Tag: Value Added Tax (VAT)

Specific type of turnover tax levied at each stage in the production and distribution process. Although VAT ultimately bears on individual consumption of goods or services, liability for VAT is on the supplier of goods or services. VAT normally utilizes a system of tax credits to place the ultimate and real burden of the tax on the final consumer and to relieve the intermediaries of any final tax cost.

Italy vs "VAT ALFA S.p.A.", December 2021, Tax Ruling of the Italian Revenue Agency, Case No 884/2021

Italy vs “VAT ALFA S.p.A.”, December 2021, Tax Ruling of the Italian Revenue Agency, Case No 884/2021

A ruling was issued by the Italian Revenue Service on the following question on the VAT treatment of Transfer Pricing adjustments. 1) an internal CUP (Compared Uncontrolled Price) methodology is used, on the basis of which, net of appropriate adjustments, the price of goods charged by ALFA S.p.A. to its EU affiliates is compared with the price applied by the same company in transactions with independent third parties. The adjustments applied to the price identified by the CUP method, as clarified by the same applicant in the note forwarded at the time of submitting the supplementary documentation, consist of a discount of XX on the price of finished products that can be applied to independent third parties; this last reduction would be attributable to the higher costs borne by the subsidiaries compared to third party resellers; 2) at the end of the year, a corroborative analysis (sanity check) is carried out using the TNMM (Transactional Net Margin Method), aimed at ... Read more
Argentina vs Malteria Pampa SA, October 2021, Federal Administrative Court, Case No TF 35123-A

Argentina vs Malteria Pampa SA, October 2021, Federal Administrative Court, Case No TF 35123-A

Malteria Pampa S.A in Argentina exported malt to a related intermediary in Uruguay that in turn sold on the goods to the brewery in Brazil at a higher price. The tax authorities applied the Sixth method and issued an assessment where the export price was determined based on the latter price used in the transaction with the brewery in Brazil. Furthermore a substantial fine was issued to the Malteria Pampa S.A. for non compliance. In February 2019 the Tax Court decided in favour of the tax authorities. “That the factual and legal points considered by the customs verification – corroborated in this pronouncement – complied with the application parameters of the TP rules invoked in the Technical Report, forming a solid conviction that the transactional prices of the sale declared in the field “Merchandise Value” of the PE 07-003-EC01-004994-P and PE N° 07-003- EC01-004995-Z of Maltería Pampa S. A. are manifestly inaccurate, constituting an under-invoicing that causes the plaintiff to ... Read more
France vs. SARL SRN Métal, May 2021, CAA, Case No. 19NC03729

France vs. SARL SRN Métal, May 2021, CAA, Case No. 19NC03729

SARL SRN Métal’s business is trading in industrial metal and steel products. Following an audit of the company for FY 2011 to 2012 and assessment was issued related to VAT, Transfer Pricing and Withholding Tax. In regards to transfer pricing, the administration considered that (1) the sales of goods made by SRN Métal to B-Lux Steel, established in Luxembourg, were invoiced at a lower price than that charged to the company’s other customers and (2) that commissions paid to Costa Rica – a privileged tax regime – were not deductible as SRN Metal did not provided proof that the expenses corresponded to real operations and that they are not abnormal or exaggerated. The company requested the administrative court of Strasbourg to discharge the assessments. This request was rejected by the court in a judgement issued 29 October 2019. This decision of the administrative court was appealed by the company to the Supreme Administrative Court Judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court ... 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
Norway vs New Wave Norway AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-10664

Norway vs New Wave Norway AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-10664

New Wave Norway AS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swedish New Wave Group AB. The group operates in the wholesale market for sports and workwear and gift and promotional items. It owns trademark rights to several well-known brands. The sales companies – including New Wave Norway AS – pay a concept fee to New Wave Group AB, which passes on the fee to the concept-owning companies in the Group. All trademark rights owned by the group are located in a separate company, New Wave Group Licensing SA, domiciled in Switzerland. For the use of the trademarks, the sales companies pay royalties to this company. There is also a separate company that handles purchasing and negotiations with the Asian producers, New Wave Group SA, also based in Switzerland. For the purchasing services from this company, the sales companies pay a purchasing fee (“sourcing fee”). Both the payment of royalties and the purchase fee are further regulated in the group’s ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 - 118

Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 – 118

A tax assessment had been issued for FY 2013 resulting in additional taxes of to CZK 227,162,210. At first the tax administration disputed that the applicant had purchased 1 TB SSDs for the purpose of earning, maintaining and securing income. It therefore concluded that the Starcom Internatioal had not proved that the conditions for tax deductions were met. On appeal, the tax administrator changed its position and accepted that all the conditions for tax deductions were met, but now instead concluded that Starcom Internatioal was a connected party to its supplier AZ Group Czech s.r.o. It also concluded that the transfer prices had been set mainly for the purpose of reducing the tax base within the meaning of Section 23(7)(b)(5) of the ITA. It was thus for the tax authorities to prove that Starcom Internatioal and AZ Group Czech s.r.o. (‘AZ’) were ‘otherwise connected persons’ and that the prices agreed between them differed from those which would have been agreed ... 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
Tanzania vs Atlas Copco Tanzania Ltd., August 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No 167 of 2019, TZCA 317

Tanzania vs Atlas Copco Tanzania Ltd., August 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No 167 of 2019, TZCA 317

Atlas Copco Tanzania Ltd. is part of Atlas Copco Group, a conglomerate of multinational companies headquartered in Sweden. The group produces and sell compressors, vacuum solutions, generators, pumps, power tools etc. Apart from supplying generators in Tanzania on its own, Atlas Tanzania sold generators as an agent of its sister companies which had no presence in the country. For the latter type of sales, known as “indent sales”, Atlas Tanzania earned a commission. Being oblivious that the commission income attracted Value Added Tax (“VAT”), Atlas Tanzania did not file any VAT returns on indent sales until its external auditors, KPMG, informed it of the requirement. By then, Atlas Tanzania had posted in its sales ledgers commission income amounting to TZS. 134,413,682,281.00 for FY 2007 and 2008. Atlas Tanzania then accounted for VAT on the commission for the years 2007 and 2008 amounting to TZS. 5,692,574,000.00, which was paid through the VAT returns filed in 2009. This amount was much smaller ... Read more
Peru vs. "P Services", July 2020, Tax Court, Case No 03052-5-2020

Peru vs. “P Services”, July 2020, Tax Court, Case No 03052-5-2020

“P Services! provided services to a Peruvian consortium. In 2014, the parties entered into an interest-free loan agreement. According to the loan agreement, payment for the services performed in 2013 was going to be offset against the funds received under the agreement. The tax authorities found that the “loan arrangement”, in reality constituted advances for the services provided by “P Services”- According to the authorities the arrangement had been established for the purpose of avoiding VAT on the advances received for the services. Decision of the Tax Court The tax court issued a decision in favour of the tax authorities. Click here for English translation Click here for other translation Peru vs Taxpayer 2020_5_03052 (002) ... Read more
Italy vs Rohm and Haas Italia s.r.l, February 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 3599 13/02/2020

Italy vs Rohm and Haas Italia s.r.l, February 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 3599 13/02/2020

At issue was deduction of VAT on purported costs incurred for intra-group services, which had been deemed non-deductible for tax as well as VAT purposes by the Italien Tax Authorities, as the taxpayer had not been able to prove the effectiveness and relevance of these services. The Supreme Court found that in order for intra-group cost to be deductible (and VAT deductible) taxpayer must prove that, a real service have been received which is objectively determinable and adequately documented. This burden of proof had not been lifted by the taxpayer and VAT payments on the purported services were consequently non-deductible. Click here for English translation Sentenza Cassazione Civile n. 3599 del 13022020 ... 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

