Best method analysis considerations.

Best method analysis considerations.
(A) Coordination with § 1.482–1(c). Whether results derived from this method are the most reliable measure of an arm's length result is determined using the factors described under the best method rule in § 1.482–1(c). Thus, comparability and the quality of data, the reliability of the assumptions, and the sensitivity of the results to possible deficiencies in the data and assumptions, must be considered in determining whether this method provides the most reliable measure of an arm's length result.
(B) Assumptions Concerning Tax Rates. This method will be more reliable to the extent that the controlled participants' respective tax rates are not materially affected by whether they enter into the cost sharing or licensing alternative. Even if this assumption of invariant tax rates across alternatives does not hold, this method may still be reliable to the extent that reliable adjustments can be made to reflect the variation in tax rates.
(C) Coordination with § 1.482–4(c)(2). If the licensing alternative is evaluated using the comparable uncontrolled transactions method, as described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) of this section, any additional comparability and reliability considerations stated in § 1.482–4(c)(2) may apply.
(D) Coordination with § 1.482–5(c). If the licensing alternative is evaluated using the comparable profits method, as described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, any additional comparability and reliability considerations stated in § 1.482–5(c) may apply.
(E) Certain Circumstances Concerning PCT Payor. This method may be used even if the PCT Payor furnishes significant operating contributions, or commits to assume the risk of significant operating cost contributions, to the PCT Payor's division. However, in such a case, any comparable uncontrolled transactions described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) of this section, and any comparable transactions used under § 1.482–5(c) as described in paragraphs (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, should be consistent with such contributions (or reliable adjustments must be made for material differences).
(F) Discount rates—(1) Reflection of similar risk profiles of cost sharing alternative and licensing alternative. Because the financial projections associated with the licensing and cost sharing alternatives are the same, except for the licensing payments to be made under the licensing alternative and the cost contributions and PCT Payments to be made under the cost sharing alternative, the analysis of the risk profile and financial projections for a realistic alternative to the cost sharing alternative must be closely associated with the risk profile and financial projections associated with the cost sharing alternative, differing only in the treatment of licensing payments, cost contributions, and PCT Payments. When using discount rates in applying the income method, this means that even if different discount rates are warranted for the two alternatives, the risk profiles for the two discount rates are closely related to each other because the discount rate for the licensing alternative and the discount rate for the cost sharing alternative are both derived from the single probability-weighted financial projections associated with the CSA Activity. The difference, if any, in market-correlated risks between the licensing and cost sharing alternatives is due solely to the different effects on risks of the PCT Payor making licensing payments under the licensing alternative, on the one hand, and the PCT Payor making cost contributions and PCT Payments under the cost sharing alternative, on the other hand. That is, the difference in the risk profile between the two scenarios solely reflects the incremental risk, if any, associated with the cost contributions taken on by the PCT Payor in developing the cost shared intangible under the cost sharing alternative, and the difference, if any, in risk associated with the particular payment forms of the licensing payments and the PCT Payments, in light of the fact that the licensing payments in the licensing alternative are partially replaced by cost contributions and partially replaced by PCT Payments in the cost sharing alternative, each with its own payment form. An analysis under the income method that uses a different discount rate for the cost sharing alternative than for the licensing alternative will be more reliable the greater the extent to which the difference, if any, between the two discount rates reflects solely these differences in the risk profiles of these two alternatives. See, for example, paragraph (g)(2)(iii), Example 2 of this section.
(2) Use of differential income stream as a consideration in assessing the best method. An analysis under the income method that uses a different discount rate for the cost sharing alternative than for the licensing alternative will be more reliable the greater the extent to which the implied discount rate for the projected present value of the differential income stream is consistent with reliable direct evidence of the appropriate discount rate applicable for activities reasonably anticipated to generate an income stream with a similar risk profile to the differential income stream. Such differential income stream is defined as the stream of the reasonably anticipated residuals of the PCT Payor's licensing payments to be made under the licensing alternative, minus the PCT Payor's cost contributions to be made under the cost sharing alternative. See Example 8 of paragraph (g)(4)(viii) of this section.
(vii) Routine platform and operating contributions. For purposes of this paragraph (g)(4), any routine contributions that are platform or operating contributions, the valuation and PCT Payments for which are determined and made independently of the income method, are treated similarly to cost contributions and operating cost contributions, respectively. Accordingly, wherever used in this paragraph (g)(4), the term “routine contributions” shall not include routine platform or operating contributions, and wherever the terms “cost contributions” and “operating cost contributions” appear in this paragraph, they shall include net routine platform contributions and net routine operating contributions, respectively. Net routine platform contributions are the value of a controlled participant's total reasonably anticipated routine platform contributions, plus its reasonably anticipated PCT Payments to other controlled participants in respect of their routine platform contributions, minus the reasonably anticipated PCT Payments it is to receive from other controlled participants in respect of its routine platform contributions. Net routine operating contributions are the value of a controlled participant's total reasonably anticipated routine operating contributions, plus its reasonably anticipated arm's length compensation to other controlled participants in respect of their routine operating contributions, minus the reasonably anticipated arm's length compensation it is to receive from other controlled participants in respect of its routine operating contributions.
