Tag: Unique and valuable intangibles

Tokyo High Court rules in favour of NGK Insulators

Tokyo High Court rules in favour of NGK Insulators

In a decision issued on March 10, 2022 the Tokyo High Court upheld a 2020 decision from the district court and ruled mostly in favour of NGK INSULTATORS, LTD. in an appeal filed against a transfer pricing correction issued in 2012 by the Japanese tax authorities. The case At issue was whether the royalties received by NGK Insulators, the HQ of a Japanese group, from its Polish subsidiary, were lower than the arm’s length price. Due to the tightening of European emission regulations, only two companies at the European market, the Polish subsidiary and IBIDEN (Ibigawa Electric Power Co., Ltd.), were able to provide parts that complied with those regulations. This resulted in an oligopoly situation and excessive profits in the subsidiary. In regards of the residual profits the tax authority had argued that the split should be based on NGK Insulators’ research and development costs on the one side and the Polish subsidiary specific departmental research and development costs ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.206

The principles described in Sections D.2.1 to D.2.4 of this chapter should be applied in determining whether the use of intangibles by the tested party will preclude reliance on identified comparable uncontrolled transactions or require comparability adjustments. Only when the intangibles used by the tested party are unique and valuable intangibles will the need arise to make comparability adjustments or to adopt a transfer pricing method less dependent on comparable uncontrolled transactions. Where intangibles used by the tested party are not unique and valuable intangibles, prices paid or received, or margins or returns earned by parties to comparable uncontrolled transactions may provide a reliable basis for determining arm’s length conditions ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.203

The principles of Chapters I – III apply in determining arm’s length prices for transactions involving the use of intangibles in connection with sales of goods or the performance of services. Two general categories of cases can arise. In the first category of cases, the comparability analysis, including the functional analysis, will reveal the existence of sufficiently reliable comparables to permit the determination of arm’s length conditions for the transaction using a transfer pricing method based on comparables. In the second category of cases, the comparability analysis, including the functional analysis, will fail to identify reliable comparable uncontrolled transactions, often as a direct result of the use by one or both parties to the transaction of unique and valuable intangibles. Transfer pricing approaches to these two categories of cases are described below ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.201

Where the tested party and the potential comparable have comparable intangibles, the intangibles will not constitute unique and valuable intangibles within the meaning of paragraph 6.17, and therefore no comparability adjustments will be required with regard to the intangibles. The potential comparable will, in these circumstances, provide the best evidence of the profit contribution of the tested party’s intangibles. If, however, either the tested party or the potential comparable has and uses in its business unique and valuable intangibles, it may be necessary either to make appropriate comparability adjustments or to revert to a different transfer pricing method. The principles contained in Sections D.2.1 to D.2.4 apply in evaluating the comparability of intangibles in such situations ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.138

However, it will often be the case in matters involving transfers of intangibles or rights in intangibles that the comparability analysis (including the functional analysis) reveals that there are no reliable comparable uncontrolled transactions that can be used to determine the arm’s length price and other conditions. This can occur if the intangibles in question have unique characteristics, or if they are of such critical importance that such intangibles are transferred only among associated enterprises. It may also result from a lack of available data regarding potentially comparable transactions or from other causes. Notwithstanding the lack of reliable comparables, it is usually possible to determine the arm’s length price and other conditions for the controlled transaction ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.129

The principles of paragraphs 3.47 to 3.54 relating to comparability adjustments apply with respect to transactions involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles. It is important to note that differences between intangibles can have significant economic consequences that may be difficult to adjust for in a reliable manner. Particularly in situations where amounts attributable to comparability adjustments represent a large percentage of the compensation for the intangible, there may be reason to believe, depending on the specific facts, that the computation of the adjustment is not reliable and that the intangibles being compared are in fact not sufficiently comparable to support a valid transfer pricing analysis. If reliable comparability adjustments are not possible, it may be necessary to select a transfer pricing method that is less dependent on the identification of comparable intangibles or comparable transactions ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.17

