Tag: Swiss

Canada vs Dow Chemicals, April 2022, Federal Court of Appeal, Case No 2022 FCA 70

Canada vs Dow Chemicals, April 2022, Federal Court of Appeal, Case No 2022 FCA 70

This appeal and cross-appeal arise as a result of the response provided by the Tax Court of Canada to a question submitted under Rule 58 of the Tax Court of Canada Rules (General Procedure), SOR/90-688a. The question was: Where the Minister of National Revenue has exercised her discretion pursuant to subsection 247(10) of the Income Tax Act (“ITA”) to deny a taxpayer’s request for a downward transfer pricing adjustment, is that a decision falling outside the exclusive original jurisdiction granted to the Tax Court of Canada under section 12 of the Tax Court of Canada Act and section 171 of the ITA? This question arose in the context of the appeal commenced by Dow Chemical Canada ULC (Dow) in relation to the reassessment of its 2006 taxation year. The Tax Court (2020 TCC 139) provided the following answer to this question: The Court has determined that where the Minister has decided, pursuant to subsection 247(10) of the Income Tax Act ... Read more
Italy vs Burckert Contromatic Italiana S.p.A., November 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Sez. 5 Num. 1417 Anno 2022

Italy vs Burckert Contromatic Italiana S.p.A., November 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Sez. 5 Num. 1417 Anno 2022

Burkert Contromatic Italiana s.p.a. is engaged in sale and services of fluid control systems. The italian company is a subsidiary of the German Bürkert Group. Following a tax audit, the Italian tax authorities issued a notice of assessment for FY 2007 on the grounds that the cost resulting from the transactions with its parent company (incorporated under Swiss law) were higher than the arms length price of these transactions. The company challenged the tax assessment, arguing that the analysis carried out by the Office had been superficial, both because it had examined accounting documents relating to tax years other than the one under examination (2007), and because the Office, in confirming that the Transactional Net Margin Method (TNMM) was the most reliable method, in order to verify whether the margin obtained by the company corresponded to the arm’s length value, had carried out a comparability analysis (aimed at identifying the net remuneration margin obtained by independent third parties in similar ... Read more
South Africa vs ABC (PTY) LTD, January 2021, Tax Court of Johannesburg, Case No IT 14305

South Africa vs ABC (PTY) LTD, January 2021, Tax Court of Johannesburg, Case No IT 14305

ABC Ltd is in the business of manufacturing, importing, and selling chemical products. It has a catalyst division that is focused on manufacturing and selling catalytic converters (catalysts) which is used in the abatement of harmful exhaust emissions from motor vehicles. To produce the catalysts, applicant requires, inter alia, some metals known as the Precious Group of Metals (PGMs). It purchases the PGMs from a Swiss entity (“the Swiss Entity”). The PGMs are liquified and mixed with other chemicals to create coating for substrates, all being part of the manufacturing process. Once the manufacturing is complete, the catalysts are sold to customers in South Africa known as the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). ABC Ltd and the Swiss Entity are connected parties as defined in section 1 of the ITA. Following an audit carried out in 2014 the revenue service issued an assessment for FY 2011 by an amount of R114 157 077. According to the revenue service the prices paid ... Read more
Spain vs. VAT PE of Ashland Industries Europe GMBH, November 2020, Supreme Court, Case no 1.500/2020

Spain vs. VAT PE of Ashland Industries Europe GMBH, November 2020, Supreme Court, Case no 1.500/2020

A Swiss company, Ashland Industries Europe GmbH, had not declared a presence in Spain for VAT purposes and did not charge VAT for local sales. However, the Swiss company used the resources of its Spanish subsidiary when performing these local sales of goods in Spain. On that basis, the Spanish tax authorities found that the company had a permanent establishment for in Spain for VAT purposes and issued an assessment. An appeal was filed by Ashland Industries, but the appeal was dismissed by the courts. The Spanish Supreme Court concluded that: “First. To determine whether a permanent establishment can be deemed to exist in the Spanish territory of application of VAT where the only transactions carried out subject to that tax are supplies of goods other than supplies of gas, electricity, heat or refrigeration. Second. If the answer to the previous question is in the affirmative, what conditions are necessary to establish that a Spanish subsidiary constitutes a permanent establishment ... Read more
Poland vs Cans Corp Sp z.o.o., August 2020, Administrative Court, I SA/Sz 115/20