(viii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles of this paragraph (g)(4):
(ii) FS undertakes financial projections in its territory of the CSA:
(A) Coordination with § 1.482–1(c). Whether results derived from this method are the most reliable measure of an arm's length result is determined using the factors described under the best method rule in § 1.482–1(c). Thus, comparability and the quality of data, the reliability of the assumptions, and the sensitivity of the results to possible deficiencies in the data and assumptions, must be considered in determining whether this method provides the most reliable measure of an arm's length result.
(B) Assumptions Concerning Tax Rates. This method will be more reliable to the extent that the controlled participants' respective tax rates are not materially affected by whether they enter into the cost sharing or licensing alternative. Even if this assumption of invariant tax rates across alternatives does not hold, this method may still be reliable to the extent that reliable adjustments can be made to reflect the variation in tax rates.
(C) Coordination with § 1.482–4(c)(2). If the licensing alternative is evaluated using the comparable uncontrolled transactions method, as described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) of this section, any additional comparability and reliability considerations stated in § 1.482–4(c)(2) may apply.
(D) Coordination with § 1.482–5(c). If the licensing alternative is evaluated using the comparable profits method, as described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, any additional comparability and reliability considerations stated in § 1.482–5(c) may apply.
(E) Certain Circumstances Concerning PCT Payor. This method may be used even if the PCT Payor furnishes significant operating contributions, or commits to assume the risk of significant operating cost contributions, to the PCT Payor's division. However, in such a case, any comparable uncontrolled transactions described in paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) of this section, and any comparable transactions used under § 1.482–5(c) as described in paragraphs (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, should be consistent with such contributions (or reliable adjustments must be made for material differences).
(F) Discount rates—(1) Reflection of similar risk profiles of cost sharing alternative and licensing alternative. Because the financial projections associated with the licensing and cost sharing alternatives are the same, except for the licensing payments to be made under the licensing alternative and the cost contributions and PCT Payments to be made under the cost sharing alternative, the analysis of the risk profile and financial projections for a realistic alternative to the cost sharing alternative must be closely associated with the risk profile and financial projections associated with the cost sharing alternative, differing only in the treatment of licensing payments, cost contributions, and PCT Payments. When using discount rates in applying the income method, this means that even if different discount rates are warranted for the two alternatives, the risk profiles for the two discount rates are closely related to each other because the discount rate for the licensing alternative and the discount rate for the cost sharing alternative are both derived from the single probability-weighted financial projections associated with the CSA Activity. The difference, if any, in market-correlated risks between the licensing and cost sharing alternatives is due solely to the different effects on risks of the PCT Payor making licensing payments under the licensing alternative, on the one hand, and the PCT Payor making cost contributions and PCT Payments under the cost sharing alternative, on the other hand. That is, the difference in the risk profile between the two scenarios solely reflects the incremental risk, if any, associated with the cost contributions taken on by the PCT Payor in developing the cost shared intangible under the cost sharing alternative, and the difference, if any, in risk associated with the particular payment forms of the licensing payments and the PCT Payments, in light of the fact that the licensing payments in the licensing alternative are partially replaced by cost contributions and partially replaced by PCT Payments in the cost sharing alternative, each with its own payment form. An analysis under the income method that uses a different discount rate for the cost sharing alternative than for the licensing alternative will be more reliable the greater the extent to which the difference, if any, between the two discount rates reflects solely these differences in the risk profiles of these two alternatives. See, for example, paragraph (g)(2)(iii), Example 2 of this section.
(2) Use of differential income stream as a consideration in assessing the best method. An analysis under the income method that uses a different discount rate for the cost sharing alternative than for the licensing alternative will be more reliable the greater the extent to which the implied discount rate for the projected present value of the differential income stream is consistent with reliable direct evidence of the appropriate discount rate applicable for activities reasonably anticipated to generate an income stream with a similar risk profile to the differential income stream. Such differential income stream is defined as the stream of the reasonably anticipated residuals of the PCT Payor's licensing payments to be made under the licensing alternative, minus the PCT Payor's cost contributions to be made under the cost sharing alternative. See Example 8 of paragraph (g)(4)(viii) of this section.
