Tag: Written Agreement/Contract

Switzerland vs "Contractual Seller SA", January 2021, Federal Supreme Court, Case No 2C_498/2020

Switzerland vs “Contractual Seller SA”, January 2021, Federal Supreme Court, Case No 2C_498/2020

C. SA provides “services, in particular in the areas of communication, management, accounting, management and budget control, sales development monitoring and employee training for the group to which it belongs, active in particular in the field of “F”. C. SA is part of an international group of companies, G. group, whose ultimate owner is A. The G group includes H. Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands, I. Ltd, based in Guernsey and J. Ltd, also based in Guernsey. In 2005, K. was a director of C. SA. On December 21 and December 31, 2004, an exclusive agreement for distribution of “F” was entered into between L. Ltd, on the one hand, and C. SA , H. Ltd and J. Ltd, on the other hand. Under the terms of this distribution agreement, L. Ltd. undertook to supply “F” to the three companies as of January 1, 2005 and for a period of at least ten years, in return for payment ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs "Contractual Seller SA", May 2020, Federal Administrative Court, Case No A-2286/2017

Switzerland vs “Contractual Seller SA”, May 2020, Federal Administrative Court, Case No A-2286/2017

C. SA provides “services, in particular in the areas of communication, management, accounting, management and budget control, sales development monitoring and employee training for the group to which it belongs, active in particular in the field of “F”. C. SA is part of an international group of companies, G. group, whose ultimate owner is A. The G group includes H. Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands, I. Ltd, based in Guernsey and J. Ltd, also based in Guernsey. In 2005, K. was a director of C. SA. On December 21 and December 31, 2004, an exclusive agreement for distribution of “F” was entered into between L. Ltd, on the one hand, and C. SA , H. Ltd and J. Ltd, on the other hand. Under the terms of this distribution agreement, L. Ltd. undertook to supply “F” to the three companies as of January 1, 2005 and for a period of at least ten years, in return for payment ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.155

In general, a financial guarantee provides for the guarantor to meet specified financial obligations in the event of a failure to do so by the guaranteed party. There are various terms in use for different types of credit support from one member of an MNE group to another. At one end of the spectrum is the formal written guarantee and at the other is the implied support attributable solely to membership in the MNE group. In the context of this section, a guarantee is a legally binding commitment on the part of the guarantor to assume a specified obligation of the guaranteed debtor if the debtor defaults on that obligation. The situation likely to be encountered most frequently in a transfer pricing context is that in which an associated enterprise (guarantor) provides a guarantee on a loan taken out by another associated enterprise from an unrelated lender ... Continue to full case

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.22

The terms and conditions of a financial transaction between independent enterprises are usually explicitly stated in a written agreement. However, between associated enterprises the contractual arrangements may not always provide information in sufficient detail or may be inconsistent with the actual conduct of the parties or other facts and circumstances. It is therefore necessary to look to other documents, the actual conduct of the parties – notwithstanding that such consideration may ultimately result in the conclusion that the contractual form and actual conduct are in alignment – and the economic principles that generally govern relationships between independent enterprises in comparable circumstances in order to accurately delineate the actual transaction in accordance with Section D.1.1 of Chapter I ... Continue to full case
Czech Republic vs. AZETKO s.r.o., September 2019, Supreme Court, No. 5 Afs 341/2017 - 47

Czech Republic vs. AZETKO s.r.o., September 2019, Supreme Court, No. 5 Afs 341/2017 – 47

The tax authorities of the Czech Republic issued an assessment of additional income taxes and penalties for FY 2010 and 2011, because AZETKO s.r.o. according to the tax authorities did not receive an arm’s length remuneration for administration and operation of a website and e-shop on behalf on a related party, Quantus Consulting s.r.o. AZETKO disagreed with the assessment and brought the case to court. The regional court ruled in favor of AZETKO, but the tax administration appealed the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court found the tax administrations change in pricing method under the appeal of the case unsubstantiated. The tax administration had originally applied the CUP method, but in the appeal proceedings instead used the net margin transaction method (TNMM). On that basis, the appeal was dismissed by the Court. The conditions for application of the transfer pricing provisions in Section 23(7) of the Czech Income Tax Act was summarised ... Continue to full case

