U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 27, 2020
(a) through (f)(2) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 1.482-1(a) through (f)(2).
(i) Compensation independent of the form or character of controlled transaction - (A) In general. All value provided between controlled taxpayers in a controlled transaction requires an arm's length amount of compensation determined under the best method rule of § 1.482-1(c). Such amount must be consistent with, and must account for all of, the value provided between the parties in the transaction, without regard to the form or character of the transaction. For this purpose, it is necessary to consider the entire arrangement between the parties, as determined by the contractual terms, whether written or imputed in accordance with the economic substance of the arrangement, in light of the actual conduct of the parties. See, e.g., § 1.482-1(d)(3)(ii)(B) (identifying contractual terms) and (f)(2)(ii)(A) (regarding reference to realistic alternatives).
(B) Aggregation. The combined effect of two or more separate transactions (whether before, during, or after the year under review), including for purposes of an analysis under multiple provisions of the Code or regulations, may be considered if the transactions, taken as a whole, are so interrelated that an aggregate analysis of the transactions provides the most reliable measure of an arm's length result determined under the best method rule of § 1.482-1(c). Whether two or more transactions are evaluated separately or in the aggregate depends on the extent to which the transactions are economically interrelated and on the relative reliability of the measure of an arm's length result provided by an aggregate analysis of the transactions as compared to a separate analysis of each transaction. For example, consideration of the combined effect of two or more transactions may be appropriate to determine whether the overall compensation in the transactions is consistent with the value provided, including any synergies among items and services provided.
(C) Coordinated best method analysis and evaluation. Consistent with the principles of paragraphs (f)(2)(i)(A) and (B) of this section, a coordinated best method analysis and evaluation of two or more controlled transactions to which one or more provisions of the Code or regulations apply may be necessary to ensure that the overall value provided, including any synergies, is properly taken into account. A coordinated best method analysis would include a consistent consideration of the facts and circumstances of the functions performed, resources employed, and risks assumed in the relevant transactions, and a consistent measure of the arm's length results, for purposes of all relevant statutory and regulatory provisions.
(D) Allocations of value. In some cases, it may be necessary to allocate one or more portions of the arm's length result that was properly determined under a coordinated best method analysis described in paragraph (f)(2)(i)(C) of this section. Any such allocation of the arm's length result determined under the coordinated best method analysis must be made using the method that, under the facts and circumstances, provides the most reliable measure of an arm's length result for each allocated amount. For example, if the full value of compensation due in controlled transactions whose tax treatment is governed by multiple provisions of the Code or regulations has been most reliably determined on an aggregate basis, then that full value must be allocated in a manner that provides the most reliable measure of each allocated amount.
(E) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this paragraph (f)(2)(i). For purposes of the examples in this paragraph (E), P is a domestic corporation, and S1, S2, and S3 are foreign corporations that are wholly owned by P.
(ii) On Date X, Year 1, P contributes the foreign rights to conduct Business, including the foreign rights to the IP, to newly incorporated S1. S1, utilizing the IP of which it is now the owner, commences foreign operations consisting of local marketing, manufacturing, and back office activities in order to conduct and expand Business in the foreign market.
(iii) Later, on Date Y, Year 1, P and S1 enter into a cost sharing arrangement (“CSA”) to develop and exploit the rights to conduct the Business. Under the CSA, P is entitled to the U.S. rights to conduct the Business, and S1 is entitled to the rest-of-the-world (“ROW”) rights to conduct the Business. P continues after Date Y to perform the Support, employing resources, capabilities, and rights that as a factual matter were not contributed to S1 in the Date X transaction, for the benefit of the Business worldwide. Pursuant to the CSA, P and S1 share the costs of P's Support in proportion to their reasonably anticipated benefit shares from their respective rights to the Business.
(iv) P treats the Date X transaction as a transfer described in section 351 that is subject to 367 and treats the Date Y transaction as the commencement of a CSA subject to section 482 and § 1.482-7. P takes the position that the only platform contribution transactions (“PCTs”) in connection with the Date Y CSA consist of P's contribution of the U.S. Business IP rights and S1's contribution of the ROW Business IP rights of which S1 had become the owner on account of the prior Date X transaction.
(v) Pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(i)(A) of this section, in determining whether an allocation of income is appropriate in Year 1 or subsequent years, the Commissioner may consider the economic substance of the entire arrangement between P and S1, including the parties' actual conduct throughout their relationship, regardless of the form or character of the contractual arrangement the parties have expressly adopted. The Commissioner determines that the parties' formal arrangement fails to reflect the full scope of the value provided between the parties in accordance with the economic substance of their arrangement. Therefore, the Commissioner may impute one or more agreements between P and S1, consistent with the economic substance of their arrangement, that fully reflect their respective reasonably anticipated commitments in terms of functions performed, resources employed, and risks assumed over time. For example, because P continues after Date Y to perform the Support, employing resources, capabilities, and rights not contributed to S1, for the benefit of the Business worldwide, the Commissioner may impute another PCT on Date Y pursuant to which P commits to so continuing the Support. See § 1.482-7(b)(1)(ii). The taxpayer may present additional facts that could indicate whether this or another alternative agreement best reflects the economic substance of the underlying transactions and course of conduct, provided that the taxpayer's position fully reflects the value of the entire arrangement consistent with the realistic alternatives principle.
