Two states recently unveiled transfer pricing enforcement tactics to, in their view, combat improper intercompany profit shifting.
On July 21, the Washington Department of Revenue (“DOR”) issued its analysis of the Court of Appeals’ decision from March 30, 2020, in LendingTree, LLC v. Dep’t of Revenue, no. 80637-8-I (Wash. App. Ct. Mar. 30, 2020). As set forth in the analysis, from the DOR’s perspective, the LendingTree court followed the existing Washington Business and Occupation tax (“B&O”) attribution rules and guidance and did not create a new interpretive legal framework. Although the DOR lost the case, and the court held that LendingTree’s receipts could not be sourced based where its customers’ customers were located, the DOR’s response suggests that they are factually distinguishing the case and will continue to attribute receipts to the customer’s customer location if that is where it determines the benefit of the services occurs.
On Friday, July 24, 2020, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued its decision and order on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s motion to intervene in the highly-anticipated case of Synthes USA HQ, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 108 F.R. 2016. The Synthes case is noteworthy not only because the Commonwealth Court addresses, for the first time, the Department of Revenue’s hotly debated interpretation of the state’s former “costs of performance” statute, but also because…
In a precedential ruling, the California Office of Tax Appeals held that the research and development tax credit is only available for activities “engaging in the scientific method.” The decision, In re Swat-Fame, Inc., 2020-0TA-046P (June 1, 2020), found that trial-and-error modifications to garments did not constitute “qualified research” under R&TC section 23609.