Analyzing Intangibles.Cite Slc.May 7 2012

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This is a presentation I gave this past May 2012 discussing the analysis of intangible property transactions between commonly controlled entities.

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Analyzing Intangibles.Cite Slc.May 7 2012

  1. 1. The Judge Building Eight East Broadway, Suite 410 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 (801) 746-6300 (Office) (801) 746-6301 (Fax) www.lhwplaw.com Analyzing the IntercompanyTransfers of Intangible Property Council for International Tax Education May 7, 2012 Peyton H. Robinson The Grand America Hotel (801) 746-6300 Salt Lake City, UT probinson@lhwplaw.com
  2. 2. Notice► These slides are for educational and discussion purposes only.► Any US tax advice contained herein was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.Page 2 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  3. 3. Agenda► What is “intangible property”?► How does it interact with IRC § 197 and § 367(d)?► What is the significance of the legal owner?► What transfer pricing methods are available?► Focus on the CUT, CPM, and profit split methods► Analytical example involving intangible propertyPage 3 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  4. 4. Potential Goals of Intangible PropertyManagement► Place income related to the IP in low tax jurisdiction► Reduce effective tax rate► Increase earnings per share► Integrate tax and business strategies ► Intellectual asset management ► Risk management ► Enhance ROI on process re-engineeringPage 4 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  5. 5. IP management – Methods andTechniques► Existing intangibles ► Sale or license = § 482 ► Contribution = § 367(d) ► § 1031 exchange (see § 1.482-1(f)(1)(iii) and PLR 9222005)► Developing intangibles ► Cost sharing (with/without contributions, options) ► Contract R&D, marketing services► Acquired intangibles ► Initial ownershipPage 5 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  6. 6. What is Intangible Property?Page 6 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  7. 7. What is Intangible Property and Why Doesit Matter?► Definitions matter – determines if the rules apply and how ► Core question: Is the intangible property subject to § 482?► IRC § 482: In the case of any transfer (or license) of intangible property (within the meaning of § 936(h)(3)(B)), the income with respect to such transfer or license shall be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. ► CWI Standard ► Reference to IRC § 936Page 7 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  8. 8. IRC § 936 – Puerto Rico and PossessionTax Credit► Definition of intangible property in § 936(h)(3)(B): ► The term "intangible property" means any-- (i) patent, invention, formula, process, design, pattern, or know-how; (ii) copyright, literary, musical, or artistic composition; (iii) trademark, trade name, or brand name; (iv) franchise, license, or contract; (v) method, program, system, procedure, campaign, survey, study, forecast, estimate, customer list, or technical data; or (vi) any similar item, which has substantial value independent of the services of any individual.► References to § 936 in §§ 482 and 367► § 367(a) – transfer of property from the US► § 367(d) – special rules for transfers of intangible propertyPage 8 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  9. 9. Intangible Property Under IRC § 482Regulations► Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(b): (b) Definition of intangible. For purposes of § 482, an intangible is an asset that comprises any of the following items and has substantial value independent of the services of any individual – (1) Patents, inventions, formulae, processes, designs, patterns, or know-how; (2) Copyrights and literary, musical, or artistic compositions; (3) Trademarks, trade names, or brand names; (4) Franchises, licenses, or contracts; (5) Methods, programs, systems, procedures, campaigns, surveys, studies, forecasts, estimates, customer lists, or technical data; and (6) Other similar items. For purposes of § 482, an item is considered similar to those listed in paragraph (b)(1) through (5) of this section if it derives its value not from its physical attributes but from its intellectual content or other intangible properties.► Nearly identical to § 936Page 9 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  10. 10. Intangible Property Under IRC § 367Regulations► Treas. Reg. § 1.367(a)-1T(d)(5)(i): ► For purposes of § 367 and regulations thereunder, the term "intangible property" means knowledge, rights, documents, and any other intangible item within the meaning of § 936(h)(3)(B) that constitutes property for purposes of §§ 332, 351, 354, 355, 356, or 361, as applicable.► Treas. Reg. § 1.367(d)-1T(b): ► § 367(d) and the rules of this section shall apply to the transfer of any intangible property, as defined in § 1.367(a)-1T(d)(5)(i).Page 10 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  11. 