EU report on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance

In March 2018 a special EU committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3) was established. Now, one year later, The EU Parliament has approved a controversial report from the committee. According to the report close to 40 % of MNEs’ profits are shifted to tax havens globally each year with some European Union countries appearing to be the prime losers of profit shifting, as 35 % of shifted profits come from EU countries. About 80 % of the profits shifted from EU Member States are channelled to or through a few other EU Member States. The latest estimates of tax evasion within the EU point to a figure of approximately EUR 825 billion per year. Tax avoidance via six EU Member States results in a loss of EUR 42,8 billion in tax revenue in the other 22 Member States, which means that the net payment position of these countries can be offset against the losses they inflict ... Read more
Italy vs "VAT Group X", November 2018, Tax Ruling of the Italian Revenue Agency, Case No 60

Italy vs “VAT Group X”, November 2018, Tax Ruling of the Italian Revenue Agency, Case No 60

A ruling was issued by the Italian Revenue Service on the following question on the VAT treatment of Transfer Pricing adjustments. “Alfa represents that it is part of a multinational Group (hereinafter, the “Group”). The Group is implementing a new integrated development plan, aimed at the joint creation of products and platforms necessary for the production and marketing of goods under brand X. The legal and economic ownership of the X trademark and of the relevant know-how belongs to the non-EU company Beta, which acts as “Principal” and assumes all risks connected to the production and marketing of the goods, granting the trademark and the know-how free of charge to the subsidiaries engaged in the production and marketing of the X goods. The plaintiff entered into an intra-group agreement (the ‘Agreement’) with Beta, whereby Beta undertakes to act as contract assembler for the purpose of manufacturing X products, putting its own equipment at the disposal of Gamma (a company incorporated ... Read more
France vs PetO Ferrymasters Ltd. April 2018, Conseil d’État N° 399884

France vs PetO Ferrymasters Ltd. April 2018, Conseil d’État N° 399884

The French Supreme Court issued a decision on 4 April 2018, concluding that a permanent establishment (PE) existed in France for purposes of determining nonresident companies’ exposure to French VAT in a case involving a transport commissionaire arrangement. The decisions clarify the criteria for determining whether a service provider will be considered to have sufficient substance in France to enable the services to be performed in an independent manner, and thus constitute a PE. A UK sea carriage commissionaire signed a client assignment contract with a French company carrying out the same activity, as well as a contract for the French company to organize and provide transport services. The UK company was required to approve any new clients or suppliers. The UK company also managed the reservation systems for clients to book the transport and communicated with the clients regarding the transport and the insurance linked to the business. The French company was responsible for the overall development of the ... Read more
Italy vs Coim S.p.A., January 2018, Supreme Court, Case No 2240/2018

Italy vs Coim S.p.A., January 2018, Supreme Court, Case No 2240/2018

Following a judgement by Regional Administrative Tribunal an appeal was filed by Coim S.p.A Among various other issues Coim S.p.A. complains of breach and misapplication of Article 9 of Presidential Decree No 917 of 22 December 1986, pursuant to Article 360(1)(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure, on the ground that the Regional Administrative Tribunal held that the recovery of the higher price calculated on the basis of the presumed normal value of the transfers made by the taxpayer to certain subsidiaries was lawful. The taxpayer claims that the appeal judges erred in finding that the Office had correctly applied the so-called CUP (comparable uncontrolled price method) price comparison method to determine normal value, in particular as regards the identification of the relevant market, the different stage of marketing of the goods tested compared to the comparative goods and the different commercial functions performed by the subsidiaries compared to the comparators. Judgement of the Supreme Court Indeed, the grounds of ... Read more
Zimbabwe vs CF (Pvt), January 2018, High Court, Case No HH 99-18

Zimbabwe vs CF (Pvt), January 2018, High Court, Case No HH 99-18

CF (Pvt) Ltd’s main business was import, distribution and marketing of motor vehicles and spare parts of a specified brand. Following an audit CF had been issued a tax assessment related to the transfer pricing and VAT – import prices, management fees, audit costs etc. Judgement of the High Court The High Court issued a decision predominantly in favor of the tax authorities. In its judgement, the court stated that either the general deduction provision under section 15 (2) or section 24 or section 98 of the Income Tax Act could be employed to deal with transfer pricing matters. Excerpts: “It seems to me that the unsupported persistent assertions maintained by the appellant even after the concession of 14 November 2014 were indicative of both corporate moral dishonesty and a lack of good faith. I therefore find that the appellant through the mind of its management evinced the intention to evade the payment of the correct amount of tax as contemplated ... Read more
Europe vs Hamamatsu, Dec 2017, European Court of Justice, Case No C-529-16