Poland vs Cans Corp Sp z.o.o., August 2020, Administrative Court, I SA/Sz 115/20

At issue in this case was the remuneration of a Polish manufacturing subsidiary in an international group dealing in the production and sale of metal packaging for food products, including beverage cans, food cans, household cans and metal lids for jars etc. The Polish tax authorities had issued an tax assessment for FY 2009 – 2012 based on a TNMM benchmark study where financial results of comparable independent manufactures operating in the packaging industry showed that the the Polish manufacturing site had underestimated revenues obtained from the sale of goods to related entities The Court of first instance held in favor of the tax authorities. The case was then brought before the Administrative Court of Appeal. In the Court’s view, the authorities did not subject the case to thorough verification in accordance with the legal standards on which the decision was based – including, in particular, the analysis of comparable transactions (CUP’s). In the Court’s opinion, the authorities have illegally ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. Eli Lilly ČR, s.r.o., December 2019, District Court of Praque, No. 6 Afs 90/2016 - 62

Czech Republic vs. Eli Lilly ČR, s.r.o., December 2019, District Court of Praque, No. 6 Afs 90/2016 – 62

Eli Lilly ČR imports pharmaceutical products purchased from Eli Lilly Export S.A. (Swiss sales and marketing hub) into the Czech Republic and Slovakia and distributes them to local distributors. The arrangement between the local company and Eli Lilly Export S.A. is based on a Service Contract in which Eli Lilly ČR is named as the service provider to Eli Lilly Export S.A. (the principal). Eli Lilly ČR was selling the products at a lower price than the price it purchased them for from Eli Lilly Export S.A. According to the company this was due to local price controls of pharmaceuticals. Eli Lilly ČR was also paid for providing marketing services by the Swiss HQ, which ensured that Eli Lilly ČR was profitable, despite selling the products at a loss. Eli Lilly ČR reported the marketing services as a provision of services with the place of supply outside of the Czech Republic; therefore, the income from such supply was exempt from ... Read more
Spain vs Acer Computer Ibérica S.A., March 2019, AUDIENCIA NACIONAL, Case No 125:2017, NFJ073359

Spain vs Acer Computer Ibérica S.A., March 2019, AUDIENCIA NACIONAL, Case No 125:2017, NFJ073359

Acer Computer Ibérica S.A. (ACI) is part of the multinational ACER group, which manufactures and distributes personal computers and other electronic devices. Acer Europe AG (AEAG), a group entity in Switzerland, centralises the procurement of the subsidiaries established in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and acts as the regional management centre for that geographical area. ACI is responsible for the wholesale marketing of electronic equipment and material, as well as in the provision of technical service related to these products in Spain and Portugal. ACI is characterized as a limited risk distributor by the group. At issue was deductibility of payments resulting from factoring agreements undertaken ACI with unrelated banks, adopted to manage liquidity risks arising from timing mismatches between its accounts payable and accounts receivable. Based on an interpretation of the limited risk agreement signed between ACI and its principal AEAG, the tax authorities disregarded the allocation of the risk – and hence allocation of the relevant costs ... Read more
Norway vs Normet Norway AS, March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2017-202539

Norway vs Normet Norway AS, March 2019, Borgarting Lagmannsrett, Case No 2017-202539

In January 2013 the Swiss company Normet International Ltd acquired all the shares in the Norwegian company Dynamic Rock Support AS (now Normet Norway AS) for a price of NOK 78 million. In February 2013 all intangibles in Dynamic Rock Support AS was transfered to Normet International Ltd for a total sum of NOK 3.666.140. The Norwegian tax authorities issued an assessment where the arm’s length value of the intangibles was set at NOK 58.2 million. The Court of Appeal upheld the tax assessment issued by the tax authorities and rejected the appeal. Click here for translation Norway vs Normet 190319 ... Read more
European Commission concludes on investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of McDonald's under EU state aid regulations, September 2018