11. Joint Committee on Taxation Report fromJuly 2010► JCT report on “Present Law and Background Related to Possible Income Shifting and Transfer Pricing” states: ► Both §§ 367(d) and 482 incorporate by reference the definition of intangible property in § 936(h)(3)(B). Because they are not specifically mentioned in § 936(h), whether goodwill, going concern value and workforce in place are intangible property for which compensation must be provided is unsettled. The IRS has taken the position that any workforce in place, goodwill and going concern value are within the scope of intangible property under § 936(h)(3)(B), because they constitute "similar items" under § 936(h)(3)(B)(vi).Page 11 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  12. 12. Amortizable § 197 Intangibles► § 197 provides for amortization of goodwill and certain other intangibles.....“any amortizable section 197 intangible” ► Much broader definition than § 936, including (i) goodwill and going concern value, (ii) workforce in place, (iii) business books and records, operating systems, or any other information base, (iv) any license, permit, or other right granted by a governmental unit , (v) any covenant not to compete (with some limitations), (vi) “customer-based intangibles” and “supplier-based intangibles” which are generally those acquired through relationships, but can include “market share” as well as value from goods or services to be provided.Page 12 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  13. 13. IRC § 197 Intangibles (continued)► § 197 provides for amortization of goodwill, going concern value, and workforce in place ► Defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.197-2(b)(1) – (3); (1) Goodwill is the value of a trade or business attributable to the expectancy of continued customer patronage. This expectancy may be due to the name or reputation of a trade or business or any other factor. (2) Going concern value is the additional value that attaches to property by reason of its existence as an integral part of an ongoing business activity. (3) Workforce in place includes the composition of a workforce (for example, the experience, education, or training of a workforce), the terms and conditions of employment whether contractual or otherwise, and any other value placed on employees or any of their attributes.Page 13 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  14. 14. IRS Viewpoint of the Definition ofIntangibles► The IRS cost sharing regulations (§ 1.482-7) issued in final form December 2011, and effective in temporary form from January 2009, make it clear that workforce in place, goodwill, and going concern value may be compensable intangibles depending on the facts. ► See Veritas Software Corp. v. Comm’r, 133 T.C. 297 (2009), nonacq., AOD 2010-49 (Dec. 6, 2010), in which the IRS pursued adjustments related to a “buy-in” payment for contributed intangibles, including workforce in place, goodwill, and going concern value. ► IRS not acquiesce – clarification of law and not new position► Same broad view of intangibles generally under § 1.482-4Page 14 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  15. 15. Interaction with IRC §367(d)Page 15 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  16. 16. Interaction with IRC § 367(d)► Where a taxpayer transfers an intangible to a foreign related party, § 482 generally applies instead of § 367(d) ► Treas. Reg. § 1.367(d)-1T(g)(4)(i) – ► § 367(d) shall not apply in the case of an actual sale or license of intangible property by a US person to a foreign corporation. ► If an adjustment is made, it must be analyzed under § 482. ► However, if a US person transfers intangible property to a related foreign corporation without consideration, or in exchange for stock or securities of the transferee in a §§ 351 or 361 transaction, then no sale or license subject to adjustment under § 482 is deemed to have occurred. Instead, the US person is treated as having made a transfer of the intangible property that is subject to § 367(d). ► IRS can disregard the sale or license and treat the transaction as a sham if the economic substance does not fit the terms – in which case § 367(d) appliesPage 16 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  17. 17. Practical Effect if § 367(d) Applies► The transfer of an intangible is treated as a sale for payments contingent on the productivity or use over the useful life of the intangible (regardless of whether in fact such payments are made).► In general, deemed annual license payments will continue if a transfer is made to a related person, while gain must be recognized immediately if the transfer is to an unrelated person.► The terms of the purported sale of license will be determined by the actual practice of the parties and the surrounding facts and circumstances.► § 482 principles may still be used (e.g., valuation).Page 17 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  18. 18. Practical Effect if § 367(d) Applies(continued)► FSA 200023014 (Feb. 29, 2000), fn. 26: ► Additionally, we note that § 367(d) would not generally apply in the case of an express sale or license of intangible property by a US person to a foreign corporation.….