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Tax Court Upholds Transfer Pricing Adjustments Against 3M

FEB. 9, 2023

3M Co. et al. v. Commissioner

DATED FEB. 9, 2023
DOCUMENT ATTRIBUTES

3M Co. et al. v. Commissioner

3M COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES,
Petitioner
v.
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,
Respondent

United States Tax Court

Filed February 9, 2023

P is the common parent company of the P consolidated group. As among the members of the P consolidated group (and among P's foreign affiliates), ownership of trademarks had been centralized in P. Other intellectual property, including patents and nonpatented technology, was owned by S, a second-tier wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of P. S is a member of the P consolidated group.

B is a wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary of S. During 2006, B used in its business operations the trademarks owned by P. B's use of these trademarks was governed by three trademark licenses that P and B had executed in 1998. Each license concerned a separate set of trademarks. In accordance with the licenses, B paid a royalty to P equal to 1% of its sales of the trademarked products. Some products sold by B were subject to trademarks covered by more than one of the three trademark licenses. For such products, B and P calculated the trademark royalties using a stacking principle under which, for example, if a particular product used trademarks covered by all three trademark licenses, the royalties were 3% of the sales of the product. Computing the royalties using this stacking principle, B paid P trademark royalties in 2006.

B also used in its business operations patents and nonpatented technology owned by S. B paid no patent royalties and made no technology-transfer payments to S. No patent license and no technology-transfer agreement was in effect between S and B.

On its 2006 consolidated federal income-tax return, the P consolidated group reported as income the trademark royalties that B paid to P in 2006.

In the notice of deficiency, R determined that the income of the P consolidated group should be increased under I.R.C. sec. 482 to account for B's use of the intellectual property of P and S. The increase in income determined in the notice of deficiency represents an arm's-length rate of compensation for the intellectual property used by B.

P's position is that the I.R.C. sec. 482 allocation should correspond to the maximum amount that B could have paid for the intellectual property in question under the laws of Brazil, less related expenses.

R's I.R.C. sec. 482 adjustment does not take into account the effect of the Brazilian legal restrictions. A 1994 regulation, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006), sets forth the requirements that must be met before R “will take into account the effect of a foreign legal restriction” under I.R.C. sec. 482. T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34971 (July 8, 1994). The Brazilian legal restrictions do not meet the requirements.

P contends that some of the requirements are invalid because they fail either the Chevron step 2 test or the part of the State Farm test that requires the agency to adequately respond to comments. See Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 844 (1984); Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of the U.S., Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29 (1983); Altera Corp. & Subs. v. Commissioner, 145 T.C. 91, 120, 130 (2015), rev'd, 926 F.3d 1061 (9th 2019). P also contends that the entire regulation addressing foreign legal restrictions, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006), is invalid under the part of the State Farm test that requires the agency to give a satisfactory explanation for the regulation and the part of the State Farm test that requires the agency to respond to comments. Furthermore, P contends that the entire regulation is invalid under Chevron step 1 because Commissioner v. First Security Bank of Utah, N.A., 405 U.S. 394 (1972), and its progenitor and progeny held that under predecessors to I.R.C. sec. 482 R cannot make an allocation of income to a taxpayer who did not receive income and could not legally receive the income.

Held: The requirement of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(i) (2006) that “a foreign legal restriction will be taken into account only to the extent that it is shown that the restriction affected an uncontrolled taxpayer under comparable circumstances” is not invalid under Chevron step 2.

Held, further, the requirement that foreign legal restrictions be taken into account under I.R.C. sec. 482 only if they are publicly promulgated, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(ii)(A) (2006), means that the foreign legal restrictions must be in writing.

Held, further, the Brazilian legal restrictions at issue do not meet the requirement in 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(ii)(A) (2006) that foreign legal restrictions be taken into account under I.R.C. sec. 482 only if they are publicly promulgated.

Held, further, the requirement that foreign legal restrictions be taken into account under I.R.C. sec. 482 only if they are publicly promulgated, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(ii)(A) (2006), is not invalid under Chevron step 2.

Held, further, the requirement that foreign legal restrictions be taken into account under I.R.C. sec. 482 only if they are “generally applicable to all similarly situated persons (both controlled and uncontrolled)”, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(ii)(A) (2006), is not invalid under Chevron step 2.

Held, further, the 1994 regulation, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006), is valid under Chevron step 1.

Held, further, the 1994 regulation, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006), is not invalid under P's State Farm theory.

Walter A. Pickhardt and Michael J. Kaupa, for petitioner.

Justin L. Campolieta and William R. Peck, for respondent.


CONTENTS

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. 3M do Brasil Ltda. (or 3M Brazil); its 1952 agreement with 3M Compan

2. The 1982 trademark licensing agreement

3. The 1983 licensing agreement

4. The 1997 proposed licensing agreement

5. Termination of the 1982 trademark licensing agreement and the 1983 licensing agreement; execution of the 1998 trademark licenses; stipulations related to Brazilian law

6. Texts of certain Brazilian legal documents referred to in the stipulations related to Brazilian law

7. 1999 assignment agreement; corporate restructuring

8. Business operations during the 2006 tax year

a. 3M Global

b. 3M Brazil

c. Intellectual property; services

d. Payments by 3M Brazil

9. Tax reporting

10. The notice of deficiency

11. Closing agreement

12. The petition

13. The stipulation that the rate of compensation under the standard licensing agreement is an appropriate arm's-length rate under section 482

14. The stipulation that the section 482 adjustment must be reduced by $4,117,370 in unreimbursed research-and-development expenses incurred by 3M Brazil

15. The stipulation that under Brazilian law, the maximum amount that 3M Brazil could have paid to 3M IPC as patent royalties or technology-transfer payments in 2006 was $4,283,153 after reduction for the $5,104,756 in trademark royalties paid by 3M Brazil to 3M Company in 2006

16. The stipulation that if the Court holds that the section 482 adjustment must take into account the Brazilian legal restrictions, then the minimum section 482 adjustment should be $165,783

17. Respondent's position

18. Petitioner's position

19. Other stipulations

OPINION

I. Procedural matters

II. Review of the authorities under U.S. law relevant to the arguments by the parties

A. The Revenue Act of 1921

B. The Revenue Act of 1924

C. The Revenue Act of 1926

D. The Revenue Act of 1928

E. The Revenue Act of 1932

F. The Revenue Act of 1934

G. Regulations 86

H. The Federal Register Act and the publication of the first issue of the Federal Register

I. The Revenue Act of 1936

J. Regulations 94

K. The 1937 amendment to the Federal Register Act

L. The first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations

M. The Revenue Act of 1938

N. Regulations 101

O. Internal Revenue Code of 1939

P. Regulations 103

Q. The 1942 amendment to the Federal Register Act

R. Regulations 111

S. The Revenue Act of 1943 and the Treasury Decision 5426 amendments to Regulations 111

T. L.E. Shunk Latex v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. 940 (1952) (involving tax years 1942, 1943, and 1945)

U. The Administrative Procedure Act

V. The lifting of the wartime suspension of the Federal Register Act requirement that regulations be codified every five years

W. The second edition of the Code of Federal Regulations

X. The 1953 amendment to the Federal Register Act

Y. Regulations 118

Z. The Internal Revenue Code of 1954

AA. The 1960 notice of proposed rulemaking

BB. The creation of a new title of the Code of Federal Regulations

CC. The 1962 final regulations

DD. The 1965 and 1966 notices of proposed rulemaking

EE. The 1968 final regulations

FF. Commissioner v. First Security Bank, 405 U.S. 394 (1972) (involving tax years 1955 to 1959)

GG. The Tax Reform Act of 1976

HH. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. 323 (1990) (involving tax years ending June 30, 1978 and 1979), aff'd, 961 F.2d 1255 (6th Cir. 1992); and Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1993-616, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) 1707 (involving tax years 1979, 1980, and 1981), aff'd sub nom. Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d 825 (5th Cir. 1996) 147

II. The 1986 amendment to section 482

JJ. The 1988 amendment to section 7805 regarding temporary regulations

KK. The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking

LL. The 1993 temporary regulations and the 1993 redesignation of the 1968 regulations

MM. The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking

NN. The 1994 final regulations

OO. Stipulations regarding the 1994 final regulations

PP. The 1996 amendment to section 7805(a) regarding regulations relating to post-1996 provisions of the Internal Revenue Code

QQ. Post-2006 amendments to section 482

III. Whether the Brazilian legal restrictions satisfy the seven requirements of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006) for taking into account foreign legal restrictions

A. Effect on uncontrolled taxpayers

B. Publicly promulgated

C. Generally applicable

D. Not part of commercial transaction

E. Exhaustion of remedies

F. Restriction on payment in any form

G. Circumvention or violation of restriction

IV. Chevron step one

V. Whether 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006) is reasonable under Chevron step two

A. Effect on uncontrolled taxpayers

B. Publicly promulgated

C. Generally applicable

D. Not part of commercial transaction

E. Exhaustion of remedies

F. Restriction on payment in any form

G. Circumvention or violation of restriction

VI. The State Farm test for validity of regulations

A. Satisfactory explanation

B. Adequate response to comments

1. Inconsistency with First Security Bank

2. That some foreign legal restrictions apply only to payments between related parties

3. That some foreign legal restrictions are unpublished (comment related to the second requirement)

4. Difficulty of establishing that the remedies were exhausted (comment related to the fifth requirement)

5. Payment of dividends and the no-circumvention requirement (comment related to the seventh requirement)

6. Time for making deferral election

VII. Conclusion


MORRISON, Judge: 3M Company is the common parent company of an affiliated group of corporations that filed a consolidated federal income tax return for the tax year ending December 31, 2006. 1 This affiliated group is referred to here as the 3M consolidated group. When we discuss 3M Company in its role as the representative of the members of the 3M consolidated group, we refer to 3M Company as “petitioner”. See infra part I (discussing 3M Company‘s status as representative of the group).

Respondent mailed a notice of the deficiency on December 12, 2012, determining the 3M consolidated group had an income tax deficiency of $4,847,004 for 2006. A timely petition for redetermination of the deficiency was filed. We have jurisdiction to redetermine the deficiency under section 6214(a). 2

Only one income adjustment in the notice of deficiency remains at issue. Specifically, the notice of deficiency determined that the income of the 3M consolidated group should be increased by $23,651,332 to reflect the arm's-length compensation that 3M Brazil should have paid for intellectual property under section 482. Petitioner contends that the section 482 adjustment is improper to the extent that payments were barred by Brazilian law and that therefore the proper section 482 adjustment is only $165,783. All other adjustments in the notice of deficiency have been resolved by agreement of petitioner and respondent.

We hold that under 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006), which governs the effect of foreign legal restrictions on section 482 adjustments, the Brazilian restrictions on payments by 3M Brazil are disregarded. We reject petitioner's various arguments that the regulation is invalid.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Petitioner and respondent executed a stipulation of facts, which they later replaced with an amended stipulation of facts. The amended stipulation of facts is referred to here simply as the “stipulation”. The Court adopts the statements in the stipulation as findings of fact. The documents attached to the stipulation, Exhibits 1-J through 46-J, are admitted as evidence.

At all relevant times, including when it filed the petition, 3M Company was a U.S. corporation with its principal place of business in Minnesota. 3 When we use the term “3M Company”, we refer to this specific legal entity.

At all relevant times, including during the 2006 tax year, 3M Company and its U.S. and foreign subsidiaries engaged in manufacturing, research, development, marketing, and sales of products in the U.S. and throughout the world. We refer to 3M Company and its U.S. and foreign subsidiaries as “3M Global”.

1. 3M do Brasil Ltda. (or 3M Brazil); its 1952 agreement with 3M Company

In 1946 Durex, Lixas e Fitas Adesivas Ltda. was established in Campinas, Brazil. The corporation was organized as a sociedade limitada under the laws of Brazil. The corporation was later operated under the name Minnesota Manufactureira e Mercantil, Ltda. The corporation was later renamed 3M do Brasil Ltda., which is the name it used during the 2006 tax year. 4 We refer to the corporation as “3M Brazil”. 3M Brazil has always been a subsidiary of 3M Company. 5

In 1952, 3M Brazil agreed with Company to pay royalties for the use of 3M Company‘s intellectual property and for support services. The agreement provided that 3M Brazil would pay a royalty equal to 10% of the gross selling price of products sold by 3M Brazil. The agreement may not have included any license of trademarks.

In 1966, 3M Brazil‘s payment obligation under the 1952 agreement was reduced to cover only a fee for technical assistance services, which was equal to 5% of the gross selling price of 3M Brazil‘s products.

In 1969, 3M Company and 3M Brazil agreed to temporarily suspend all percentage-based payments under the 1952 agreement to accommodate the then financial position of 3M Brazil. The percentage-based payment schedule under the 1952 agreement was permanently replaced with a $1,000 per month fee effective July 1, 1969.

2. The 1982 trademark licensing agreement

In March 1982, 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into a trademark licensing agreement. Under its terms 3M Company granted 3M Brazil a nonexclusive license to use in Brazil certain trademarks identified in the agreement. Article V, entitled “COMPENSATION”, provided that 3M Company waived any right to receive royalties “for as long as subsidiaries are prevented from paying royalties to parent companies in accordance with legislation presently in force in * * * Brazil.” 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into amendments of the 1982 trademark licensing agreement dated February 9, 1983, June 21, 1983, October 2, 1984, July 16, 1985, May 16, 1990, and December 30, 1994. None of the amendments affected Article V of the 1982 trademark licensing agreement.

3. The 1983 licensing agreement

In April 1983, 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into a licensing agreement that replaced the 1952 licensing agreement. Under the terms of the 1983 licensing agreement, 3M Company granted 3M Brazil a nonexclusive and nonassignable license to commercially exploit certain patents identified in the agreement. The 1983 licensing agreement also granted 3M Brazil a right to receive technical know-how and technical assistance from 3M Company in connection with 3M Brazil‘s exploitation of the licensed patents. The 1983 licensing agreement contained a provision, entitled “COMPENSATION”, which stated that 3M Company “hereby waives any right to compensation for the patent license and other licenses and rights granted herein, and grants same free of charge to * * * [3M Brazil] for as long as subsidiaries are prevented from paying compensation to parent companies for industrial property in accordance with legislation currently in force in Brazil.” The 1983 licensing agreement had no other provision regarding payments by 3M Brazil.

4. The 1997 proposed licensing agreement

During 1997, 3M Company considered the possibility of entering into a royalty-bearing licensing agreement with 3M Brazil to replace the 1983 licensing agreement, which did not provide for royalties. 3M Company drafted and signed a licensing agreement that was similar to licensing agreements that it had entered into with other foreign affiliates. The 1997 proposed licensing agreement was never countersigned by 3M Brazil and never went into effect.

In Article II of the 1997 proposed licensing agreement, 3M Company granted to 3M Brazil the following rights: (1) an exclusive and nonassignable license to make, convert, process, and use certain products in Brazil and (2) a nonexclusive and nonassignable license to market, lease, distribute, and offer for sale the products.

In Article III of the 1997 proposed licensing agreement, 3M Company granted to 3M Brazil an exclusive but nonassignable license to use manufacturing know-how to manufacture the products in Brazil. 3M Company also agreed to make manufacturing data available to 3M Brazil. 3M Brazil agreed to reimburse 3M Company for costs specially incurred in preparing and furnishing drawings, samples, plans, specifications, and other data.

In Article IV of the 1997 proposed licensing agreement, 3M Company agreed to place at the disposal of 3M Brazil, on a nonexclusive basis, technical service data in connection with marketing, leasing, selling, and servicing of 3M Company products. 3M Company also agreed to provide to 3M Brazil technical assistance services, including instructing and training a reasonable number of technical and other qualified trainer-personnel of 3M Brazil.

In Article V of the 1997 proposed licensing agreement, 3M Company granted to 3M Brazil a nonexclusive and nonassignable license to use certain trademarks in Brazil on all licensed products converted, processed, or distributed by 3M Brazil. 3M Brazil agreed to pay all items of expense as might arise in Brazil in connection with the maintenance and upkeep of the trademarks, and to pay all items of expense as might arise in Brazil in connection with the enforcement of the trademarks.

In Article VI of the 1997 proposed licensing agreement, 3M Company granted to 3M Brazil a nonexclusive license within Brazil to use and to sublicense to the dealers and customers of 3M Brazil works and documents covered by certain copyrights in connection with 3M Brazil‘s sales and marketing activities.

In Article VIII of the 1997 proposed licensing agreement, 3M Brazil agreed, in consideration of and as compensation for the licenses, undertakings, and other rights granted pursuant to Articles II, III, IV, and VI, to pay 3M Company a royalty of 4% of the net selling price of licensed products manufactured in Brazil (excluding sales to 3M Company and its affiliates).

The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) is an agency of the Brazilian government that has regulatory authority over industrial property in Brazil, including the recordation of certain licensing agreements providing for the transfer of industrial property. 6 The BPTO exercised this regulatory authority during the 2006 tax year. 7 As part of the recordation process, the BPTO permits the parties to a proposed industrial-property agreement to consult with the BPTO before formally submitting an agreement for recordation. The purpose of this informal consultation process is for the BPTO to identify issues or deficiencies with a proposed agreement that could preclude recordation if not appropriately addressed by the parties before formal submission.

In July 1997, 3M Company engaged in the BPTO's consultation process and sought the BPTO‘s views on whether the 1997 proposed licensing agreement satisfied the legal requirements for recordation. To this end, on July 30, 1997, 3M Company transmitted the 1997 proposed licensing agreement to the BPTO for review.

By letter dated October 16, 1997, the BPTO notified 3M Company that the 1997 proposed licensing agreement was not in compliance with “the legislation and/or rules usually adopted by” the BPTO for recordation purposes. The letter identified deficiencies in the agreement that required amendment or removal. This is an English translation of the body of the letter:

Concerning the request of this company's letter of July 30, 1997, we inform that the agreement attached to the above process, shows the following aspects which do not agree to the legislation and/or rules usually adopted by this Institute.

1 — Inclusion of matters which are not provided by art. 211 of Law

n˚ 9279/96 — Clause VI — LICENSED COPYRIGHTS and items 1.12 and 1.13.

2 — Lack of justification for the acquisition of the non patented technology, since the agreement refers to the license of several patents.

3 — Establishment of a global remuneration for all the licenses referred to in the agreement, which creates difficulties for analysis, since the agreement includes licenses which need not to be recorded at Patent Office (copyrights) and licenses for which no remuneration is due (use of trademark, according to Law 8383/91, art. 50 and Act. n˚ 436/58, item II). We also remind that the payment of royalties shall only be considered if derived from issued patents.

4 — The term of duration of the agreement has not been fixed. We remind that said term, regarding licenses concerning industrial property rights, shall not exceed the term of validity of the licensed rights and, as for know how acquisition, 5 years, according to Law n˚ 8383/91 art. 50 and Law n˚ 4131/62, art. 12, §3˚.

5 — Inclusion of clauses which may create difficulties for the working of the company, such as:

a) restriction of the territory for commercialization — item 2.01

b) the licensee shall be in charge of taking all steps and shall pay all the expenses concerning industrial property rights (items 2.04, 5.11 and 7.04)

c) Prevision [sic] that all intellectual property rights, resulting from patents modification work shall become property of the licensor — item 13.06 c (art. 63 of Law n˚ 6279/96).

Finally, we inform that, according to the provision of art. 50 of Law 8383/91, no additional payment is allowed for the technical assistance since the maximum remuneration allowed by Law is already established by the agreement.

3M Company did not submit the 1997 proposed licensing agreement to the BPTO for formal recordation. Had it done so without addressing the deficiencies identified in the BPTO‘s October 16, 1997 letter, the BPTO would not have recorded the 1997 proposed licensing agreement for the reasons identified in that letter.

After receiving the October 16, 1997 letter from the BPTO, 3M Company considered whether it should attempt to record with the BPTO an agreement narrower in scope than the 1997 proposed licensing agreement. In particular, 3M Company considered two types of agreements: (1) a licensing agreement for its patents and (2) a technology-transfer agreement for its unpatented technology (such as trade secrets and know-how).

With respect to patents, 3M Company reviewed the intellectual property supporting approximately 40 of the biggest selling products manufactured by 3M Brazil. The purpose of the review was to identify which products in that group were supported by Brazilian patents. 3M Company concluded that only a small number of these products was supported by Brazilian patents. On the basis of that review, 3M Company decided not to conduct a similar review for products having smaller sales. 3M Company was aware that many of the products manufactured and sold by 3M Brazil (such as abrasives, adhesives, tapes, and scouring products) were mature products and therefore were not likely to have any remaining patent protection. It was also aware that many of the products manufactured and sold by 3M Brazil were subject to the low royalty ceilings imposed under Brazilian law with respect to payments between Brazilian companies (such as 3M Brazil) and controlling foreign companies (such as 3M Company). 3M Company decided not to enter into a patent licensing agreement and instead to enter into royalty-bearing trademark licensing agreements.

With respect to unpatented technology, 3M Company was advised by its Brazilian attorneys that, in order to enter into such an agreement, 3M Company would be required to disclose certain trade secrets to the BPTO. As a result, 3M Company was unwilling to enter into an agreement with respect to unpatented technology, for fear that its trade secrets might be disclosed by the BPTO to 3M Company‘s competitors and that disclosure could weaken trade secret legal protections for its unpatented technology under the laws of the various countries where 3M Global does business. The advice that 3M Company received in this regard was not entirely accurate because 3M Company was not, in fact, required to disclose its trade secrets to the BPTO. Rather, the BPTO requires only a general description of the technology being transferred, such as the field or industry to which the technology relates. Nonetheless, on the basis of the advice it received at the time, 3M Company decided not to enter into a technology transfer agreement and instead to enter into royalty-bearing trademark licensing agreements.

After it received the October 16, 1997 letter, 3M Company reevaluated its royalty-free arrangement with 3M Brazil regarding trademarks. As explained in paragraph 65 of the stipulation (which we adopt as findings of fact):

Following receipt of the October 16, 1997 letter from the BPTO, 3M Company determined that it would change the licensing of its trademarks to 3M Brazil. 3M Company consulted Brazilian intellectual property counsel, who advised 3M Company that it would be possible to obtain up to a three percent trademark royalty on certain products by entering into three separate trademark licenses covering different sets of trademarks. Counsel advised 3M Company that if a product used multiple trademarks covered by three separate agreements, then 3M Brazil could pay up to a three percent trademark royalty. That advice was not accurate for the reasons discussed below at paragraph 94.

The reference to “paragraph 94” in the above text is a reference to paragraph 94 of the stipulation, which is quoted infra part 5.

5. Termination of the 1982 trademark licensing agreement and the 1983 licensing agreement; execution of the 1998 trademark licenses; stipulations related to Brazilian law

On August 18, 1998, 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into an agreement terminating the 1982 trademark licensing agreement, effective January 1, 1998.

On August 18, 1998, 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into an agreement terminating the 1983 licensing agreement, effective January 1, 1998.

Effective January 1, 1998, 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into three separate licensing agreements for the purpose of licensing 3M Company‘s trademarks to 3M Brazil (collectively, the “1998 trademark licenses”). Each of the 1998 trademark licenses related to a separate set of trademarks that was identified in the respective license. Under each of the 1998 trademark licenses, 3M Company granted 3M Brazil an exclusive, nonassignable license to use trademarks in Brazil. Under each of the 1998 trademark licenses, 3M Brazil agreed to pay 3M Company a royalty of 1% of the net selling price 8 of the products sold bearing a trademark identified in the license.

Effective March 1, 1999, the 1998 trademark licenses were amended. This amendment, which we refer to as the 1999 amendment, did not affect the particular terms of the 1998 trademark licenses that were discussed in the paragraph above.

In June 1999 the BPTO recorded each of the 1998 trademark licenses, as amended by the 1999 amendment.

The 1998 trademark licenses were in effect during the 2006 tax year.

Petitioner and respondent made the following stipulations relating to Brazilian law and its effect on 3M Brazil, which we adopt: 9

71. The BPTO, which is an agency of the Brazilian government, was created by Law No. 5648/1970, dated December 11, 1970, to replace the earlier National Department of Industrial Property. During 2006, the BPTO operated pursuant to the legal authority contained in Law No. 9279/1996, dated May 14, 1996 (“the Brazilian Industrial Property Law”). Under Law No. 9279/1996, the BPTO was vested with regulatory authority over industrial property in Brazil. Acting pursuant to Law No. 9279/1996, the BPTO exercised regulatory control within Brazil over the recordation of agreements providing for the licensing of industrial property and the transfer of technology, including agreements with foreign counterparties.

72. The Ministry of Finance is an executive department in charge of economic policy and the treasury of the Brazilian federal government. During 2006, the Ministry of Finance operated pursuant to the legal authority set forth under Law No. 7739/1989, dated March 16, 1989, and was regulated by Decree 5510, dated August 12, 2005, the latter being revoked and replaced on October 31, 2006 by Decree 5949. Under Brazilian law, a Decree is a binding rule issued by the executive branch of the Brazilian government. The responsibilities of the Ministry of Finance include monetary policy, including currency and coinage; federal tax policy, including collection and enforcement of tax laws; management of federal finances and assets, including management of the Brazilian public debt; public accounting; oversight and control of cross-border trade; and oversight of financial institutions.

73. During 2006, the Brazilian Central Bank was the principal monetary authority in Brazil. Prior to the establishment of the Brazilian Central Bank in 1964, the monetary authority of Brazil was vested, in part, in the Agency for Currency and Credit (“SUMOC”). In 1964, the Brazilian Central Bank replaced SUMOC as the principal monetary authority in Brazil.

74. Law No. 4131/1962, dated September 3, 1962 (also known as the “Foreign Capital Law”), was enacted by the Brazilian government for the purpose of regulating foreign capital and remittance of funds abroad. Article 9 of Law 4131/1962 provided that before any royalties relating to patents or trademarks, payments relating to the transfer of technology, or fees for technical assistance services could be remitted abroad, evidence of the agreement providing for such payments had to be submitted to SUMOC. “Technical assistance services” are those provided by persons with technical backgrounds, such as engineers, chemists and biologists. Such services provide expertise in the use of patented or unpatented technology. They are distinguished from “consulting services” which are not directly related to the use of patented or unpatented technology. Consulting services include advice relating to, for example, management, finance, law, marketing, logistics, and information technology.

75.

a. On February 16, 1972, the Inspection and Registration of Foreign Capital of the Central Bank (“FIRCE”), a regulatory agency under the Brazilian Central Bank, issued Comunicado FIRCE No. 19, an instruction regarding the application of Article 9 of Law No. 4131/1962. That instruction, known as Regulation No. 19, required that a party seeking to remit payments in foreign currency abroad pursuant to an agreement that is subject to registration at the Brazilian Central Bank must produce evidence establishing that the agreement has been recorded by the BPTO.

b. Regulation No. 19 was later superseded by the establishment of an electronic system of registration of agreements at the Central Bank, which was implemented by Circular No. 2816, dated April 15, 1998, and regulated by Circular-Letter No. 2795, dated April 15, 1998. Under Brazilian law, Circulars and Circular-Letters are binding written orders issued by the Central Bank to government employees and regulated entities. Circular-Letter No. 2795 expressly revoked Regulation No. 19. It required that a party seeking to remit payments abroad pursuant to an agreement that is subject to registration at the Brazilian Central Bank must produce evidence establishing that the agreement has been recorded by the BPTO. This requirement applied to all contracting parties, regardless of relation, and remained in effect during 2006.

c. Before authorizing a remittance of funds abroad, the Brazilian Central Bank does not conduct an independent review of the terms and conditions of an agreement recorded with the BPTO for purposes of determining compliance with the applicable laws, regulations, and BPTO policies or procedures.

76. Under Articles 62, 140, and 211 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (which articles were included in Law No. 9279/1996 and became effective on May 15, 1997), as well as under Normative Act 135/1997, a binding administrative regulation issued by the BPTO in 1997, the following agreements are subject to recordation by the BPTO:

a. patent/industrial design license;

b. trademark license;

c. technology transfer (relating to unpatented technology);

d. technical assistance services; and

e. franchise.

77. Agreements related to consulting services, copyright licensing and software licensing are not among the agreements specified in Articles 62, 140, and 211 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Law as being subject to recordation by the BPTO. Consulting services agreements, copyright licenses and software licenses are not required by law to be recorded at the BPTO. Recordation is not required for payments to be made under such agreements, including payments by Brazilian subsidiaries to their controlling foreign parent companies. This continued to be the law during 2006.

78. Recording an agreement subject to recordation by the BPTO is necessary for the following purposes:

a. To permit the remittance to a foreign person of (i) royalties for patents or trademarks, (ii) payments for technology transfer (relating to unpatented technology), or (iii) payments for technical assistance services (according to Law No. 4131/1962 and Circular-Letter 2795);

b. To qualify a licensee for deductions under Brazilian tax law (according to Law No. 4131/1962 and Law No. 4506/1964, dated November 30, 1964); and

c. To make the agreement effective against third parties (according to Law No. 9279/1996).

Unless one or more of the foregoing purposes are desired by the contracting parties, recordation by the BPTO is not required or necessary under Brazilian law.

79. It is the BPTO‘s internal policy to permit a party to a license agreement that is subject to recordation by the BPTO to initiate a consultation procedure, prior to presenting the agreement for recordation, in order to obtain the views of the BPTO regarding whether the agreement satisfies the legal, regulatory, and BPTO policy requirements for recordation.

80. Article 14 of Law No. 4131/1962 instituted a complete prohibition of the ability of Brazilian subsidiaries of foreign companies to remit royalties abroad to their controlling parent companies for the use of patents and trademarks. Given this prohibition, prior to January 1, 1992, the BPTO would not record royalty-bearing patent or trademark license agreements. Although Article 14 of Law No. 4131/1962 expressly imposed a prohibition that applied only to royalties for the use of patents and trademarks, the BPTO interpreted the prohibition as applicable to fees paid for technical assistance services and payments for the transfer of unpatented technology between Brazilian subsidiaries and controlling foreign companies providing for remittances abroad. No similar prohibition applied to unrelated companies. At all relevant times, including during the 2006 tax year, both 3M Company and 3M IPC were controlling foreign companies with respect to 3M Brazil for purposes of applying Brazilian law. 10

81. Article 43 of Law No. 4131/1962 imposed supplemental income taxes on dividends paid to foreign shareholders prior to 1992 that were in addition to a 25 percent withholding tax imposed on the foreign recipient. Article 43 of Law No. 4131/1962 also imposed a supplemental income tax on the foreign recipient of dividends whenever the average remittances in a three-year period exceeded a specified percentage of the foreign shareholder's equity interest and capital reinvestments in the Brazilian company. For average remittances of between 12 percent and 15 percent, the supplemental income tax rate was 40 percent; for average remittances of between 15 percent and 25 percent, the supplemental income tax rate was 50 percent; for average remittance in excess of 25 percent, the supplemental income tax rate was 60 percent. In addition, Article 44 of Law No. 4131/1962 provided that the supplementary income tax on dividends would be increased by an additional 20 percent in the case of companies with economic activities that were deemed of lesser importance to the national economy, as determined by regulations.