European Commission concludes on investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s under EU state aid regulations, September 2018

Following an investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s under EU state aid regulations since 2015, the EU Commission concluded that the tax rulings granted by Luxembourg to McDonald’s in 2009 did not provide illegal state aid. According to the Commission, the law allowing McDonald’s to escape taxation on franchise income in Luxembourg – and the US – did not amount to an illegal selective advantage under EU law. The double non-taxation of McDonald’s franchise income was due to a mismatch between the laws of the United States and Luxembourg. See the 2015 announcement of formal opening of the investigations into McDonald’s tax agreements with Luxembourg from the EU Commission EU vs McDonal IP-18-5831_EN ... Read more
Spain vs ICL ESPAÑA, S.A. (Akzo Nobel), March 2018, Audiencia Nacional, Case No 1307/2018 ECLI:ES:AN:2018:1307

Spain vs ICL ESPAÑA, S.A. (Akzo Nobel), March 2018, Audiencia Nacional, Case No 1307/2018 ECLI:ES:AN:2018:1307

ICL ESPAÑA, S.A., ICL Packaging Coatings, S.A., were members of the Tax Consolidation Group and obtained extraordinary profits in the financial years 2000, 2001 and 2002. (AKZO NOBEL is the successor of ICL ESPAÑA, as well as of the subsidiary ICL PACKAGING.) On 26 June 2002, ICL ESPAÑA, S.A. acquired from ICL Omicron BV (which was the sole shareholder of ICL ESPAÑA, S.A. and of Elotex AG and Claviag AG) 45.40% of the shares in the Swiss company, Elotex AG, and 100% of the shares in the Swiss company of Claviag AG. The acquisition was carried out by means of a sale and purchase transaction, the price of which was 164.90 million euros, of which ICL ESPAÑA, S.A. paid 134.90 million euros with financing granted by ICL Finance, PLC (a company of the multinational ICL group) and the rest, i.e. 30 million euros, with its own funds. On 19 September 2002, ICL Omicron BV contributed 54.6% of the shares of ... Read more

Canada vs Cameco, November 2017, Pending case – C$2.2bn in taxes

Several mining companies are beeing audited by the Canadian Revenue Agency for aggressive tax planning and tax evasion schemes. Among the high-profile companies that have filed pleadings with the Canadian Tax Court are Cameco, Silver Wheaton, Burlington Resources, Conoco Funding Company and Suncor Energy. The CRA says, the companies inappropriately ran international transactions through subsidiary companies in low-tax foreign jurisdictions. In the Cameco case the Revenue Agency has audited years 2003 to 2015 and challenged Cameco Canada’s arrangements with a Swiss subsidiary. Cameco sells uranium to its marketing subsidiary in Switzerland, which re-sells it to buyers, incurring less tax than the company would through its Canadian office. The CRA position is that Cameco Canada was in fact carrying the uranium business – not Swiss Cameco subsidiary. The total tax bill for the 13 years: $2.1-billion, plus interest and penalties. Three tax years are currently being tried in the tax court, where a final decision is expected in late 2018 or ... Read more
Sweden vs. Nobel Biocare Holding AB, HFD 2016 ref. 45

Sweden vs. Nobel Biocare Holding AB, HFD 2016 ref. 45

In January 2003, a Swedish company, Nobel Biocare Holding AB, entered into three loan agreements with its Swiss parent company. The loans had 15, 25 and 30 maturity respectively, with terms of amortization and with a variable interest rate corresponding to Stibor plus an interest rate margin of 1.75 percent points for one of the loans and 1.5 percent points for the other two loans. The same day the parent company transfered the loans to a sister company domiciled in the Netherlands Antilles. In June 2008 new loan agreements was signed. The new agreements lacked maturity and amortization and interest rates were stated in accordance with the Group’s monthly fixed interest rates. Amortization continued to take place in accordance with the provisions of the 2003 agreement, and the only actual change in relation to those agreements consisted in raising the interest rates by 2.5 percent points. These loans were transferred to a Swiss sister company. The Swedish Tax administration denied tax deductions corresponding to the difference between ... Read more
France vs Société Lifestand vivre debout, 15 April 2016, CE

