pay additional tax of AUD 529 million to resolve the dispute, covering the years 2003–18. According to the settlement BHP Group will also increase its ownership of BHP Billiton Marketing AG, the company conducting BHP’s Singapore marketing business, from 58 percent to 100 percent. The change in ownership will result in all profits made in Singapore in relation to the Australian assets owned by BHP Group being fully subject to Australian tax. BHP’s Singapore marketing arrangements will continue to be located in Singapore and will also be within the ‘low risk’ segment for offshore marketing hubs ... Read more
Pharma and Tax Avoidance, Report from Oxfam

Pharma and Tax Avoidance, Report from Oxfam

New Oxfam research shows that four pharmaceutical corporations — Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Pfizer — systematically allocate super profits in overseas tax havens. In eight advanced economies, pharmaceutical profits averaged 7 percent, while in seven developing countries they averaged 5 percent. In comparison, profits margins averaged 31 percent in countries with low or no corporate tax rates – Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands and Singapore. The report exposes how pharmaceutical corporations uses sophisticated tax planning to avoid taxes. cr-prescription-for-poverty-pharma-180918-en ... Read more
Apple - Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Apple – Taxes and Transfer Pricing

Apple’s tax affairs have been in the spotlight of tax authorities for decades – and still are! Settlements have been entered with numerous European Countries, among others – Italy, the UK and France. Apple has also been investigated by the EU and a State Aid ruling was issued in August 2016. According to the ruling “Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple” and the European Commission ordered Apple to pay €13 billion, plus interest, in unpaid Irish taxes from 2004–14 to the Irish state. U.S. Senate scrutiny of Apple Inc.’s tax strategies back in 2009 turned the spotlight on a stateless entity with $30 billion in profit since 2009 that’s incorporated in Ireland, controlled by a board in California, and didn’t pay taxes in either place ... Read more
Korea vs Korean Finance PE, February 2018, Supreme Court, Case No 2015Du2710

Korea vs Korean Finance PE, February 2018, Supreme Court, Case No 2015Du2710

In cases where a domestic corporation that operates a financial business (including a domestic place of business of a foreign corporation) borrowed money from a foreign controlling shareholder and such borrowed amount exceeds six times the amount invested in shares or equity interests by the foreign controlling shareholder, a certain amount of the interest paid in relation to the exceeding amount shall be excluded from deductible expenses of the domestic corporation and subsequently deemed to have been disposed of as a dividend of the domestic corporation pursuant to Article 67 of the Corporate Tax Act. In that sense, the interest paid in relation to the exceeding amount borrowed is regarded as a domestic source income of a foreign corporation, which is a foreign controlling shareholder. The Convention between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Singapore for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income, which allows dividend income and ... Read more
Japan vs Denso Singapore, November 2017, Supreme Court of Japan

Japan vs Denso Singapore, November 2017, Supreme Court of Japan

A tax assessment based on Japanese CFC rules (anti-tax haven rules) had been applied to a Japanese Group’s (Denso), subsidiary in Singapore. According to Japanese CFC rules, income arising from a foreign subsidiary located in a state or territory with significantly lower tax rates is deemed to arise as the income of the parent company when the principal business of the subsidiary is holding shares or IP rights. However, the CFC rules do not apply when the subsidiary has substance and it makes economic sense to conduct business in the subsidiary in the low tax jurisdiction. According to the Supreme Court, total revenue, number of employees, and fixed facilities are relevant in this determination. The Singapore subsidiary managed it’s own subsidiaries or affiliates in other territories, and while the income from services to logistics in those territories represented 85% of its revenue, between 80% and 90% of it’s income came from dividends from its subsidiaries and affiliates. The Supreme Court held that the Singapore subsidiary had conducted a broad range of businesses – including finance and logistics – with the economically rational purpose ... Read more
Canada vs. AGF Management Ltd, Nov. 2017, Dispute settlement $71.9-million in back taxes

Canada vs. AGF Management Ltd, Nov. 2017, Dispute settlement $71.9-million in back taxes

Mutual-fund seller AGF Management Ltd. has settled a federal tax case over income shifted from Canada to an overseas subsidiary. The company has recently disclosed that the Canada Revenue Agency sought a total of $71.9-million in back taxes, interest and penalties related to the period spanning 2005-10. An agreement has since been reached, but the terms were not disclosed. In its latest quarterly report, AGF said the disagreement over taxes owed relates to transfer pricing with a foreign jurisdiction. The AGF disclosures do not mention whether the issues relate to operations in Ireland or Singapore. AGF is one of the largest independent investment managers in Canada with approximately $37-billion in total assets under management ... Read more
Australian Parliament Hearings - Tax Avoidance

Australian Parliament Hearings – Tax Avoidance

In a public hearing held 22 August 2017 in Sydney Australia by the Economics References Committee, tech companies IBM, Microsoft, and Apple were called to the witnesses stand to explain about tax avoidance schemes – use of “regional headquarters” in low tax jurisdictions (Singapore, Ireland and the Netherlands) to avoid or reduce taxes. Follow the ongoing Australian hearings into corporate tax avoidance on this site: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Corporatetax45th Transcript from the hearing: Tax Avoidance, Australian Senate Hearing, 22 August 2017 ... Read more

Australia vs Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, April 2017 – Going to Court

Singapore marketing hubs are being used by large multinational companies — and billions of dollars in related-party transactions that are being funnelled through the hubs each year. The Australian Tax Office has issued claims of substantial unpaid taxes to mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have revealed through the Senate inquiry they have been issued amended assessments for tax, interest and penalties of $522 million and $107 million respectively. These claims will be challenged in court. The cases centres on the use of commodity trading/marketing hubs established in Singapore colloquially known as the Singapore Sling. The Australian taxation commissioner alleges Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton is using subsidiaries in Singapore to reduce the taxes in Australia. It has been revealed that from 2006 to 2014, BHP Billiton sold $US210 billion worth of resources to its Singapore subsidiary. That was then on-sold to customers for $US235 billion — a $US25 billion mark-up over eight years ... Read more
Japan vs "TH Corp", January 2017, District Court, Case No. 56 of 2014 (Gyoseu)

Japan vs “TH Corp”, January 2017, District Court, Case No. 56 of 2014 (Gyoseu)

A tax assessment based on Japanese CFC rules (anti-tax haven rules) had been applied to a “TH Corp”‘s, subsidiary in Singapore. According to Japanese CFC rules, income arising from a foreign subsidiary located in a state or territory with significantly lower tax rates is deemed to arise as the income of the parent company when the principal business of the subsidiary is holding shares or IP rights. However, the CFC rules do not apply when the subsidiary has substance and it makes economic sense to conduct business in the subsidiary in the low tax jurisdiction. Judgement of the court. According to the court, total revenue, number of employees, and fixed facilities are relevant in this determination. The Court held that the Singapore subsidiary had conducted a broad range of businesses – including finance and logistics – with the economically rational purpose of streamlining its ASEAN operations, and thus set aside the CFC taxation. Excerpt “Satisfaction of the substance and control criteria (a) According to the above-mentioned findings, A1 rents an office in Singapore and uses it for the regional ... Read more