82.

a. On December 30, 1991, the Brazilian government enacted Law No. 8383/1991, which repealed in its entirety the supplemental income tax on dividends under Articles 43 and 44 of Law No. 4131/1962, and repealed, in part, the prohibition on the remittance of royalties between Brazilian companies and controlling foreign companies contained in Article 14 of Law No. 4131/1962. In particular, Law No. 8383/1991 permitted a Brazilian company to remit royalties to its controlling foreign company to the extent such payments were made deductible for Brazilian tax purposes under Article 50 of Law No. 8383/1991.

b. Accordingly, after December 31, 1991, the BPTO began to record royalty-bearing patent and trademark license agreements between Brazilian companies and controlling foreign companies providing for remittances abroad, provided that the amounts payable under such agreements did not exceed the tax deductibility limitations and provided that the agreements were otherwise in compliance with the policies and procedures of the BPTO and other applicable laws and regulations governing industrial property transactions. The BPTO extended this permission to technology transfer agreements and to technical assistance services agreements between Brazilian companies and controlling foreign companies.

c. After the enactment of Law No. 8383/1991, if the BPTO recorded a royalty-bearing patent or trademark license agreement or technology transfer agreement between a Brazilian company and a controlling foreign company, then the amounts payable under such an agreement could be remitted abroad to the foreign company, subject to the fixed ceilings discussed in paragraphs 89 and 90 of this Stipulation of Facts. In addition, the Brazilian company could deduct such payments for Brazilian tax purposes in accordance with Article 50 of Law No. 8383/1991, subject to the fixed ceilings discussed in paragraphs 87 and 88 of this Stipulation of Facts. This was the law in 2006.

83. The Brazilian Central Bank could impose a fine on a Brazilian licensee of up to R$250,000 pursuant to Article 58 of Law No. 4131/1962 and Provisional Measure No. 2224, dated September 4, 2001, if the licensee made an unauthorized remittance by either (a) making payments to a foreign person (controlling or noncontrolling) without prior recordation of an agreement required to be recorded at the BPTO, or (b) making payments to a foreign controlling entity in amounts exceeding the fixed ceilings described in paragraphs 89 and 90 of this Stipulation of Facts. The Brazilian Central Bank could also impose a monetary penalty, pursuant to Article 23 of Law No. 4131/1962, of up to 300 percent of the non-authorized remitted amount on the licensee, the bank involved in remitting the funds, and any transactional broker. In addition, the Brazilian Central Bank could require the repayment of any such unauthorized remittance pursuant to item 3, Chapter 7 Title 1 of Circulars 3280/2005 and 3325/2006, issued by the Brazilian Central Bank. This was the law in 2006.

84. After the enactment of Law No. 8383/1991, the BPTO adopted the administrative position that, if a certain trademark or patent had been licensed prior to January 1, 1992, by means of an agreement recorded with the BPTO on a royalty-free basis (because of the prohibition instituted by Article 14 of Law 4131/1962), the same trademark or patent could not be licensed on a royalty-bearing basis under a new agreement signed and recorded after January 1, 1992. This internal policy of the BPTO, which was in effect during 2006, was amended in 2009 when the BPTO issued a formal opinion explaining that royalty payments would be allowed on a prospective basis, even if the licensed trademark or patent had been licensed free of charge prior to January 1, 1992. Although this was the policy of the BPTO during 1998, when the 1998 Trademark Licenses 11 were recorded, the BPTO through an error did not apply this policy to the 1998 Trademark Licenses. The BPTO recorded the 1998 Trademark Licenses although some of the covered trademarks had been previously covered by the 1982 Trademark Licensing Agreement. 12

85. Brazil's Industrial Property Law (Law No. 9279/1996) does not treat unpatented technology (such as trade secrets and know how) as industrial property. The BPTO does not consider unpatented technology to be a proprietary right that can be licensed. The BPTO does, however, record technology transfer agreements providing for the sale of unpatented technology. This was the internal policy of the BPTO in 2006.

86.

a. During the mid-1990's, Brazil altered the legislation related to the corporate income tax. In particular, Law No. 9249/1995, dated December 26, 1995, established a worldwide income tax on the net profits of corporations domiciled in Brazil. One of the corporate tax regimes adopted in Brazil is a combination of (i) the so-called “real profit” regime, which adopts accounting records of revenues and expenses, adjusted by additions and exclusions determined by law, and (ii) a social contribution payment based upon net profits. Taxable profits, if any, are then taxed at a combined tax rate up to 34 percent.

b. Roughly a year after the enactment of Law No. 9249/1995, the Brazilian government enacted Law No. 9430/1996, dated December 27, 1996, which established a system of transfer pricing rules in Brazil to address, among other things, pricing and taxation of cross-border transactions between related corporations. Although the transfer pricing methodologies under the Brazilian tax system are, in some respects, similar to the methodologies set forth in the guidelines published by the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”), Brazil's transfer pricing regime also deviates in some respects from the OECD transfer pricing guidelines. For example, instead of applying the general “arm's length principle” embodied in the OECD guidelines as the guiding principle for pricing of intercompany transactions, a number of Brazilian transfer pricing rules provide for statutory-based tests, such as fixed profits margins, maximum ceilings for deductibility of expenses on imports, minimum gross income floors for exports, and limitations on the deductibility of interest expenses based upon fixed rates and ranges.

c. Under paragraph 9 of Article 18 of Law No. 9430/1996, transactions involving patent or trademark royalties, technology transfer payments, or payments for technical assistance services in connection with the transfer of intangibles are exempt from the transfer pricing regime. Deductibility of these amounts is governed by the fixed ceilings discussed in paragraph 87 of this Stipulation of Facts.

87. Brazilian tax law imposes fixed ceilings on the deductibility of royalties for trademarks and patents and for remuneration paid for technology transfer and technical assistance services. The ceilings were initially established by Article 74 of Law No. 3470/1958, dated November 28, 1958, which introduced a cap on the amount deductible as royalties for the license of trademarks and patents, and also on the amount deductible for remuneration paid for technology transfer and technical assistance services. Law No. 3470/1958 established a maximum deductibility limit of five percent of the gross sales price of products manufactured and sold under license, technology transfer, or technical assistance services agreements. Law No. 3470/1958 also provided that the maximum deductibility limit of five percent would be reviewed periodically by the Brazilian Ministry of Finance and adjusted according to the degree of essentiality of the industries or activities involved, so that it could be less than five percent.

88.

a. Acting pursuant to Law No. 3470/1958, the Brazilian Ministry of Finance in 1958 promulgated Portaria No. 436/58, which established decreasing maximum deductibility ceilings, ranging from five percent to one percent of gross sales, in connection with (i) royalties paid for the license of patents; (ii) technology transfer payments for unpatented technology (see paragraph 90 of this Stipulation of Facts); and (iii) amounts paid for technical assistance services. 13 Under Brazilian law, a Portaria is a binding rule promulgated by an administrative agency.

b. By Article 6 of Decree-Law No. 1730/1979, dated December 17, 1979, the percentage limitation on deductions, which initially applied to gross sales of products covered by licensed technology, was amended so as to apply to net sales of such products. Under Decree-Law No. 1598/1977, dated December 26, 1977, and confirmed by Rule-Making Instruction No. 51, dated November 3, 1978, net sales are calculated by reducing the following amounts from gross sales: (1) products returned and canceled sales; (2) discounts granted on an unconditional basis; and (3) taxes levied thereon. This was the law in 2006. In addition, it was the BPTO‘s unwritten policy in 2006 to require, for purposes of computing net sales for patent royalties and technology transfer agreements, that gross sales be reduced by the amounts set forth in Decree-Law No. 1598/1977, as well as by the cost of all inputs or components imported from the supplier of technology or from parties related to the supplier, regardless of whether such inputs or components were manufactured by the supplier or third parties. A Decree-Law is a binding law that was issued by the executive branch during the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985.

c. The percentages under Portaria 436/58 were applied to a comprehensive list of industries and products identified in the Portaria. In 1959, 1970 and 1994, the Ministry of Finance promulgated Portaria Nos. 113/59, 314/70 and 60/94, setting maximum deductibility ceilings for the cement, glass and informatics industries, respectively. Copies of these Portarias (in the original Portuguese version followed by an English translation) are attached as Exhibits 28-J, 29 -J, 30-J and 31-J. These Portarias were in effect during 2006. They apply to the deductibility of any (i) royalty payments made for the license of patents, (ii) technology transfer payments for unpatented technology (see paragraph 90 of this Stipulation of Facts), and (iii) amounts paid for technical assistance services, regardless of whether such royalties were paid in a related or unrelated party transaction. Royalties paid that exceed the deductible amount, to the extent such payments are otherwise permitted, are not deductible for Brazilian tax purposes. This was the law in 2006.

d. To the extent that the contracting parties are not able to determine to which product category a particular product belongs, the parties may apply for an administrative consultation, in which the Ministry of Finance may indicate the appropriate rate ceiling for the tax deduction under the Portarias. This practice was in place during 2006.

e. The deduction permitted for the payment of royalties for the license of trademarks is capped at one percent of net sales, regardless of the type of industry or product involved. This restriction was in effect during 2006 and applies to the deductibility of any royalty payments made for the license of trademarks, regardless of whether such royalties were paid in a related or unrelated party transaction. Royalties paid pursuant to trademark licenses that exceed the deductible amount, to the extent such payments are otherwise permitted, are not deductible for Brazilian tax purposes. This was the law in 2006.

f. The Federal Revenue Service, which is a division of the Ministry of Finance, interpreted Portaria 436/58 in Decision No. 283 (November 30, 2000), a copy of which (in the original Portuguese version followed by an English transaction) is attached as Exhibit 32-J. According to Decision No. 283, the deduction for royalties under a license of trademarks is capped at one percent of net sales for each product, even if more than one trademark is used on the product. In addition, the Decision further provides that no deduction for trademark royalties is allowable when the use of the trademark derives from the use of a patent, manufacturing process, or formula. As a result, the Ministry of Finance will not permit a taxpayer to deduct trademark royalties if a deduction was already claimed on the same product for the license of patents, or for the use of manufacturing processes or formulas. Under Brazilian law, a Decision is a ruling by an administrative agency made in the context of a particular case or consultation. Although a Decision does not have any binding effect beyond the parties to the case, a Decision functions as a precedent to be followed by the administrative agency in future cases involving similar facts.

89. Since January 1, 1992, and the enactment of Law No. 8383/1991, the BPTO has imposed fixed ceilings on amounts payable by a Brazilian company to a controlling foreign company under a patent or trademark license agreement. See paragraph 82 of this Stipulation of Facts. The ceilings, which were in place during 2006, correspond to the ceilings for tax deductibility set forth in Portaria 436/58, as amended. See paragraph 88 of this Stipulation of Facts. The BPTO will not record an agreement between a Brazilian company and a controlling foreign company that does not comply with these ceilings. These ceilings do not apply to agreements and payments between unrelated companies.

90. Under its interpretation of Law Nos. 4131/1962 and 8383/1991, the BPTO also applies the same fixed ceilings that apply to royalties under a patent or trademark license agreement to payments under an agreement between a Brazilian company and a controlling foreign company providing for the transfer of unpatented technology (“technology transfer payments”) and also to payments for technical assistance services. This interpretation is not published. The BPTO applied this interpretation during 2006.

91. The base against which royalties are calculated under licensing agreements recorded at the BPTO generally differs between payments for trademark royalties and payments for patent royalties or transfers of unpatented technology. With respect to trademark royalties, it is the general practice for licensing agreements to calculate the one percent royalty based upon the net sales of all trademarked merchandise sold by the licensee (whether or not manufactured by the licensee), using the definition of net sales under [Decree-]Law No. 1598/1977. Conversely, it is the general practice to calculate patent royalties and technology transfer payments (which, as described above, range from one percent of net sales to five percent of net sales) based upon the net sales of products manufactured and sold by the licensee that incorporate patented or unpatented technology. These are general practices that are not required by Brazilian law or BPTO policy.

92. It is the BPTO‘s policy to limit the duration of a technology transfer agreement to a maximum of five years. As an exception to the general rule, if the parties can objectively demonstrate to the BPTO the need to continue the technology transfer, the BPTO may allow duration of a technology transfer agreement to be renewed for one additional five-year term. At the end of the five or ten-year period, the BPTO requires that the transferee be entitled to use the unpatented technology without further payment. This maximum term for a technology transfer agreement is not established in the Industrial Property Law (Law No. 9279/1996) or in any other law or regulation, but results from the application, by analogy, of Law No. 4131/1962, which provides that technical assistance services fees paid under technology transfer agreements may be deducted during only the first five years of the agreement, renewable for one additional five year term. Limiting the duration of technology transfer agreements as described above was the policy of the BPTO in 2006. This policy was not published.

93. The BPTO will not record one or more licensing agreements between a Brazilian company and a controlling foreign company providing for a license of patents or trademarks or providing for the transfer of unpatented technology if such agreement or agreements relate to the same product and call for royalties or payments that, combined, exceed the deductibility limits under Brazilian tax law. In such a case, the deductibility limitation represents the maximum allowable payment, even if more than one category of royalty or payment is involved. The BPTO normally requests that the parties precisely indicate which category of royalty is being paid. This was the policy of the BPTO in 2006. This policy was not published.

94.

a. If a product is covered by a patent license or by a technology transfer agreement between a Brazilian company and a controlling foreign company, then the BPTO by unwritten policy requires that any trademark license between the same Brazilian company and the same controlling foreign company for that same product be granted royalty-free. If a trademark royalty may be paid under that policy, the BPTO by unwritten policy requires that the royalties for the license of trademarks payable by a Brazilian company to a controlling foreign company must be capped at one percent of net sales for each product, even if more than one trademark is used on the product. These unwritten policies of the BPTO were in effect at the time that the 1998 Trademark Licenses were recorded and during 2006, and they remain in effect. These unwritten policies of the BPTO correspond to the administrative ruling set forth in Decision No. 283 (Exhibit 32-J), described in paragraph 88.f, above.

b. As described above at paragraphs 65-68, 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into three licensing agreements, the 1998 Trademark Licenses, covering three separate sets of trademarks. The BPTO recorded them in June 1999. 3M Company had received erroneous legal advice that if a product used multiple trademarks covered by three separate agreements, then 3M Brazil could pay a royalty of up to three percent of net sales (one percent for each trademark covered by a separate agreement, as described in paragraph 65 above). That legal advice was contrary to the BPTO‘s unwritten policy that the maximum trademark royalty for a product is one percent of net sales, regardless of how many licensed trademarks are identified on the product.

c. The three 1998 Trademark Licenses (Exhibits 20-J, 21-J and 22-J) described the trademarks but did not describe the products on which the trademarks would be used. The parties have not been able to determine whether 3M Brazil submitted additional information to the BPTO indicating that 3M Brazil would use trademarks covered by different licensing agreements on a single product and pay more than a one percent royalty. However, 3M Brazil did pay 3M Company trademark royalties of up to three percent on products bearing trademarks covered by more than one licensing agreement based on the erroneous legal advice that it received.

95. Article 63 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (Law No. 9279/1996) provides that any improvement introduced in a licensed patent belongs to the party that made the improvement. The other party is entitled to a right of first refusal to obtain a license of the improvement. Although the law refers to patents (and not to unpatented technology), the BPTO applies this rule to unpatented technology by analogy. If an agreement contains a provision contrary to this rule and does not require the licensor to make additional payment for the improvements or reciprocate in some equivalent fashion, the BPTO may record the agreement but with a notation that such provision is not enforceable. This was the policy of the BPTO in 2006. This policy was not published.

96. If a license agreement contains one or more provisions that the BPTO considers to be burdensome to a licensee's rights, the BPTO will generally notify the parties that the BPTO considers such provisions to be burdensome, but the inclusion of such provisions will not interfere with the BPTO‘s recordation of the agreement. This was the policy of the BPTO in 2006. The policy was not published.

97. Based upon its interpretation of the Industrial Property Law (Law No. 9279/1996), the BPTO does not permit the payment of royalties for patent and trademark applications. However, in the case of patent applications, royalties can be charged and credited in a licensee's financial statements, but payment can be made only after the grant of the patent. This was the policy of the BPTO in 2006. This policy was not published.

98. Brazilian law allows 3M Brazil, as a sociedade limitada, to make two kinds of distributions out of its profits to its shareholders in respect of its shares: dividends and interest on net equity.

99. Dividends can be paid by a Brazilian sociedade limitada to the extent of its current and retained earnings, as determined using Brazilian generally accepted accounting principles. Apart from this limitation, Brazilian law imposes no restriction on the ability of a sociedade limitada to pay dividends abroad to its shareholders, including to a controlling foreign company, and authorization from the Central Bank of Brazil is not required. Dividends of a sociedade limitada must be declared by the shareholders. Dividends are not deductible by the company paying the dividend under Brazilian tax law. Dividends are not taxable income to the recipient under Brazilian tax law. Brazil does not impose a withholding tax on dividends paid by a Brazilian company to a foreign shareholder. This was the law in 2006.

100. As a sociedade limitada, 3M Brazil is allowed under Brazilian law to pay interest on net equity. Interest on net equity must be declared by the shareholders of a sociedade limitada. Interest on net equity is calculated by applying a long term interest rate set by the Brazilian government (the “Taxa de Juros de Longo Prazo”), to the company's equity (i.e., net assets). The amount that can be paid as interest on net equity is limited to greater of: (i) 50 percent of the entity's profits of the current year; or (ii) 50 percent of the entity's accumulated profits (not including profits of the current year). Apart from this limitation, Brazilian law imposes no restriction on the ability of a sociedade limitada to remit interest on net equity abroad to its shareholders, including to a controlling foreign company, and authorization from the Central Bank of Brazil is not required. Under Brazilian tax law, interest on net equity is (subject to the previous limitations) deductible by the company paying the interest on net equity, and is taxable income to the recipient. Brazil imposes a withholding tax on interest on net equity paid to foreign recipients. The withholding tax rate applicable to payments to United States shareholders is 15 percent. The Brazilian entity that makes the payment is required to withhold the withholding tax, and the tax is not a credit against any other tax imposed under Brazilian law. This was the law in 2006.

101. Under Brazilian income tax law, withholding is generally required on cross-border payments made by a Brazilian company to a foreign company in the following amounts: 25% with respect to payments for services; 15% with respect to royalty payments for patents and trademarks; 15% with respect to payments under technology transfer agreements (i.e., unpatented technology); and 15% with respect to payments for technical assistance services. These are the withholding rates applicable where the recipient of a payment is resident in the United States because there is no tax treaty between Brazil and the United States and the United States is not considered a tax haven. The withholding rates may differ where the recipient is a resident of a country having a tax treaty with Brazil or of a country that is considered a tax haven. The Brazilian entity that makes the payment is required to withhold the withholding tax, and the tax is a not credit against any other tax imposed under Brazilian law. This was the law in 2006.

102. Brazil imposes a CIDE (Contribuição sobre Intervenção no Domínio Econômico) tax. The CIDE tax is imposed at the rate of ten percent on payments of royalties, technical assistance services, copyrights, and other compensation derived from contractual obligations involving the transfer of technology, made by a Brazilian company to a foreign company. The CIDE tax is not a withholding tax. It is imposed on the Brazilian paying company. This was the law in 2006.

103. The BPTO‘s authority does not include supervision over the payment of dividends or interest on net equity.

6. Texts of certain Brazilian legal documents referred to in the stipulations related to Brazilian law

Certain Brazilian legal documents were referred to in the stipulations that we quoted supra part 5:

Exhibit number of legal document

Stipulation paragraph that refers to legal document

Title of legal document

28-J

88.c

Portaria No. 436/58

29-J

88.c

Portaria No. 113/59

30-J

88.c

Portaria No. 314/70

31-J

88.c

Portaria No. 60/94

32-J

88.f

Decision No. 293 (Nov. 30, 2000)

The original documents are in Portuguese. Petitioner and respondent have stipulated the English translations of the documents, which we reproduce below.

The English translation of Exhibit 28-J (Portaria 436/58) is:

MINISTRY OF FINANCE

OFFICE OF THE MINISTER

DIRECTIVE 436 of December 30, 1958

The Minister of Finance, exerting the authority conferred upon him and in view of the provisions referred to in Article 74, paragraphs 1 and 2 of Law 3470, of November 28, 1958, pertaining to the deduction of royalties for the use of trademarks and patents, expenses for technical, scientific, administrative and similar assistance, as well as amortization quotas for patents, in ascertaining the real profits of legal entities, decides:

a) to establish the following maximum percentual coefficients for the above mentioned deductions, taking into consideration the types of production or activity, according to their degree of essentiality:

I — royalties for the use of invention patents, manufacturing processes and formulas, expenses for technical, scientific, administrative and similar assistance:

FIRST GROUP — BASIC INDUSTRIES

Type of production

Percentage

1. Electric Power

 

01 — Production and distribution

5%

2. Fuel

 

02 — Petroleum and by-products

5%

3. Transportation

 

03 — Street-car transportation

5%

4. Communications

5%

5. Transportation materials

 

01 — Automobiles, trucks and similar vehicles

5%

02 — Parts thereof

5%

03 — Tires and tubes

5%

6. Fertilizers

5%

7. Basic Chemicals

5%

8. Heavy Metallurgy

 

01 — Iron and Steel

5%

02 — Aluminum

5%

9. Electrical Material

 

01 — Transformers, Dynamos and Generators

5%

02 — Electric motors for industrial use

5%

03 — Telephonic, telegraphic and signalling equipment

5%

10. Miscellaneous

 

01 — Tractors and Combines for agriculture

5%

02 — Equipment for Road Construction, and parts thereof

5%

03 — Equipment for the extractive and transformation industries, and parts thereof

5%

11. Shipbuilding

 

01 — Ships

5%

02 — Equipment for ships

5%

SECOND GROUP — PROCESSING INDUSTRY — ESSENTIALS

Type of Production

Percentage

1. Packaging Equipment

4%

2. Foodstuffs

4%

3. Chemicals

4%

4. Pharmaceuticals

4%

5. Textile materials, yarn and thread

4%

6. Footwear and similar goods

3.5%

7. Manufactured metal goods

3.5%

8. Manufactured cement and asbestos goods

3.5%

9. Electric material

3%

10. Machinery and appliances

 

01 — Household appliances, not classified as sumptuary

3%

02 — Office machinery and appliances

3%

03 — Appliances for scientific use

3%

11. Rubber and plastic manufactured goods.

2%

12. Sanitary and toilet goods

 

01 — Shaving articles

2%

02 — Toothpaste

2%

03 — Regular bathing soap

2%

13. Other processing industries

1%

II — royalties for the use of industrial and commercial trademarks or trade name, in any type of production or activity, when the use of the trademark or name does not derive from the utilization of the patent; manufacturing process, or formula: 1%

b) The maximum percentages established will incur on the gross operating income, in the case of public service concessionaries, or on the gross receipt value of products referred to in the license or assistance services contracts;

c) in cases of payment based on goods produced each year, the coefficients established as a limit for the deductions referred to in numbers I and II of (a) will be applied on the sales value of the goods;

d) should the situation in (c) occur, the gross receipt shall be readjusted, including the corresponding value of goods produced and not sold, on the basis of the last invoiced price and excluding the amounts that may have been added in the same way to the gross receipt of the previous year;

e) for tax purposes, as of 1959, to each fiscal year there shall be an addition of the following differences:

I — between the amounts of royalties and other expenses referred to in article 74 of the mentioned Law, credited or paid during the base-year, and the minimum percentages established for the respective deduction, according to (b) and (d);

II — between the quotas for the purpose of forming depreciation reserves for industrial patents evaluated in accordance with article 68 of the same Law, and the maximum limit of the deduction allowed, with respect to the gross receipt value of the goods sold, referring to the patent incorporated in the assets of the company;

f) the legal entities whose types of production are not included in the aforementioned groups may have them included by applying to the Director of the Income Tax Division; until such application is made, the minimum percentage allowed shall be applied to such types of production.

LUCAS LOPES

(Official Gazette, December 30, 1958)

The English translation of Exhibit 29-J (Portaria 113/59) is:

MINISTRY OF FINANCE

OFFICE OF THE MINISTER

DIRECTIVE 113 of May 25, 1959

The Minister of Finance decides:

To include in Directive 436, of December 30, 1958, number I — First Group — Basic Industry, the cement industry, with a percentage of 5%, in view of its degree of essentiality and in accordance with reports from the Income Tax Division and the General Management of the National Treasury.

LUCAS LOPES

File n˚ 9413-59.

(Official Gazette, May 29, 1959).

The English translation of Exhibit 30-J (Portaria 314/70) is:

Ordinance/MF n˚ 314/70. Includes the 2nd Group — processing industry

Eng. MF 314/70 — Port. — Ordinance FINANCE MINISTER OF — MF n˚ 314 of 25.11.1970

D.O.U.: 12/01/1970

(Includes the 2nd Group — Manufacturing Industry — Essential — of the table Ordinance No. 436, of December 30, 1958, with the percentage of 4%, glass and glass artifacts, for the purposes referred to in the Article 12 of Law No. 4131 of 3 September 1962.)

The Minister of Finance, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Article 12, §1 of Law No. 4,131, of September 1962, and Considering the need to improve the national glass industry by importing the latest technical achievements in the sector; considering the wide range of applications of the products of that industry.

RESOLVES:

Include in the 2nd Group — Manufacturing Industry — Essential — of the table Ordinance No. 436, of December 30, 1958, with the percentage of 4%, glass and glass artifacts, for the purposes referred to in Article 12 of Law No. 4,131, of September 3, 1962.

ANTONIO DELFIM NETTO

The English portion of Exhibit 31-J (Portaria 60/94) is:

MF Ordinance No. 60



D.O.U.: 2/01/1994

The MINISTER OF FINANCE, in exercise of its statutory duties, taking into view the provisions of art. 50 of Law No. 8,383, of December 30, 1991 and Ordinance No. 303, of November 25, 1959, decides:

Article 1. Include in the 2nd Group — Processing Industries — Essential, Ordinance No. MF 436, of December 30, 1958, the following item:

Types of Production Percentage 14 — INDUSTRIAL COMPUTER SYSTEMS, AUTOMATION AND INSTRUMENTATION 01 — Machinery, equipment, apparatus, instruments and devices based on digital or analog technique with technical functions of collection, treatment, structuring, storage, switching, retrieval and presentation of information, its respective electronic inputs and opto-electronics, parts, pieces and physical support for the operation, as well as technological update sets and performance optimization (. . .) 5% [ellipses are in the original]

Art. 2. This Ordinance shall enter into force on the date of its publication.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

The English portion of Exhibit 32-J (Decision No. 283) is:

MINISTRY OF FINANCE

FEDERAL REVENUE SERVICE

DECISION N˚ 283 of November 30, 2000

SUBJECT: Corporate Income Tax

SYLLABOUS: ROYALTIES. The percentages established over gross revenue to limit the deductibility of the amounts due in connection with royalties, must be applied to each product, and not to each trademark used on a same product. In case of royalties for the use of industrial and commercial trademarks or trade name, in any type of production or activity, when the use of the trademark or name does not derive from the utilization of the patent, manufacturing process or formula, the maximum limit is of 1% (one per cent).

7. 1999 assignment agreement; corporate restructuring

In 1999, 3M Global had sales in more than 180 countries.

In 1999, 3M Company decided that much of its intellectual property should be held and managed by a newly formed U.S. subsidiary, 3M Innovative Properties Company (“3M IPC”). 3M Company also added to its corporate structure another newly formed U.S. corporation, 3M Financial Management Company (“3M Financial Management”). The purpose of 3M Financial Management was to facilitate currency management and intercorporate lending between 3M Company and its affiliates. The ownership structure of the four corporations was as follows: (1) 3M Company owned 3M Financial Management, (2) 3M Financial Management owned 3M IPC, (3) 3M IPC owned 3M Brazil.

In 1999, 3M Company executed an assignment agreement to transfer certain intellectual property to 3M IPC to facilitate, through standardization and centralization, the licensing, management, enforcement, and control of 3M Company‘s intellectual property. The assignment agreement was effective April 1, 1999. Under the agreement, 3M Company assigned to 3M IPC all U.S. patents owned, licensed to, or possessed by 3M Company; all copyrights owned, licensed to, or possessed by 3M Company; all proprietary information (defined as business, technical and other information of any kind, including both confidential and nonconfidential information) owned, licensed to, or possessed by 3M Company; and all other intellectual property (except trademarks) owned, licensed to, or possessed by Company.

As part of the assignment agreement, 3M Company also granted an exclusive license to 3M IPC, including the right to sublicense, all foreign patents controlled by 3M Company and to use any foreign trademarks controlled by Company. 3M Company retained ownership of the trademarks.

As part of the assignment agreement, 3M Company also assigned to 3M IPC its ownership interest in most licenses of intellectual property from 3M Company to its affiliates or third parties.

8. Business operations during the 2006 tax year

a. 3M Global

As of the 2006 tax year, 3M Global was one of the largest technology-and-manufacturing enterprises in the world, reporting in its annual report that it had over $23 billion in worldwide gross sales and over $21 billion in worldwide assets. At the close of the 2006 tax year, 3M Global employed 75,333 people worldwide, with 34,553 employed in the United States and 40,780 employed in foreign countries. 3M Global derived roughly 60% of its annual revenues in the 2006 tax year from sources outside the United States.

3M Global‘s business operations are organized, managed, and internally grouped into segments based on differences in products, technologies, and services. During the 2006 tax year, 3M Global‘s business consisted of six primary segments: Industrial and Transportation; Health Care; Display and Graphics; Consumer and Office; Safety, Security and Protection Services; and Electro and Communications. Global sold more than 50,000 different products.

During the 2006 tax year, research and product development constituted an important part of 3M Global‘s business activities. Research, development, and related expenses for Global totaled $1.522 billion in 2006, up from $1.274 billion in 2004 and $1.246 billion in 2005.

b. 3M Brazil

During the 2006 tax year, neither 3M Company nor 3M IPC owned any plant, property, or equipment in Brazil. During the 2006 tax year, 3M Brazil reported for U.S. income-tax purposes approximately $563 million in sales and employed approximately 3,120 people at its corporate headquarters and its three manufacturing sites throughout Brazil, including a research and development facility at one of the manufacturing sites.

At all relevant times, including during the 2006 tax year, 3M Brazil‘s primary business operations included the manufacturing and distribution of 3M Global‘s products. The products that 3M Brazil manufactured, marketed, or sold during the 2006 tax year included abrasives, adhesives and adhesive tapes, automotive products, office and consumer products, medical-and-dental-care products, graphic-communication products, electrical products, telecommunication products, tapes (including masking tapes, packaging tapes, and diaper tapes), labels, respirators, and hearing-protection products.

3M Brazil also engaged in research-and-development activities, which led to the creation of intellectual property. During the 2006 tax year, 3M IPC had 167 patent applications pending in Brazil. During that year, Brazil granted 32 patents to 3M IPC. Two of those were developed by 3M Brazil personnel, and four were developed in Brazil by unrelated persons and were acquired by 3M Brazil from those persons. 14

A Form 5471 pertaining to 3M Brazil was attached to the consolidated federal income tax return filed by the 3M consolidated group for the 2006 tax year. The Form 5471 is titled “Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations”. The consolidated federal income tax return was made on Form 1120. The average exchange rate for converting U.S. dollars ($) to Brazilian reais (R$ ) for the 2006 taxable year, as reported by the 3M consolidated group on its Form 5471 for 3M Brazil, was 2.1705157. That exchange rate is used in this Opinion unless otherwise indicated.

c. Intellectual property; services

3M IPC owns substantially all of the intellectual property used or developed by 3M Global, with the exception of trademarks, which are owned by 3M Company. During the 2006 tax year, 3M IPC owned, or held licenses to use, a wide variety of U.S. and foreign patents in connection with 3M Global‘s products. 15

During the 2006 tax year, Global‘s products were sold under various trademarks owned by 3M Company.