TPG2018 Chapter II paragraph 2.161

In any application of a transactional profit split, care should be exercised to ensure that the method is applied without hindsight. See paragraph 3.74. That is, irrespective of whether a transactional profit split of anticipated or actual profits is used, unless there are major unforeseen developments which would have resulted in a renegotiation of the agreement had it occurred between independent parties, the basis upon which those profits are to be split between the associated enterprises, including the profit splitting factors, the way in which relevant profits are calculated, and any adjustments or contingencies, must be determined on the basis of information known or reasonably foreseeable by the parties at the time the transactions were entered into. This is so notwithstanding the fact that in many cases, the actual calculations can necessarily only be performed some time afterwards, where, for example they apply profit splitting factors determined at the outset to the actual profits. Additionally, it should be remembered that ... Continue to full case
Italy vs Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A, September 2017, Supreme Court, Case No 20805

Italy vs Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A, September 2017, Supreme Court, Case No 20805

Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A had been issued an assessment by the tax authorities for FY 2003 on various issues related to transfer pricing. Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A. disagreed with the assessment and brought the case to court. The Regional Tax Commission of Lombardy (Ctr) issued a decision where it partially annulled the assessment. This decision was challenged both by the tax authorities and Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica S.p.A. Judgement of the Supreme Court Before the Supreme Court there were 29 issues to be resolved. The Supreme Court predominantly ruled in favour of the tax authorities. The court confirms that transfer pricing adjustments are applicable even in the absence of proof by the administration of a concrete tax advantage by the taxpayer. The shift of taxable income following transactions between companies belonging to the same group and subject to different national regulations, does not require the administration to prove the elusive function, but only the existence ... Continue to full case
Sweden vs VSM Group AB, July 2017, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 2038–2041-15

Sweden vs VSM Group AB, July 2017, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 2038–2041-15

An agreement between a Swedish company, VSM Group AB, and an American distributor, VSM Sewing Inc, stated that the distributor would receive compensation corresponding to an operating margin of three percent. Benchmark studies showed that the agreed compensation was arm’s length. Each year, the company made a year end adjustment to ensure that the pricing was arm’s length. In cases where the outcome was outside the interquartile range, additional invoicing took place so that the operating margin was adjusted to the agreed level. But no additional invoicing took place where the operating margin deviated from what was agreed but was within the interquartile range. The company argued that the pricing was correct as long as the operating margin was within the interquartile range. The company also argued that the agreement between the parties had a different content than the written agreement because the parties consistently applied an understanding of the arrangement that deviated from the written content. The Court of ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.82

As noted at paragraph 1.46, in transactions between independent enterprises, the divergence of interests between the parties ensures that: (i) contractual terms are concluded that reflect the interest of both parties, (ii) the parties will ordinarily seek to hold each other to the terms of the contract, and (iii) that contractual terms will be ignored or modified after the fact generally only if it is in the interests of both parties. However, this same divergence of interest may not exist in the case of associated enterprises or any such divergences may be managed in ways facilitated by the relationship between the associated enterprises and not solely or mainly through contractual agreements. For this reason, when the facts of the case differ from the written terms of the agreement between the parties or when no written terms exist, the absence or existence (and its terms) of an indemnification clause should be deduced from the conduct of the parties. For instance, it ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.81

The accurate delineation of the transaction will identify whether an indemnification clause or arrangement is in place upon termination, non-renewal or re-negotiation of the arrangements. In order to do so, the starting point should be a review of whether an indemnification clause or similar provision for termination, non-renewal or renegotiation is provided for, and of whether the conditions for termination, non-renewal or renegotiation of the contract were respected (e.g. with regard to any required notice period). However, the examination of the terms of the contract between the associated enterprises may not suffice from a transfer pricing perspective as the mere fact that a given terminated, non-renewed or renegotiated contract did not provide an indemnification or similar provision does not necessarily mean that this is arm’s length, as discussed below ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.17

Where the conditions of a business restructuring have been formalised by the MNE group in writing (e.g. written contractual agreements, correspondence and/or other communications), those agreements provide the starting point for delineating the transactions comprising the business restructuring between the MNEs involved. The contractual terms may describe the roles, responsibilities and rights of the restructured entity under the pre-restructuring arrangement (including in relevant circumstances those existing under contract and commercial law) and of the manner and extent to which those rights and obligations change as a result of the restructuring. However, where no written terms exist, or where the facts of the case, including the conduct of the parties, differ materially from the written terms of any agreement between them or supplement these written terms, the actual transactions comprising the business restructuring must be deduced from the facts as established, including the conduct of the parties (see Section D. 1.1 of Chapter I) ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.97