(vii) Routine platform and operating contributions. For purposes of this paragraph (g)(4), any routine contributions that are platform or operating contributions, the valuation and PCT Payments for which are determined and made independently of the income method, are treated similarly to cost contributions and operating cost contributions, respectively. Accordingly, wherever used in this paragraph (g)(4), the term “routine contributions” shall not include routine platform or operating contributions, and wherever the terms “cost contributions” and “operating cost contributions” appear in this paragraph, they shall include net routine platform contributions and net routine operating contributions, respectively. Net routine platform contributions are the value of a controlled participant's total reasonably anticipated routine platform contributions, plus its reasonably anticipated PCT Payments to other controlled participants in respect of their routine platform contributions, minus the reasonably anticipated PCT Payments it is to receive from other controlled participants in respect of its routine platform contributions. Net routine operating contributions are the value of a controlled participant's total reasonably anticipated routine operating contributions, plus its reasonably anticipated arm's length compensation to other controlled participants in respect of their routine operating contributions, minus the reasonably anticipated arm's length compensation it is to receive from other controlled participants in respect of its routine operating contributions.
(viii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles of this paragraph (g)(4):
(ii) FS undertakes financial projections in its territory of the CSA:
(ii) FS concludes that its realistic alternative would be to license software from an uncontrolled licensor that would undertake the commitment to bear the entire risk of software development. Applying CPM using the profit levels experienced by uncontrolled licensees with contractual provisions and allocations of risk that are comparable to those of FS's licensing alternative, FS determines that it could, as a licensee, reasonably expect a (pre-tax) routine return equal to 14% of gross sales or $140X per year for 5 years. The remaining net revenue would be paid to the uncontrolled licensor as a license fee of $410X per year. FS determines that the discount rate that would be applied to determine the present value of income and costs attributable to its participation in the licensing alternative would be 12.5% as compared to the 15% discount rate that would be applicable in determining the present value of the net income attributable to its participation in the CSA (reflecting the increased risk borne by FS in bearing a share of the R & D costs in the cost sharing alternative). FS also determines that the tax rate applicable to it will be the same in the licensing alternative as in the CSA.
(iii) On these facts, the present value to FS of entering into the cost sharing alternative equals the present value of the annual divisional profits ($1,000X minus $250X) minus operating cost contributions ($200X) minus cost contributions ($200X) minus PCT Payments, determined over 5 years by discounting at a discount rate of 15%. Thus, the present value of the residuals, prior to subtracting the present value of the PCT Payments, is $1349X.
(iv) On these facts, the present value to FS of entering into the licensing alternative would be $561X determined by discounting, over 5 years, annual divisional profits ($1,000X minus $250X) minus operating cost contributions ($200X) and licensing payments ($410X) at a discount rate of 12.5% per annum. The present value of the cost sharing alternative must also equal $561X but equals $1349X prior to subtracting the present value of the PCT Payments. Consequently, the PCT Payments must have a present value of $788X.
(ii) FS undertakes financial projections for both the licensing and cost sharing alternatives for exploitation of Z in its territory of the CSA. These projections are set forth in the following tables. The example assumes that there is a reasonably anticipated effective tax rate of 25% in each of years 1 through 3 under both the licensing and cost sharing alternatives. FS determines that the appropriate post-tax discount rate under the licensing alternative is 12.5%, and that the appropriate post-tax discount rate under the cost sharing alternative is 15%.
(iv) FS determines that PCT Payments for Z should be $196 in Year 1 (A), $215 in Year 2 (B), and $236 in Year 3 (C). By using these amounts for A, B, and C in the table above, FS is able to derive the values of E, F, G, I, J, and K in the table above. Based on these PCT Payments for Z, the post-tax income will be $78 in Year 1 (I), $86 in Year 2 (J), and $95 in Year 3 (K). When this post-tax income stream is discounted at the appropriate rate for the cost sharing alternative (15%), the net present value is $196 (L). The present value of the PCT Payments, when discounted at the appropriate post-tax rate, is $488 (D).
(v) The Commissioner undertakes an audit of the PCT Payments made by FS to USP for Z in Years 1 through 3. The Commissioner concludes that the PCT Payments for Z are arm's length in accordance with this paragraph (g)(4).
(ii) FS determines that the post-tax present value of the cost sharing alternative (excluding PCT Payments) is $562. The post-tax present value of the licensing alternative is $196. Accordingly, payments with a post-tax present value of $366 are required.
(iii) The Commissioner undertakes an audit of the PCT Payments made by FS to USP for Z in Years 1 through 3. In correspondence to the Commissioner, USP maintains that the arm's length PCT Payment for Z should have a present value of $366 (D).