The intellectual property of 3M Company and 3M IPC is collectively referred to as the 3M Intellectual Property.

Including during the 2006 tax year, 3M Company and 3M IPC had jointly licensed the 3M Intellectual Property (1) to most of the affiliates of Global (but not to 3M Brazil) and (2) to third parties.

During the 2006 tax year, 3M Company and 3M IPC jointly licensed the 3M Intellectual Property to most affiliates of Global using a standard licensing agreement. 3M Brazil was not among those affiliates. The standard licensing agreement recites that “[i]nstead of negotiating separate agreements for different technologies, products, services and intellectual property rights, the Parties wish to negotiate a single agreement that will grant a license to Affiliate under the entire portfolio of 3M IPC‘s intellectual property rights, and will transfer intellectual property rights developed or obtained by Affiliate to 3M IPC.” The word “Affiliate” refers to a foreign affiliate. “Parties” refers to the Affiliate, 3M Company, and 3M IPC. Under the standard licensing agreement, the licensors (3M Company and 3M IPC, individually and collectively) grant to the licensee (a foreign affiliate) a license to manufacture goods using the licensor's intellectual property and to exercise all rights that are protected by or arise under the licensor's intellectual property. A licensee under the standard licensing agreement agrees to pay a royalty to 3M IPC equal to 6% of the net price charged by the licensee for products manufactured using the licensor's intellectual property. 16 Trademarks are not used in the manufacture of products, and therefore the royalty payment does not cover the use of trademarks. The licensee also agrees to pay to 3M IPC 6% of the net price charged by the licensee to any buyer other than a 3M Global company for services provided by the licensee under the licensor's intellectual property. The licensee also agrees to pay to 3M IPC 1% of the net price charged by the licensee for products sold, licensed, leased, or otherwise disposed of by the licensee (using the licensor's intellectual property) to any buyer other than a 3M Global company. Under the standard licensing agreement, 3M Company agrees to reimburse the licensee its actual costs incurred for laboratory work undertaken by the licensee or performed by an entity other than the licensor for the licensee at the licensee's request, and related to product development or modification, or research, including basic and applied research. 3M Company also agrees to pay a markup of 10% (or other agreed markup). All types of intellectual property developed by the licensee through this arrangement would become the property of 3M IPC, except for the trademarks, which would become the property of 3M Company. The types of intellectual property include (1) patents, trademarks, domain names, copyrights, proprietary information, and (2) all intellectual rights of any kind other than patents, trademarks, domain names, copyrights and proprietary information. The standard licensing agreement does not relate to technical and support services, which are the subject of a separate agreement, as described in the next paragraph. With only a few exceptions, all of the foreign affiliates in 3M Global operated under a version of the standard licensing agreement during the 2006 tax year. 3M Brazil was one such exception.

The standard services agreement is a reciprocal agreement under which 3M Company and 3M IPC, on the one hand, and the foreign affiliate, on the other, agree to provide technical and support services to each other as may be agreed from time to time. The services include technical assistance services and selling, marketing, and general and administrative services. Under the standard services agreement, the foreign affiliate agrees to compensate 3M Company and 3M IPC at cost, and 3M Company and 3M IPC agree to compensate the foreign affiliate at cost plus a 10% markup. Most of the foreign affiliates in 3M Global operated under a version of the standard services agreement during the 2006 tax year. 3M Brazil was one exception. 3M Company and 3M Brazil entered into a version of the standard services agreement effective January 1, 2009.

At all relevant times, including the 2006 tax year, 3M Brazil had access to, and used in its business operations, the 3M Intellectual Property, including patents, trademarks, trade names, name recognition, copyrights, software, and nonpatented technology (such as technical know-how and trade secrets). 3M Brazil‘s right to 3M Intellectual Property throughout the years was sometimes governed by one or more licensing agreements. The only such arrangements in effect during the 2006 tax year were the 1998 trademark licensing agreements. At all relevant times, including during the 2006 tax year, 3M Company provided services to 3M Brazil. During the 2006 tax year, those services consisted of consulting services and technical assistance services. During 2006, 3M Company provided significantly more consulting services and technical assistance services. The terms “consulting services” and “technical assistance services” are defined in paragraph 74 of the stipulation, which is quoted infra part 9.

d. Payments by 3M Brazil

The 1998 trademark licenses required 3M Brazil to pay 3M Company 1% of its net sales. Brazil required that the maximum royalty for a product be 1% of net sales, regardless of how many licensed trademarks were used on the product. During 2006, 3M Brazil paid $5,104,756 in royalties to 3M Company under the 1998 trademark licenses. This $5,104,756 royalty payment, though calculated at 1% of net sales, was calculated using a stacking principle under which if a product used multiple trademarks covered by three separate agreements, then the licensee (3M Brazil) should pay up to a 3% trademark royalty. We make no finding as to what the royalty payment would have been if computed without the stacking principle. 17

During 2006, 3M Brazil paid $52,522,080 in dividends and $11,978,720 in interest on net equity to 3M IPC. The total of these payments is $64,500,800.

In 2006, 3M Brazil made no payments to 3M Company for consulting services or technical assistance services. Nor did 3M Brazil pay 3M IPC for the use of patents, trade names, name recognition, copyrights, software, or unpatented technology.

9. Tax reporting

The 3M consolidated group reported on its consolidated federal income tax return for 2006 that it had taxable income of $4,466,124,618 and a tax liability of $1,049,490,347.

The members of the 3M consolidated group included 3M Company (the common parent of the group) and 3M IPC.

On its consolidated federal income tax return, the 3M consolidated group reported as income the $5,104,756 in trademark royalties paid by 3M Brazil to 3M Company.

The total of dividends and interest on net equity paid by 3M Brazil in 2006 ($64,500,800) was reported by the 3M consolidated group as dividends paid on Schedule M of the 3M Brazil Form 5471 for 2006.

10. The notice of deficiency

In the notice of deficiency, respondent made 47 adjustments to the income of the 3M consolidated group. 18

One adjustment in the notice of deficiency, labeled “Brazil Royalties”, was a net $23,651,332 increase in the income of the 3M consolidated group. Petitioner and respondent have stipulated, in paragraph 120 of the stipulation, that this adjustment was calculated by “[a]pplying the royalty rates under the Standard Licensing Agreement to the intercompany licensing transactions between 3M Company, 3M IPC, and 3M Brazil at issue in this case.” The phrase “intercompany licensing transactions between 3M Company, 3M IPC, and 3M Brazil at issue in this case” refers to the following: (1) the use by 3M Brazil of trademarks owned by 3M Company, (2) the use by 3M Brazil of patents owned by 3M IPC, and (3) the transfer of technology from 3M IPC to 3M Brazil. 19

The royalty rate used by the notice of deficiency was 6% of net sales. The notice of deficiency calculated that the royalty at the 6% rate was $27,768,702 and that this amount should be reduced by $4,117,370 for 3M Brazil‘s unreimbursed expenditures on research and development. Thus, the adjustment to the income of the 3M consolidated group was $23,651,332, equal to $27,768,702 minus $4,117,370. The notice of deficiency explained the $23,651,332 increase as follows:

It is determined that in order to clearly reflect the income of the entities, in accordance with section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code, we have allocated royalty income to you from 3M do Brasil Limitada (3M Brazil”) in connection with 3M Brazil‘s use of intellectual property. We have determined that Brazilian legal restrictions are not taken into account for purposes of computing the arm's length amount of royalty income from 3M Brazil because it has not been established that the Brazilian legal restrictions affected an uncontrolled taxpayer under comparable circumstances for a comparable period of time, and because it has not been established that the restrictions satisfied the conditions pursuant to Treasury Regulations sections 1.482 -1(h)(2)(i) and (ii). In addition, we have determined that you are ineligible to elect the deferred income method of accounting pursuant to Treasury Regulations section 1.482-1(h)(2)(iii). Accordingly, your taxable income for the tax year ended December 31, 2006 is increased by $23,651,332, as shown in the computation below:

a. Total cost of goods sold of products manufactured by 3M Brazil (from Form 5471, Sch. C, line 2)

$332,547,422

Cost of goods sold (other than raw materials) purchased from:

 

b. U.S. affiliates (from Form 5471, Sch. M, Line 10 (b) + (c))

(42,966,307)

c. Foreign affiliates (from Form 5471, Sch. M, Line 10 (d))

(16,537,910)

d. Net cost of goods sold for manufactured products

$273,043,205

e. Gross sales from Form 5471 (Sch. C, line 1a)

$563,672,096

f. Times: Ratio of net to total cost of goods sold



(d divided by a)

0.821065469

g. Net sales of manufactured products

$462,811,694

h. Times: Manufacturing royalty rate

6%

i. Proposed manufacturing royalty

$27,768,702

j. Setoff for unreimbursed R & D expenses

(4,117,370)

k. Proposed net adjustment

$23,651,332

Another adjustment in the notice of deficiency was a $4,751,136 increase in income of the 3M consolidated group for “Support Service Fee — 3M do Brasil LTDA”. The notice of deficiency explained this “Support Service Fee” adjustment as follows:

It is determined that an adjustment is required under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code to reallocate $4,751,136 of income to you from 3M do Brasil LTDA [i.e., 3M Brazil] relating to support services which were never charged. Accordingly, your taxable income for the tax year ended December 31, 2006 is increased by $4,751,136.

To calculate the adjustment, the notice of deficiency applied the rate of compensation provided under the standard services agreement (which was cost, if services were provided by 3M Company or 3M IPC; or cost plus 10%, if services were provided by a licensee of intellectual property owned by 3M Company or 3M IPC) to the intercompany services transactions during 2006 between 3M Company and 3M Brazil.

11. Closing agreement

After the notice of deficiency was issued, but before the petition was filed, petitioner and respondent entered into a partial closing agreement under section 7121. One of the terms of the closing agreement was that petitioner agreed to the “Support Services Fee” adjustment of $4,751,136. At that time, petitioner understood that Brazilian law imposed no limits on what 3M Brazil could pay to 3M Company for the services it provided (which consisted of consulting services and technical assistance services). Petitioner subsequently learned that its understanding was partially incorrect because, as explained in paragraphs 74, 76, and 77 of the stipulation, Brazilian law distinguishes between remuneration for technical assistance services (to which the fixed ceilings described in paragraph 90 of the stipulation apply) and remuneration for consulting services (to which such fixed ceilings do not apply). As explained supra part 5, 3M Company provided significantly more consulting services to 3M Brazil than technical assistance services.

12. The petition

On March 6, 2013, the petition was filed. It challenged only one adjustment in the notice of deficiency, the $23,651,332 adjustment for “Brazil Royalties”. The petition explained the basis for the challenge as follows:

5.a.18. 3M Brazil‘s Legal Inability to Pay Royalties. Brazilian law precluded 3M Brazil from paying any royalties to the Petitioner 20 other than one-percent royalties on the licensed Trademarks, which were paid and which Petitioner included in its income. In addition, under no circumstances could the royalties payable by 3M Brazil have been at a rate of six percent of net sales under Brazilian law in addition to the one-percent royalty payable on Trademarks.

5.a.19. The Allocation Was Erroneous. The Commissioner has no authority under I.R.C. §482 to allocate income to a taxpayer from a related party where the related party is legally prohibited from paying the income to the taxpayer, and where the taxpayer did not in fact receive the income from the related party. Because 3M Brazil could not legally pay the imputed royalty income to Petitioner, and because Petitioner did not receive the royalties, the Commissioner's allocation was erroneous.

5.a.20. The Commissioner's Reliance on Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(h)(2). In the Notice, the Commissioner stated that restrictions on the payment of royalties under Brazilian law would not be “taken into account for purposes of computing the arm's length amount of royalty income” because the conditions under Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(h)(2)(i) and (ii) had not been satisfied.

5.a.21. Invalidity of Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(h)(2)(i) and (ii). Treasury exceeded its legal authority when, in Treasury Decision 8552 (59 Fed. Reg. 34971-01, 1994-2 C.B. 93 (July 8, 1994)), it adopted Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(h)(2)(i) and (ii). That regulation is invalid.

In recognition of the binding effect of the closing agreement, the petition did not dispute the “Support Services Fee” adjustment of $4,751,136 in the notice of deficiency.

13. The stipulation that the rate of compensation under the standard licensing agreement is an appropriate arm's-length rate under section 482

As we previously observed, paragraph 120 of the stipulation includes a stipulation that the $23,651,332 increase to the income of the 3M consolidated group in the notice of deficiency was calculated by applying the royalty rates in the standard licensing agreement. See supra part 10. In the same paragraph of the stipulation, petitioner and respondent also agreed that the rate of compensation provided under the standard licensing agreement is “an appropriate arm's length rate under section 482 for the intercompany licensing transactions between 3M Company, 3M IPC, and 3M Brazil at issue in this case”. The combined effect of these two stipulations is that petitioner and respondent agree that the $23,651,332 adjustment in the notice of deficiency reflects an appropriate arm's-length rate of compensation under section 482. 21

14. The stipulation that the section 482 adjustment must be reduced by $4,117,370 in unreimbursed research-and-development expenses incurred by 3M Brazil

In paragraph 128 of the stipulation, petitioner and respondent agreed that, as determined in the notice of deficiency, the 3M consolidated group is entitled to a “setoff against any section 482 adjustment for royalties from 3M Brazil” in an amount equal to $4,117,370 for research-and-development expenses incurred by 3M Brazil that 3M Company did not reimburse but would have reimbursed had the standard agreement been in effect.

15. The stipulation that, under Brazilian law, the maximum amount that 3M Brazil could have paid to 3M IPC as patent royalties or technology-transfer payments in 2006 was $4,283,153 after reduction for the $5,104,756 in trademark royalties paid by 3M Brazil to 3M Company in 2006

Petitioner and respondent have stipulated that under Brazilian law the maximum amount that 3M Brazil could have paid to 3M IPC as patent royalties or technology-transfer payments in 2006 was $4,283,153. This amount equals $9,387,909, which is the maximum amount of such payments calculated before application of the Brazilian prohibition on a Brazilian company paying trademark royalties to its controlling foreign company for a product covered by a patent license or a technology-transfer agreement, reduced by the $5,104,756 of trademark royalties as required by the prohibition.

Petitioner and respondent performed an analysis of 3M Brazil‘s net sales made during 2006 by commodity code 22 for the purpose of computing the maximum amount of “additional royalties or technology transfer payments” that 3M Brazil would have been permitted to deduct under Brazilian tax law and to pay to 3M Company and 3M IPC. 23 We refer to this analysis as the “maximum-deductibility analysis”. The maximum-deductibility analysis assumed that all the products sold by 3M Brazil were manufactured by 3M Brazil and were covered by either (1) a currently valid patent, (2) unpatented technology that was in use for not more than five years, (3) or both. The maximum-deductibility analysis was performed in 3M Brazil‘s functional currency, Brazilian reais.

The maximum-deductibility analysis was jointly conducted by two Brazilian attorneys (one for petitioner and one for respondent) who practice Brazilian intellectual-property law and who are knowledgeable concerning the limitations on the deductibility under Brazilian tax law of trademark and patent royalties and technology-transfer payments. These Brazilian attorneys consulted with 3M Brazil to determine the maximum deductions under Brazilian tax law for “patent royalties or technology transfer payments” 24 with respect to the products sold by 3M Brazil according to commodity code. The highest rates were then applied to the net sales of products for each commodity code, not including intercompany sales (because intercompany sales are not subject to the payment of royalties under the standard licensing agreement), to determine the maximum amount that 3M Brazil could have deducted if it had paid 3M IPC for the “use [of] its patents or for the transfer of its unpatented technology.” 25 Given that 3M Company and 3M IPC, at all relevant times, were controlling foreign companies of 3M Brazil, the maximum-deductibility analysis also determined the maximum amount that the BPTO would have permitted 3M IPC and 3M Brazil to include as payable to 3M IPC in any recorded agreement providing for the “use of patents or the transfer of unpatented technology”. 26 See paragraphs 89 and 90 of the stipulation. Consequently, the maximum-deductibility analysis also determined the maximum amount that the Brazilian Central Bank would have permitted 3M Brazil to remit to 3M IPC as “royalties or as technology transfer payments”, 27 given that Circular-Letter No. 2795 requires such payments to be made pursuant to a written agreement recorded by the BPTO. See paragraph 75.b of the stipulation.

The maximum-deductibility analysis showed that the maximum amount that 3M Brazil could have deducted as “patent royalties or technology transfer payments” 28 in 2006 was $9,387,909 subject to the following. To arrive at the maximum amount of “additional royalties or technology transfer payments” 29 that 3M Brazil could have deducted in 2006, the above amount must be reduced by the royalties that 3M Brazil paid and deducted under the 1998 trademark licenses during 2006, because, if a product is covered by a patent license or by a technology-transfer agreement between a Brazilian company and controlling foreign companies, then any trademark license between the same Brazilian company and the same controlling foreign companies for that same product must be granted royalty free. Therefore, because 3M Brazil deducted 30 and paid trademark royalties in connection with certain of the same products during 2006, the maximum amount that could have been paid as “patent royalties or as technology transfer payments” 31 must be reduced by the amount of trademark royalties paid and deducted by 3M Brazil. Petitioner and respondent have stipulated, in paragraph 126 of the stipulation, that, on the basis of the maximum-deductibility analysis, the “maximum amount of additional patent royalties and technology-transfer payments for 2006, after reduction for the trademark royalties actually paid by 3M” was $4,283,153.

Petitioner and respondent have stipulated, in paragraph 127 of the stipulation, that the “maximum additional amount” that 3M Brazil could have deducted 32 and paid in 2006 to 3M IPC as “patent royalties or as technology transfer payments”, in “excess of the trademark royalties actually paid to 3M Company”, and using the assumptions underlying the maximum -deductibility analysis, was $4,283,153, and that the Brazilian Central Bank would have permitted 3M Brazil to make such a payment had the BPTO recorded an agreement among 3M Company, 3M IPC, and 3M Brazil providing for the payment of such amounts.

16. The stipulation that if the Court holds that the section 482 adjustment must take into account the Brazilian legal restrictions, then the minimum section 482 adjustment should be $165,783

Petitioner and respondent have stipulated, in paragraph 129 of the stipulation, that the “minimum section 482 adjustment” with respect to the intercompany licensing transactions among 3M Brazil, 3M Company, and 3M IPC for the 2006 year is $165,783 (equal to $4,283,153 minus an offset of $4,117,370 for unreimbursed research-and-development expenses (R & D offset)). We interpret the term “minimum section 482 adjustment” to be the minimum section 482 adjustment that would be made if petitioner were to prevail in its argument that the Brazilian legal restrictions should be taken into account. We refer to the $4,117,370 offset for unreimbursed research-and-development expenses as the $4,117,370 R & D offset.

17. Respondent's position

Respondent's position is that the relevant adjustment in the notice of deficiency is correct. The notice of deficiency adjusted the income of the 3M consolidated group by $23,651,332, equal to $27,768,702 minus $4,117,370. The latter two amounts have the following significance:

  • The $27,768,702 amount corresponds to the 6% royalty rate set forth in the standard licensing agreement for intellectual property other than trademarks. 33

  • The $4,117,370 amount is the research-and-development expenses incurred by 3M Brazil for which it was not reimbursed. The standard licensing agreement requires the licensor to reimburse the licensee for certain research.

Respondent's position can be illustrated as follows:

Respondent's position regarding appropriate sec. 482 adjustment for 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M Company‘s trademarks, 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M IPC‘s patents, and technology transfers from 3M IPC to 3M Brazil

Explanation

Amount

6% royalty provided by standard licensing agreement for intellectual property other than trademarks

$27,768,702

R&D offset, as provided by standard licensing agreement

–4,117,370

Equals the section 482 adjustment urged by respondent

23,651,332

As we have explained before, because the adjustment in the notice of deficiency reflects the compensation in the standard licensing agreement and because the standard licensing agreement reflects arm's-length compensation, it follows that the adjustment in the notice of deficiency reflects arm's-length compensation. See supra part 13. What is disputed is whether arm's-length compensation can serve as the basis for the section 482 adjustment. Respondent contends that the arm's-length compensation results in the appropriate section 482 adjustment because, respondent contends, the Brazilian legal restrictions should be disregarded. By contrast, petitioner contends that the appropriate section 482 adjustment is constrained by the amounts payable under Brazilian law.

It bears emphasis that respondent contends that the 6% royalty component of the section 482 adjustment is justified only by (1) 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M Company‘s patents and (2) the transfer of technology from 3M IPC to 3M Brazil. See supra part 10 note 18. Respondent's section 482 adjustment makes no adjustment directly concerning compensation for 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M Company‘s trademarks. Recall that 3M Company, which owned all of the trademarks of 3M Global, allowed 3M Brazil to use its trademarks during the 2006 tax year. Pursuant to the 1998 trademark licenses, 3M Brazil paid 3M Company $5,104,756 of trademark royalties. This payment was reported as income by the 3M consolidated group on its 2006 tax return. Respondent does not argue that this reporting should be adjusted under section 482 for 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M Company‘s trademarks.

Although respondent's main position is that the Brazilian legal restrictions should not be taken into account in making the section 482 adjustment, respondent has an alternative position should petitioner prevail in its argument that the Brazilian legal restrictions be taken into account. As previously explained, paragraph 129 of the stipulation means that respondent agrees that if petitioner prevails in its argument that the Brazilian legal restrictions should be taken into account, the minimum section 482 adjustment should be $165,783. See supra part 16. Although paragraph 129 says the minimum section 482 adjustment was $165,783, and therefore does not technically limit respondent's claiming that the section 482 adjustment should be more than $165,783, respondent's briefs do not argue that the section 482 adjustment should be more than $165,783 in the event that petitioner prevails in its argument that the section 482 adjustment must take into account the Brazilian legal restrictions. Thus, we consider respondent's position to be that the section 482 adjustment should be $165,783 in the event that petitioner prevails in its argument that the section 482 adjustment must take into account the Brazilian legal restrictions.

18. Petitioner's position

Petitioner concedes that the $23,651,332 allocation determined by respondent reflects an arm's-length compensation for the use of the intellectual property. 34 However, it disputes respondent's legal authority to make an allocation under section 482 because 3M Brazil was prevented under Brazilian law from paying more than $165,783 in compensation. This $165,785 amount is equal to (1) $4,283,153 minus (2) the R&D offset of $4,117,370. Petitioner contends that the appropriate transfer-pricing adjustment is $165,785. We pause here to explain petitioner's computation of this adjustment more completely.

The $4,283,153 amount is the maximum of patent-royalty payments and technology-transfer payments 3M Brazil could make to 3M Company assuming it had recorded with the BPTO a licensing agreement regarding such payments. Computation of the $4,283,153 amount starts with $9,387,909, an amount that does not account for the Brazilian restriction that, if a product is covered by a patent license or by a technology-transfer agreement between a Brazilian company and its controlling foreign company, any trademark license between the same companies for that same product must be granted royalty free. To account for the restriction, the $9,387,909 amount would be reduced by the $5,104,756 of trademark royalties to arrive at $4,283,153.

Finally, paragraph 128 of the stipulation requires that the section 482 adjustment be reduced by the $4,117,370 R&D offset. When $4,283,153 is reduced by $4,117,370, the result is $165,783. This is the correct section 482 adjustment in petitioner's view. The adjustment supposes that the Brazilian legal restrictions are taken into account.

Petitioner's calculations of the adjustment can also be illustrated in the table below:

Petitioner's position regarding appropriate sec. 482 adjustment for 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M Company‘s trademarks, 3M Brazil‘s use of 3M IPC‘s patents, and technology transfers from 3M IPC to 3M Brazil

Explanation

Amount

Maximum amount that 3M Brazil could pay 3M IPC as royalties or as technology-transfer payments, before application of the Brazilian restriction that, if a product is covered by a patent license or by a technology-transfer agreement between a Brazilian company and controlling foreign companies, any trademark license for that same product must be granted royalty free. (This maximum amount implicitly assumes that 3M Brazil records an agreement with 3M IPC regarding the use of 3M IPC‘s patents and the transfer of 3M IPC‘s technology.)

$9,387,909

Reduction in trademark royalties paid, as required by the Brazilian restriction referred to above

–5,104,756

Equals the sec. 482 adjustment urged by petitioner before R&D offset

4,283,153

R&D offset, as required by paragraph 128 of the stipulation

–4,117,370

Equals final sec. 482 adjustment urged by petitioner

165,783

We now discuss petitioner's position in the event it loses its argument that the section 482 adjustment must take into account the Brazilian legal restrictions. In its opening brief, petitioner takes the position that if the Court agrees with respondent that the Brazilian legal restrictions should be disregarded, then the proper section 482 adjustment is $23,651,332. This position is consistent with petitioner's concession, described supra part 14, that the $23,651,332 reflects arm's-length compensation for the use of the intellectual property.

Paragraph 128 of the stipulation states that the section 482 adjustment should be reduced by the $4,117,370 R&D offset. Taken literally, paragraph 128 could be construed to mean that if the Court sustains respondent's position that the correct section 482 adjustment is $23,651,332, then the $23,651,332 adjustment should be reduced by the $4,117,370 R&D offset. But the $23,651,332 calculation already incorporates the R&D offset. So a further reduction would not make sense. Perhaps recognizing this, petitioner declines to argue that paragraph 128 of the stipulation requires that the $23,651,332 should be further reduced by the $4,117,370 R&D offset. In the event the Brazilian legal restrictions are not taken into account, petitioner accepts that the section 482 adjustment should be $23,651,332.

The $23,651,332 adjustment made by the notice of deficiency did not include any adjustment related to the $5,104,756 of trademark royalties paid by 3M Brazil to 3M Company and reported as income by the 3M consolidated group (of which 3M Company was a member). The $5,104,756 trademark royalty payment was equal to 1% of sales, calculated using a stacking principle when multiple trademarks were used on the same product. The use of the stacking principle to calculate the 1% trademark royalty was improper under Brazilian law. Petitioner asserts that if the 1% trademark royalty had been calculated without using the stacking principle, the royalty would have been $4,666,187. If true, this means that 3M Brazil overpaid the trademark royalty to 3M Company by $438,569, which is the difference between $5,104,756 and $4,666,187. But petitioner does not assert that the income of the 3M consolidated group should be reduced by $438,569 to adjust for any such overpayment. Thus, we need not consider whether such a reduction would be warranted.

Thus far, we have described separately the calculations of respondent's and petitioner's litigating positions. It is worth pointing out that both positions incorporate an R&D offset of $4,117,373. Additionally, petitioner's position expressly accounts for, and respondent's position implicitly accounts for, the $5,104,756 of trademark royalties paid by 3M Brazil to 3M Company and reported as income by the 3M consolidated group. Petitioner's position includes a reduction for the trademark royalties paid of $5,104,756 to account for the Brazilian restriction that, if a product is covered by a patent license or by a technology-transfer agreement between a Brazilian company and a controlling foreign company, a trademark license between the same companies for that same product must be granted royalty free. 3M Company reported the $5,104,756 trademark royalty it received from 3M Brazil as income; but under petitioner's position the $5,104,756 should not have been reported as income by 3M Company because 3M Brazil could not have paid the amount had it entered into a patent license or technology-transfer agreement. Respondent's position implicitly accounts for the $5,104,756 in that respondent did not make an adjustment to 3M Company‘s reporting of the amount in income. Thus, respondent's position on the tax treatment of the $5,104,756 trademark royalty payment can be viewed as a $0 adjustment because respondent agrees with the tax reporting of this amount by the 3M consolidated group. Equivalently, one can think of respondent's position on the tax treatment of the $5,104,756 trademark royalty payment as comprising two separate steps: (1) a determination that $5,104,756 should be included in 3M Company‘s income and (2) a $5,104,756 offset to reflect that the reported income of the 3M consolidated group included the $5,104,756 amount. The advantage of the two-step approach is that it makes it easier to compare respondent's position to petitioner's position. Such a comparison is made in the table below:

Petitioner's and respondent's computations of appropriate sec. 482 adjustment:



side-by-side comparison

 

Respondent

Petitioner

Compensation for use of patents and for transfer of technology 35

$27,768,702

$9,387,909

Compensation for use of trademarks 36

5,104,756

–0–

Reduction for trademark royalty reported by 3M Company 37

–5,104,756

–5,104,756

R&D offset

–4,117,370

–4,117,370

Sec. 482 adjustment

23,651,332

165,783

The positions of petitioner and respondent can also be usefully compared in the following diagram of the relevant transactions and payments:Use of trademarks

19. Other stipulations

In addition to the stipulations discussed so far, petitioner and respondent have stipulated that the rate of compensation provided under the standard services agreement (which was cost, if services were provided by 3M Company or 3M IPC; or cost plus 10%, if services were provided by a licensee of intellectual property owned by 3M Company or 3M IPC) is an appropriate arm's-length rate under section 482 for the provision of services by 3M Company to 3M Brazil during the 2006 tax year in this case. As explained before, the notice of deficiency calculated the transfer-pricing adjustment for services performed for 3M Brazil based on the rate of compensation provided under the standard services agreement and petitioner does not challenge this adjustment. See supra parts 10 & 11.

The parties have also stipulated that the operations of 3M Brazil were “owned or controlled” by 3M Company and 3M IPC within the meaning of section 482 during the 2006 tax year.

Some other stipulations are relevant to 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006), a portion of the 1994 final regulations. These stipulations are discussed infra part II.OO.

OPINION

I. Procedural matters

Petitioner and respondent submitted this case without trial under Rule 122. The record in this case consists of the stipulation and the documents attached to the stipulation. Our findings of fact are based on the stipulation and the documents attached to the stipulation.

As a general rule, the petitioner in a Tax Court case has the burden of proving that the determinations in the notice of deficiency are incorrect. Rule 142(a)(1); Welch v. Helvering, 290 U.S. 111, 115 (1933). The identity of the petitioner in this case requires some explanation.

An affiliated group is a group of corporations that are connected through stock ownership with a common parent corporation. Sec. 1504(a)(1). An affiliated group does not include foreign corporations. Sec. 1504(a)(1), (b)(3). An affiliated group of corporations may file a consolidated return with respect to income tax. Sec. 1501. An affiliated group that has filed a consolidated return for a year is referred to as a consolidated group. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-1(h), (a) (2019). A consolidated group has only one income tax liability for the year. Sec. 1503(a); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-2(a) (2019). Each member of a consolidated group is severally liable for the income tax. Sec. 1503(a); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-6(a) (2019). The income tax of a consolidated group is generally equal to the tax imposed by section 11 on consolidated taxable income. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-2(a) (2019). Consolidated taxable income is determined by taking into account (1) the separate taxable income of each member of the consolidated group and (2) certain items of income and deduction that are determined on a consolidated basis. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502 -11(a) (2019). Each member's separate taxable income is calculated as if the member were a separate corporation, with certain modifications. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-12 (2019); Norwest Corp. & Subs. v. Commissioner, 111 T.C. 105, 165 (1998).