It should be recognised that the process of identifying all of the intangibles transferred in a particular transaction is an exercise of identifying, by reference to written agreements and the actual conduct of the parties, the actual transactions that have been undertaken, applying the principles of Section D. 1 of Chapter I ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.91

The provisions of Section D.1.1 of Chapter I apply in identifying the specific nature of a transaction involving a transfer of intangibles or rights in intangibles, in identifying the nature of any intangibles transferred, and in identifying any limitations imposed by the terms of the transfer on the use of those intangibles. For example, a written specification that a licence is non-exclusive or of limited duration need not be respected by the tax administration if such specification is not consistent with the conduct of the parties. Example 18 in the Annex to Chapter VI illustrates the provisions of this paragraph ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.120

In performing the analysis, the actual transaction between the parties will have been deduced from written contracts and the conduct of the parties. Formal conditions recognised in contracts will have been clarified and supplemented by analysis of the conduct of the parties and the other economically relevant characteristics of the transaction (see Section D.1.1). Where the characteristics of the transaction that are economically significant are inconsistent with the written contract, then the actual transaction will have been delineated in accordance with the characteristics of the transaction reflected in the conduct of the parties. Contractual risk assumption and actual conduct with respect to risk assumption will have been examined taking into account control over the risk (as defined in paragraphs 1.65-1.68) and the financial capacity to assume risk (as defined in paragraph 1.64), and consequently, risks assumed under the contract may have been allocated in accordance with the conduct of the parties and the other facts on the basis of steps ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.89

Consider for example, a manufacturer, whose functional currency is US dollars, that sells goods to an associated distributor in another country, whose functional currency is euros, and the written contract states that the distributor assumes all exchange rate risks in relation to this controlled transaction. If, however, the price for the goods is charged by the manufacturer to the distributor over an extended period of time in euros, the currency of the distributor, then aspects of the written contractual terms do not reflect the actual commercial or financial relations between the parties. The assumption of risk in the transaction should be determined by the actual conduct of the parties in the context of the contractual terms, rather than by aspects of written contractual terms which are not in practice applied. The principle can be further illustrated by Example 7 in the Annex to Chapter VI, where there is an inconsistency between the contractual assumption of risk and the conduct of ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.88

In line with the discussion in relation to contractual terms (see Section D.1.1), it should be considered under step 4(i) whether the parties’ conduct conforms to the assumption of risk contained in written contracts, or whether the contractual terms have not been followed or are incomplete. Where differences exist between contractual terms related to risk and the conduct of the parties which are economically significant and would be taken into account by third parties in pricing the transaction between them, the parties’ conduct in the context of the consistent contractual terms should generally be taken as the best evidence concerning the intention of the parties in relation to the assumption of risk ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.45

If the characteristics of the transaction that are economically relevant are inconsistent with the written contract between the associated enterprises, the actual transaction should generally be delineated for purposes of the transfer pricing analysis in accordance with the characteristics of the transaction reflected in the conduct of the parties ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.43

However, the written contracts alone are unlikely to provide all the information necessary to perform a transfer pricing analysis, or to provide information regarding the relevant contractual terms in sufficient detail. Further information will be required by taking into consideration evidence of the commercial or financial relations provided by the economically relevant characteristics in the other four categories (see paragraph 1.36): the functions performed by each of the parties to the transaction, taking into account assets used and risks assumed, together with the characteristics of property transferred or services provided, the economic circumstances of the parties and of the market in which the parties operate, and the business strategies pursued by the parties. Taken together, the analysis of economically relevant characteristics in all five categories provides evidence of the actual conduct of the associated enterprises. The evidence may clarify aspects of the written contractual arrangements by providing useful and consistent information. If the contract neither explicitly nor implicitly (taking into ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.42

A transaction is the consequence or expression of the commercial or financial relations between the parties. The controlled transactions may have been formalised in written contracts which may reflect the intention of the parties at the time the contract was concluded in relation to aspects of the transaction covered by the contract, including in typical cases the division of responsibilities, obligations and rights, assumption of identified risks, and pricing arrangements. Where a transaction has been formalised by the associated enterprises through written contractual agreements, those agreements provide the starting point for delineating the transaction between them and how the responsibilities, risks, and anticipated outcomes arising from their interaction were intended to be divided at the time of entering into the contract. The terms of a transaction may also be found in communications between the parties other than a written contract ... Continue to full case