(iv) The Commissioner considers that if FS makes PCT Payments for Z with a present value of $366, then the post-tax present value under the CSA (considering the deductibility of the PCT Payments) will be $287, substantially higher than the post-tax present value of the licensing arrangement, $196. The Commissioner determines that, under the specific facts and assumptions of this example, the present value of the post-tax payments may be grossed up by a factor of (one minus the tax rate), resulting in a present value of pre-tax payments of $488. Accordingly, FS must make yearly PCT Payments (A, B, and C) such that the present value of the Payments is $488 (D). (When FS's post-tax income after these PCT Payments for Z is discounted at the appropriate rate for the cost sharing alternative (15%), the net present value is $196 (L), which is equal to the present value of post-tax income under the licensing alternative.) The Commissioner concludes that the calculations that it has made for the PCT Payments for Z are arm's length in accordance with this paragraph (g)(4) and, accordingly, makes the appropriate adjustments to USP's income tax return to account for the gross-up required by paragraph (g)(2)(x) of this section.
(ii) Under the specific facts and assumptions of this Example 6 (see paragraph (g)(4)(i)(G) of this section), and using the same (post-tax) discount rates as in Example 4, the present value of pre-tax income under the licensing alternative (that is, the operating income) is $261, and the present value of pre-tax income under the cost sharing alternative (excluding PCT Payments) is $749. Accordingly, FS determines that its PCT Payments for Z should have a present value equal to the difference between the two, or $488 (D). Such PCT Payments for Z result in a present value of post-tax income under the cost sharing alternative of $196 (L), which is equal to the present value of post-tax income under the licensing alternative.
(iii) The Commissioner undertakes an audit of the PCT Payments for Z made by FS to USP in Years 1 through 3. The Commissioner concludes that the PCT Payments for Z are arm's length in accordance with this paragraph (g)(4).
(ii) At the outset of the CSA, FS undertakes an analysis of the PCTs involving Q and the rights with respect to Z in order to determine the arm's length PCT Payments owing from FS to USP under the CSA. In that evaluation, FS concludes that the cost sharing alternative represents a riskier alternative for FS than the licensing alternative. FS further concludes that the appropriate discount rate to apply in assessing the licensing alternative, based on discount rates of comparable uncontrolled companies undertaking comparable licensing transactions, would be 13% per annum, whereas the appropriate discount rate to apply in assessing the cost sharing alternative would be 14% per annum. FS undertakes financial projections and anticipates making $100 million in sales during the first two years of the CSA in its territory with sales in Years 3 through 8 increasing to $200 million, $400 million, $600 million, $650 million, $700 million, and $750 million, respectively. After Year 8, FS expects its sales of all products based upon exploitation of Z in the rest of the world to grow at 3% per annum for the future. FS and USP do not anticipate cessation of the CSA Activity with respect to Z at any determinable date. FS anticipates that its manufacturing and distribution costs for exploiting Z (including its operating cost contributions), will equal 60% of gross sales of Z from Year 1 onwards, and anticipates its cost contributions will equal $25 million per annum for Years 1 and 2, $50 million per annum for Years 3 and 4, and 10% of gross sales per annum thereafter.
(iii) Based on this analysis, FS determines that the arm's length royalty rate that USP would have charged an uncontrolled licensee for a license of future applications of Z if USP had further developed future applications of Z on its own is 30% of the sales price of the Z-based product, as determined under the comparable uncontrolled transaction method in § 1.482–4(c). In light of the expected sales growth and anticipation that the CSA Activity will not cease as of any determinable date, FS's determination includes a terminal value calculation. FS further determines that under the cost sharing alternative, the present value of FS's divisional profits, reduced by the present values of the anticipated operating cost contributions and cost contributions, would be $1,361 million. Under the licensing alternative, the present value of the operating divisional profits and losses, reduced by the operating cost contributions, would be $2,113 million, and the present value of the licensing payments would be $1,585 million. Therefore, the total value of the licensing alternative would be $528 million. In order for the present value of the cost sharing alternative to equal the present value of the licensing alternative, the present value of the PCT Payments must equal $833 million. Accordingly, FS pays USP a lump sum PCT Payment of $833 million in Year 1 for USP's platform contributions of Z and Q.
(iv) The Commissioner undertakes an audit of the PCTs and concludes, based on his own analysis, that this lump sum PCT Payment is within the interquartile range of arm's length results for these platform contributions. The calculations made by FS in determining the PCT Payment in this Example 7 are set forth in the following tables:

Source

26 CFR § 1.482-7


Scoping language

None
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