As a general rule, the common parent corporation of a consolidated group is the representative of all members of the consolidated group with respect to the group's tax liability. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-77B(a)(1)(i) (2019). The notice of deficiency is mailed to the common parent corporation of a consolidated group, and that mailing is considered a mailing to each member of the consolidated group. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-77B(a)(2)(viii) (2019). The common parent corporation files petitions in the Tax Court; any such petition is considered to have been filed by each member of the consolidated group. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502-77B(a)(2)(x) (2019). The common parent corporation conducts proceedings before the Tax Court on behalf of the members of the consolidated group. Id.

The common parent corporation of the 3M consolidated group is 3M Company. 3M Company was the company to which respondent mailed the notice of deficiency. 3M Company filed the petition on behalf of the members of the 3M consolidated group. See id. As stated at the beginning of this Opinion, we use “petitioner” to refer to 3M Company in discussing 3M Company in its role as the representative of the 3M consolidated group.

In a Tax Court case, it is the petitioner that bears the burden of proof unless an exception applies. Rule 142(a)(1). Petitioner in this case does not contend that any exception applies. Nor does the record indicate that any exception applies. Therefore petitioner has the burden of proof. This conclusion is not altered by the case's having been submitted under Rule 122. See Rule 122(b).

In the case of a corporation seeking redetermination of a tax liability, the venue for appeal is generally the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit in which is located the corporation's principal place of business or principal office or agency. Sec. 7482(b)(1)(B). However, the parties to the appeal may stipulate that venue is another circuit. Sec. 7482(a), (b)(2). This case involves a corporation (3M Company) seeking a redetermination of tax liability (the tax liability of the 3M consolidated group). See 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.1502 -77B(a)(1)(i), (2)(x) (2019). It is stipulated that 3M Company‘s principal place of business was in Minnesota when the petition was filed. Therefore the venue for appeal in this case will be the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unless the parties stipulate another circuit. See sec. 7482(a), (b)(1)(B), (2); 28 U.S.C. sec. 41 (2018).

Rule 146 provides, in part: “The Court, in determining foreign law, may consider any relevant material or source, including testimony, whether or not submitted by a party or otherwise admissible. The Court's determination shall be treated as a ruling on a question of law.” Our determinations regarding Brazilian law are based on the stipulation.

II. Review of the authorities under U.S. law relevant to the arguments by the parties

In support of its argument that respondent's section 482 allocation is improper because it ascribes income to 3M Company and 3M IPC that could not be paid to these companies by 3M Brazil under Brazilian law, petitioner relies on various authorities. These authorities include (1) the text of section 482; (2) the legislative history of section 482; and (3) four cases, that, interpreting prior versions of section 482 and the regulations thereunder, held that respondent did not have authority to allocate income to a taxpayer that the taxpayer did not receive and could not legally receive. These are the four cases:

  • L.E. Shunk Latex Prods., Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. 940 (1952)

  • Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank of Utah, N.A, 405 U.S. 394 (1972)

  • Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. 323 (1990), aff'd, 961 F.2d 1255 (6th Cir. 1992).

  • Exxon Corp. & Affiliated Cos. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1993-616, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) 1707 (1993), aff'd sub nom. Texaco, Inc., & Subs. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d 825 (5th Cir. 1996).

In petitioner's view, “these precedents control the outcome here.” Respondent disagrees with this. He contends that the judicial opinions did not determine the statutory text to be clear, that the reasoning of the opinions was influenced by regulatory text that was not applicable for tax years beginning after April 21, 1993, and that the operative statutory text was changed in 1986. 38

Respondent argues that the legal principles that govern this dispute are found in the 1994 regulation that is applicable for the 2006 tax year at issue in this case. T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34971 (July 8, 1994); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2019) (setting forth rules regarding the effect of foreign legal restrictions). The 1994 regulation was published on July 8, 1994. T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 35000-35001 (July 8, 1994). It is generally effective for tax years beginning after October 6, 1994. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(j)(1) (2019). Petitioner contends that the 1994 regulation is invalid under various administrative-law principles and therefore does not control the outcome of this case.

The paragraph above is merely an overview of petitioner's and respondent's major arguments. A detailed discussion of their arguments takes place later in parts III, IV, and V of this Opinion. The parties' arguments implicate a century's worth of legal materials, such as statutes, amendments to statutes, legislative history, regulations, public comments on regulations, preambles to regulations, and caselaw. In this part II, we discuss these materials chronologically. Using chronological order helps place the legal materials in their proper context.

A. The Revenue Act of 1921

The central statutory provision involved in this case is section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. As in effect for the tax year at issue, 2006, section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 contains only these two sentences:

In any case of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Secretary may distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances between or among such organizations, trades, or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any of such organizations, trades, or businesses. In the case of any transfer (or license) of intangible property (within the meaning of section 936(h)(3)(B) 39), the income with respect to such transfer or license shall be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible.

The first sentence quoted above had its statutory origins in section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921, ch. 136, 42 Stat. at 260. 40 See G.D. Searle & Co. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. 252, 356 (1987); Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, “The Rise and Fall of Arm's Length: A Study in the Evolution of U.S. International Taxation”, 15 Va. Tax Rev. 89, 95 (1995). Under section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921, respondent had the power to consolidate the accounts of affiliated corporations and other related trades or businesses. Subsection (d) provided:

[I]n any case of two or more related trades or businesses (whether unincorporated or incorporated and whether organized in the United States or not) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Commissioner [of Internal Revenue] may consolidate the accounts of such related trades and businesses, in any proper case, for the purpose of making an accurate distribution or apportionment of gains, profits, income, deductions, or capital between or among such related trades or businesses.

Section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921 was one of the Act's consolidated-return provisions, all of which were in section 240 of the Act. The Senate Finance Committee explained section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921 as follows:

A new subdivision is added to this section giving the Commissioner power to consolidate the accounts of related trades or businesses owned or controlled by the same interests, for the purpose only of making a correct distribution of gains, profits, income, deductions, or capital, among the related trades or businesses. This is necessary to prevent the arbitrary shifting of profits among related businesses * * *

S. Rept. No. 67-275, at 20 (1921), 1939-1 C.B. (Part 2) 181, 195. Petitioner cites this committee report in support of its arguments. See infra part IV (discussing the significance of the committee report).

B. The Revenue Act of 1924

After the Revenue Act of 1921, the next revenue act was the Revenue Act of 1924, ch. 234, 43 Stat. 253. Section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1924, 43 Stat. at 288, was similar to section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921; but whereas section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921 had allowed only respondent to consolidate accounts, section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1924 allowed either respondent or the taxpayer to consolidate accounts. It provided:

In any case of two or more related trades or businesses (whether unincorporated or incorporated and whether organized in the United States or not) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Commissioner may and at the request of the taxpayer shall, if necessary in order to make an accurate distribution or apportionment of gains, profits, income, deductions, or capital between or among such related trades or businesses, consolidate the accounts of such related trades or businesses.

Section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1924 was part of the consolidated-return provisions of the Act. These provisions were in section 240 of the Act.

C. The Revenue Act of 1926

The next revenue act was the Revenue Act of 1926, ch. 27, 44 Stat. 9. Section 240(f) of the Revenue Act of 1926, 44 Stat. at 46, was the same as section 240(d) of the Revenue Act of 1924. See G.D. Searle & Co. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. at 356. Section 240(f) of the Revenue Act of 1926 was part of the consolidated-return provisions of the Act. These provisions were in section 240 of the Act, 44 Stat. at 46. Section 240(a) of the Revenue Act of 1926, 44 Stat. at 46, permitted affiliated corporations to file consolidated returns.

D. The Revenue Act of 1928

The next revenue act was the Revenue Act of 1928, ch. 852, 45 Stat. 791. The text of section 240(f) of the Revenue Act of 1926, with significant alterations, was placed into section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928, 45 Stat. at 806. The other consolidated-return provisions of the Revenue Act of 1926 were placed into sections 141 and 142 of the Revenue Act of 1928, 54 Stat. at 831–832. See G.D. Searle & Co. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. at 356. 41 Section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928 provided:

In any case of two or more trades or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Commissioner is authorized to distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income or deductions between or among such trades or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any of such trades or businesses.

There were two differences between section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928 and section 240(f) of the Revenue Act of 1926. First, a taxpayer did not have the power to invoke section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928. See G.D. Searle & Co. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. at 356. Only respondent could invoke the provision. Second, respondent did not have the express authority to “consolidate” accounts under section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928. Instead, that provision gave respondent the power to distribute, apportion, and allocate gross income or deductions.

The House Ways & Means Committee in its report explained that the purpose of section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928 was to allow respondent “in the case of two or more trades or businesses owned or controlled by the same interests” to make allocations “in order to prevent evasion (by the shifting of profits, the making of fictitious sales, and other methods frequently adopted for the purpose of 'milking'), and in order clearly to reflect their true tax liability.” H.R. Rept. No. 70-2, at 16–17 (1927), 1939-1 C.B. (Part 2) 384, 395. The Senate Finance Committee made a similar statement in its own report leading up to section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928. S. Rept. No. 70-960, at 24 (1928), 1939-1 C.B. (Part 2) 409, 426. Petitioner cites the reports of both committees. See infra part IV.

E. The Revenue Act of 1932

The Revenue Act of 1932, ch. 209, 47 Stat. 169, was the next revenue act after the Revenue Act of 1928. Section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1932 was the same as section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928. Revenue Act of 1932, sec. 45, 47 Stat. at 186.

F. The Revenue Act of 1934

The Revenue Act of 1934, ch. 277, 48 Stat. 680, was the next revenue act after the Revenue Act of 1932. Section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1934 was the same as section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1932, except that the words “trades or businesses” in the 1932 act were replaced with “organizations, trades, or businesses” in the 1934 act. Revenue Act of 1934, sec. 45, 48 Stat. at 695. Below is the text of section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1934:

In any case of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Commissioner is authorized to distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income or deductions between or among such organizations, trades, or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any such organizations, trades, or businesses.[ 42]

G. Regulations 86

In 1934, the Treasury Department promulgated art. 45-1, Regulations 86, which related to section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1934. Regulations 86 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Revenue Act of 1934, at 122–124 (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1935). 43 Reproduced below is art. 45-1, Regulations 86 (emphasis added):

Art. 45-1. Determination of the taxable net income of a controlled taxpayer. —

(a) Definitions. — When used in this article —

(1) The term “organization” includes any organization of any kind, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a trust, an estate, or a corporation (as each is defined or understood in the Act or these regulations), irrespective of the place where organized, where operated, or where its trade or business is conducted, and regardless of whether domestic or foreign, whether exempt, whether affiliated, or whether a party to a consolidated return.

(2) The terms “trade” or “business” include any trade or business activity of any kind, regardless of whether or where organized, whether owned individually or otherwise, and regardless of the place where carried on.

(3) The term “controlled” includes any kind of control, direct or indirect, whether legally enforceable, and however exercisable or exercised. It is the reality of the control which is decisive, not its form nor the mode of its exercise. A presumption of control arises if income or deductions have been arbitrarily shifted.

(4) The term “controlled taxpayer” means any one of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests.

(5) “Group” or “group of controlled taxpayers” means the organizations, trades, or businesses owned or controlled by the same interests.

(6) The term “true net income” means, in the case of a controlled taxpayer, the net income (or, as the case may be, any item or element affecting net income) which would have resulted to the controlled taxpayer, had it in the conduct of its affairs (or, as the case may be, in the particular contract, transaction, arrangement, or other act) dealt with the other member or members of the group at arm's length. It does not mean the income, the deduction, or the item or element of either, resulting to the controlled taxpayer by reason of the particular contract, transaction, or arrangement, the controlled taxpayer, or the interests controlling it, choose to make (even though such contract, transaction, or arrangement be legally binding upon the parties thereto).

(b) Scope and purpose. — The purpose of section 45 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true net income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer. The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the net income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable net incomes are thereby understated, the statute contemplates that the Commissioner shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income or deductions, or of any item or element affecting net income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true net income of each controlled taxpayer. The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.

Section 45 and this article apply to the case of any controlled taxpayer, whether such taxpayer makes a separate or a consolidated return. If a controlled taxpayer makes a separate return, the determination is of its true separate net income. If a controlled taxpayer is a party to a consolidated return, the true consolidated net income of the affiliated group and the true separate net income of the controlled taxpayer are determined consistently with the principles of a consolidated return.

Section 45 grants no right to a controlled taxpayer to apply its provisions at will, nor does it grant any right to compel the Commissioner to apply such provisions. It is not intended (except in the case of the computation of consolidated net income under a consolidated return) to effect in any case such a distribution, apportionment or allocation of gross income, deductions, or any item of either, as would produce a result equivalent to a computation of consolidated net income under section 141.[ 44]

(c) Application. — Transactions between one controlled taxpayer and another will be subjected to special scrutiny to ascertain whether the common control is being used to reduce, avoid, or escape taxes. In determining the true net income of a controlled taxpayer, the Commissioner is not restricted to the case of improper accounting, to the case of a fraudulent, colorable or sham transaction, or to the case of a device designed to reduce or avoid tax by shifting or distorting income or deductions. The authority to determine true net income extends to any case in which either by inadvertence or design the taxable net income, in whole or in part, of a controlled taxpayer, is other than it would have been had the taxpayer in the conduct of his affairs been an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.

Regulations 86 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Revenue Act of 1934, at 122–124 (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1935). We have added emphasis to the sentence that contains the phrase “complete power”. Petitioner argues that this crucial sentence was not in the version of the regulation that was in effect for the tax years at issue in L.E. Shunk Latex Products, Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. at 955, i.e., calendar years 1942, 1943, and 1945. Petitioner argues that therefore the decision in L.E. Shunk Latex did not depend on the sentence. 45 Because of petitioner's argument, our review of legal authorities will include the various versions in the regulations that contain this sentence. The sentence containing the phrase “complete power” is related to the sentence that follows it. Thus, we will include this sentence too in our review of legal authorities.

H. The Federal Register Act and the publication of the first issue of the Federal Register

In 1935 Congress enacted the Federal Register Act, ch. 417, 49 Stat. 500 (1935). Section 5 of the Federal Register Act, 49 Stat. at 501, 46 defined four classes of documents that had to be published in the Federal Register: (1) “all Presidential proclamations and Executive orders, except such as have no general applicability and legal effect or are effective only against Federal agencies or persons in their capacity as officers, agents, or employees thereof”; (2) “such documents or classes of documents as the President shall determine from time to time have general applicability and legal effect”; (3) “such documents or classes of documents as may be required so to be published by Act of the Congress”; and (4) “such other documents or classes of documents as may be authorized to be published pursuant hereto by regulations prescribed hereunder with the approval of the President”. For these purposes, a “document” was defined as “any Presidential proclamation or Executive order and any order, regulation, rule, certificate, code of fair competition, license, notice, or similar instrument issued, prescribed, or promulgated by a Federal agency”. Federal Register Act sec. 4, 49 Stat. at 501. 47

The Federal Register Act imposed a series of requirements that had to be followed regarding any document in the four classes of documents. Section 2 of the Federal Register Act, 49 Stat. at 500, 48 provided that each document had to be filed with the Federal Register Division by the relevant agency; 49 that after filing, a copy of each document had to be made immediately available for public inspection at the Federal Register Division; and that once filed with the Federal Register Division each document had to be immediately transmitted by the Federal Register Division to the Government Printing Office. Section 3 of the Federal Register Act, 49 Stat. at 500–501, 50 required that when the Government Printing Office received each document, it was to print it “forthwith” in the Federal Register.

Section 7 of the Federal Register Act, 49 Stat. at 502, 51 set forth the legal consequences of satisfying the requirements of the Federal Register Act, including the filing requirement (in section 2 of the Act), the public-inspection requirement (also in section 2 of the Act), and the publication requirement (in section 3 of the Act). First, section 7 of the Federal Register Act provided that a document in the first, second, and third classes of documents is not valid against someone without actual knowledge of the document until the agency files the document with the Federal Register Division and a copy of the document is made available for public inspection. 52 Second, section 7 of the Federal Register Act provided that the filing of a document with the Federal Register Division is generally “sufficient” to give notice of its contents to any person subject to it or affected by it. Third, section 7 of the Federal Register Act provided that the publication in the Federal Register of a document creates the following rebuttable presumptions: (1) the document was duly issued, prescribed, or promulgated; (2) the document was filed with the Federal Register Division and was made available for public inspection; (3) the copy of the document contained in the Federal Register is the true copy of the document; and (4) all the other requirements of the Federal Register Act have been complied with.

Section 10 of the Federal Register Act, 49 Stat. at 503, 53 contained provisions regarding the effective dates for the requirements of the Federal Register Act discussed so far, including a provision that section 2 of the Federal Register Act (which contained the filing requirement, the public-inspection requirement, and the transmission-for-publication requirement) was effective 60 days after the approval of the Act, and including a provision that publication of the Federal Register would begin three days after approval of the Act. Section 10 of the Federal Register Act stated in full:

The provisions of section 2 shall become effective sixty days after the date of approval of this Act[ 54] and the publication of the Federal Register shall begin within three business days thereafter: Provided, That the appropriations involved have been increased as required by section 9 of this Act. The limitations upon the effectiveness of documents required, under section 5(a),[ 55] to be published in the Federal Register shall not be operative as to any document issued, prescribed, or promulgated prior to the date when such document is first required by this or subsequent Act of the Congress or by Executive order to be published in the Federal Register.

The Federal Register Act was “[a]pproved” on July 26, 1935. 49 Stat. at 503. Thus, under section 10 of the Federal Register Act, section 2 was to become effective on September 24, 1935, and the publication of the Federal Register was to begin September 27, 1935. Actual publication was delayed, however, because of the lack of appropriated money. James H. Ronald, “Publication of Federal Administrative Legislation”, 7 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 52, 75 (1938).

The Federal Register Act also required each agency to make a compilation of “all documents which have been issued or promulgated prior to the date documents are required or authorized by this Act to be published in the Federal Register [September 24, 1935] and which are still in force and effect and relied upon by the agency as authority for, or invoked or used by it in the discharge of, any of its functions or activities.” Federal Register Act sec. 11, 49 Stat. at 503. 56 The deadline for the agencies to compile the documents was January 26, 1936. Id. The compilation was required to be published, but no specific deadline was set for publication. Id. Because of legislative developments described later, no compilation was made or published. Bernard Kennedy, “The Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Statutes at Large”, 44 Law Libr. J. 1, 1 (1951).

On February 11, 1936, Congress enacted a law that appropriated money “[f]or the printing and distribution of the Federal Register”. Act of Feb. 11, 1936, ch. 49, 49 Stat. at 1110 (codified as amended at 44 U.S.C. sec. 309 (1940)). The law provided that “the provisions of section 2 of the Federal Register Act shall become effective thirty days after said appropriations become available and the publication of the Federal Register shall begin within two business days thereafter.” Id.

On March 14, 1936, the first issue of the Federal Register was published. 1 Fed. Reg. 1; see Ronald, supra, at 69.

I. The Revenue Act of 1936

The Revenue Act of 1936, ch. 690, 49 Stat. 1648, was the next revenue act after the Revenue Act of 1934. Section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1936 incorporated the text of section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1934 without change. Revenue Act of 1936, ch. 690, sec. 45, 49 Stat. at 1667–1668. 57

J. Regulations 94

In late 1936, the Treasury Department promulgated art. 45-1, Regulations 94, Regulations 94 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Revenue Act of 1936, at 156–158 (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1936), which related to section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1936. 58 Article 45-1, Regulations 94, was identical to its 1934 predecessor, art. 45-1, Regulations 86. Regulations 94 was filed on November 13, 1936. 1 Fed. Reg. 1863. Article 45-1, Regulations 94, was published verbatim in the Federal Register — meaning that the text published in the Federal Register was identical to the text published in the pamphlet Regulations 94 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Revenue Act of 1936. Compare id. with 1 Fed. Reg. 1855–1856 (Nov. 14, 1936).

K. The 1937 amendment to the Federal Register Act

In 1937, Congress amended the provisions of the Federal Register Act that required the compilation of pre-September 24, 1935 documents. Act of June 19, 1937, ch. 369, 50 Stat. 304. The reason for the amendment was the realization that “mere compilations of documents were almost unusable because of their bulk and lack of uniformity.” Titles 1–6 C.F.R. v (1939). The 1937 amendment replaced the requirement that the pre-September 24, 1935 documents be compiled. Act of June 19, 1937, 50 Stat. 304; Title 1–6 C.F.R. v (1939). Instead, the 1937 amendment required each agency to prepare a complete codification of documents that were in effect on June 1, 1938:

On July 1, 1938, and on the same date of every fifth year thereafter, each agency of the Government shall have prepared and shall file with the Administrative Committee a complete codification of all documents which, in the opinion of the agency, have general applicability and legal effect and which have been issued or promulgated by such agency and are in force and effect and relied upon by the agency as authority for, or invoked or used by it in the discharge of, any of its functions or activities on June 1, 1938. * * *

Federal Register Act sec. 11(a), as amended by Act of June 19, 1937, 50 Stat. at 304–305, 44 U.S.C. sec. 311(a) (1940). The 1937 amendment authorized the President to direct the publication of the codification. 59 No deadline was set for publishing the codification, but the deadline for making the codification was July 1, 1938. Id. The codification of documents was to be done again every five years after July 1, 1938. Id. Under the literal text of the 1937 amendment (which is quoted above), the subsequent codifications to be made every five years after July 1, 1938, were to be of the same documents required to be codified by July 1, 1938. Id. Thus, the 1937 amendment required that essentially the same documents be codified and republished every five years until the end of time. This was a drafting error. See Ronald, supra, at 79 n.110 (“The drafters forgot the five-year clause in setting the date of determining general applicability and legal effect.”).

On November 10, 1937, the President authorized the publication of the codification of documents pursuant to the Federal Register Act as amended in 1937. Titles 1–6 C.F.R. vi (1939).

L. The first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations

In 1939, the first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations was published, which contained documents in force on June 1, 1938. Titles 1–6 C.F.R. iii (1939). 60 Regulations 94 was apparently assumed to be in force on June 1, 1938, 61 for it was published in the first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (1939). As printed in that publication, article 45-1 of Regulations 94 was renamed “section 3.45-1”. 26 C.F.R. sec. 3.45-1 (1939). 62 The renaming required nonsubstantive changes to be made to the text of article 45-1 when it was published in the first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations as section 3.45-1.

The preface to the first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations observed that the edition included only documents in force on June 1, 1938. Titles 1–6 C.F.R. ix (1939). The preface stated that regulations that related to later periods would be covered by periodic supplements to the Code of Federal Regulations and that the first such supplement would be a 1938 Supplement that would cover the last half of 1938. 63

M. The Revenue Act of 1938

Section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1938 incorporated the text of section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1936 without change. Revenue Act of 1938, ch. 289, sec. 45, 52 Stat. at 474.

N. Regulations 101

In 1939, the Treasury Department promulgated art. 45-1, Regulations 101, Regulations 101 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Revenue Act of 1938, at 188–190 (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1939), which related to section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1938. Article 45-1, Regulations 101, was identical to art. 45-1, Regulations 94. Regulations 101 was filed on February 7, 1939. 4 Fed. Reg. 687 (Feb. 10, 1939). Article 45-1, Regulations 101, was published verbatim in the Federal Register, 4 Fed. Reg. 616, 680, meaning that the text of article 45-1 published in the Federal Register was identical to the text of article 45-1 published in the pamphlet Regulations 101 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Revenue Act of 1938. Compare id. with 4 Fed. Reg. 616, 680. In addition to being published in the Federal Register, Regulations 101 was published in the 1939 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. 64 As printed in that supplement, art. 45-1, Regulations 101 was redesignated “§9.45-1.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 9.45-1 (1939 Supp.). As printed in the supplement, each “article” of Regulations 101 was redesignated a “section”, and the number of each section was given the prefix “9.” See 26 C.F.R. sec. 9.1-1 (1939 Supp.). As a consequence of the redesignation of art. 45-1, Regulations 101, nonsubstantive changes had to be made to its text when it was published in the 1939 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations as 26 C.F.R. sec. 9.45-1 (1939 Supp.).

O. Internal Revenue Code of 1939

In 1939, Congress codified the tax laws as the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 was identical to section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1938. Internal Revenue Code of 1939, ch. 2, sec. 45, 53 Stat. at 25. Section 45 was among the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 that applied for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 1939. Id. sec. 1, 53 Stat. at 4. Thus, for calendar-year taxpayers, the first year for which section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 applied was the 1939 tax year.

Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 authorized the Treasury Department to prescribe regulations. 65 One such provision, section 62, provided: “The Commissioner, with the approval of the Secretary, shall prescribe and publish all needful rules and regulations for the enforcement of this chapter [sections 1 to 373, the income-tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939].”

The Internal Revenue Code of 1939 also contained provisions relating to the effective dates of regulations. 66 One such provision was section 3791(b). It provided: “The Secretary, or the Commissioner with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe the extent, if any, to which any ruling, regulation, or Treasury Decision, relating to the internal revenue laws, shall be applied without retroactive effect.”

P. Regulations 103

In 1940, the Treasury Department promulgated sec. 19.45-1, Regulations 103, Regulations 103 Relating to the Income Tax under the Internal Revenue Code 203–205 (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1940), 26 C.F.R. sec. 19.45-1 (1940 Supp.), 5 Fed. Reg. 417 (Feb. 1, 1940), which related to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Section 19.45-1, Regulations 103, was substantively identical to art. 45-1, Regulations 101. 67 Regulations 103 did not have an express effective-date provision. Regulations 103 was filed on January 30, 1940. 5 Fed. Reg. 424. Regulations 103 was published in the Federal Register and in the 1940 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. 5 Fed. Reg. 348; 26 C.F.R. secs. 19.1-1 to 19.3801(e)-1 (1940 Supp.). 68

Q. The 1942 amendment to the Federal Register Act

In 1942, the Federal Register Act was amended again. Act of Dec. 10, 1942, ch. 717, 56 Stat. 1045. The 1942 amendment consisted of three changes, which we describe below.

First, the 1942 amendment to the Federal Register Act changed the requirement that each codification to be made every five years should correspond to documents effective as of June 1, 1938. See Federal Register Act sec. 11(a), as amended by Act of June 19, 1937, 50 Stat. at 304–305, 44 U.S.C. sec. 311(a) (1940) (before 1942 amendment). 69 The first codification had already been published as the first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (1939). See titles 1–6 C.F.R. iii (1939). The next codification would have been required to be made on or before July 1, 1943. Federal Register Act sec. 11(a), as amended by Act of June 19, 1937, 50 Stat. at 304–305, 44 U.S.C. sec. 311(a) (1940) (before 1942 amendment). The 1942 amendment provided that, instead of documents effective June 1, 1938, the next codifications were to be of documents effective as of June 1 of the respective year in which the codification was made. Act of Dec. 10, 1942, sec. 2, 56 Stat. at 1045. Thus, under the 1942 amendment, the codification of documents to made be on or before July 1, 1938, and to also be made on or before the same date every five years thereafter, would consist of “all documents which, in the opinion of the agency, have general applicability and legal effect and which have been issued or promulgated by such agency and are in force and effect and relied upon by the agency as authority for, or invoked or used by it in the discharge of, any of its functions or activities on June 1, 1938, or on the same date of every fifth year thereafter.” Act of Dec. 10, 1942, sec. 2, 44 U.S.C. sec. 311 (Supp. V 1946). This meant that the codification due July 1, 1943, would consist of documents effective on June 1, 1943.

The second change made by the 1942 amendment to the Federal Register Act was to temporarily suspend the requirement that documents be codified every five years. The reason for this suspension related to the American participation in World War II, which had resulted in a “notable increase in Federal administrative documents” and “the preoccupation of all agencies with the war effort”. Titles 1–3 C.F.R. xvii (1949). These factors made it impractical to meet the July 1, 1943 deadline for the next codification. Id. The suspension of the requirement that documents be codified every five years was only temporary. Act of Dec. 10, 1942, sec. 1, 56 Stat. at 1045. The suspension was to last until “such time after the termination of the present war as the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register shall determine.” Id.

The third change made by the 1942 amendment to the Federal Register Act was to require that there be published, instead of a “new codification”, a “cumulative supplement” to the Code of Federal Regulations. Id. The 1942 amendment did not set a specific deadline for publishing the cumulative supplement. As discussed below, the cumulative supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations was published in 1944.

R. Regulations 111

In 1943, the Treasury Department promulgated Regulations 111. Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1943). Like Regulations 103, Regulations 111 interpreted the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Sec. 29.1-1, Regulations 111, Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 1; sec. 19.1-1, Regulations 103, Regulations 103 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 1. Regulations 111 was applicable “only with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1941.” Sec. 29.1-1, Regulations 111. Thus, 1942 was the first tax year governed by Regulations 111 for calendar-year taxpayers. Regulations 111 was filed on October 28, 1943. 8 Fed. Reg. 14379. 70

Section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111, which related to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, was identical to section 19.45-1 of Regulations 103 except for a difference in prefixes. In Regulations 111 the section had the prefix “29.” instead of the prefix “19”. Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 275–277; Regulations 103 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 203–205. The sentence containing the term “complete power”, and the sentence that followed, remained the same in section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111:

The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the net income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable net incomes are thereby understated, the statute contemplates that the Commissioner shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income or deductions, or of any item or element affecting net income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true net income of each controlled taxpayer. * * *

Regulations 111 was published in three different ways. First, it was published in pamphlet form. Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code. Second, it was published in the Federal Register. 8 Fed. Reg. 14882 (Nov. 3, 1943). Third, it was published in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. It was not published, as we explain later, in the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. secs. 29.1-1 to 29.3801(e)-1 (Cum. Supp. 1944).

We discuss in greater detail below each of these publications.

Regulations 111 in pamphlet form. In the pamphlet form, the number of each particular section of Regulations 111 was preceded by the prefix “29.” Secs. 29.9-1 to 29.3801(e)-1, Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code. Thus, the introduction in the pamphlet observed that the number of each section of Regulations 111 is “preceded by the number 29 and a decimal point.” Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code II.

Section 29.3-1 of Regulations 111, as published in pamphlet form, stated that Regulations 111 “constitute Part 29 of Title 26 of the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations”. Sec. 29.3-1, Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 1. This statement that Regulations 111 would be published in the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations was incorrect. Regulations 111 was actually published in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, not the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. secs. 29.1-1 to 29.3801(e)-1 (Cum. Supp. 1944).

Regulations 111 in the Federal Register. On November 3, 1943, Regulations 111 was published in the Federal Register. 8 Fed. Reg. 14882 (Nov. 3, 1943). The text of section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111 that was published in the Federal Register was the same text that was in the pamphlet Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 275–277, except that for some reason the prefix “9.” was used in the Federal Register rather than the prefix “29.” for that particular section of Regulations 111. 8 Fed. Reg. 14968). All other sections of Regulations 111 published in the Federal Register had the prefix “29.” The Federal Register contained a table of contents for Regulations 111. 8 Fed. Reg. 14882–14888. For each section of Regulations 111, including section 9.45-1, the table of contents used the prefix “29.” Id. This suggests that the use of the prefix “9.” in the numbering of section 9.45-1 of Regulations 111 was inadvertent. The Federal Register contained the following introduction to Regulations 111 that stated that each section of Regulations 111 had the prefix “29.”: “Inasmuch as the regulations constitute Part 29 of Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations, each key number is preceded by the number 29 and a decimal point.” 8 Fed. Reg. 14882. This statement suggests that the use of the prefix “9.” in the numbering of section 9.45-1 of Regulations 111 was inadvertent. Finally Regulations 111 was printed in the Federal Register with the following heading: “Part 29 — Income Tax; Taxable Years Beginning After December 31, 1941”. 8 Fed. Reg. 14882. The wording of this heading suggests that the use of the prefix “9.” in the numbering of section 9.45-1 of Regulations 111 was inadvertent.