In certain instances these Guidelines refer to “unique and valuable” intangibles. “Unique and valuable” intangibles are those intangibles (i) that are not comparable to intangibles used by or available to parties to potentially comparable transactions, and (ii) whose use in business operations (e.g. manufacturing, provision of services, marketing, sales or administration) is expected to yield greater future economic benefits than would be expected in the absence of the intangible ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.10

The identification of an item as an intangible is separate and distinct from the process for determining the price for the use or transfer of the item under the facts and circumstances of a given case. Depending on the industry sector and other facts specific to a particular case, exploitation of intangibles can account for either a large or small part of the MNE’s value creation. It should be emphasised that not all intangibles deserve compensation separate from the required payment for goods or services in all circumstances, and not all intangibles give rise to premium returns in all circumstances. For example, consider a situation in which an enterprise performs a service using non-unique know-how, where other comparable service providers have comparable know-how. In that case, even though know-how constitutes an intangible, it may be determined under the facts and circumstances that the know-how does not justify allocating a premium return to the enterprise, over and above normal returns earned ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter III paragraph 3.19

This can be illustrated as follows. Assume that company A manufactures two types of products, P1 and P2, that it sells to company B, an associated enterprise in another country. Assume that A is found to manufacture P1 products using valuable, unique intangibles that belong to B and following technical specifications set by B. Assume that in this P1 transaction, A only performs simple functions and does not make any valuable, unique contribution in relation to the transaction. The tested party for this P1 transaction would most often be A. Assume now that A is also manufacturing P2 products for which it owns and uses valuable unique intangibles such as valuable patents and trademarks, and for which B acts as a distributor. Assume that in this P2 transaction, B only performs simple functions and does not make any valuable, unique contribution in relation to the transaction. The tested party for the P2 transaction would most often be B ... Read more
Italy vs Vibac S.p.A., January 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Case No 1232/2021

Italy vs Vibac S.p.A., January 2021, Corte di Cassazione, Case No 1232/2021

Transactions had taken place between Vibac S.p.A. and related foreign group companies related to use of trademarks and royalty/license payments. It was up to the Vibac S.p.A. to demonstrate that the remuneration received from related companies for use of the trademark of the products had been at arm’s length. According to the company the royalty had been set at a low price to ensure that the foreign subsidiaries were more competitive. An upward adjustment was issued by the tax authorities rejecting the taxpayer’s argument that the below market royalty was explained by the need to enable its foreign subsidiary to penetrate more effectively the US market. The tax authorities argued that such a strategy could only be justifiable in a limited period. The tax authorities determined the arm’s length royalty payment by application of the Resale Price Method (RPM). However, due to the uniqueness of the asset transferred, which hardly allows the identification of comparable transactions, the same circular, while ... Read more
India vs Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited, March 2020, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - BANGALORE, Case No IT(TP) No.1915/Bang/2017 & 3377/Bang/2018

India vs Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited, March 2020, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – BANGALORE, Case No IT(TP) No.1915/Bang/2017 & 3377/Bang/2018

Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited manufactures auto parts and sold them to Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited, another Indian corporation in the Toyota Group. In FY 2013-14 Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited paid a 5% royalty to the Japanese parent Toyota Motor Corporation for use of know-how. The royalty rate had been determined by application of the TNMM method. The Indian tax authorities did not agree with the choice of method and argued that the most appropriate method was the Profit Split Method (PSM). Judgement of the Tax Appellate Tribunal The Tribunal decided in favor of Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts and set aside the assessment. Excerpt “17. It is clear from the above OECD guidelines that in ‘order to determine the profits to be split, the crux is to understand the functional profile of the entities under consideration. Although the comparability analysis is at the “heart of the application of the arm’s length principle”, likewise, a functional analysis has always ... Read more
Japan vs. "Metal Plating Corp", February 2020, Tokyo District Court, Case No 535 of Heisei 27 (2008)

Japan vs. “Metal Plating Corp”, February 2020, Tokyo District Court, Case No 535 of Heisei 27 (2008)