[see the] White Paper, A Study of Intercompany Pricing under § 482 of the Code, 1988-2 C.B. 458, 473, stating “The commensurate with income standard treats related party transfers of intangibles as if an intangible had been transferred for a license payment that reflects the intangibles value throughout its useful life, a result similar to section 367(d) . . . . [A] license payment that is less than some specific percentage of the appropriate arms length amount could be considered so devoid of economic substance that the arms length charge should be subject to section 367(d). Thus, those related party transfers which deviate substantially from the proper commensurate with income payment would be subject to 367(d), even if cast in the form of a sale or license.”Page 18 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  19. 19. Significance of the Legal OwnerPage 19 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  20. 20. Significance of the Legal Owner of theIntangible► Situation: If foreign parent develops a valuable product and licenses its US distributor to sell and market it, under what circumstances would US distributor be entitled to profits from the sale of the product beyond what a “routine” distributor would make?► What if US distributor develops the customer lists, establishes a monopoly in a niche market, or contributes to the further development of the next generation product?► Who is the economic owner of the intangible as compared to the legal owner?► Is there really more than one intangible?Page 20 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  21. 21. Historical View of Legal v. EconomicOwnership► 1968 regulations (“developer-assister” rules) ► The determination as to which member of a group of related entities is the developer and which members of the group are rendering assistance to the developer in connection with its development activities shall be based on all the facts and circumstances of the individual case. ► Ignoring legal ownership in favor of an economic approach► 1994 regulations and “cheese examples” ► Legal owner ordinarily considered the owner for § 482 purposes ► However, examples suggested long term distribution contract with exclusive rights could lead to economic ownership of intangiblesPage 21 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  22. 22. Present US Regulations – § 1.482-4► Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(f)(3)(i)(A): ► The legal owner of intangible property pursuant to the intellectual property law of the relevant jurisdiction, or the holder of rights constituting an intangible property pursuant to contractual terms (such as the terms of a license) or other legal provision, will be considered the sole owner of the respective intangible property for purposes of this section unless such ownership is inconsistent with the economic substance of the underlying transactions….[If no legal owner is identified] then the controlled taxpayer who has control of the intangible property, based on all the facts and circumstances, will be considered the sole owner of the intangible property for purposes of this section.► Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(d)(3)(ii)(B)(1) – written terms respected if consistent with the economic substancePage 22 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  23. 23. Present US Regulations – § 1.482-4(continued)► Examples: ► If FP licenses its US registered trademark to US Sub with exclusive rights to manufacture and market products in the US under the trademark, then FP is the owner of the trademark pursuant to IP law, and US Sub is the owner of the license. ► Factor: a license is considered a separate intangible under § 482 ► If FP provides US Sub rights to distribute a product in the US, and US Sub develops a valuable customer list, unless the customer list ownership is specified in the distribution agreement, US Sub may be considered the owner of the list. ► Factor: US Sub has practical control over the customer list use and dissemination► GlaxoSmithKline & marketing intangibles (settled 2006)Page 23 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  24. 24. Transfer Pricing MethodsPage 24 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  25. 25. Transfer Pricing Methods Under § 482► Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4 specifies four methods to determine the arm’s length transfer price in connection with the transfer of the right to use (but not outright ownership) of intangibles: ► The comparable uncontrolled transaction method (CUT) ► Used in cases where comparable data (comparable intangible, comparable circumstances) is available ► The comparable profits method (CPM) ► Typically used to test the less complex entity for determination of a royalty rate by applying a routine return to the licensee (where one party owns IP) ► The profit split method (PSM) ► Used in cases where both parties own nonroutine intangibles ► Unspecified methodsPage 25 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  26. 26. CUT Method – Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(c)► General approach: ► The owner of intangible property – e.g., trademark, trade name, patent, manufacturing know-how, customer list, etc. – licenses it to a related party. How does the owner decide what the appropriate license rate should be, as well as how to apply it? ► Comparable license agreements = > CUTs ► The comparable uncontrolled transaction method evaluates whether the amount charged for a controlled transfer of intangible property was arms length by reference to the amount charged in a comparable uncontrolled transaction.Page 26 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  27. 