Section 29.3-1 of Regulations 111, as published in the Federal Register, stated that Regulations 111 “constitute Part 29 of Title 26 of the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations”. 8 Fed. Reg. 14889. The same statement had been made in the pamphlet version of Regulations 111. Sec. 29.3-1, Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 1. As we observed in discussing the pamphlet version of Regulations 111, the statement was incorrect because Regulations 111 was actually published in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations rather than the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. secs. 29.1-1 to 29.3801(e)-1 (Cum. Supp. 1944).

Regulations 111 in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. Regulations 111 was published in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. The Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, which was published in 1944, was the publication required by the 1942 amendment to the Federal Register Act. Act of Dec. 10, 1942. 71 The Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations contained two sets of documents:

  • The first set of documents was “a codification of documents filed with the Division of the Federal Register during the period from June 2, 1938, to June 1, 1943, inclusive, which supplement the first edition of the Code of Federal Regulations and which were still in force and effect on June 1, 1943.” Titles 26–27 C.F.R. iii (Cum. Supp. 1944). Regulations 111 did not fall into the first set of documents because it was filed on October 28, 1943. 8 Fed. Reg. 14979.

  • The second set of documents was described in the following sentence in the Cumulative Supplement: “In order to complete the presentation of the regulations of the Bureau of Internal Revenue as of June 1, 1943, this codification contains documents filed with the Division subsequent to June 1, which were effective on that date. ” Titles 26–27 C.F.R. iii (Cum. Supp. 1944). 72 Regulations 111 apparently was thought to fall into the second set of documents. Regulations 111 was filed “subsequent to” June 1, 1943 — because it was filed on October 28, 1943. And Regulations 111 was seemingly “effective on” the “date” June 1, 1943, in that Regulations 111 was effective with respect to tax years beginning after December 31, 1941, and therefore was effective for any tax year that included June 1, 1943.

Section 29.3-1 of Regulations 111, as published in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, referred to Regulations 111 in the following way: “These regulations [i.e., Regulations 111], which constitute Part 29 of Title 26 of the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, are divided into six subparts.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.3-1 (Cum. Supp. 1944). Thus the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, a publication in which Regulations 111 was actually printed, suggested that Regulations 111 was printed in the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, a publication in which Regulations 111 was not printed. The same error had been made in the pamphlet form of Regulations 111 (sec. 29.3-1, Regulations 111 Relating to the Income Tax Under the Internal Revenue Code 1) and in the text of Regulations 111 that was published in the Federal Register (sec. 29.3-1 of Regulations 111, 8 Fed. Reg. 14889). This error would eventually be corrected through an amendment to Regulations 111 published in the Federal Register. Specifically, Treasury Decision 5391, 9 Fed. Reg. 8009 (July 18, 1944), amended section 29.3-1 of Regulations 111 to say: “These regulations [i.e., Regulations 111], which constitute Part 29 of Title 26 of the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, are divided into eight subparts.”

In the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, the section of Regulations 111 relating to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 was numbered “§29.45-1”. 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1 (Cum. Supp. 1944). This prefix “29.” was used for all sections of Regulations 111 in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. Finally Regulations 111 as printed in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations had the following heading: “PART 29 — INCOME TAX; TAXABLE YEARS BEGINNING AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1941”. Title 26 (ch. I, parts 2–178) C.F.R. 5973 (Cum. Supp. 1944). This was the same heading used for Regulations 111 in the Federal Register.

Regulations 111 was not published in the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. Besides the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations, the Government Printing Office also published a 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. The 1943 Supplement contained “a codification of regulations filed by Federal agencies and published in the Federal Register during the period from June 2, 1943 through December 31, 1943.” Titles 1–31 C.F.R. iii (1943 Supp.). Because Regulations 111 was filed on October 28, 1943, 8 Fed. Reg. 14979, and was published in the Federal Register on November 3, 1943, 8 Fed. Reg. 14882, Regulations 111 seemingly should have been published in the 1943 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. Yet it was not. In any event, Regulations 111 had already been published in the Cumulative Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations.

S. The Revenue Act of 1943 and the Treasury Decision 5426 amendments to Regulations 111

Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 1943, the Revenue Act of 1943 amended section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 by replacing the phrase “gross income or deductions” with “gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances.” Revenue Act of 1943, ch. 63, secs. 101, 128(b) and (c), 58 Stat. at 26, 48. Thus, for calendar-year taxpayers, the first year for which the 1943 amendment applied was 1944. Prior calendar years (i.e., 1939–43) were governed by section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 before the 1943 amendment. See Internal Revenue Code of 1939 sec. 1.

To reflect the amendment of section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 by the Revenue Act of 1943, section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111 73 was amended by Treasury Decision 5426, 10 Fed. Reg. 23–24 (filed Dec. 30, 1944; published in the Federal Register Jan. 2, 1945). Specifically, Treasury Decision 5426 made the following amendments to sec. 29.45-1, Regulations 111:

  • “the income, the deduction, or the item or element of either” in sec. 29.45-1(a)(6) was replaced with “the income, the deductions, the credits, the allowances, or the item or element of income, deductions, credits, or allowances”;

  • “gross income or deductions” in the first paragraph of section 29.45-1(b) was replaced with “gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances”;

  • “gross income, deductions, or any item of either” in the third paragraph of section 29.45-1(b) was replaced with “gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or any item of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances”;

  • “income or deductions” in the first paragraph of section 29.45-1(c) was replaced with “income, deductions, credits, or allowances”.

T.D. 5426, 10 Fed. Reg. 24.

The particular sentences of section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111 that were amended by Treasury Decision 5426 were printed in their amended form in the 1944 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 1905 (1944 Supp.). 74 The complete text of section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111, including the portions of the text amended by Treasury Decision 5426 and the portions of the text not amended by Treasury Decision 5426, were printed in the 1949 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 315–316 (1949). Thus, the 1949 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations contained the text of section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111 after it was amended by Treasury Decision 5426. However, the 1949 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations omitted a comma between “gross income” and “deductions” in the following sentence:

If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable net incomes are thereby understated, the statute contemplates that the Commissioner shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income deductions, credits, or allowances or of any item or element affecting net income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true net income of each controlled taxpayer. * * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 316 (1949). The 1949 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations was the second edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 (parts 1–79) C.F.R. v (1949). 75 The first edition was the 1939 edition. 26 C.F.R. v (1949).

The amendments to sec. 29.45-1, Regulation 111, made by Treasury Decision 5426 had no effective-date provisions. These regulatory amendments mirrored the statutory amendments by the Revenue Act of 1943, which were effective starting with the 1944 tax year for calendar-year taxpayers. 76 We assume that Treasury Decision 5426, like the corresponding portions of the Revenue Act of 1943, was effective starting with the 1944 tax year for calendar-year taxpayers. For the three tax years involved in L.E. Shunk Latex, this assumption means that Treasury Decision 5426 was not effective for the 1942 and 1943 years, but was effective for the 1945 year. Under the assumption that the Treasury Decision 5426 regulatory amendments applied for the 1945 tax year, the relevant provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and regulations applicable for the 1942, 1943, and 1945 years (for calendar-year taxpayers) are:

Year

Statute

Regulation

1942

Internal Revenue Code of 1939, ch. 2, sec. 45, 53 Stat. at 25.

Sec. 29.45-1, Regulations 111, 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 6141–6142 (Cum Supp. 1944).

1943

Internal Revenue Code of 1939, ch. 2, sec. 45, 53 Stat. at 25.

Sec. 29.45-1, Regulations 111, 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 6141–6142 (Cum Supp. 1944).

1945

Internal Revenue Code of 1939, ch. 2, sec. 45, 53 Stat. at 25, as amended by the Revenue Act of 1943, ch. 63, sec. 128(b) and (c), 58 Stat. at 48.

Sec. 29.45-1, Regulations 111, as amended by T.D. 5426, 10 Fed. Reg. 24 (Jan. 2, 1945), complete text as amended in 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 315–316 (1949), amended sentences only in 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1, at 1905 (1944 Supp.).

The significance of tax years 1942, 1943, and 1945, is that these were the tax years at issue in L.E. Shunk Latex Products, Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. at 955.

As indicated in the table above, tax years 1942 and 1943 (for calendar-year taxpayers) were governed by section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111, before its amendment by Treasury Decision 5426. 77 As indicated in the table above, tax year 1945 (for calendar-year taxpayers) was governed by section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111 after the amendment by Treasury Decision 5426. 78

T. L.E. Shunk Latex v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. 940 (1952) (a case involving tax years 1942, 1943, and 1945)

In L.E. Shunk Latex Products, Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. at 954–957 (1952), two manufacturers of condoms sold their products to a then-unrelated wholesaler during the period from July 1937 to July 1939. 79 Because the two manufacturers were not related to the wholesaler, id. at 957, the prices charged by the manufacturers to the wholesaler during this period were arm's-length prices, see id. at 955, 957. The wholesaler sold the products to its customers, who were not related to either the manufacturers or the wholesaler. See id. at 948, 955.

In July 1939, the two manufacturers and the wholesaler were brought under common control. Id. at 954–957. The prices charged by the manufacturers to the wholesaler did not change. Id. at 957. These (now-intercompany) prices were arm's-length prices because they had been the prices during the period from July 1937 to July 1939 when the two manufacturers and the wholesaler were not commonly controlled. Id. The prices charged by the wholesaler to its customers also stayed the same. Id.

In January 1942, the wholesaler raised its prices to its customers in accordance with an increase in the market price of the products. Id. The intercompany prices of the products sold by the two manufacturers to the wholesaler remained unchanged. Id. at 958. Had the two manufacturers been unrelated to the wholesaler, they would have increased the prices they charged to the wholesaler. Id. Therefore the unchanged intercompany prices charged by the two manufacturers to the wholesaler were below arm's-length prices. Id.

Effective May 1942, the federal government imposed a wartime price-control regulation that made it illegal for the two manufacturers to raise their prices above the prices charged in March 1942. Id. at 959. Because the prices the two manufacturers charged in March 1942 were the same as the prices charged since July 1939, the price-control regulation effectively froze in place the July 1939 prices. 80 These prices were below arm's-length prices and had been since January 1942. Id. at 958. Each sale of products at these below-arm's-length-prices to the wholesaler resulted in shifting income from the two manufacturers to the wholesaler. Id. In order to correct for the income distortion resulting from the below-arm's-length intercompany prices, respondent in L.E. Shunk Latex determined an allocation under section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 to increase the income of the two manufacturers for taxable years 1942, 1943, and 1945. Id. at 952–955.

The opinion in L.E. Shunk Latex, can be divided into several parts. In the first part, the Court rejected an argument by the two manufacturers that they and the wholesaler were not commonly controlled. Id. at 956. The Court reasoned that (1) ownership of these businesses was largely in the hands of three persons, and (2) these three persons also controlled the operations of the businesses through their management positions. Id. The Court relied on and quoted the definition of the term “controlled” from sec. 29.45-1(a)(3) of Regulations 111. L.E. Shunk Latex Prods., Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. at 956. Thus, the following statement appears in the L.E. Shunk Latex opinion:

“The term 'controlled' includes any kind of control, direct or indirect, whether legally enforceable, and however exercisable or exercised. It is the reality of the control which is decisive, not its form or the mode of its exercise.” Treasury Regulations 111, sec. 29.45-1(a)(3). Cf. Granada Industries, Inc., 17 T.C. 231, 254. * * *

Id.

In the second part of the opinion, the L.E. Shunk Latex Court rejected respondent's argument that the wholesaler was merely acting as an agent for the two manufacturers. Id. at 956–957. The Court held that to consider the wholesaler an agent of the two manufacturers would be inconsistent with the purpose of section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, a purpose that the Court described in the following passage:

Allocation between controlled businesses of “gross income, deductions, credits or allowances” is permitted under section 45 of the Code where “necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes, or clearly to reflect the income of any of such organizations, trades, or businesses.” Section 45 empowers the Commissioner to act to rectify abnormalities and distortions in income which come about through the common control to which separate taxpaying entities may be subject. “The purpose of section 45 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true net income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer.” Treasury Regulations 111, sec. 29.45-1(b).

Using this standard, we think respondent erred * * *.

Id. at 956. The Court reasoned that the two manufacturers and the wholesaler dealt with each other during the years at issue in that case under a contract, negotiated before they were commonly controlled, under which the wholesaler was not an agent of the two manufacturers. Id.

In the third part of the opinion, the L.E. Shunk Latex Court explained that after the wholesaler raised its prices to its customers in January 1942, the prices charged by the two manufacturers to the wholesaler were not arm's-length prices because had the two manufacturers not been related to the wholesaler they would have charged higher prices. Id. at 957–958. We quote below the third part of the opinion:

However, in 1942 that common control was exercised in such manner as to shift income from petitioners [the two manufacturers] to Killashun [the wholesaler], and, but for certain wartime price regulations on which petitioners rely, we would be constrained to regard action under section 45 as warranted. With the coming of the war, and the consequent critical shortage of rubber, there appeared to be a likelihood that petitioners' products could be sold at a substantial increase in prices. In these circumstances, Killashun halted all sales in December 1941. It resumed sales in January 1942, and at the same time imposed a one-dollar per gross across-the-board increase on all products sold by it. There was no change in the items sold, or in the services or functions performed by Killashun; conditions simply made it possible to get a higher price from the trade for the same products. In the case of unpackaged goods, the increase was considerably in excess of one hundred per cent. However, although Killashun raised the price to its customers, Shunk and Killian [the two manufacturers] kept their prices to Killashun completely unchanged. On the very products on which Killashun was realizing increased income of one dollar per gross, Shunk and Killian deliberately refrained from increasing their own profits at all through an increase in the prices charged to Killashun.

We cannot believe that business organizations free of control by common interests would have acted in this way. If there had been no ties of common control or ownership between petitioners and Killashun, it would have been reasonable to expect petitioners to take advantage of market conditions and to raise their prices as was done by Killashun. Their failure to do so can be viewed only as a consequence of the common ownership and control which dominated all three entities, and plainly shifted income of petitioners to Killashun. This sort of distortion in income, springing from arrangement or manipulation made possible by common control or ownership, was exactly the kind of vice at which section 45 was aimed. Cf. Treasury Regulations 111, sec. 29.45-1; Advance Machinery Exchange, Inc., 196 F.2d 1006 (C.A.2, 1952); Asiatic Petroleum Co. v. Commissioner, 79 F.2d 234 (C.A.2, 1935), certiorari denied 296 U.S. 645; National Securities Corporation v. Commissioner, 137 F. 2d 600 (C.A. 3, 1943), certiorari denied 320 U.S. 794.

Id.

In the fourth part of the opinion, the L.E. Shunk Latex Court considered and rejected the argument by the two manufacturers that they had a nontax reason for declining to raise the price they charged the wholesaler in January 1942. Id. at 958. The two manufacturers claimed that increasing their prices to the wholesaler would have created an incentive to competitors to enter the market. Id. The Court rejected this explanation, id. at 958–959, and stated that competitors would not know, or care about, the price charged by the two manufacturers to the related wholesaler, id. The competitors would have cared only about the price charged by the wholesaler to its customers because that price would affect the price the competitors could charge their customers. Id.

In the fifth part of the opinion the L.E. Shunk Latex Court considered whether the two manufacturers could have legally raised their prices during the years at issue. Id. at 959–960. The Court analyzed the provisions of the price-control regulation and concluded that the regulation prohibited an increase in the prices charged by the two manufacturers to the wholesaler. Id. 81

In the sixth part of the opinion the L.E. Shunk Latex Court considered the significance of the fact that the two manufacturers voluntarily decided not to raise their prices to the wholesaler in January 1942. Id. at 960. The Court explained that what mattered was that this price later became a legal maximum:

We recognize that the price structure of petitioners [the two manufacturers] and Killashun [the wholesaler] from December 1941 through March 1942 was not shaped in reliance on the price regulations which followed. The regulations, so far as those prices of petitioners and Killashun were concerned, were purely a subsequent fortuitous development. The regulations merely froze a condition theretofore deliberately created without reference to them by the interests in control of the three entities. There is no basis in the record for believing that petitioners would have raised their prices to Killashun in the absence of these regulations, and we can only infer that the respective prices of the controlled entities, in relation to each other, would not have been any different even if the price regulations had never come into being. To say, therefore, that because of the price regulations an improper shift of income is to be insulated from the corrective provisions of the statute, is to permit petitioners to enjoy an unexpected piece of good fortune in reduction of their taxes. But we can see no logical basis on which petitioners can be denied this windfall, in view of the uncontroverted effect of those regulations in prohibiting petitioners from receiving the very income sought to be attributed to them. We think that the Commissioner had no authority to attribute to petitioners income which they could not have received. We therefore conclude that, in allocating Killashun's income to petitioners, respondent acted in excess of his power.

Id. at 960–961. The quotation above articulates the Court‘s main holding in the case: The predecessor of section 482 cannot be used to allocate income to a taxpayer that the taxpayer is barred by law from receiving. Id. at 961. This holding is also reflected in the Court‘s description of the main argument made by the two manufacturers, an argument with which the Court agreed. Here is the Court‘s description of the two manufacturers' argument:

Petitioners argue that it is improper, under section 45, to allocate income to them based on prices higher than they were permitted to charge under the price regulations, which they assert to be their pre-1942 prices, and that section 45 does not authorize an allocation of income to them which under other laws they were prohibited from earning.

Id. at 959.

For purposes of our case, there are additional questions to consider about the holding in L.E. Shunk Latex. For example, was the holding compelled by the unambiguous text of the statute? And what role did Regulations 111 play in the Opinion? We set aside these questions for now and take them up infra Opinion part IV.

The last observation we make about L.E. Shunk Latex relates to the statute quoted in the Opinion. The Opinion quotes section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, as that section was amended by section 128(b) and (c) of the Revenue Act of 1943. L.E. Shunk Latex Prods., Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. at 955 n.4. By way of background, recall that the case involved three tax years: 1942, 1943, and 1945. Tax years 1942 and 1943 were governed by section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 before its amendment by section 128(b) and (c) of the Revenue Act of 1943. Tax year 1945 was governed by section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 as amended by section 128(a) and (b) of the Revenue Act of 1943. It was this later provision that was printed in a footnote in L.E. Shunk Latex Prods., Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. at 955 n.4, as follows:

In any case of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Commissioner is authorized to distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances between or among such organizations, trades, or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any of such organizations, trades or businesses.

U. The Administrative Procedure Act

In 1946, Congress enacted the Administrative Procedure Act, or APA. 82 Ch. 324, 60 Stat. 237 (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. secs. 551–559, 701–705 (2018)). The APA generally took effect on September 11, 1946. APA sec. 12, 60 Stat. at 244 (general effective date is three months after approval of APA); 60 Stat. at 244 (APA approved June 11, 1946). Section 12 of the APA, 60 Stat. at 244, 83 provided that no subsequent legislation would supersede the APA unless it did so expressly. Section 3(a) of the APA 84 required each federal agency to “separately state and currently publish in the Federal Register * * * (3) substantive rules adopted as authorized by law and statements of general policy or interpretations formulated and adopted by the agency for the guidance of the public * * *”. A “rule” was defined for purposes of the APA to include an “agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy”. Section 2(c) of the APA (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. sec. 551(4) (2018)).

Section 4 of the APA 85 dealt with “rule making” by agencies. “Rule making” was defined as “agency process for the formulation, amendment, or repeal of a rule”. Section 2(c) of the APA (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. sec. 551(5) (2018)). Section 4(a) of the APA 86 required that “[g]eneral notice of proposed rule making” be published in the Federal Register. There was an exception to the notice-of-proposed-rulemaking requirement for “interpretive rules”, for “general statements of policy”, or “in any situation in which the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of the reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable”. Id. This exception did not apply when notice or hearing was required by statute. Id. Section 4(a) of the APA 87 required the notice of proposed rulemaking to include: “(1) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings; (2) reference to the authority under which the rule is proposed; and (3) either the terms or substance of the proposed rule or a description of the subjects and issues involved.” Section 4(b) of the APA 88 provided:

After notice required by this section, the agency shall afford interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity to present the same orally in any manner; and, after consideration of all relevant matter presented, the agency shall incorporate in any rules adopted a concise general statement of their basis and purpose. * * *

Section 4(c) of the APA 89 provided: “The required publication * * * of any substantive rule (other than one granting or recognizing exemption or relieving restriction or interpretive rules and statements of policy) shall be made not less than thirty days prior to the effective date thereof except as otherwise provided by the agency upon good cause found and published with the rule.” According to the legislative history of the APA, the term “required publication” in section 4(c) of the APA 90 referred back to the requirement in section 3(a) of the APA 91 that a rule must be published in the Federal Register, and did not refer to the requirement in section 4(a) of the APA 92 that a notice of proposed rulemaking be published in the Federal Register. 93 Consistent with the legislative history, Rowell v. Andrus, 631 F.2d 699, 702-704 (10th Cir. 1980), held that an agency violated section 4(c) of the APA by publishing a final rule in the Federal Register less than 30 days before its effective date, and rejected the agency's argument that section 4(c) of the APA “only requires that a proposed rule be published no less than 30 days before its effective date”.

Section 4(c) of the APA 94 potentially conflicted with section 3791(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 (and with analogous provisions in the Internal Revenue Codes of 1954 and 1986). 95 Section 4(c) of the APA 96 required that a rule generally have an effective date 30 days or more after the publication of the rule in the Federal Register. APA section 4(c) 97 seemingly meant that a rule may not generally have retroactive effect. See Georgetown Univ. Hosp. v. Bowen, 821 F.2d 750, 757 n.11 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (“The fact that the APA requires legislative rules to be given only 'future effect' is underscored by 5 U.S.C. §553(d) (1982), which requires that such rules be published not less than 30 days before their effective date, except 'as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.'”), aff'd on other grounds, 488 U.S. 204 (1988). However, for tax regulations, section 3791(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 authorized the Treasury Department to determine the extent to which a regulation shall be applied without retroactive effect. Section 3791(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 can be interpreted to mean that the Treasury Department could give retroactive effect to a regulation. 98 The relationship between section 4(c) of the APA and section 3791(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 was not definitively resolved. 99

Section 10(a) of the APA 100 provided that except as statutes preclude judicial review (or except as agency action is by law committed to agency discretion) any person suffering legal wrong because of any agency action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a relevant statute, is entitled to judicial review thereof. The rules regarding the scope of judicial review were set forth in section 10(e) of the APA. 101 Section 10(e) of the APA generally required a reviewing court to decide questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions, and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action. Section 10(e)(B) of the APA 102 required a reviewing court to hold unlawful and set aside agency action that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law (section 10(e)(B)(1) of the APA 103); or excessive of statutory authority (section 10(e)(B)(3) of the APA 104).

V. The lifting of the wartime suspension of the Federal Register Act requirement that regulations be codified every five years

On November 12, 1947, the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register terminated the 1942 suspension of the requirement that each agency codify certain documents every five years. See Exec. Order No. 9,930, 13 Fed. Reg. 519 (Feb. 5, 1948), reprinted in 44 U.S.C. sec. 311 note (Supp. II 1949); Act of Dec. 10, 1942, secs. 1, 2 (amending Act of June 19, 1937 (amending Federal Register Act of 1935, sec. 11)). The termination of the suspension was effective December 31, 1948. See Exec. Order No. 9,930, 13 Fed. Reg. 519 (Feb. 5, 1948), reprinted in 44 U.S.C. sec. 311 note (Supp. II 1949).

W. The second edition of the Code of Federal Regulations

On February 4, 1948, the President signed Executive Order No. 9,930 stating that “the required codification of documents in force and effect on December 31, 1948, will, under present procedures, be on file with the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register on that date”; and that “the publication of the said codification as it is in force and effect on December 31, 1948, is hereby authorized and directed to be made”. Thus, the 1948 executive order was the President's directive to publish the second edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. This edition, published in 1949, contained documents promulgated on or before December 31, 1948, and effective for facts and circumstances arising on or after January 1, 1949. See titles 1-3 C.F.R. xv (1949) (describing scope of documents contained in the second edition of the C.F.R.). It contained the complete text of section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111, as amended to reflect the change to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 made by the Revenue Act of 1943, sec. 128(b) and (c), 58 Stat. at 48. 105

X. The 1953 amendment to the Federal Register Act

In 1953, Congress replaced the requirement in the Federal Register Act that a new codification of regulations be made every five years. Act of Aug. 5, 1953, ch. 333, 67 Stat. 388. Under the 1953 amendment, the Executive was authorized to require the codification and publication of regulations “from time to time as it may deem necessary”. Federal Register Act sec. 11(a), as amended by Act of Aug. 5, 1953. The 1953 amendment expressly provided that its provisions “shall apply to the Code of Federal Regulations, 1949 Edition”. Federal Register Act sec. 11(g), as amended by Act of Aug. 5, 1953, 67 Stat. at 389. As a result of the 1953 amendment, the Executive was free to publish new volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations when it saw fit. See Cervase v. Office Fed. Reg., 580 F.2d 1166, 1169 (3d Cir. 1978).

The publication of the Code of Federal Regulations up to this point can be summarized as follows:

The Code of Federal Regulations from the 1935 enactment of the Federal Register Act until its 1953 amendment

Publication requirements

Resulting Publications

Federal Register Act (1935) required, by 1/26/1936, the compilation of documents issued or promulgated before 9/24/1935. Publication of the compilation was required, but there was no deadline.

None.

1937 amendment replaced the above requirement with the requirement that, on or before 7/1/1938, documents in force and effect on 6/1/1938 be codified. The President was authorized to have the codification published.

1st edition of C.F.R. was published, containing documents in force on 6/1/1938. Supplements to 1st edition were also published: 1938 Supp. (documents filed 6/2/1938 to 12/31/1938); 1939 Supp. (documents filed during 1939); and 1940 Supp. (documents filed during 1940).

1937 amendment also required subsequent codifications every five years of the same documents. For example, it required a codification, on or before 7/1/1943, of documents in force and effect on 6/1/1938. The President was authorized to have the subsequent codifications published.

No publications met this requirement before it was modified and suspended in 1942.

1942 amendment (first change) modified the temporal scope of the documents to be codified every five years. For example, the codification to be made on or before 7/1/1943 was to be of documents in force and effect on 6/1/1943.

No codification was published until 1949 due to suspension noted in the left column.

1942 amendment (second change) suspended the requirement that there be subsequent codifications every five years.

1942 amendment (third change) required the publication of a cumulative supplement during the suspension of the requirement of subsequent codifications every five years.

A Cumulative Supplement was published containing documents (1) filed from 6/2/1938 to 6/1/1943 that were in force and effect on 6/1/1943, and (2) filed after 6/1/1943 that were effective on 6/1/1943.

Annual supplements were published: 1943 Supp. (documents filed and published in Federal Register from 6/2 to 12/31/1943); 1944 Supp. (documents filed during 1944); 1945 Supp. (documents filed during 1945); 1946 Supp. (documents filed during 1946); 1947 Supp. (documents filed during 1947).

1953 amendment to Federal Register Act eliminated requirement of subsequent codifications every five years; the timing of codifications was now up to the Executive.

 

The publication of the Code of Federal Regulations after the 1953 amendment to the Federal Register Act (an amendment that was effective starting with the 1949 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations) has been summarized as follows:

In 1949, the second edition of the Code of Federal Regulations was finally published. It included all the regulations still in effect as of January 1, 1949, and was largely taken from the 1938 edition, the supplements, and the regulations issued in the Federal Register in 1948.

However, there were some additional regulations added that were not published in the Federal Register. These were generally either rules of procedure or rules received by the Division of the Federal Register and considered as officially promulgated and applicable to the general public or a class of the public and effective on or after January 1, 1949. Each book of the 1949 CFR, containing one or more titles, also had a subject index and a place at the back to fit a cumulative pocket supplement. Cumulative pocket supplements were issued annually for each book until it was deemed appropriate that a new edition of a particular book should be published with space in the back for subsequent pocket supplements. Each supplement also contained various finding aids, including a “Codification Guide” or “List of Sections Affected” as it was later called.

After considerable discussion on the best way to proceed, beginning in 1963 for some titles and for all titles in 1967, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) began publishing yearly revisions to the titles of the CFR, effective on January 1 of each year. The new books were bound in soft covered, dark blue paper stock, but beginning in 1970 each annual edition of the CFR has a different color on its outside binding. If there are no changes to regulations in certain books then a colored paper stock is issued so it can be used to cover the older edition. Although ponderous in size, an annual republication of the CFR in softbound books, instead of cumulative supplements or loose-leafs, allows the researcher to determine how a regulation read on any given date.

Soon, however, it became apparent to the OFR that revising the entire Code of Federal Regulations, at the same time, was administratively unmanageable. So beginning on October 1, 1972, the OFR has divided the titles of the CFR into four groups with each group being revised in staggered quarters of the year. Titles 1-16 are revised effectively on January 1 of each year. Titles 17-27 are revised effectively on April 1 of each year. Titles 28-41 are revised effectively on July 1 of each year, and titles 42-50 are revised effectively on October 1 of each year.

Rick McKinney, “A Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations,” 46 L. Libr. Lights 10, 11 (2002) (footnotes omitted).

Y. Regulations 118

In 1953, the Treasury Department promulgated section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 to replace section 29.45-1 of Regulations 111. Regulations 118 was a comprehensive set of income-tax regulations that was promulgated, and published in the Federal Register, in 1953. 18 Fed. Reg. 5771 (Sept. 26, 1953); see sec. 39.1-1(a) of Regulations 118, 18 Fed. Reg. 5782. Regulations 118 was also printed as a pamphlet by the Government Printing Office. Income Tax Regulations, 118 Internal Revenue Code; Part 39 of Title 26, Code of Federal Regulations (Gov't Prtg. Off. 1953). The pamphlet version of Regulations 118 was for the most part a photocopy of the version of Regulations 118 that was published in the Federal Register. 18 Fed. Reg. 5771. The pamphlet had the page numbers that were used in the Federal Register. Regulations 118 was also published in the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. pt. 39 (1953). In 1953, a two-volume revision to the Code of Federal Regulations was published, containing those tax regulations that were (1) published in the Federal Register on or before December 31, 1953, and (2) effective on or after January 1, 1954. 26 (parts 1-79) C.F.R. v (1953). 106 These two volumes replaced title 26 of the 1949 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 (parts 1-79) C.F.R. v (1953). Like Regulations 111, Regulations 118 generally interpreted the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.1-1(a) (1953). Regulations 118 was “applicable only with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1951.” Id. para. (b). Section 39.45-1, Regulations 118, related particularly to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. See Income Tax Regulations 118, Internal Revenue Code; Part 39 of Title 26, Code of Federal Regulations III (“Each section of the regulations is preceded by the section, subsection, or paragraph of the Internal Revenue Code which it interprets.”). The regulatory provision was virtually identical to its predecessor, section 29.45-1, Regulations 111. 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1 (1949). The only difference was in form. In Regulations 111, paragraph (b) of section 29.45-1 had consisted of three unnumbered subparagraphs. 26 C.F.R. sec. 29.45-1(b) (1949). In Regulations 118, the three subparagraphs of paragraph (b) of section 39.45-1 were separately numbered. 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1)-(3) (1953).