“Metal Plating Corp” is engaged in manufacturing and selling plating chemicals and had entered into a series of controlled transactions with foreign group companies granting licenses to use intangibles (know-how related to technology and sales) – and provided technical support services by sending over technical experts. The company had used a CUP method to price these transactions based on “internal comparables”. The tax authorities found that the amount of the consideration paid to “Metal Plating Corp” for the licenses and services had not been at arm’s length and issued an assessment where the residual profit split method was applied to determine the taxable profit for the fiscal years FY 2007-2012. “Metal Plating Corp” on its side held that it was inappropriate to use a residual profit split method and that there were errors in the calculations performed by the tax authorities. Judgement of the Court The Court dismissed the appeal of “Metal Plating Corp” and affirmed the assessment made by ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.206

The principles described in Sections D.2.1 to D.2.4 of this chapter should be applied in determining whether the use of intangibles by the tested party will preclude reliance on identified comparable uncontrolled transactions or require comparability adjustments. Only when the intangibles used by the tested party are unique and valuable intangibles will the need arise to make comparability adjustments or to adopt a transfer pricing method less dependent on comparable uncontrolled transactions. Where intangibles used by the tested party are not unique and valuable intangibles, prices paid or received, or margins or returns earned by parties to comparable uncontrolled transactions may provide a reliable basis for determining arm’s length conditions ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.203

The principles of Chapters I – III apply in determining arm’s length prices for transactions involving the use of intangibles in connection with sales of goods or the performance of services. Two general categories of cases can arise. In the first category of cases, the comparability analysis, including the functional analysis, will reveal the existence of sufficiently reliable comparables to permit the determination of arm’s length conditions for the transaction using a transfer pricing method based on comparables. In the second category of cases, the comparability analysis, including the functional analysis, will fail to identify reliable comparable uncontrolled transactions, often as a direct result of the use by one or both parties to the transaction of unique and valuable intangibles. Transfer pricing approaches to these two categories of cases are described below ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.201

Where the tested party and the potential comparable have comparable intangibles, the intangibles will not constitute unique and valuable intangibles within the meaning of paragraph 6.17, and therefore no comparability adjustments will be required with regard to the intangibles. The potential comparable will, in these circumstances, provide the best evidence of the profit contribution of the tested party’s intangibles. If, however, either the tested party or the potential comparable has and uses in its business unique and valuable intangibles, it may be necessary either to make appropriate comparability adjustments or to revert to a different transfer pricing method. The principles contained in Sections D.2.1 to D.2.4 apply in evaluating the comparability of intangibles in such situations ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.129

The principles of paragraphs 3.47 to 3.54 relating to comparability adjustments apply with respect to transactions involving the transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles. It is important to note that differences between intangibles can have significant economic consequences that may be difficult to adjust for in a reliable manner. Particularly in situations where amounts attributable to comparability adjustments represent a large percentage of the compensation for the intangible, there may be reason to believe, depending on the specific facts, that the computation of the adjustment is not reliable and that the intangibles being compared are in fact not sufficiently comparable to support a valid transfer pricing analysis. If reliable comparability adjustments are not possible, it may be necessary to select a transfer pricing method that is less dependent on the identification of comparable intangibles or comparable transactions ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.19

This can be illustrated as follows. Assume that company A manufactures two types of products, P1 and P2, that it sells to company B, an associated enterprise in another country. Assume that A is found to manufacture P1 products using valuable, unique intangibles that belong to B and following technical specifications set by B. Assume that in this P1 transaction, A only performs simple functions and does not make any valuable, unique contribution in relation to the transaction. The tested party for this P1 transaction would most often be A. Assume now that A is also manufacturing P2 products for which it owns and uses valuable unique intangibles such as valuable patents and trademarks, and for which B acts as a distributor. Assume that in this P2 transaction, B only performs simple functions and does not make any valuable, unique contribution in relation to the transaction. The tested party for the P2 transaction would most often be B ... Read more