Europe vs Hamamatsu, Dec 2017, European Court of Justice, Case No C-529-16

The case concerns the effect of transfer pricing year-end adjustments on VAT – the relationship between transfer pricing and the valuation of goods for customs (VAT) purposes (Hamamatsu case C-529/16). Hamamatsu Photonics Deutschland GmbH (Hamamatsu) is a German subsidiary of the Japanese company Hamamatsu, and it acts as a distributor of optical devices purchased from the parent company. The transfer pricing policy of the group, which is covered by an Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) with the German Tax Authorities, provides that the consideration paid by Hamamatsu to purchase the goods sold allows Hamamatsu Photonics a target profit. Hamamatsu accounted for an operating margin below the threshold agreed upon in the APA. The Japanese parent company consequently carried out a downward adjustment to allow the achievement of the target profitability by its German subsidiary. Hamamatsu filed a refund claim for the higher customs duties paid on the price that was declared to customs at the time of importation. Customs, at that ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. JUTTY GROUP s.r.o., December 2016, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 6 Afs 147/2016 – 28

Czech Republic vs. JUTTY GROUP s.r.o., December 2016, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 6 Afs 147/2016 – 28

On the basis of the detailed evidence provided by the tax administration, the defendant stated that the essence of the case is to assess whether the applicant has proved that the taxable supply declared in invoice No 2010036 took place, i.e. that Dosnetex plus s.r.o. provided the invoiced supply (production of graphic designs) to the applicant. However, it found that Dosnetex plus had become uncontactable at the end of 2010 and had filed a VAT return for the previous period, but that procedures for the removal of doubts had been initiated and that the company had not paid the actual tax assessed on the basis of those procedures. The company did not file an income tax return for 2010. It was established from the Commercial Register that on 12 November 2010 there was a change in the company’s composition, when the company’s managing director, Mr J.S., was replaced by Mr R.T., who also became the sole shareholder. Mr T. is ... Read more
Italy vs “Philip Morris”, March 2002, Supreme Court, Cases No 3368/2002

Italy vs “Philip Morris”, March 2002, Supreme Court, Cases No 3368/2002

At issue in the Philip Morris case was the scope of the definition of permanent establishments – whether or not activities in Italy performed by Intertaba s.p.a. constituted a permanent establishment of the Philip Morris group. According to the tax authorities the taxpayer had tried to conceal the P.E. in Italy by disguising the fact that the Italian company was also acting in the exclusive interest of the Philip Morris group. On the basis of a tax audit report the Revenue Department – VAT office of Milan, by means of separate adjustment notices for the years 1992 to 1995, charged AAA, and on its behalf BBB s.p.a, for having failed to invoice the amounts paid by the State Monopolies Administration for the supply-distribution in the national territory of cigarettes under the CCC brand. In addition, according to the Administration, the company had failed to self-invoice the amounts for transport and distribution of the tobacco in the national territory. The Court ... Read more
Australia vs Estee Lauder, July 1991, Federal Court of Australia, Case No [1991] FCA 359

Australia vs Estee Lauder, July 1991, Federal Court of Australia, Case No [1991] FCA 359

An Australian subsidiary of Estee Lauder paid a licence fees to licensor on sales of cosmetics in Australia whether imported or made locally. At issue is whether this fees should be taken into account in determining price and thus “transaction value” of goods for purposes of assessing customs duty. Judgement of the Federal Court The Court found that the fee should not be included. “The royalties will also be part of the price of the goods if it were open to a Collector to conclude that the licence agreement was so closely connected with the contracts of sale pursuant to which the goods were imported and to the goods that together they formed a single transaction. I do not think there is any basis for the taking of such a view. The licence agreement was made in 1969 and appointed the applicant exclusive licensee of the relevant trade marks in Australia. The agreement entitled the applicant to use the trade ... Read more