(ii) Under paragraphs (f)(2)(i)(A) and (C) of this section, any part of the value in Portion 2 that is not taken into account in an exchange under section 367 must nonetheless be evaluated under section 482 and the regulations thereunder to determine arm's length compensation for any value provided to S1. Accordingly, even if P's assertion that certain items were either not property or not capable of being transferred were correct, arm's length compensation is nonetheless required for all of the value associated with P's contributions under the section 482 regulations. Alternatively, the Commissioner may determine under all the facts and circumstances that P's assertion is incorrect and that the transaction in fact constitutes an exchange of property subject to, and therefore to be taken into account under, section 367. Thus, whether any item that P identifies as being within Portion 2 is properly characterized as property under section 367 (transferable or otherwise) is irrelevant because any value in Portion 2 that is provided to S1 must be compensated by S1 in a manner consistent with the $1000x to $1100x interquartile range of the overall value.
(ii) P arranges for the R&D Team to provide research and development services to create a new line of products, building on the Product X platform, to be owned and exploited by S1 in the overseas market. P asserts that the arm's length charge for the services is only reimbursement to P of its associated R&D Team compensation costs.
(iii) Even though P did not transfer the platform or the R&D Team to S1, P is providing value associated with the use of the platform, along with the value associated with the use of the knowhow, to S1 by way of the services performed by the R&D Team for S1 using the platform and the knowhow. The R&D Team's use of intangible property, and any other valuable resources, in P's provision of services (regardless of whether the service effects a transfer of intangible property or valuable resources and regardless of whether the property is relatively high or low value) must be evaluated under the section 482 regulations, including the regulations specifically applicable to controlled services transactions in § 1.482-9, to ensure that P receives arm's length compensation for any value (attributable to such property or services) provided to S1 in a controlled transaction. See §§ 1.482-4 and 1.482-9(m). Under paragraph (f)(2)(i)(A) of this section, the arm's length compensation for the services performed by the R&D Team for S1 must be consistent with the value provided to S1, including the value of the knowhow and any synergies with the platform. Under paragraphs (f)(2)(i)(B) and (C) of this section, the best method analysis may determine that the compensation is most reliably determined on an aggregate basis reflecting the interrelated value of the services and embedded value of the platform and knowhow.
(iv) In the alternative, the facts are the same as above, except that P assigns to S1 all or a pertinent portion of the R&D Team and the relevant rights in the platform. P takes the position that, although the transferred platform rights must be compensated, the knowhow does not have substantial value independent of the services of any individual on the R&D Team and therefore is not an intangible within the meaning of § 1.482-4(b). In P's view, S1 owes no compensation to P on account of the R&D Team, as S1 will directly bear the cost of the relevant R&D Team compensation. However, in assembling and arranging to assign the relevant R&D Team, and thereby making available the value of the knowhow to S1, rather than other employees without the knowhow, P is performing services for S1 under imputed contractual terms based on the parties' course of conduct. Therefore, even if P's position were correct that the knowhow is not an intangible under § 1.482-4(b), a position that the Commissioner may challenge, arm's length compensation is required for all of the value that P provides to S1 through the interrelated provision of platform rights, knowhow, and services under paragraphs (f)(2)(i)(A), (B), and (C) of this section.
(ii) Under paragraph (f)(2)(i)(B) of this section, if an aggregate analysis of the service and license transactions provides the most reliable measure of an arm's length result, then an aggregate analysis must be performed. Under paragraph (f)(2)(i)(D) of this section, if an allocation of the value that results from such an aggregate analysis is necessary, for example, for purposes of sourcing the services income that P receives from S1 or determining deductible expenses incurred by S1, then the value determined under the aggregate analysis must be allocated using the method that provides the most reliable measure of the services income and deductible expenses.
(ii)(A) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 1.482-1(f)(2)(ii)(A).
(B) Example. The following example illustrates this paragraph (f)(2)(ii):
(iii) through (j)(6) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 1.482-1(f)(2)(iii) through (j)(6).
(7) Certain effective/applicability dates - (i) Paragraphs (f)(2)(i)(A) through (E) and (f)(2)(ii)(B) of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 14, 2015.
(ii) Expiration date. The applicability of paragraphs (f)(2)(i)(A) through (E) and (f)(2)(ii)(B) of this section expires on or before September 14, 2018.