Z. The Internal Revenue Code of 1954

In 1954, Congress recodified the federal tax laws as the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 3. Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, as amended by section 128(b) and (c) of the Revenue Act of 1943, was recodified as section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 68A Stat. at 162. The only difference between the two provisions was nonsubstantive: Congress replaced the words “the Commissioner is authorized to” with the words “the Secretary or his delegate may”. Thus, section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, provided:

In any case of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Secretary or his delegate may distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances between or among such organizations, trades, or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any of such organizations, trades, or businesses.

Section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 applied only to tax years that began after December 31, 1953, and ended after August 16, 1954. Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 7851(a)(1)(A), 68A Stat. at 919, 929. 107 Thus for calendar-year taxpayers, 1954 was the first year for which section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was effective. This is relevant to Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 399-400, which involved the tax years 1955-59 of a calendar-year taxpayer. These years were governed by section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

Section 7805(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 68A Stat. at 917, was the provision in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 that was analogous to section 62 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Section 7805(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 provided: “[T]he Secretary or his delegate shall prescribe all needful rules and regulations for the enforcement of this title, including all rules and regulations as may be necessary by reason of any alteration of law in relation to internal revenue.” 108

Section 7805(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 68A Stat. at 917, was the provision in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 that was analogous to section 3791(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Section 7805(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 provided: “The Secretary or his delegate may prescribe the extent, if any, to which any ruling or regulation, relating to the internal revenue laws, shall be applied without retroactive effect.” 109

Section 7807(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 68A Stat. at 917, in conjunction with Treasury Decision 6091, 19 Fed. Reg. 5167 (Aug. 17, 1954), addressed the applicability of regulations promulgated under the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Those regulations continued to be effective with respect to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 until they were superseded. Interstate Drop Forge Co. v. Commissioner, 326 F.2d 743, 745 (7th Cir. 1964), aff'g T.C. Memo. 1963-149. 110 Thus section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 (26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1 (1953)), which related to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, continued to be effective as to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 until section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 was superseded by new regulations. 111

It took time for the Treasury Department to promulgate regulations relating to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. See 26 C.F.R. v (1954). When these regulations were eventually promulgated, they were published in the Federal Register. A new title of the Code of Federal Regulations was created, named “Title 26 — Internal Revenue, 1954”, for the purpose of covering these regulations. See 26 C.F.R. v (1954). 112 Because the new title continued in use until 1961 (with revisions), the new title (and its revisions) ended up containing all of the 1954 Code regulations promulgated in the 1950s. However, no regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 were published in the 1950s. So “Title 26 — Internal Revenue, 1954” and its revisions did not contain any regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

The preface to the new title “Title 26 — Internal Revenue, 1954” gave the following explanation of the reasons for the creation of the new title:

The enactment of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, August 16, 1954, gave rise to a unique problem in the codification of the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. To accommodate rules and regulations implementing the new Internal Revenue Code, a new title was established in the Code of Federal Regulations entitled “Internal Revenue, 1954”, designed to replace “Title 26 — Internal Revenue” contained in the 1949 Edition. However, since many of the regulations implementing the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 had not been issued by the end of 1954, it was decided to publish both titles as of January 1, 1955.

This book, therefore, contains all of the rules and regulations constituting Title 26 — Internal Revenue, 1954, including temporary rules relating to income tax and administrative matters, issued pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, fully promulgated during 1954, and effective as to facts arising on and after January 1, 1955.

In addition to this book, pocket supplements have been published for the existing volumes of Title 26 — Internal Revenue, containing changes and additions to the regulations issued pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 which were in force and effect on December 31, 1954. Eventually, Title 26 — Internal Revenue, 1954 will be published in permanent form, replacing the five volumes of Title 26 — Internal Revenue containing regulations issued pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1939.

26 C.F.R. v (1954). The preface quoted above explains that the title of the Code of Federal Regulations related to the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 named “Title 26 — Internal Revenue” would be published “as of January 1, 1955” and that pocket supplements for that title had already been published for changes and additions “which were in force and effect on December 31, 1954.” “Title 26 — Internal Revenue” of the Code of Federal Regulations was published in 1954 and included regulations that (1) were published in the Federal Register on or before December 31, 1953, and (2) were effective as to facts arising on or after January 1, 1954. 26 C.F.R. v (1954). Pocket supplements to “Title 26 — Internal Revenue” of the Code of Federal Regulations were published in 1955, 1956, and 1957. 26 C.F.R. (Supp. 1955); 26 C.F.R. (Supp. 1956); 26 C.F.R. (Supp. 1957). Added pocket parts to be used in conjunction with the 1957 pocket supplement were published in 1958, 1959, and 1960. 26 C.F.R. (Supp. 1957 & added pocket part 1958); 26 C.F.R. (Supp. 1957 & added pocket part 1959); 26 C.F.R. (Supp. 1957 & added pocket part 1960).

AA. The 1960 notice of proposed rulemaking

On December 10, 1960, a notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register. 25 Fed. Reg. 12703. It proposed regulation section 1.482-1, which, according to the notice was “prescribed under” section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. 25 Fed. Reg. at 12704. 113

BB. The creation of a new title of the Code of Federal Regulations

In 1961 the Government Printing Office issued a new title in the Code of Federal Regulations, “Title 26 — Internal Revenue, Revised as of January 1, 1961”, which replaced “Title 26 — Internal Revenue, 1954”. See 26 (part 1 (secs. 1.401 to 1.860)) C.F.R. v (1961). The new title contained all regulations related to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 that had been promulgated on or before December 31, 1960, and effective as to facts arising on or after January 1, 1961. Id. No final regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 were promulgated on or before December 31, 1960. Therefore, the new title did not contain any regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The new title contained the following heading to act as a placemarker for future regulations under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954: “§1[.]482 [Reserved]”. 26 C.F.R. 140 (1961).

CC. The 1962 final regulations

On April 14, 1962, a final version of regulation section 1.482-1, which was identical to the 1960 proposed version, was published in the Federal Register. T.D. 6595, 27 Fed. Reg. 3597-3598 (published Apr. 14, 1962; filed Apr. 13, 1962), 1962-1 C.B. 43, 49-51. As with the 1960 proposed regulations, the Treasury Department said that the final 1962 regulations were “prescribed under” section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. T.D. 6565, 27 Fed. Reg. 3595. Three years after the final 1962 regulations were published in the Federal Register, they were published in the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.).

The final 1962 regulations under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 contained only one section, section 1.482-1, which was divided into three paragraphs: (a), (b), and (c). The entire section is set forth below:

Sec. 1.482-1 Determination of the taxable income of a controlled taxpayer.

(a) Definitions. When used in this section —

(1) The term “organization” includes any organization of any kind, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a trust, an estate, an association, or a corporation (as each is defined or understood in the Internal Revenue Code or the regulations thereunder), irrespective of the place where organized, where operated, or where its trade or business is conducted, and regardless of whether domestic or foreign, whether exempt, whether affiliated, or whether a party to a consolidated return.

(2) The term “trade” or “business” includes any trade or business activity of any kind, regardless of whether or where organized, whether owned individually or otherwise, and regardless of the place where carried on.

(3) The term “controlled” includes any kind of control, direct or indirect, whether legally enforceable, and however exercisable or exercised. It is the reality of the control which is decisive, not its form or the mode of its exercise. A presumption of control arises if income or deductions have been arbitrarily shifted.

(4) The term “controlled taxpayer” means any one of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests.

(5) The terms “group” and “group of controlled taxpayers” mean the organizations, trades, or businesses owned or controlled by the same interests.

(6) The term “true taxable income” means, in the case of a controlled taxpayer, the taxable income (or, as the case may be, any item or element affecting taxable income) which would have resulted to the controlled taxpayer, had it in the conduct of its affairs (or, as the case may be, in the particular contract, transaction, arrangement, or other act) dealt with the other member or members of the group at arm's length. It does not mean the income, the deductions, the credits, the allowances, or the item or element of income, deductions, credits, or allowances, resulting to the controlled taxpayer by reason of the particular contract, transaction, or arrangement, the controlled taxpayer, or the interests controlling it, chose to make (even though such contract, transaction, or arrangement be legally binding upon the parties thereto).

(b) Scope and purpose. (1) The purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true taxable income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer. The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable incomes are thereby understated, the district director shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or of any item or element affecting taxable income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true taxable income of each controlled taxpayer. The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.

(2) Section 482 and this section apply to the case of any controlled taxpayer, whether such taxpayer makes a separate or a consolidated return. If a controlled taxpayer makes a separate return, the determination is of its true separate taxable income. If a controlled taxpayer is a party to a consolidated return, the true consolidated taxable income of the affiliated group and the true separate taxable income of the controlled taxpayer are determined consistently with the principles of a consolidated return.

(3) Section 482 grants no right to a controlled taxpayer to apply its provisions at will, nor does it grant any right to compel the district director to apply such provisions. It is not intended (except in the case of the computation of consolidated taxable income under a consolidated return) to effect in any case such a distribution, apportionment, or allocation of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or any item of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, as would produce a result equivalent to a computation of consolidated taxable income under subchapter A, chapter 6 of the Code.

(c) Application. Transactions between one controlled taxpayer and another will be subjected to special scrutiny to ascertain whether the common control is being used to reduce, avoid, or escape taxes. In determining the true taxable income of a controlled taxpayer, the district director is not restricted to the case of improper accounting, to the case of a fraudulent, colorable, or sham transaction, or to the case of a device designed to reduce or avoid tax by shifting or distorting income, deductions, credits, or allowances. The authority to determine true taxable income extends to any case in which either by inadvertence or design the taxable income, in whole or in part, of a controlled taxpayer, is other than it would have been had the taxpayer in the conduct of his affairs been an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.). We refer to 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.) as the 1962 regulations.

There were differences between section 1.482-1 of the 1962 regulations and section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 (26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1) (1953)). One difference was that in the third sentence of section 1.482-1(b)(1) of the 1962 regulations, the phrase “the district director shall intervene” replaced the phrase “the statute contemplates that the Commissioner shall intervene” in Regulation 118. Another difference was that the term “true net income”, which was used in several places in section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 (1953), was changed to “true taxable income” each time it was used in the 1962 regulations. Neither of these differences, nor any other difference between the 1962 regulations and Regulation 118 (1953), appears relevant to the effect of legal restrictions on allocations of income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The portion of the 1962 regulations most relevant to such legal restrictions was the “complete power” passage found in the second and third sentences of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.). These sentences in the 1962 regulations (which are quoted in the excerpt above) were not substantively different from these sentences in the 1953 regulations. In the 1953 regulations, these two sentences had been written as follows:

The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the net income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable net incomes are thereby understated, the statute contemplates that the Commissioner shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or of any item or element affecting net income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true net income of each controlled taxpayer. * * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1) (1953).

The 1962 regulations (i.e., the 1962 version of regulation section 1.482-1) had no effective-date provision. This raises the question of whether the 1962 regulations were applicable retroactively for the same tax years for which section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 applied, i.e., to tax year 1954 and later years for calendar-year taxpayers. If they did apply retroactively, that would mean the 1962 version of regulation section 1.482-1 superseded section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 (1953) for tax year 1954 and later years. The proposition that the 1962 regulatory provisions applied retroactively for the same years for which section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 applied finds support in Pollack v. Commissioner, 47 T.C 92, 110 (1966), aff'd, 392 F.2d 409 (5th Cir. 1968), which held that “unless the Commissioner otherwise specifies, regulations are retroactive to the date on which the statute was enacted”. (Citations omitted.) However, Pollack alone might not resolve the question of whether the 1962 regulatory provisions applied retroactively for the same years for which section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 applied. Two other principles potentially bear on this question. First, the Treasury Department cannot give a regulation retroactive effect if to do so would be an abuse of discretion. See Anderson, Clayton & Co. v. United States, 562 F.2d 972, 980-981 (5th Cir. 1977). Thus, if the 1962 regulatory provisions were otherwise construed as having retroactive effect, there might be an additional step of determining whether it would be an abuse of discretion for the Treasury Department to attempt to give the 1962 regulations retroactive effect. Second, section 4(c) of the APA 114 provided that substantive rules must generally be published not less than 30 days before their effective date. Section 4(c) of the APA 115 has been interpreted as prohibiting retroactive regulations. See Georgetown Univ. Hosp., 821 F.2d at 757 n.11. However, some caselaw suggests that section 4(c) of the APA 116 does not bar retroactive tax regulations, under the theory that such regulations are permitted by section 7805(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. See Redhouse v. Commissioner, 728 F.2d 1249, 1253 (9th Cir. 1984), aff'g Wendland v. Commissioner, 79 T.C. 355 (1982); Wing v. Commissioner, 81 T.C. 17, 29 n.16 (1983). We will discuss in greater detail the question of retroactivity when we discuss First Security Bank, which made repeated references to 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1971). See infra part II.FF. The short answer is that it does not matter whether the 1962 regulations were applicable for the same tax years for which section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 applied, including the 1955-59 tax years at issue in First Security Bank, because there is no relevant difference between the 1962 regulations and the 1953 regulations as to the portions of the regulatory text cited and quoted by Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 400 & nn.8 & 10, 404 & n.18, 407 & n.25.

DD. The 1965 and 1966 notices of proposed rulemaking

On April 1, 1965, a notice of proposed rulemaking, which proposed regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, was published in the Federal Register. 30 Fed. Reg. 4256 (filed Mar. 31, 1965). Under the proposal a new paragraph (d) would be added to section 1.482-1 of the 1962 regulations, which had only three paragraphs: (a), (b), and (c). The proposed paragraph (d) would be entitled “Method of allocation”. The 1965 proposal would also add new regulation section 1.482-2, entitled “Determination of taxable income in specific situations”. The proposal would leave unchanged the text of section 1.482-1(a), (b), and (c), except that it would make a technical change to section 1.482-1(a) by making the definitions in paragraph (a) applicable to proposed regulation section 1.482-2. No changes in the regulations were proposed in the 1965 notice of proposed rulemaking other than those we have discussed here, i.e., the addition of section 1.482-1(d), the addition of section 1.482-2, and the technical change.

Of the provisions in the 1965 proposed regulations, it is important to discuss here only section 1.482-1(d)(5), which addressed the use of a deferred-income method of accounting for payments that would be barred by foreign legal restrictions. Section 1.482-1(d)(5) provided:

(5) If payment or reimbursement for the sale, exchange, or use of property, the rendition of services, or the advance of other consideration among members of a group of controlled entities was prevented, or would have been prevented, at the time of the transaction because of currency or other restrictions imposed under the laws of any foreign country, any distributions, apportionments, or allocations which may be made under section 482 with respect to such transactions may be treated as deferable income or deductions, providing the taxpayer has, for the year to which the distributions, apportionments, or allocations relate, requested and received permission to use a method of accounting in which the reporting of deferable income is deferred until the income ceases to be deferable income. Such method of accounting is referred to in this section as the deferred income method of accounting. If such method has been approved, any payments or reimbursements which were prevented or would have been prevented, and any deductions attributable to such payments or reimbursements, shall be deferred until they cease to be deferable under such method of accounting. The principles of this subparagraph may be illustrated by the following example in which it is assumed that D, a domestic corporation, and F, a foreign corporation, are members of the same group of controlled entities:

Example: D, which, is in the business of rendering services to unrelated parties, renders services for the benefit of F in 1965, which cost $60,000 and have a fair value of $100,000. Assume that the district director proposes to increase D's income by $100,000, but that the country in which F is located would have blocked payment in 1965 for such services. If D has received permission with respect to its 1965 return to use the deferred income method of accounting, the $100,000 allocation and the $60,000 costs are deferable until such amounts cease to be deferable under D's method of accounting.

30 Fed. Reg. 4257.

On August 2, 1966, the Treasury Department withdrew the 1965 proposed regulations under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. 31 Fed. Reg. 10394 (filed Aug. 1, 1966). In their place, the Treasury Department issued new proposed regulations, which were published in a new notice of proposed rulemaking. 31 Fed. Reg. 10394 (Aug. 2, 1966). The basic features of the 1966 proposed regulations were the same as the 1965 proposed regulations: there was to be added new regulation section 1.482-1(d), entitled “Method of allocation”; there was to be added new regulation section 1.482-2, entitled “Determination of taxable income in specific situations”; and the text of section 1.482-1(a), (b), and (c), was to be unchanged except for the same technical change to section 1.482-1(a) that had been proposed in 1965 (i.e., making the definitions in paragraph (a) applicable to proposed regulation section 1.482-2).

Section 1.482-1(d)(6) of the 1966 proposed regulations, 31 Fed. Reg. 10395, addressed the use of a deferred-income method of accounting for payments that would be barred by foreign legal restrictions. These provisions of the 1966 proposed regulations were similar to section 1.482-1(d)(5) of the 1965 proposed regulations, except that the 1966 proposed regulations placed a time limit on the taxpayer's ability to elect the method of accounting. Section 1.482-1(d)(6) of the 1966 proposed regulations provided:

(6) If payment or reimbursement for the sale, exchange, or use of property, the rendition of services, or the advance of other consideration among members of a group of controlled entities was prevented, or would have been prevented, at the time of the transaction because of currency or other restrictions imposed under the laws of any foreign country, any distributions, apportionments, or allocations which may be made under section 482 with respect to such transactions may be treated as deferrable income or deductions, providing the taxpayer has, for the year to which the distributions, apportionments, or allocations relate, elected to use a method of accounting in which the reporting of deferrable income is deferred until the income ceases to be deferrable income. Under such method of accounting, referred to in this section as the deferred income method of accounting, any payments or reimbursements which were prevented or would have been prevented, and any deductions attributable directly or indirectly to such payments or reimbursements, shall be deferred until they cease to be deferrable under such method of accounting. If such method of accounting has not been elected with respect to the taxable year to which the allocations under section 482 relate, the taxpayer may elect such method with respect to such allocations (but not with respect to other deferrable income) at any time before the first occurring of the following events with respect to the allocations:

(i) Execution of Form 870 (Waiver of Restrictions on Assessment and Collection of Deficiency in Tax and Acceptance of Overassessment);

(ii) Expiration of the period ending 30 days after the date of a letter by which the district director transmits an examination report notifying the taxpayer of proposed adjustments reflecting such allocations; or

(iii) Execution of a closing agreement or offer-in-compromise.

The principles of this subparagraph may be illustrated by the following example in which it is assumed that D, a domestic corporation, and F, a foreign corporation, are members of the same group of controlled entities:

Example. D, which is in the business of rendering a certain type of service to unrelated parties, renders such services for the benefit of F in 1965. The direct and indirect costs allocable to such services are $60,000, and an arm's length charge for such services is $100,000. Assume that the district director proposes to increase D's income by $100,000, but that the country in which F is located would have blocked payment in 1965 for such services. If, prior to the first occurring of the events described in subdivisions (i), (ii), or (iii) of this subparagraph, D elects to use the deferred income method of accounting with respect to such allocation, the $100,000 allocation and the $60,000 of costs are deferrable until such amounts cease to be deferrable under D's method of accounting.

31 Fed. Reg. 10395.

While the 1966 proposed regulations were in proposed form, the 1962 regulation remained in effect. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.). Meanwhile, two successive new editions of the Code of Federal Regulations were published in 1967 and 1968. Each reprinted the 1962 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1967); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1968). The 1967 revision to the Code of Federal Regulations contained regulations promulgated on or before December 31, 1966. 26 (part 1 (secs. 1.401-1.500)) C.F.R. v (1967). The 1968 revision to the Code of Federal Regulations contained regulations promulgated on or before December 31, 1967. 26 C.F.R. (part 1 (secs. 1.401-1.500)) v (1968).

EE. The 1968 final regulations

On April 16, 1968, Treasury Decision 6952, which contained final amendments to the 1962 regulations was published. 33 Fed. Reg. 5848 (published Apr. 16, 1968; filed Apr. 15, 1968). Treasury Decision 6952 stated that the amendments were adopted “under” section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. 33 Fed. Reg. 5848. Tracking the 1966 proposed regulations, the amendments that were made by Treasury Decision 6952 did the following: they added section 1.482-1(d), entitled “Method of allocation”; they added section 1.482-2, entitled “Determination of taxable income in specific situations”; and they left unchanged the existing text of section 1.482-1(a), (b), and (c) except for a technical change to section 1.482-1(a) (which made the definitions in paragraph (a) applicable to new regulation section 1.482-2). The 1968 regulatory amendments left in place the provisions containing the “complete power” passage. See 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1969) (part of section 1.482-1, after its 1968 amendment by T.D. 6952). 117

We use the phrase “the 1968 regulations” to refer to the regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as the regulations were amended in 1968, even including the portions of the 1962 regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 that were not affected by the 1968 amendments. This convention has been used elsewhere. See, e.g., T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34972 (July 8, 1994) (preamble to 1994 final regulations); Thomas E. Jenks, “Section 482 and the Non-Recognition Provisions: The Transfer of Intangible Assets”, 32 Tax Law. 775, 783 (1979); Edward Albert Purnell, “The Net Present Value Approach to Intangible Transfer Pricing Under Section 482: An Economic Model Takes the BALRM Floor”, 45 Tax Law. 647, 650 n.13 (1992). Note that when we refer to the 1968 regulations, we will not cite the 1968 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. This edition included only regulations that were promulgated on or before December 31, 1967. 26 (part 1 (secs. 1.401-1.500)) v (1968). 118 The 1968 amendments were filed on, and therefore were promulgated on, April 15, 1968. 33 Fed. Reg. 5857 (Apr. 16, 1968). Therefore the 1968 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations does not reflect the 1968 amendments.

One of the provisions of the 1968 regulations that was not in the 1962 regulations was section 1.482-1(d)(6). Section 1.482-1(d)(6) of the 1968 regulations was almost identical to section 1.482-1(d)(6) of the 1966 proposed regulations. 31 Fed. Reg. 10395 (Aug. 2, 1966). The provision allowed the use of a deferred-income method of accounting for payments that would be barred by foreign legal restrictions. Subparagraph (6) of section 1.482-1(d) of the 1968 regulations provided:

(6) If payment or reimbursement for the sale, exchange, or use of property, the rendition of services, or the advance of other consideration among members of a group of controlled entities was prevented, or would have been prevented, at the time of the transaction because of currency or other restrictions imposed under the laws of any foreign country, any distributions, apportionments, or allocations which may be made under section 482 with respect to such transactions may be treated as deferrable income or deductions, providing the taxpayer has, for the year to which the distributions, apportionments, or allocations relate, elected to use a method of accounting in which the reporting of deferrable income is deferred until the income ceases to be deferrable income. Under such method of accounting, referred to in this section as the deferred income method of accounting, any payments or reimbursements which were prevented or would have been prevented, and any deductions attributable directly or indirectly to such payments or reimbursements, shall be deferred until they cease to be deferrable under such method of accounting. If such method of accounting has not been elected with respect to the taxable year to which the allocations under section 482 relate, the taxpayer may elect such method with respect to such allocations (but not with respect to other deferrable income) at any time before the first occurring of the following events with respect to the allocations:

(i) Execution by the taxpayer of Form 870 (Waiver of Restrictions on Assessment and Collection of Deficiency in Tax and Acceptance of Overassessment);

(ii) Expiration of the period ending 30 days after the date of a letter by which the district director transmits an examination report notifying the taxpayer of the proposed adjustments reflecting such allocations or before July 16, 1968, whichever is later; or

(iii) Execution of a closing agreement or offer-in-compromise.

The principles of this subparagraph may be illustrated by the following example in which it is assumed that X, a domestic corporation, and Y, a foreign corporation, are members of the same group of controlled entities:

Example. X, which is in the business of rendering a certain type of service to unrelated parties, renders such services for the benefit of Y in 1965. The direct and indirect costs allocable to such services are $60,000, and an arm's length charge for such services is $100,000. Assume that the district director proposes to increase X's income by $100,000, but that the country in which Y is located would have blocked payment in 1965 for such services. If, prior to the first occurring of the events described in subdivisions (i), (ii), or (iii) of this subparagraph, X elects to use the deferred income method of accounting with respect to such allocation, the $100,000 allocation and the $60,000 of costs are deferrable until such amounts cease to be deferrable under X's method of accounting.

33 Fed. Reg. 5849 (Apr. 16, 1968), 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6) (1969).

Section 1.482-2 of the 1968 regulations, 33 Fed. Reg. 5849 (Apr. 16, 1968), a new provision not found in the 1962 regulations, addressed the methods for allocating income in the case of specific types of transactions. See also 33 Fed. Reg. 5848, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(1) (1969). These types of transactions were loans, sec. 1.482-2(a), services, id. para. (b), use of tangible property, id. para. (c), transfer or use of intangible property, id. para. (d), and sales of tangible property, id. para. (e). 33 Fed. Reg. 5849-5857.

For transfers or use of intangible property, here are the major rules in the 1968 regulations: an appropriate allocation may be made to reflect an arm's-length consideration, sec. 1.482-2(d)(1)(i), 33 Fed. Reg. 5852 (Apr. 16, 1968); the amount of arm's-length consideration is best indicated by comparable transactions, id. subpara. (2)(ii), 33 Fed. Reg. 5853; and in the absence of comparable transactions, the amount of arm's-length consideration may be arrived at through 12 factors, id. subpara. (2)(iii). Section 1.482-2(d)(4) of the 1968 regulations related to cost-sharing agreements for the development of intangible property. 33 Fed. Reg. 5854.

The preamble to the 1968 amendments to the section 482 regulations observed that a notice of proposed rulemaking had been made in 1965 and that those proposed amendments had been withdrawn and replaced with new proposals in 1966. 33 Fed. Reg. 5848. The preamble then stated: “After consideration of all such relevant matter as was presented by interested persons regarding the rules proposed, the amendment under section 482 is hereby adopted to read as set forth below.” Id.

The 1968 regulatory amendments did not have an effective-date provision. As with the 1962 regulations, there is a question as to whether the 1968 regulations applied retroactively. Caselaw suggests that a regulation without an effective-date provision is generally applicable for the same tax years as the statutory provisions to which the regulation relates. See Pollack v. Commissioner, 47 T.C. at 110. 119 The statutory provision to which the 1968 regulatory amendments related was section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 33 Fed. Reg. 5848, which was effective beginning with tax year 1954 for calendar-year taxpayers. Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 7851(a)(1)(A), 68A Stat. at 919. Therefore, the caselaw suggests that for these taxpayers the 1968 amendment would be effective for tax year 1954 and subsequent years. However, this does not entirely answer the question of whether the 1968 amendments were applicable for the tax year 1954 and subsequent years. Two other principles may be relevant. First, there is caselaw holding that the Treasury Department cannot give a regulation retroactive effect if to do so would be an abuse of discretion. See Anderson, Clayton & Co., 562 F.2d at 980-981. Thus, even if the 1968 amendments were otherwise construed as having retroactive effect, there may be an additional step of determining whether it would be an abuse of discretion for the Treasury Department to attempt to give the 1968 amendments retroactive effect. Second, section 4(c) of the APA 120 provided that substantive rules must generally be published not less than 30 days before their effective date. This APA antiretroactivity rule might arguably trump section 7805(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. However, some caselaw suggests it does not. See Redhouse v. Commissioner, 728 F.2d 1253; Wing v. Commissioner, 81 T.C. at 29 n.16. We consider this retroactivity question later when we discuss First Security Bank, which repeatedly referred to 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1971). See infra part II.FF. The short answer is that it does not matter whether the 1968 regulations have retroactive effect as to the 1955-59 tax years at issue in First Security Bank because there is no relevant difference between the 1968 regulations and earlier regulations as to the portion of the regulations cited and quoted by First Security Bank.

On April 16, 1968, the same day that Treasury Decision 6952 was published in the Federal Register, a proposed amendment to section 1.482-2(b)(3) and the proposed addition of section 1.482-2(b)(7) were also published. 33 Fed. Reg. 5858. These proposals are not relevant to the effect of legal restrictions on allocations of income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

On April 25, 1968, a correction of an error in section 1.482-2(e)(3)(i) of the 1968 regulations was published. 33 Fed. Reg. 6290 (Apr. 25, 1968). This correction is not relevant to the effect of legal restrictions on allocations of income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

On July 25, 1968, an amendment to section 1.482-2(d)(4) of the 1968 regulations was published. 33 Fed. Reg. 10569 (July 25, 1968). 121 This amendment does not appear relevant to the effect of legal restrictions on allocations of income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

The 1969 revision to the Code of Federal Regulations contained regulations promulgated on or before December 31, 1968. See 26 (part 1 (secs. 1.401-1.500)) C.F.R. v (1969). Included in the 1969 revision was section 1.482-1, which consisted of the following provisions:

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1969). Also included in the 1969 revision was section 1.482-2, which was the Treasury Decision 6952 text promulgated on April 16, 1968, 33 Fed. Reg. 5849, as amended on April 25, 1968, 33 Fed. Reg. 6290, and on July 25, 1968, 33 Fed. Reg. 10569. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2 (1969).

On January 22, 1969, an amendment to section 1.482-2(b)(3) and the addition of section 1.482-2(b)(7) were published. These changes were the final version of the changes proposed on April 16, 1968. 34 Fed. Reg. 933 (Jan. 22, 1969). These changes are not relevant to the effect of legal restrictions on allocations of income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

On January 29, 1969, a minor correction to section 1.482-2(b)(3) was published. 34 Fed. Reg. 1380 (Jan. 29, 1969). This correction is not relevant to the effect of legal restrictions on allocations of income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

The 1970 revision of the Code of Federal Regulations contained regulations promulgated on or before December 31, 1969. See 26 (part 1 (secs. 1.401-1.500)) C.F.R. v (1970). The 1970 revision contained the same text of section 1.482-1 that had been printed in the 1969 revision. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1970). Section 1.482-2 in the 1970 revision was identical to the version of section 1.482-2 published in the 1969 revision, except that it included the amendments made on January 22 and 29, 1969. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2 (1970).

The 1971 revision of the Code of Federal Regulations codified regulations as of January 1, 1971, including amendments published during 1970. See 26 (part 1 (secs. 1.401-1.500)) C.F.R. i, v (1971). This 1971 revision contained the same text of sections 1.482-1 and -2 that appeared in the 1970 revision. 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1, -2 (1971). The text of section 1.482-1 appears at 288-292 of the relevant volume of the 1971 revision to the Code of Federal Regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1971).