France vs Société Lifestand vivre debout, 15 April 2016, CE

In the case of Société Lifestand vivre debout, the Court considered that there was economic control in a situation where the rent for Swiss premises used by a Swiss entity was paid by a French company. The functions related to the activity of the Swiss company were actually performed by the French company. The French manager managed the Swiss company. Consequently, the transactions conducted between these two entities needed to comply with transfer pricing rules. Click here for English translation.  Click here for other translation Société Lifestand vivre debout _15_04_2016_CE no 372097 ... Read more
European Commission opens formal investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of McDonald's under EU state aid regulations, December 2015

European Commission opens formal investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s under EU state aid regulations, December 2015

The European Commission has formally opened an investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s. Tax ruling granted by Luxembourg may have granted McDonald’s an advantageous tax treatment in breach of EU State aid rules On the basis of two tax rulings given by the Luxembourg authorities in 2009, McDonald’s Europe Franchising has paid no corporate tax in Luxembourg since then despite recording large profits (more than €250 million in 2013). These profits are derived from royalties paid by franchisees operating restaurants in Europe and Russia for the right to use the McDonald’s brand and associated services. The company’s head office in Luxembourg is designated as responsible for the company’s strategic decision-making, but the company also has two branches, a Swiss branch, which has a limited activity related to the franchising rights, and a US branch, which does not have any real activities. The royalties received by the company are transferred internally to the US branch of the company. The Commission ... Read more
France vs. Nestlé water, Feb. 2014, CAA no 11VE03460

France vs. Nestlé water, Feb. 2014, CAA no 11VE03460

In the French Nestlé water case, the following arguments were made by the company: The administration, which bears the burden of proof under the provisions of Article 57 of the General Tax Code, of paragraphs 38, 39 and 42 of the Instruction 13 l-7-98 of 23 July 199 8 and case law, does not establish the presumption of indirect transfer of profits abroad that would constitute the payment of a fee to the Swiss companies A … SA, company products A … SA and Nestec SA. The mere fact that the association of the mark A … with the mark Aquarel also benefits company A … SA, owner of the mark A …, does not allow to prove the absence of profit and thus of consideration for NWE. The latter company also benefited from the combination of the two brands. Advertising alone are not enough to characterize an indirect transfer of profits abroad; in any case, the administration does not ... Read more
France vs. Sociétè Nestlé Finance , Feb 2013, CAA no 11PA02914 and 12PA00469

France vs. Sociétè Nestlé Finance , Feb 2013, CAA no 11PA02914 and 12PA00469

In the Nestlé Finance case, a cash pool/treasury activity was transferred to a related Swiss entity. The function had been purely administrative, carried out exclusively for the benefit of parties related to the French company. The French company did not receive any compensation for the transfer of the cash pooling activity. First the Administrative Court concluded that the transfer of an internal administrative function to a foreign entity – even if the function only involved other affiliated companies ‘captive clientele’ – required the payment of arm’s-length compensation. This decision was then appealed and later revoked by a decision of the Administrative Court of Appeals. Click here for translation France vs Nestlè Finance 5 feb 2013 CAA no 11PA02914 . . . Click here for translation France vs Nestlè Finance 5 Feb 2013 CAA no 12PA00469 ... Read more
Nederlands vs "Paper Trading B.V.", October 2011, Supreme Court, Case No 11/00762, ECLI:NL:HR:2011:BT8777

Nederlands vs “Paper Trading B.V.”, October 2011, Supreme Court, Case No 11/00762, ECLI:NL:HR:2011:BT8777

