Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Documenting “Benefits” of Intercompany Services Becoming Increasingly Important in Europe as New U.S. Regulations are Implemented

Excerpt from Practical US/International Tax Strategies by Michelle M. Johnson (Ceteris. Inc.)

In late May (2008) the Tax Court of Lombardy reversed a previous judgment of the Provincial Tax Court of Milan regarding a taxpayer’s intercompany services charges. The Milan judgment had ruled in favor of the taxpayer by recognizing the deductibility of services charges related to the “provision of market information useful to manage the sales process and management control” by the parent company. These first degree judges had concluded that these services were “necessary” or at least “useful” in improving the management of the business of the Italian-controlled entity, thereby warranting the deduction.

The Tax Court of Lombardy overturned this decision in favor of the Italian tax authorities’ original position that no deduction should be allowed since there was an absence of a specific connection to the interests of the recipient. Even though the parent had calculated the services’ cost shares among its subsidiaries based on proportion of turnover, the appeal-level judges ruled that in the case of the Italian subsidiary this was not representative of the actual benefit received.

This ruling is just one example of issues that U.S.-headquartered taxpayers might encounter as they seek to comply with the new U.S. transfer pricing regulations for intercompany services. These new regulations are prompting U.S. taxpayers to examine their headquarters operations with greater scrutiny as they seek a more comprehensive approach to evaluating fully-loaded cost pools that may relate to activities that benefit non-U.S. subsidiaries. For many companies, implementing these new regulations has resulted in an increased amount of services charges made to foreign affiliates.

Read More: Best Practices to Reduce Your Risk of Disallowed Deductions (free)

1 comment:

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