FF. Commissioner v. First Security Bank, 405 U.S. 394 (1972)(a case involving tax years 1955 to 1959)

In Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 396, a holding company 122 owned two banks 123 and an insurance company. 124 Customers of the two banks sometimes wanted to buy credit-life insurance; the banks would refer these customers to an unrelated insurance company that had agreed to reinsure the referred business with the insurance company that was owned by holding company. Id. at 398. 125 The unrelated insurance company wrote the policies and bore the insurance risks. Id. 126 The two banks did not receive any commissions. Id. Pursuant to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 127 respondent allocated insurance commission income to the two banks for tax years 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959. Id. at 399-400. These tax years were based on calendar years. First Sec. Bank of Utah, N.A. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1967-256, 26 T.C.M. (CCH) 1320, 1321 (1967), rev'd and remanded, 436 F.2d 1192 (10th Cir. 1971), aff'd, 405 U.S. 394 (1972). The amount respondent sought to allocate to the two banks was 40% of the premiums that had been received by the reinsurer from the unrelated insurance company. Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 400. The allocation was improper, the Court held, because the two banks were prohibited from receiving insurance commission income by section 92 of the National Bank Act. Id. at 402. This is a provision of the federal banking laws that authorizes national banks to act as insurance agents in places with a population of 5,000 or fewer. The provision has been interpreted by the courts to implicitly prohibit national banks from acting as insurance agents in places with a population of more than 5,000. Id. at 401 n.13 (citing Saxon v. Ga. Ass'n of Indep. Ins. Agents, Inc., 399 F.2d 1010 (5th Cir. 1968), and Commissioner v. Morris Tr., 367 F.2d 794, 795 (4th Cir. 1966), aff'g 42 T.C. 779 (1964)). The two banks were national banks. Id. at 396. Thus they were implicitly prohibited by section 92 of the National Bank Act from acting as insurance agents in places with a population of more than 5,000. The Court assumed that because the two banks could not act as insurance agents, they could not legally receive insurance commission income. Id. at 402. The Court also assumed that because the two banks received no compensation for referring their customers to the unrelated insurance company they did not violate section 92 of the National Bank Act. Id. n.16. 128 The upshot of these assumptions was that the two banks were in compliance with the law but would have been in violation of the law had they received insurance commissions.

The opinion first gave a one-sentence introduction to the case, id. at 394 & n.1 and then described the relevant facts, id. at 396-399. The opinion then described respondent's position as follows:

Pursuant to his §482 power to allocate gross income among controlled corporations in order to reflect the actual incomes of the companies, the Commissioner determined that 40% of Security Life's premium income [Security Life was the unrelated insurance company] was allocable to the Banks as compensation for originating and processing the credit life insurance. * * * It is the Commissioner's view that the 40% of the premium income so allocated is the equivalent of commissions that the Banks earned and must be included in their “true taxable income.”8

8. See 26 CFR § 1.482-1(a)(6) (1971).

Id. at 399-400 & n.8. The opinion in First Security Bank then explained the purpose of section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954:

The parties agree that §482 is designed to prevent “artificial shifting, milking, or distorting of the true net incomes of commonly controlled enterprises.”9 Treasury Regulations provide:

“The purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining[ 129] according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true taxable income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer. * * * The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.”10

The question we must answer is whether there was a shifting or distorting of the Banks' true net income resulting from the receipt and retention by Security Life [the unrelated insurance company] of the premiums above described. [Footnote omitted.]

9 B. Bittker & J. Eustice, Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders p. 15-21 (3d ed. 1971).

10 26 CFR § 1.482-1(b)(1) (1971). The first regulations interpreting this section of the statute were issued in 1934. They have remained virtually unchanged. Jenks, Treasury Regulations Under Section 482, 23 Tax Lawyer 279 (1970).

Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 400 & nn.9 & 10, 401.

The next relevant portion of the First Security Bank opinion contains the reasoning for the Supreme Court‘s holding that respondent cannot allocate income to a taxpayer who did not receive the income and could not legally receive the income. Id. at 394-407. Petitioner and respondent have competing interpretations of the Supreme Court‘s reasoning. Petitioner contends that “First Security Bank found section 482 [of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954] to be clear in light of the longstanding and consistent interpretation of the concept of income”. Respondent argues that First Security Bank did not determine that the text of section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was clear. In respondent's view, First Security Bank relied on the text of a regulation, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1971). Because of this dispute regarding the reasoning of First Security Bank, we quote the Supreme Court‘s reasoning in full below:

We know of no decision of this Court wherein a person has been found to have taxable income that he did not receive and that he was prohibited from receiving. In cases dealing with the concept of income, it has been assumed that the person to whom the income was attributed could have received it. The underlying assumption always has been that in order to be taxed for income, a taxpayer must have complete dominion over it. “The income that is subject to a man's unfettered command and that he is free to enjoy at his own option may be taxed to him as his income, whether he sees fit to enjoy it or not.” Corliss v. Bowers, 281 U.S. 376, 378 (1930).

It is, of course, well established that income assigned before it is received is nonetheless taxable to the assignor. But the assignment-of-income doctrine assumes that the income would have been received by the taxpayer had he not arranged for it to be paid to another. In Harrison v. Schaffner, 312 U.S. 579, 582 (1941), we said:

“[O]ne vested with the right to receive income [does] not escape the tax by any kind of anticipatory arrangement, however skillfully devised, by which he procures payment of it to another, since, by the exercise of his power to command the income, he enjoys the benefit of the income on which the tax is laid.”17

One of the Commissioner's regulations for the implementation of §482 expressly recognizes the concept that income implies dominion or control of the taxpayer. It provides as follows:

“The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers.”18

This regulation is consistent with the control concept heretofore approved by this Court, although in a different context. The regulation, as applied to the facts in this case, contemplates that Holding Company — the controlling interest — must have “complete power” to shift income among its subsidiaries. It is only where this power exists, and has been exercised in such a way that the “true taxable income” of a subsidiary has been understated, that the Commissioner is authorized to reallocate under §482. But Holding Company had no such power unless it acted in violation of federal banking laws. The “complete power” referred to in the regulations hardly includes the power to force a subsidiary to violate the law.

Apart from the inequity of attributing to the Banks taxable income that they have not received and may not lawfully receive, neither the statute nor our prior decisions require such a result. We are not faced with a situation such as existed in those cases, urged by the Commissioner, in which we held the proceeds of criminal activities to be taxable.19 Those cases concerned situations in which the taxpayer had actually received funds. Moreover, the illegality involved was the act that gave rise to the income. Here the originating and referring of the insurance, a practice widely followed, is acknowledged to be legal. Only the receipt of insurance commissions or premiums thereon by national banks is not. Had the Banks ignored the banking laws, thereby risking the loss of their charters and subjecting their officers to personal liability,20 the illegal-income cases would be relevant. But the Banks from the inception of their use of credit life insurance in 1948 were careful never to place themselves in that position. We think that fairness requires the tax to fall on the party that actually receives the premiums rather than on the party that cannot.21

In L.E. Shunk Latex Products, Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. 940 (1952), the Tax Court considered a closely analogous situation. The same interest controlled a manufacturer and a distributor of rubber prophylactics. The OPA Price Regulations of World War II became effective on December 1, 1941. Prior thereto the distributor had raised its prices to retailers, but the manufacturer had not increased the prices charged to its affiliated distributor. The Commissioner, acting under §482, attempted to allocate some of the distributor's income to the manufacturer on the ground that a portion of the distributor's profits was in fact earned by the manufacturer, even though the manufacturer was prohibited by the OPA regulations from increasing its prices. In holding that the Commissioner had acted improperly, the Tax Court said that he had “no authority to attribute to petitioners income which they could not have received.” 18 T.C., at 961.22

It is argued, finally, that the “services” rendered by the Banks in making credit insurance available to customers “would have been compensated had the corporations been dealing with each other at arm's length.”23 The short answer is that the proscription against acting as insurance agent and receiving compensation therefor applies to all national banks located in places with population in excess of 5,000 inhabitants. It applies equally to such banks whether or not they are controlled by a holding company. If these Banks had been independent of any such control — as most banks are — no commissions or premiums could have been received lawfully and there would have been no taxable income.24 As stated in the Treasury Regulations, the “purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer. . . . ”25 We think our holding comports with such parity treatment.

We conclude that the premium income received by Security Life could not be attributable to the Banks. Holding Company did not utilize its control over the Banks and Security Life to distort their true net incomes. The Commissioner's exercise of his §482 authority was therefore unwarranted in this case. * * *

17 See Helvering v. Horst, 311 U.S. 112 (1940) (assignment of interest coupons attached to bonds owned by taxpayer); Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930) (taxpayer assigned to wife one-half interest in his earnings). See generally Commissioner v. Sunnen, 333 U.S. 591 (1948), and cases discussed therein at 604-610.

1826 CFR § 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971).

19James v. United States, 366 U.S. 213 (1961); Rutkin v. United States, 343 U.S. 130 (1952).

2012 U.S.C. §93.

21Thus, in Commissioner v. Lester, 366 U.S. 299 (1961), in determining that a taxpayer should not be taxed on alimony payments to his divorced wife, the Court determined that it was more consistent with the basic precepts of income tax law that the wife, who received and had power to spend the payments, should be taxed rather than the husband who actually earned the money.

22As noted at the outset of this opinion, certiorari was granted to resolve the conflict between the decision below and that in Local Finance Corp. v. Commissioner, 407 F.2d 629 (CA7 1969). The Tax Court in this case felt bound to follow Local Finance Corp., which was decided subsequently to L.E. Shunk Latex Products, Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. 940 (1952). For the reasons stated in the opinion above, we think Local Finance Corp. was erroneously decided and that the earlier views of the Tax Court were correct.

See Teschner v. Commissioner, 38 T.C. 1003, 1009 (1962):

“In the case before us, the taxpayer, while he had no power to dispose of income, had a power to appoint or designate its recipient. Does the existence or exercise of such a power alone give rise to taxable income in his hands? We think clearly not. In Nicholas A. Stavroudis, 27 T.C. 583, 590 (1956), we found it to be settled doctrine that a power to direct the distribution of trust income to others is not alone sufficient to justify the taxation of that income to the possessor of such a power.

23See dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, post, at 422.

24If an unaffiliated bank were able to provide the insurance at a cheaper rate because no commissions were paid, this would benefit the customers but would result in no taxable income.

2526 CFR § 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971).

Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 403-407.

The statutory provision referred to in First Security Bank was section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The regulation referred to in First Security Bank was 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1971).

When citing and quoting the regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, First Security Bank referred to the 1971 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank of Utah, 405 U.S. at 400 & nn.8&10, 404 & n.18, 407 & n.25. The text of the regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 that were printed in the 1971 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations had appeared in various forms in the 1953, 1962, and 1968 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1 (1953)(1953 regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.)(1962 regulations); 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1 and-2 (1969)(1968 regulations). First Security Bank did not expressly say which of these sets of regulations governed the tax years at issue in that case (1955-59). 130 Looking at the text of First Security Bank, and comparing the text of the various regulations, we make the following conclusions:

  • Of the regulatory provisions quoted and cited in First Security Bank, each provision appears in both the 1962 and 1968 regulations.

  • Of the regulatory provisions quoted and cited in First Security Bank, the provisions do not appear in the 1953 regulations in the form quoted or cited by the opinion with one exception.

We now explain these conclusions. We first repeat the following relevant regulatory history regarding the 1953, 1962, and 1968 regulations:

  • In 1953, the Treasury Department issued a comprehensive set of income-tax regulations related to the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. 26 C.F.R. secs. 39-1 to 39.6000-1 (1953). These regulations were Regulations 118. Regulations 118 included section 39.45-1, which related to section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. Section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 included the “complete power” passage. 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1)(1953).

  • In 1954, Congress replaced the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 with the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The regulations that were related to the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 were applied to the relevant provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 until they were superseded by new regulations. Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 7807(a); T.D. 6091, 19 Fed. Reg. 5167 (Aug. 17. 1954).

  • In 1962 the Treasury Department promulgated comprehensive regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Title 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1 (1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.)(the 1962 regulations) replaced section 39.45-1 of Regulations 118 (26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1 (1953))(the 1953 regulations). There were some differences between the 1962 regulations and the parallel provisions in the 1953 regulations, but none of the differences matter in relation to allocations of income the payment of which is barred by legal restrictions.

  • In 1968, the Treasury Department made amendments to the 1962 regulations. T.D. 6952, 33 Fed. Reg. 5848 (Apr. 16, 1968). These amendments included a new regulation section 1.482-2, which related to particular types of transactions. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2 (1969). The 1968 amendment also included a provision allowing the deferred-income method of accounting for income the payment of which is barred by foreign legal restrictions. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969). The 1968 amendment retained the “complete power” passage which had appeared in the 1953 and the 1962 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1969).

With this regulatory history in mind, we can explain our conclusions that each regulatory provision, as quoted and cited in First Security Bank, appears in both the 1962 and 1968 regulations but not (with one exception) the 1953 regulations. We discuss below each of the four instances in which First Security Bank referred to regulations related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

The first regulatory reference in Commissioner v. First Security Bank of Utah, 405 U.S. at 400 & n.8, is the citation of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6)(1971) after the following sentence: “It is the Commissioner's view that the 40% of the premium income so allocated is the equivalent of commissions that the Banks earned and must be included in their 'true taxable income.'” The term “true taxable income” was defined by 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6)(1971). This term was first defined in the 1962 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6)(1961 ed. 1965 Supp.), and appeared again unchanged in the 1968 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6)(1969). 131 The definition of “true taxable income” was not in the 1953 regulations, which used and defined a different term — “true net income”. 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(a)(6)(1953).

The second regulatory reference in Commissioner v. First Security Bank of Utah, 405 U.S. at 400 & n.10, is the quotation of the portion of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971) that stated:

The purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true taxable income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer. . . . The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.

(Ellipsis in original opinion.) 132 This same text quoted in First Security Bank is found in the 1962 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1961 ed. 1965 Cum. Supp.), and in the 1968 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1969), but is slightly different from the 1953 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1)(1953), which refer to “true net income” instead of “true taxable income”.

The third regulatory reference in Commissioner v. First Security Bank of Utah, 405 U.S. at 404 & n.18, is the quotation of the portion of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971) that stated: “The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers.” This text is found in the 1962 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1961 ed. 1965 Supp.), and in the 1968 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1969), but is slightly different from the 1953 regulations, 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1)(1953), which refer to “net income” instead of “taxable income”.

The fourth regulatory reference in Commissioner v. First Security Bank of Utah, 405 U.S. at 407 & n.25, is the citation of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971) for this proposition: “As stated in the Treasury Regulations, the 'purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer. . . .” (Ellipsis in original opinion.) The text quoted in the Supreme Court opinion appears in the 1962 regulations and the 1968 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1961 ed. 1965 Supp.)(1962 regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1)(1969)(1968 regulations). It also appears in the 1953 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 39.45-1(b)(1)(1953).

We will now discuss the significance of which version of the regulations was relied on by First Security Bank. Recall that the regulatory provisions cited and quoted by First Security Bank contain textual differences from the 1953 regulations. Therefore a plausible case can be made that the First Security Bank opinion indicated that the 1953 regulation was not the version it relied on. Whether this is correct (i.e., whether First Security Bank relied on the 1953 version) is not significant. This is because there is no relevant difference between the 1953 regulations, on the one hand, and the 1962 and 1968 regulations, on the other, as to those portions of the regulations cited and quoted by First Security Bank.

First Security Bank did not cite or quote 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969). 133 This provision, which appeared in the 1968 regulations but not the 1953 regulations or the 1962 regulations, allowed taxpayers to elect the deferred-income method of accounting regarding income the payment of which would be barred by foreign legal restrictions. In First Security Bank, respondent did not argue that the availability of the deferred-income method of accounting in the regulations meant that the regulations did not prohibit respondent from allocating income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 that could not be paid to the taxpayer because of legal restrictions. 134 Indeed, the government's briefs in First Security Bank did not make any reference to 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969). Therefore there is no need for us to determine whether 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969) applied for the 1955-59 taxable years at issue in First Security Bank. Such a determination would not inform our understanding of the holding or reasoning of First Security Bank.

GG. The Tax Reform Act of 1976

In 1976, Congress amended section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 to replace “the Secretary or his delegate” with “the Secretary”. 26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (1976), as amended by the Tax Reform Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-455, sec. 1906(b)(13)(A), 90 Stat. at 1834. The change was effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 1976. Tax Reform Act of 1976 sec. 1906(d)(2), 90 Stat. at 1835. Neither petitioner nor respondent contends that this change is significant.

HH. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. 323 (1990) (a case involving tax years ending June 30, 1978, and June 30, 1979), aff'd, 961 F.2d 1255 (Cir. 1992); and Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1993-616, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) 1707 (a case involving tax years 1979, 1980, and 1981), aff'd sub nom. Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d 825 (5th Cir. 1996)

In Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. 323, 324, 326 (1990), aff'd, 961 F.2d 1255 (6th Cir. 1992), a U.S. company owned a Swiss company, which in turn owned a Spanish company. The Swiss company paid royalties to the U.S. company for the right of the Swiss company and the Spanish company to use the U.S. company's intellectual property. Id. at 324, 330. Pursuant to this arrangement, the Spanish company used the U.S. company's intellectual property. Id. at 330. The Spanish company paid no compensation to the Swiss company even though the Swiss company had paid the U.S. company for the Spanish company's right to use the U.S. company's intellectual property. Id. Respondent made an allocation of royalty income under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (1982)) from the Spanish company to the Swiss company for the Spanish company's use of intellectual property. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 330-331. To include this royalty income in the income of the Swiss company would increase the subpart F income of the Swiss company, which in turn would trigger an inclusion in the gross income of the U.S. company under section 951(a)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. sec. 951(a)(1)(A)). Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 331. The tax years to which these allocations related were the U.S. company's tax years ending June 30, 1978 and 1979. Id. at 323, 330-331.

The Spanish government had issued a series of letters over 10 years stating that the Spanish company was prohibited from paying royalties to the Swiss company. Id. at 326-327. The existence of such a prohibition also found support in an order of the Spanish Ministry of Industry and in Spanish Decree 3099/1976. Id. at 328-329. The Tax Court concluded that Spanish law prohibited the payment of royalties by the Spanish company to its Swiss parent. Id. at 336-337. The Court held that because the prohibition was applied consistently “there is no need to identify a specific constitutional or statutory provision codifying the prohibition in order to treat the prohibition as law.” Id. at 337 (citing U.S. Padding Corp. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. 177, 187-188 (1987), aff'd, 865 F.2d 750 (6th Cir. 1989)).

The Tax Court in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 335-336, then held that the allocation under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was not permissible:

We find First Security Bank and Salyersville National Bank [613 F.2d 650, 655-656 (6th Cir. 1980), a case applying First Security Bank] compelling with respect to the issue before the Court. As we understand these cases, section 482 simply does not apply where restrictions imposed by law, and not the actions of the controlling interest, serve to distort income among the controlled group. * * *

Thus, the Tax Court‘s holding in Procter & Gamble rested on First Security Bank. In the following passage, the Tax Court recognized that the reasoning of First Security Bank relied on the idea that the “complete power” to shift include “hardly includes the power to force a subsidiary to violate the law”:

In concluding that the Commissioner's allocation was unwarranted, the Supreme Court emphasized that there was no shifting or distorting of income because the banks simply could not receive insurance premium income. The Court stated that section 1.482-1(b)(1), Income Tax Regs., as applied to the facts —

contemplates that [First Security Corp.] — the controlling interest — must have “complete power” to shift income among its subsidiaries. It is only where this power exists, and has been exercised in such a way that the “true taxable income” of a subsidiary has been understated, that the Commissioner is authorized to reallocate under sec. 482. But [First Security Corp.] had no such power unless it acted in violation of federal banking laws. The “complete power” referred to in the regulations hardly includes the power to force a subsidiary to violate the law. [Commissioner v. First Security Bank of Utah, 405 U.S. at 404-405.]

Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 334-335 (alteration in original) (footnote omitted) (quoting Commissioner v. First Sec. Bank, 405 U.S. at 404-405).

The Tax Court in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 339, rejected respondent's argument that First Security Bank was distinguishable because it involved a domestic legal restriction, not a foreign legal restriction. The Tax Court explained that First Security Bank held that no section 482 allocation is appropriate where “the controlling interest has not utilized its power to shift income” and thus the First Security Bank holding did not hinge on whether the legal restriction was foreign or domestic. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 339.

The Tax Court also rejected respondent's argument that a prohibition on making payments is distinguishable from a prohibition on receiving payments. Id. The Spanish company in Procter & Gamble was prohibited from making payments. Id. at 326. The two national banks in First Security Bank were prohibited from receiving payments. See Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 339. The Tax Court held that the distinction between a prohibition on making payments and a prohibition on receiving payments is a “distinction without a difference”. Id. It reasoned that if the Spanish company was prohibited from making payments to the Swiss company, the Swiss company was prohibited from receiving them. Id.

The Tax Court‘s Procter & Gamble opinion rejected respondent's argument that the Spanish prohibition on payment of royalties was merely an administrative decision that the Spanish company could have appealed. Id. at 333, 337. The Tax Court reasoned that the Spanish subsidiary had informally communicated with the Spanish government and had concluded that an appeal would be unsuccessful and detrimental to the company's relationship with the government. Id. at 337.

Additionally, the Tax Court‘s Procter & Gamble opinion considered whether it was significant that the Spanish prohibition on royalty payments affected only royalty payments to a commonly owned company. Id. at 339-340. It held that First Security Bank had established the general principle that a section 482 allocation cannot be made unless “control was utilized to shift income”. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 339-340. The Tax Court held that the U.S. company did not use its control to shift income from the Spanish company to the Swiss company and that therefore no section 482 allocation was proper. Id. at 340.

Finally, the Tax Court in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 340-341, addressed the significance of section 1.482-1(d)(6), which was added in 1968. 33 Fed. Reg. 5849, 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969). The regulation provided that if intercompany payments were restricted by foreign law, the taxpayer could elect to defer the corresponding income that would otherwise be allocated to the taxpayer under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 until the restriction was lifted. Id. The Tax Court held that because section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 does not apply, the regulations under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 do not apply. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 340-341. Excerpted in full below is the Tax Court‘s discussion of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969):

Finally, respondent suggests that if section 482 does not apply under the circumstances presented, the Court has effectively rendered section 1.482-1(d)(6), Income Tax Regs., meaningless. Respondent references Rev. Rul. 74-245, 1974-1 C.B. 124, which provides that section 1.482-1(d)(6), Income Tax Regs., will be liberally administered to allow a taxpayer relief from a section 482 allocation, by permitting deferral of the allocated income, where the payments allocated could not be effected under foreign law. Respondent emphasizes that the regulation contemplates that if the taxpayer elects to defer the allocated income, the taxpayer must likewise defer expenses relating to that income so as to ultimately match income and expense. In this case, petitioner did not elect to proceed under the regulation and claims that the regulation does not apply in the face of a Spanish law prohibiting payment of specific income.

By virtue of our holding that section 482 does not apply, the regulations underlying section 482 likewise do not apply. We note that section 1.482-1(d)(6), Income Tax Regs., was prescribed by Treasury Decision 6952 on April 15, 1968, prior to the First Security Bank decision. See 1968-1 C.B. 218. Thus, no consideration was given to the effect of First Security Bank on the scope of the regulation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, our ruling does not render section 1.482-1(d)(6), Income Tax Regs., meaningless. Rather, we only limit the application of the regulation within the narrow confines of the facts presented in this case. Specifically, section 482 does not apply where the taxpayer's legitimate business purposes subject it to legal restraints effectively blocking receipt of income. We do not have before us, and therefore do not address, whether a section 482 allocation may be appropriate where legitimate business purposes are lacking.

Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 340-341 (footnote omitted).

In the excerpt above, Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 340-341, referred to “section 1.482-1(d)(6), Income Tax Regs.” This provision of the regulations, which allows the deferred-income method of accounting, was not promulgated until the 1968 regulatory amendments. 33 Fed. Reg. 5849 (Apr. 16, 1968); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6)(1969)(1968 regulations). Although the 1968 amendments had no effective date, see T.D. 6952, 33 Fed. Reg. 5848, they related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, which was effective for tax years that began after December 31, 1953, and ended after August 16, 1954. Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 7851(a)(1)(A), 68A Stat. at 919, 929. Thus, the 1968 regulations were effective for the tax years at issue in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 95 T.C. at 323, which were the tax years ending June 30, 1978 and 1979. 135

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the Tax Court‘s decision in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 961 F.2d 1255 (6th Cir. 1992). The Sixth Circuit‘s primary holding was that First Security Bank controlled Procter & Gamble even though the restriction in First Security Bank was a domestic law and the restriction in Procter & Gamble was a foreign law. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 961 F.2d at 1258-1259. The Sixth Circuit reasoned that the U.S. company in Procter & Gamble did not have the “complete power” (within the meaning of regulation section 1.482-1(b)(1)) to shift income from the Swiss company to the Spanish company because Spanish law prohibited the Spanish company to make payments to the Swiss company. Id.

Excerpted below is the Sixth Circuit‘s main holding and the reasons given for it:

The purpose of section 482 is “to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer.” Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(1).

It is P&G‘s [the U.S. company's] position that section 482 requires that any distortion of income of a controlled party result from the existence and exercise of control. P&G argues that where governing law, and not the controlling party or interests, causes a distortion of income, section 482 is unavailable to allocate income. P&G argues that the regulations promulgated under section 482 and the Supreme Court‘s decision in Commissioner v. First Security Bank, 405 U.S. 394, 92 S. Ct. 1085, 31 L. Ed. 2d 318 (1972), support this position.

The term “controlled” is defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(a)(3) to include:

any kind of control, direct or indirect. . . . It is the reality of the control which is decisive, not its form or the mode of its exercise.

Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(1) states the level of control that is presumed to justify making a section 482 allocation:

The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers.

Further, Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(c) states:

Transactions between one controlled taxpayer and another will be subjected to special scrutiny to ascertain whether the common control is being used to reduce, avoid, or escape taxes.

The foregoing regulations recognize that in order for the Commissioner to have authority to make a section 482 allocation, a distortion in a controlled taxpayer's income must be caused by the exercise of such control. In the present case there is no evidence that P&G or AG [the Swiss company] used its control over España [the Spanish company] to manipulate or shift income. Indeed, the Tax Court held that the failure of España to make royalty payments was a result of the prohibition against royalty payments under Spanish law and was not due to the exercise of control by P&G. The Spanish prohibition is expressly found in the letter approving España's organization and in the letters permitting capital increases for España. In addition, Decrees 2343/1973 ad 3099/1976 made it clear that payments for transfers of technology from Spanish entities to controlling foreign entities would be restricted.

The Supreme Court held in First Security that the Commissioner is authorized to allocate income under section 482 only where a controlling interest has complete power to shift income among its subsidiaries and has exercised that power. In First Security, two related banks offered credit life insurance to their customers. The banks were prohibited by federal law from acting as insurance agents and receiving premiums, and they referred customers to an unrelated insurance company to purchase this insurance. The insurance company retained 15 percent of the premiums for actuarial and accounting services, and transferred 85 percent of the premiums through a reinsurance agreement to an insurance company affiliated with the banks. The insurance affiliate reported the entire amount it received as reinsurance premiums as its income. The Commissioner determined that 40 percent of the affiliate's income was allocable to the banks as compensation for originating and processing the insurance. The Supreme Court set aside the Commissioner's allocation. The Court found that the holding company that controlled the banks and the insurance affiliate did not have the power to shift income among its subsidiaries unless it operated in violation of federal banking law. The Court stated that the “complete power” referred to in Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(1) does not include the power to force a subsidiary to violate the law. So here, P&G did not have the power to shift income between España and its other interests unless it violated Spanish law. The payment or non-payment of royalties in no way depended on P&G‘s control of the various entities. The same result — no royalties — would exist in the case of unrelated entities.

The Commissioner argues that First Security is not controlling in this case because the Supreme Court‘s analysis is limited to instances in which allocation under section 482 is contrary to federal law. We are not persuaded. The Supreme Court focused on whether the controlling interests utilized their control to distort income. We see no reason to alter this analysis because foreign law, as opposed to federal law, prevented payment of royalties. The purpose of section 482 is to prevent artificial shifting of income between related taxpayers. Because Spanish law prohibited royalty payments, P&G could not exercise the control that section 482 contemplates, and allocation under section 482 is inappropriate. That foreign law is involved may require a heightened scrutiny to be sure the taxpayer is not responsible for the restriction on payment. But that is not suggested in the case of the Spanish law here which was in effect long before España was created.

Id

In Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 961 F.2d at 1259, the government also argued before the Sixth Circuit that the Spanish company could have paid the Swiss company a dividend, even if it could not have paid it a royalty. The Sixth Circuit rejected this argument. Id. The Sixth Circuit reasoned that (1) the Spanish company had no obligation to arrange its affairs so as to maximize taxes, (2) payment of a royalty by the Spanish company to its Swiss parent in the guise of a dividend would be an evasion of Spanish law, and (3) the Spanish company did not have sufficient earnings from which to pay a dividend. Id.

Finally, the Sixth Circuit in Procter & Gamble held that section 1.482-1(b)(6) did not apply. Here is the Sixth Circuit‘s full reasoning:

The Commissioner argues that the Tax Court erred by refusing to apply Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(6), the “blocked income” regulation. Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(6) provides in pertinent part:

If payment or reimbursement for the sale, exchange, or use of property, the rendition of services, or the advance of other consideration among members of a group of controlled entities was prevented, or would have been prevented, at the time of the transaction because of currency or other restrictions imposed under the laws of any foreign country, any distributions, apportionments, or allocations which may be made under section 482 with respect to such transactions may be treated as deferrable income.

This regulation recognizes the problem posed by restrictions placed on payments in a foreign currency. Income allocated under section 482 may be deferred if payments have been blocked by currency or other restrictions under the laws of a foreign country. The Tax Court determined that because section 482 did not apply to the present case, the regulations promulgated under section 482 likewise did not apply.

The Commissioner argues that this regulation is designed to remedy the situation presented in this case. We disagree. Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(6) contemplates the situation where a temporary restriction under foreign law prevents payments, and defers the allocation of income until such time as the payments are no longer restricted. This case does not present a situation in which payments to P&G were temporarily restricted; rather, Spanish law prohibited payment of royalties altogether. This prohibition cannot be viewed as temporary because it was ultimately repealed in 1987. At the time in question, there was no reason for P&G to believe that the Spanish government would lift this ban; therefore, the payments that España was prohibited by law from making cannot be viewed as temporarily blocked payments.

The Commissioner also argues that the prohibition on royalty payments was temporary and that P&G could have deferred royalty payments under this regulation and then at some future time P&G could have liquidated España and taken its capital out of Spain. Upon liquidation, the Commissioner argues, the temporary prohibition on payment of pesetas would end. We find this argument to be meritless because P&G need not organize its subsidiaries in such a way as to maximize its tax liabilities. There is no question that P&G may legally structure its affairs in its own best interest. Salyersville, 613 F.2d at 653. We agree with the Tax Court that Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1(b)(6) does not apply to this case.

Id. at 1259-1260.

In Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1993-616, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) 1707, 1716-1721, 1739-1752, aff'd sub nom. Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d 825 (5th Cir. 1996), the Tax Court addressed the effect of a restriction imposed by Saudi Arabia whereby companies which bought oil from Saudi Arabia at a below-market price could not resell the oil at a greater price. A U.S. subsidiary of Texaco (which was a type of company referred to as an “offloader”) had purchased oil from Saudi Arabia at a below-market price and resold the oil to foreign affiliates at the same price. Id. at 1710, 1733, 1752-1760. Respondent determined in Exxon that income should be allocated from the foreign affiliates to the U.S. subsidiary under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. sec. 482) to reflect that the price at which the U.S. subsidiary sold the oil to the foreign affiliates was below the market price. Id. at 1733. The tax years at issue were the calendar years 1979-81. Id. at 1708. Respondent also determined that the allocation of income was justified under section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and under the principle that income is taxed to the taxpayer who earns it. Id. at 1733, 1738.