“Paper Trading B.V.” was active in the business of buying and selling paper. The paper was purchased (mostly) in Finland, and sold in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany. The purchasing and selling activities were carried out by the director of Paper Trading B.V. “Mr. O” who was also the owner of all shares in the company. In 1994, Mr. O set up a company in Switzerland “Paper Trader A.G”. The appointed director of “Paper Trader A.G” was a certified tax advisor, accountant, and trustee, who also acted as director of various other companies registered at the same address. The Swiss director took care of administration, correspondence, invoicing and corporate tax compliance. A couple of years later, part of the purchasing and selling of the paper was now carried out through “Paper Trader A.G”. However, Mr. O proved to be highly involved in activities on behalf of “Paper Trader A.G”, and the purchase and sale of its paper. Mr. O ... Read more
France vs Vansthal International, March 1993, CAA, No 92NC00227

France vs Vansthal International, March 1993, CAA, No 92NC00227

In the case of Vansthal France the tax authorities had disallowed a transfer pricing policy under which a 20%-40% mark-up was added to payments to a Swiss entity because in its capacity as a billing centre the Swiss entity assumed no risk. Judgement of the Court The Court ruled in favour of the tax authorities. Excerpt “Considering, on the other hand, that it results from the investigation that the MAD company re-invoiced the goods to the VANSTHAL FRANCE company after having increased the prices by 39% for the kitchen articles and 20% for the porcelain articles and collected the corresponding payments; that, since MAD did not perform any services for the applicant company, the department considered that the latter had performed an abnormal act of management by agreeing to pay for its purchases at an unreasonably high price with full knowledge of the facts and that the payment of the excess price resulted in a transfer of profits abroad to ... Read more
US vs Proctor & Gamble Co, April1992, Court of Appeal (6th Cir.), Case No 961 F.2d 1255

US vs Proctor & Gamble Co, April1992, Court of Appeal (6th Cir.), Case No 961 F.2d 1255

Proctor & Gamble is engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of consumer and industrial products. Proctor & Gamble operates through domestic (US) and foreign subsidiaries and affiliates. Proctor & Gamble owned all the stock of Procter & Gamble A.G. (AG), a Swiss corporation. AG was engaged in marketing Proctor & Gamble’s products, generally in countries in which Proctor & Gamble did not have a marketing subsidiary or affiliate. Proctor & Gamble and AG were parties to a License and Service Agreement, known as a package fee agreement, under which AG paid royalties to Proctor & Gamble for the nonexclusive use by AG and its subsidiaries of Proctor & Gamble’s patents, trademarks, tradenames, knowledge, research and assistance in manufacturing, general administration, finance, buying, marketing and distribution. The royalties payable to Proctor & Gamble were based primarily on the net sales of Proctor & Gamble’s products by AG and its subsidiaries. AG entered into agreements similar to package fee agreements ... Read more
US vs Proctor & Gamble, September 1990, US Tax Court, Opinion No. 16521-84.

US vs Proctor & Gamble, September 1990, US Tax Court, Opinion No. 16521-84.

Proctor & Gamble is an US corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of consumer and industrial products. Proctor & Gamble operates through domestic and foreign subsidiaries and affiliates. Proctor & Gamble owned all the stock of Procter & Gamble A.G. (AG), a Swiss corporation. AG was engaged in marketing Proctor & Gamble’s products, generally in countries in which Proctor & Gamble did not have a marketing subsidiary or affiliate. Proctor & Gamble and AG were parties to a License and Service Agreement, known as a package fee agreement, under which AG paid royalties to Proctor & Gamble for the nonexclusive use by AG and its subsidiaries of Proctor & Gamble’s patents, trademarks, tradenames, knowledge, research and assistance in manufacturing, general administration, finance, buying, marketing and distribution. The royalties payable to Proctor & Gamble were based primarily on the net sales of Proctor & Gamble’s products by AG and its subsidiaries. AG entered into agreements similar to package ... Read more