27. CUT Method (continued)► As with the CUP Method used in tangible property transactions, comparability is a major factor in the ability to use the CUT Method.► If an uncontrolled transaction involves the transfer of the same intangible under the same, or substantially the same, circumstances as the controlled transaction, the results derived from applying the CUT Method will generally be the most direct and reliable measure of the arms length result for the controlled transfer of an intangible.► Preference for CUT over CPM or PSMPage 27 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  28. 28. CUT Method (continued)► Ideal CUT would be where the owner of the IP licenses the same intangible to both related and unrelated parties on the same terms, during the same time period, and has written agreements and other supporting data showing the agreement terms have been followed in both cases. ► This is an internal CUT► The method can also be applied using external CUTs – where comparable license agreements are used to develop a range of license rates and other terms. ► Interquartile range frequently used with external CUTsPage 28 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  29. 29. CUT Method – Comparability► Comparability factors of Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(c)(2)(iii) ► Involve similar products or processes within the same general industry or market ► Have similar profit potential (often very difficult to know) ► Involve comparable circumstances – considerations… ► Rights granted (e.g., exclusive or non-exclusive) ► Geographic area involved ► Stage of development of the intangibles ► Rights to receive updates ► Uniqueness of the IP, including degree of legal protections ► Duration of the license and any termination rights ► Risks to be assumed by the transferee ► Any collateral relationships or transactions between the parties ► Any functions to be performed by the parties (e.g., services)Page 29 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  30. 30. CUT Method – Interquartile Range► Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(c)(3) specifically acknowledges the use of an interquartile range in the CUT Method► Example: P licenses to Sub rights to use IP, but does not license the same IP to unrelated parties ► A search may be performed to Observation Royalty rates 1 2.0% identify third party licensing 2 3.5% agreements, with consideration of 3 4.0% the comparability factors 4 7.0% ► If 10 comparable licenses were 5 8.0% identified, then an IQR could be 6 8.0% constructed that would include the 7 10.0% 3rd and 8th observations 8 12.0% ► Arm’s length royalty rate would 9 12.5% be between 4.0% and 12.0% 10 15.0%Page 30 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  31. 31. Comparable Profits Method (CPM)► CPM may be used to evaluate the licensing of intangible property (Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(a)(2) refers to –5 reg.)► Review core concepts of CPM ► Tested party ► Profit level indicators ► Comparable public companies ► Comparability adjustments ► Arm’s length range – IQR ► Use of multi-year data ► Adjustments to the median when out of the rangePage 31 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  32. 32. CPM (continued)► No specific profit level indicator applies ► Operating margin, return on assets, or other appropriate PLI ► CPM typically used as an “excess profits method” for IP license ► Example: Parent licenses manufacturing know-how and related processes to its foreign subsidiary, ManuCo, which pays a royalty to P for the intangibles. ► If ManuCo is the least complex of the entities and has none of its own nonroutine IP, it may be the tested party for the CPM (e.g., a contract manufacturer). ► ManuCo could be tested using a return on assets. ► ManuCo could pay a royalty to Parent of X% of sales to the extent ManuCo was within the IQR of the ROA – assume the bottom of the range was a 4% ROA, then the royalty could not be such to put ManuCo below the range, or an adjustment may be required. ► See Treas. Reg. § 1.482-5(e), Example 4Page 32 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  33. 33. Profit Split Method (PSM)► Treas. Reg. § 1.482-4(a)(3) refers to –6 reg.► The PSM evaluates whether the allocation of the combined operating profit or loss attributable to one or more controlled transactions is arms length by reference to the relative value of each controlled taxpayers contribution to that combined operating profit or loss.► Two types of PSMs ► Comparable PSM ► Residual PSMPage 33 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  34. 34. PSM (continued)► Comparable PSM is rarely used because data on how unrelated parties split profits or losses is generally not publicly available. ► Primary problem with the types of intangibles involved and comparability to the transactions being evaluated ► Identification of how relative shares were decided not disclosed► Residual PSM the primary method when PSM used ► Provides for a “routine” return for functions performed, with the residual profit or loss being split according to the parties’ relative value of their nonroutine contributions to the combined profit (or loss) ► Nonroutine contributions may be valued using external benchmarks (e.g., relative sales) or internal benchmarks (e.g., relative capitalized cost of intangible development)Page 34 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  35. 35. Residual PSM Example► US Co and UK Co were both independent companies in the same industry for many years and developed their own products using their own unique intangibles. ► Both companies have ongoing R&D for their products.► US Co acquires UK Co, and they begin sharing R&D knowledge and resources. ► They combine their sales and manufacturing activities. ► They become a global company under the US Co brand.► Transactions between the US and UK may be evaluated using the residual PSM. ► Transactions include shared R&D, manufacturing, shared services, and each company sells the other’s products.Page 35 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  36. 36. Residual PSM Example (continued)► In the first step of the RPSM, each party is given a return for its routine functions. ► Sales functions earn a “distribution” return using the CPM and an operating margin PLI. ► Services that each party performs for the other party are given a routine return using the cost of services plus method under Treas. Reg. § 1.482-9. ► Manufacturing functions performed by each side earn a return based on the CPM and a return on assets PLI.► In the second step, after each narrowly identified routine function is remunerated, the residual is shared according to each parties’ relative R&D spend over the past 5 years (based on the life of developed intangibles).Page 36 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  37. 37. Analytical ExamplePage 37 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  38. 38. Analytical Example – Background► US Distributor sells products in the US that were developed by its Japan Parent Company, and manufactured by Parent’s Hong Kong contract manufacturer.► Year One: US Distributor buys products from Parent ► Parent takes flash title from Hong Kong and on-sells to US ► US Distributor gets a routine distribution return – CPM, OM PLI► Year Two: For business efficiency reasons, Japan Parent directs Hong Kong to sell directly to US Distributor. ► Cost of product to US Distributor drops significantly ► US Distributor pays a royalty to Japan Parent► Question: How to evaluate royalty to Parent in Year Two?Page 38 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  39. 39. US Company Distributes for Japan Parent –Tangible Property Transaction (Year One) Transaction Flow in Year One US Distribution Company Payment for tangible property and all Tangible property from Japan Parent along with intangible property rights from Parent all intangible property rights from Parent Tangible property Japan Parent Company Hong Kong Contract (and owner of all IP) Manufacturer Rights and Japan Parent grants Hong Kong rights payment for Hong Kong earns modest return on to manufacture product according to tangible property contract manufacturing function Parent specifications, and rights to sell tangible products to Parent only. Parent provides Hong Kong manufacturing know-how and processes.Page 39 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  40. 40. US Company Distributes for Japan Parent –Intangible Property Transaction (Year Two) Transaction Change in Year Two Payment for intangible property rights from Parent separate from those granted to Hong Kong – including (1) US Distribution Company rights to distribute products that embody Parents ’s patented technologies, (2) rights to physically modify the products, (3) rights to modify the integral Tangible property with software, (4) rights to access trade embedded IP related to names, trademarks, designs, patterns, manufacturing know-how methods, systems, technical data, and and processes. other materials, and (5) rights to provide Payment Payment aftermarket services on Parent’s products to end customers. Payment Japan Parent Company Hong Kong Contract (and owner of all IP) Manufacturer Rights Japan Parent grants Hong Kong rights to Hong Kong to have a full cost manufacture products according to Parent markup of 3.0% to 5.0% for specifications, and rights to sell tangible contract manufacturing. product to affiliates anywhere in the world. Parent provides Hong Kong with manufacturing know-how and processes.Page 40 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  41. 41. Analytical Example – Conclusion► Problem: Tangible property transactions generally have embedded intangibles in the price of the product, but where contract manufacturer is selling Parent’s products to US, has a separation of tangible and intangible property occurred? ► US Distributor’s functions in Year Two have not changed ► Still selling Japan Parent’s products in the US► Solution is to separately identify what intangible transactions are actually occurring – what valuable IP from Japan Parent is US Distributor using in Year Two?► CPM may be used for both tangible and intangible property transactions ► Payment to Japan Parent by US Distributor recharacterized as royalty rather than payment for tangible property ► US Distributor as tested party still given routine return – CPM, OM PLIPage 41 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property
  42. 42. Questions? Comments?Page 42 Analyzing the Intercompany Transfers of Intangible Property

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