The Tax Court in Exxon held that respondent's allocations in that case were improper under First Security Bank and Procter & Gamble. Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M (CCH) at 1734-1739. Exxon explained that First Security Bank established the principle that section 482 cannot be used to allocate income to a taxpayer if receipt of the income is prohibited by law:

In Commissioner v. First Security Bank, supra, certain affiliated banks referred their customers to an independent insurance company for purposes of obtaining credit life insurance. Credit life insurance policies were written by the independent insurance company, which then reinsured the policies with an affiliate of the banks pursuant to a “treaty of reinsurance”. The independent insurance company retained 15 percent of the premiums for providing actuarial and accounting services, and the affiliated insurance company retained 85 percent of the premiums for assuming the risk under the policies. No sales commissions or referral fees were paid to the affiliated banks. These banks could not legally receive such commissions pursuant to a Federal law which prohibited banks from acting as insurance agents in locations with a population in excess of 5,000 inhabitants. During the years at issue, 85 percent of the premiums paid by the customers were reported by the affiliated life insurance company on its tax returns. The Commissioner allocated 40 percent of the affiliated life insurance company's net premium income to the banks as compensation for originating and processing the credit life insurance. The Tax Court upheld the Commissioner's allocation, but the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals on the ground that, since the banks could not legally receive the commissions under Federal law, the Commissioner could not reallocate them to the banks. The Court stated that it had never found a taxpayer to have income “that he did not receive and that he was prohibited from receiving” and premised this on the underlying assumption that, “in order to be taxed for income, a taxpayer must have complete dominion over it.” Commissioner v. First Security Bank, 405 U.S. at 403. The Court further observed that one of the Commissioner's regulations under section 482 also recognized the concept that “income implies dominion or control” by providing:

“The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers.”

Id. at 404 (emphasis added) (quoting sec. 1.482-1(b)(1), Income Tax Regs.). The Court concluded therefrom that the parent holding company

must have 'complete power' to shift income among its subsidiaries. It is only where this power exists, and has been exercised in such a way that the 'true taxable income' of a subsidiary has been understated, that the Commissioner is authorized to reallocate under §482. But Holding Company had no such power unless it acted in violation of federal banking laws. The 'complete power' referred to in the regulations hardly includes the power to force a subsidiary to violate the law.

Id. at 404-405. Thus, the Supreme Court has indicated that, where the receipt of income is prohibited by law, the Commissioner is prohibited from allocating such income pursuant to section 482.

Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) at 1735 (footnotes omitted). It is important to note that in the excerpt above Exxon recognized that First Security Bank relied upon the “complete power” regulatory provision.

Next, Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M (CCH) at 1735-1736, observed that in Procter & Gamble the Tax Court “took the holding of First Security and applied it in the context of a foreign — as opposed to a domestic Federal or State — law.”

The Tax Court in Exxon next addressed respondent's reliance on section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 for his theory that income in question should be allocated to Texaco‘s U.S. subsidiary. Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) at 1738-1739. Under the section 61 assignment-of-income doctrine, income is attributable to the taxpayer who earned the income even if the earner had agreed to assign the income to another taxpayer. Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930), cited in Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) at 1738. The Tax Court in Exxon stated that First Security Bank had held that the assignment-of-income doctrine does not apply to income that a taxpayer is legally prohibited from receiving:

The Supreme Court also has recognized that a legal prohibition against a taxpayer's receipt of income precludes an assignment of such income to the taxpayer by the Commissioner. In First Security (a section 482 case), the Court discussed the interplay between section 482 and the assignment of income cases as follows:

We know of no decision of this Court wherein a person has been found to have taxable income that he did not receive and that he was prohibited from receiving. In cases dealing with the concept of income, it has been assumed that the person to whom the income was attributed could have received it. The underlying assumption always has been that in order to be taxed for income, a taxpayer must have complete dominion over it.

Commissioner v. First Security Bank, 405 U.S. 394, 403 (1972). Thus, according to the above-quoted language, a taxpayer who is legally prohibited from receiving income and who does not in fact receive such income, cannot be said to have “earned” the income under a section 61 analysis.

Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) at 1738-1739. Thus, Exxon rejected two theories, under sections 482 and 61 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, respectively, why Texaco‘s foreign affiliates should be allocated income. 136

Next the Tax Court in Exxon held that the resale price restriction was a valid and binding prohibition because it was authorized by the King of Saudi Arabia, it was consistently applied, compliance with it was mandatory, and it was in effect during the years at issue. Id. at 1739-1752. Next the Tax Court held that Texaco did not ignore or circumvent the restriction. Id. at 1752-1760. Finally the Tax Court concluded: “Under the rule of Commissioner v. First Security Bank, 405 U.S. 394 (1972), its assignment of income predecessors, and its progeny, we hold that the 1979 restriction precluded a section 61 or section 482 adjustment to the income of petitioners' offtakers in this case.” Id. at 1760.

In Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d 825 (5th Cir. 1996), the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision of the Tax Court in Exxon. The Fifth Circuit opinion can be divided into four parts. In the first part it agreed with the Tax Court‘s conclusion that the resale price restriction had the effect of law. Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.2d at 828. In the second part the Fifth Circuit agreed that the Tax Court properly applied First Security Bank. The second part of the Fifth Circuit‘s opinion is excerpted below:

We also agree with the Tax Court‘s legal conclusion that the teaching of Commissioner v. First Security Bank,

405 U.S. 394, 92 S. Ct. 1085, 31 L. Ed. 2d 318 (1972), bars the Commissioner from allocating income to Textrad [Texaco‘s U.S. subsidiary] on its sales of Saudi crude under §482. Because the sales price of the crude is governed by Letter 103/z, Texaco did not have the power to control the sales price of the oil.

Section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code authorizes the Secretary to apportion or allocate income between organizations controlled by the same interests “if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any such organizations. . . . ” 26 U.S.C. §482 (1994). The relevant IRS regulation explains that the purpose of §482 is “to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer” and to ensure that controlling entities conduct their subsidiaries' transactions in such a way as to reflect the “true taxable income” of each controlled taxpayer. 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-1A(b)(1)(1996).4 The regulation further explains that “[t]he standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.” Id.

In First Security, the Court held that §482 did not authorize the Commissioner to allocate income to a party prohibited by law from receiving it. 405 U.S. at 404. In that case, two related banks offered credit life insurance to their customers. Federal law prohibited the banks from acting as insurance agents and receiving premiums or commissions on the sale of insurance. The banks referred their customers to an unrelated insurance company to purchase this insurance. The insurance company retained a small percent of the premiums for administrative services and transferred the bulk of the premiums through a reinsurance agreement to an insurance company affiliated with the banks, which reported all of the reinsurance premiums it received as income. The Commissioner reallocated 40 percent of the related insurance company's income from these reinsurance premiums to the banks as compensation for originating and referring the insurance business. Id. at 396-99.

The Court concluded that due to the restrictions of federal banking law, the holding company that controlled the banks and the insurance affiliate did not have the power to shift income among its subsidiaries. In so holding, the Court emphasized that the Commissioner's authority to allocate income under §482 presupposes that the taxpayer has the power to control its income: “The underlying assumption always has been that in order to be taxed for income, a taxpayer must have complete dominion over it.” Id. at 403. Indeed, as the Court noted, the Commissioner's own regulations for implementing §482 contemplate that the controlling interest “must have 'complete power' to shift income among its subsidiaries.” Id. at 404-05, 92 S. Ct. at 1091-92 (quoting 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971)).

Moreover, the regulations and First Security make clear that this standard is not limited to cases where the government contends the taxpayer attempted to evade taxes. Rather, the Court explicitly extends its reasoning to circumstances where the government contends that the organization's “true taxable income” has not been reflected.5 After explaining that the right to control the allocation of income is critical, the Court stated: “It is only where this power exists, and has been exercised in such a way that the 'true, taxable income‘ of a subsidiary has been understated, that the Commissioner is authorized to reallocate under §482. . . . The 'complete power' referred to in the regulations hardly includes the power to force a subsidiary to violate the law.” Id. (emphasis added). Because the holding company in First Security could not have allocated the income to the banks unless it acted in violation of the law, the Court concluded that the banks' true income was not understated and the Commissioner's allocation under §482 was improper.

The Sixth Circuit decision in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Commissioner, 961 F.2d 1255 (6th Cir. 1992), also supports the Tax Court‘s conclusion. In that case, the court held that a Spanish law prohibiting a foreign affiliate from paying royalties for the use of patents was sufficient to preclude the Commissioner from reallocating income to account for a reasonable royalty. The court stated that “the purpose of §482 is to prevent artificial shifting of income between related taxpayers.” Id. at 1259 (emphasis added). Again the deciding issue was one of control: “Because Spanish law prohibited royalty payments, [the controlling company] could not exercise the control that §482 contemplates, and allocation under §482 is inappropriate.” Id. at 1259. See also L.E. Shunk Latex Products, Inc. v. Commissioner, 18 T.C. 940, 1952 WL 188 (1952) (holding that Commissioner could not allocate additional income to condom manufacturer where manufacturer sold condoms to its affiliate at price set by Office of Price Administration, even though affiliate made substantial profits on the transactions).

It is precisely this ability to control the flow of its income that Texaco lacked. The Tax Court found, and we agree, that Letter 103/z had the force and effect of law, that Textrad was obligated to comply with its requirements, and that it did so comply. Because Textrad lacked the power to sell Saudi crude above the OSP, reallocation under §482 is inappropriate.

426 C.F.R. § 1.482-1A(b)(1) reads in full:

The purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true taxable income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer. The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable incomes are thereby understated, the district director shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or of any item or element affecting taxable income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true taxable income of each controlled taxpayer. The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.

5We find no indication from the facts and contentions of the parties in First Security that the government contended that the banks or the holding company sought to evade taxes. Rather, First Security explains in general terms the type case §482 is designed to reach without distinguishing between claims of evasion and other claims that the true income of the taxpayer has not been reflected: “The question we must answer is whether there was a shifting or distorting of the [taxpayers] true net income.” Id. at 400-401 (emphasis added); see also id. at 407 (concluding that because the holding company “did not utilize its control over the [banks and the affiliated insurance company] to distort their true net incomes,” the Commissioner could not exercise his §482 authority) (emphasis added). This is consistent with the approach and structure of the regulation, which also does not distinguish between evasion and other conduct that fails to reflect the true taxable income of the taxpayer. See 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-1A(b)(1)(1996).

Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d at 828-830.

In the third part of its opinion in Texaco, the Fifth Circuit rejected the government's reliance on the assignment-of-income doctrine to support its allocation of income:

The Commissioner tries to justify the allocation by analogizing Texaco‘s conduct to an “assignment of income” and places much reliance on the Supreme Court‘s decision in United States v. Basye, 410 U.S. 441, 93 S. Ct. 1080, 35 L. Ed. 2d 412 (1973). However, nothing in Basye is contrary to the principles discussed above, and the Commissioner's reliance on this case is misplaced.

In Basye, the Court relied on familiar principles “that income is taxed to the party who earns it and that liability may not be avoided through an anticipatory assignment of that income” to hold that a group of doctors' failure to actually receive a portion of their compensation that was instead placed in a retirement trust did not preclude the Commissioner from allocating that income to them. Id. at 457, 93 S. Ct. at 1089. The Court found that the sole reason the doctors could not receive the challenged portion of their income was because their medical partnership had agreed with a health plan foundation to service the foundation's members for free in exchange for contributions to a retirement trust. Id. at 449, 93 S. Ct. at 1085.

The Court's holding in Basye turned on the consensual nature of the agreement and is entirely consistent with the principles of control expressed in the regulations adopted under §482 and in First Security. As the regulations make clear, the goal of inquiring into the transactions of controlled taxpayers under §482 is “to ascertain whether the common control is being used to reduce, avoid or escape taxes.” 26 C.F.R. §1.482-1A(c)(1996). The Court in Basye agreed with the Commissioner that the doctors' compensation scheme was entirely voluntary — that the medical partnership possessed common control and used it to reduce, avoid, or escape taxes. That the doctors exercised that control prior to their actual possession of the income was irrelevant.

But where, as here, the taxpayer lacks the power to control the allocation of the profits, reallocation under §482 is inappropriate. As stated above, we fully agree with the Tax Court that Letter 103/z deprived Textrad of the power to sell Saudi crude to its foreign refining affiliates for a price that exceeded the OSP. Because Texaco lacked the ability to control the allocation of the income in question, it follows that it could not have used its control to evade taxes or artificially shift its income to its foreign affiliates so that its true taxable income was not reflected.

Id. at 830.

In the fourth part of its opinion in Texaco, the Fifth Circuit rejected the government's argument that respondent's proposed allocation in that case would be consistent with the goal of tax parity:

Nor would the Commissioner's proposed allocation be consistent with §482‘s goal of achieving tax parity between controlled and uncontrolled taxpayers. As the First Security Court and the regulations make clear, the “'purpose of §482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer.'” 405 U.S. at 407 (citing 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-1(b)(1)(1971)). Thus, “[t]he standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. § 1.482-1A(b)(1)(1996).

The record evidence fully supports the Tax Court‘s findings that Textrad sold significant amounts of Saudi crude to unrelated customers at the same OSP it sold to its affiliates, that the volume of Textrad's sales of Saudi crude to unrelated customers during this period remained generally consistent with historic levels, and that any changes in Textrad's sales to its affiliates and its unrelated customers during this period had no nexus with the restrictions imposed by Letter 103/z. Therefore, the Tax Court did not err in concluding that the Commissioner failed to demonstrate any disparity between Texaco‘s treatment of its affiliates and its unrelated customers as a result of the Saudi price restrictions. Thus, under the regulation's tax parity standard, the Commissioner's allocation of Texaco‘s income under §482 is improper.

Id. at 830-831 (alteration in original).

The Fifth Circuit‘s opinion in Texaco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 F.3d at 828 & n.4, 829 n.5, 830, cited 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1A (1996), multiple times. This regulation was created in 1993 when Treasury Decision 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5271 (Jan. 21, 1993), redesignated the 1968 regulations 137 as 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1A and 2A (1994), effective for tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993. 138 The redesignated regulations were printed in the 1996 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations.Therefore, when the Fifth Circuit cited 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1A (1996), it was citing the 1968 regulations.

II. The 1986 amendment to section 482

Recall that section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 had one sentence:

In any case of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Secretary may distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances between or among such organizations, trades, or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any of such organizations, trades, or businesses.

Internal Revenue Code of 1954 sec. 482 (as amended in 1976), 26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (1982). The sentence was the same as the text of section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928, 45 Stat. at 806, as that text was altered by three subsequent statutory changes: (1) in 1943 “gross income or deductions” was replaced with “gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances”, (2) in 1954 “the Commissioner is authorized to” was replaced with “the Secretary or his delegate may”, and (3) in 1976 “the Secretary or his delegate may” was replaced with “the Secretary may”. Revenue Act of 1943 sec. 128(b) and (c); Internal Revenue Code of 1954 sec. 482; Tax Reform Act of 1976 sec. 1906(b)(13)(A). Because these statutory changes were relatively insignificant, it has been observed that section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was “essentially the same” as section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928. See G.D. Searle & Co. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. at 356 (comparing section 45 of the Revenue Act of 1928 to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 before the 1976 amendment).

The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-514, sec. 2(a), 100 Stat. at 2095, redesignated the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (as amended) as the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 simultaneously added a second sentence to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This sentence is:

In the case of any transfer (or license) of intangible property (within the meaning of section 936(h)(3)(B)), the income with respect to such transfer or license shall be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible.

Tax Reform Act of 1986, sec. 1231(e)(1), 100 Stat. at 2562-2563. The second sentence cross-references section 936(h)(3)(B), which provides that 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.

The text of section 482 after the 1986 amendment can be found at 26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (1988). The text of section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 before the 1986 amendment can be found at 26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (1982).

The portion of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 that added the second sentence to section 482 was section 1231(e)(1). The effective-date provision for section 1231(e) of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (including section 1231(e)(1) is as follows:

The amendments made by subsection (e) shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1986, but only with respect to transfers after November 16, 1985, or licenses granted after such date (or before such date with respect to property not in existence or owned by the taxpayer on such date).

Id. sec. 1231(g)(2)(A), 100 Stat. at 2563.

In 2006, 3M Brazil used patents owned by 3M IPC. 3M Brazil‘s use of patents was not governed by a license. In 2006, 3M Brazil also used nonpatented technology owned by 3M IPC. This use was not governed by a license. Neither petitioner nor respondent contends that the amendment by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to section 482 did not govern the use of 3M IPC‘s patents and nonpatented technology by 3M Brazil during the 2006 tax year.

Respondent contends that the second sentence of section 482 applies to the intangibles transactions at issue, which are (1) the use by 3M Brazil of trademarks owned by 3M Company pursuant to the 1998 trademark licenses, (2) the use by 3M Brazil of patents owned by 3M IPC, and (3) the transfer of technology from 3M IPC to 3M Brazil. Petitioner does not argue that the effective-date provision makes the second sentence of section 482 inapplicable for the case. Rather, petitioner argues that neither sentence of section 482 governs the intangibles transactions because of the effect of the Brazilian legal restrictions. 139

The House Ways & Means Committee issued a report describing the House bill that preceded the Tax Reform Act of 1986. H.R. Rept. No. 99-426 (1985), 1986-3 C.B. (Vol. 2) 1. The House bill contained the sentence in section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. H.R. 3838, 99th Cong., sec. 641(e)(1985). The House bill also contained a new sentence similar to the second sentence in section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. H.R. 3838, 99th Cong., sec. 641(e). However, the new sentence in the House bill affected only transfers of intangible property by United States persons to a foreign corporation; that is, it applied only to outbound transfers. Id. Excerpted below is most of the Ways & Means Committee report that related to the provision in the House bill:

Reasons for Change

There is a strong incentive for taxpayers to transfer intangibles to related foreign corporations or possessions corporations in a low tax jurisdiction, particularly when the intangible has a high value relative to manufacturing or assembly costs. Such transfers can result in indefinite tax deferral or effective tax exemption on the earnings, while retaining the value of the earnings in the related group.

The committee is concerned that the provisions of sections 482, 367(d), and 936 that allocate income to a U.S. transferor of intangibles may not be operating to assure adequate allocations to the U.S. taxable entity of income attributable to intangibles in these situations.

Section 482

Many observers have questioned the effectiveness of the “arm's length” approach of the regulations under section 482. A recurrent problem is the absence of comparable arm's length transactions between unrelated parties, and the inconsistent results of attempting to impose an arm's length concept in the absence of comparables.

A fundamental problem is the fact that the relationship between related parties is different from that of unrelated parties. Observers have noted that multinational companies operate as an economic unit, and not “as if” they were unrelated to their foreign subsidiaries. In addition, a parent corporation that transfers potentially valuable property to its subsidiary is not faced with the same risks as if it were dealing with an unrelated party. Its equity interest assures it of the ability ultimately to obtain the benefit of future anticipated or unanticipated profits, without regard to the price it sets. The relationship similarly would enable the parent to adjust its arrangement each year, if it wished to do so, to take account of major variations in the revenue produced by a transferred item.

The problems are particularly acute in the case of transfers of high-profit potential intangibles. Taxpayers may transfer such intangibles to foreign related corporations or to possession corporations at an early stage, for a relatively low royalty, and take the position that it was not possible at the time of the transfers to predict the subsequent success of the product. Even in the case of a proven high-profit intangible, taxpayers frequently take the position that intercompany royalty rates may appropriately be set on the basis of industry norms for transfers of much less profitable items.

Certain judicial interpretations of section 482 suggest that pricing arrangements between unrelated parties for items of the same apparent general category as those involved in the related party transfer may in some circumstances be considered a “safe harbor” for related party pricing arrangements, even though there are significant differences in the volume and risks involved, or in other factors. See, e.g., United States Steel Corporation v. Commissioner, 617 F.2d 942 (2d Cir. 1980).[ 140] While the committee is concerned that such decisions may unduly emphasize the concept of comparables even in situations involving highly standardized commodities or services, it believes that such an approach is sufficiently troublesome where transfers of intangibles are concerned that a statutory modification to the intercompany pricing rules regarding transfers of intangibles is necessary.

In many cases firms that develop high profit-potential intangibles tend to retain their rights or transfer them to related parties in which they retain an equity interest in order to maximize their profits. The transferor may well be looking in part to the value of its direct or indirect equity interest in the related party transferee as part of the value to be received for the transfer, rather than to “arm's length” factors. Industry norms for transfers to unrelated parties of less profitable intangibles frequently are not realistic comparables in these cases.

Transfers between related parties do not involve the same risks as transfers to unrelated parties. There is thus a powerful incentive to establish a relatively low royalty without adequate provisions for adjustment as the revenues of the intangible vary. There are extreme difficulties in determining whether the arm's length transfers between unrelated parties are comparable. The committee thus concludes that it is appropriate to require that the payment made on a transfer of intangibles to a related foreign corporation or possessions corporation be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. The committee believes, therefore, that this is the measure that should be used under section 367 and section 482 in the case of transfers to a foreign corporation.

* * * * * * *

Explanation of Provisions

The basic requirement of the bill is that payments with respect to intangibles that a U.S. person transfers to a related foreign corporation or possessions corporation must be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. This approach applies both to outright transfers of the ownership of the intangibles (whether by sale, contribution to capital, or otherwise), and to licenses or other arrangements for the use of intangibles.

In making this change, the committee intends to make it clear that industry norms or other unrelated party transactions do not provide a safe-harbor minimum payment for related party intangibles transfers. Where taxpayers transfer intangibles with a high profit potential, the compensation for the intangibles should be greater than industry averages or norms. In determining whether the taxpayer could reasonably expect that projected profits would be greater than the industry norm, the committee intends that there should be taken into account any established pattern of transferring relatively high profit intangibles to Puerto Rico or low tax foreign locations.

The committee does not intend, however, that the inquiry as to the appropriate compensation for the intangible be limited to the question of whether it was appropriate considering only the facts in existence at the time of the transfer. The committee intends that consideration also be given the actual profit experience realized as a consequence of the transfer. Thus, the committee intends to require that the payments made for the intangible be adjusted over time to reflect changes in the income attributable to the intangible. The bill is not intended to require annual adjustments when there are only minor variations in revenues. However, it will not be sufficient to consider only the evidence of value at the time of the transfer. Adjustments will be required when there are major variations in the annual amounts of revenue attributable to the intangible.

H.R. Rept. No. 99-426, at 423-426, 1986-3 C.B. (Vol. 2) 1, 423-426 (footnotes omitted). We have added emphasis to the particular portions of the report referred to by petitioner.

The conference committee recommended that Congress add the sentence that was eventually added to section 482 by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. H.R. Conf. Rept. No. 99-841 (Vol. I), at I-504 (1986). The conference committee's report explained this recommendation as follows:

Present Law

Transfers to related foreign corporations as licenses or sales are subject to an “arm's-length” price standard. Uncertainty exists regarding what transfers are appropriate to treat as “arm's-length” comparables and regarding the significance of profitability, including major changes in profitability of the intangible after the transfer.

* * * * * * *

House Bill

Payments with respect to intangibles transferred to a foreign related party must be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. * * *

* * * * * * *

Senate Amendment

No provision.

Conference Agreement

The conference agreement follows the House bill. The concerns addressed in the House bill originated in connection with transfers of intangibles from U.S. parties to foreign affiliates, particularly those operating in low-tax foreign countries. Consequently, the provisions of the House bill only were applied to transfers of intangibles from U.S. persons to their foreign affiliates. In view of the fact that the objective of these provisions — that the division of income between related parties reasonably reflect the relative economic activity undertaken by each — applies equally to inbound transfers, the conferees concluded that it would be appropriate for these principles to apply to transfers between related parties generally if income must otherwise be taken into account.

The conferees do not intend to affect present law concepts of what constitutes a single “license”, to the extent those concepts are not inconsistent with the purposes of the new provision. Thus, for example, in the case of continuous transfers of technology under a continuing license agreement, the adequacy of the royalty may, in appropriate cases, be determined by applying the appropriate standards under the conference agreement on an aggregate basis with respect to the profitability and other relevant features of the transferred intangibles as a whole.

Similary [sic], the conferees do not intend to change principles that would permit offsets or other adjustments to reflect the tax impact of the taxpayer's transactions as a whole.

The conferees are also aware that many important and difficult issues under section 482 are left unresolved by this legislation. The conferees believe that a comprehensive study of intercompany pricing rules by the Internal Revenue Service should be conducted and that careful consideration should be given to whether the existing regulations could be modified in any respect.

H.R. Conf. Rept. No. 99-841 (Vol. II), at II-637 to II-638 (1986), 1986-3 C.B. (Vol. 4) 1, 637-638. We have emphasized the three sentences of the conference committee report on which petitioner relies. The first sentence was quoted by petitioner. The second sentence was cited by petitioner and paraphrased by petitioner. The third sentence was indirectly referred to by petitioner through its quotation of a passage of the Blue Book that alludes to the third sentence. 141

In the passage excerpted above, the conference committee report acknowledged that “many important and difficult issues under section 482 are left unresolved by this legislation” and stated that “a comprehensive study of intercompany pricing rules by the Internal Revenue Service should be conducted” and “careful consideration should be given to whether the existing regulations could be modified in any respect.” H.R. Conf. Rept. No. 99-841 (Vol. II), at II-638, 1986-3 C.B. (Vol. 4), at 638. We discuss the resulting study shortly.

The 1968 regulations — which related to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 — seemingly carried over to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 142 The first sentence of section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 was the same as section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Thus, it would make sense that the 1968 regulations would be valid as to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, unless such regulations were inconsistent with the second sentence of section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 143 Our (admittedly limited) research does not reveal any successful challenge to the validity of the 1968 regulations on grounds that they were inconsistent with the second sentence of section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

As the conference committee report suggested, the Treasury Department and the IRS conducted a study of intercompany pricing rules. This study, which was published as Notice 88-123, 1988-2 C.B. 458, is also known as the “White Paper”. Altera Corp. & Subs. v. Commissioner, 145 T.C. 91, 98 (2015), rev'd, 926 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2019). The White Paper discussed various transfer-pricing problems involving services, tangible property, and intangible property. Notice 88-123, 1988-2 C.B. at 468. However, it did not discuss the effect of foreign legal restrictions on transfer pricing. With respect to intangible property, the White Paper observed that under the 1968 regulations (1) the best indication of arm's-length consideration was comparable transactions and (2) in the absence of comparable transactions, 12 factors were to be taken into account in determining arm's-length consideration. Id., 1988-2 C.B. at 460. The White Paper stated that the 1968 final regulations provided little or no guidance on the relative importance of particular factors. Id. The White Paper stated that for a transfer price for intangible property to meet the commensurate-with-income standard, adjustment must generally be made to the transfer price to reflect changes to the income stream, economic activities performed, assets employed, and economic costs and risks borne. Id. at 477. The White Paper also recommended that methods of pricing intangible property should include, in the absence of comparable transactions, a rate-of-return-on-assets analysis and a profit-split analysis. Id. at 485-493. The White Paper discussed the legislative history of the commensurate-with-income sentence added to section 482 in 1986. Id. at 472. In its briefs, petitioner quotes one of the paragraphs from the White Paper's discussion of legislative history of the commensurate-with-income sentence. This is the quoted paragraph:

The 1986 Act amended section 482 to require that payments to a related party with respect to a licensed or transferred intangible be “commensurate with the income”122 attributable to the intangible. The provision applies to both manufacturing and marketing intangibles.123 The legislative history clearly indicates Congressional concern that the arm's length standard as interpreted in case law has failed to allocate to U.S. related parties appropriate amounts of income derived from intangibles.124 The amendment is a clarification of prior law. Accordingly, it should not be assumed that the Service will cease taking positions that it may have taken under prior law.

122. (e) Treatment of Certain Royalty Payments. —

(1) In General. — Section 482 (relating to allocation of income and deductions among taxpayers) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new sentence: “In the case of any transfer (or license) of intangible property (within the meaning of section 936(h)(3)(B)), the income with respect to such transfer or license shall be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible.”

(2) Technical Amendment. — Subparagraph (A) of section 367(d)(2) (relating to transfers of intangibles treated as transfer pursuant to sale for contingent payments) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new sentence: “The amounts taken into account under clause (ii) shall be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible.”

Sec. 1231(e)(1), Tax Reform Act of 1986, 100 Stat. 2085 (1986).

123. For this purpose, intangibles are broadly defined by reference to section 936(h)(3)(B) under which intangible property includes 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. See also Treas. Reg. § 1.482-2(d)(3)(ii) and Rev. Rul. 64-56, 1964-1 C.B. 113, regarding the treatment of know-how as property in a section 351 transfer.

124. 1985 House Rep., supra n.47, at 420-427; 1986 Conf. Rep., supra n.2, at II-637 to II-638. Several commentators have suggested that the phrase “commensurate with income” derives from Nestle Co., Inc. v. Comm'r, T.C. Memo. 1963-14, where the Tax Court sanctioned a taxpayer's post-agreement increase in royalties paid by an affiliate for a very profitable intangible license. The opinion states that “[s]o long as the amount of the royalty paid was commensurate with the value of the benefits received and was reasonable, we would not be inclined to, nor do we think we would be justified to, conclude that the increased royalty was something other than what it purported to be.” (Emphasis in White Paper). There is, however, nothing in the legislative record to indicate that this is the case or to indicate Congressional approval or disapproval of the result in Nestle.

Notice 88-123, 1988-2 C.B. at 472. 144 The White Paper also stated that the “commensurate with income” sentence added to section 482 in 1986 “requires that changes be made to the transfer payments to reflect substantial changes in the income stream attributable to the intangible as well as substantial changes in the economic activities performed, assets employed, and economic costs and risks borne by related entities.” Id. at 477. The White Paper stated that the 1986 amendment was a “Congressional directive to the Service to make adjustments to intangible returns that reflect the actual profit experience” and that the amendment was in part a legislative rejection of R.T. French Co. v. Commissioner, 60 T.C. 836 (1973), a case the White Paper said had “endorsed the view that a long-term, fixed rate royalty agreement could not be adjusted under section 482 based on subsequent events that were not known to the parties at the original contract date.” Notice 88-123, 1988-2 C.B. at 477. 145

JJ. The 1988 amendment to section 7805 regarding temporary regulations

In 1988, Congress added section 7805(e), which provided:

SEC. 7805(e). Temporary Regulations. —

(1) Issuance. — Any temporary regulation issued by the Secretary shall also be issued as a proposed regulation.

(2) 3-year duration. — Any temporary regulation shall expire within 3 years after the date of issuance of such regulation.

Sec. 7805(e), as amended by the Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988 (TAMRA), Pub. L. No. 100-647, sec. 6232(a), 102 Stat. at 3734. The 1988 amendment applied to “any regulation issued after” November 20, 1988. TAMRA sec. 6232(b), 102 Stat. at 3735.

KK. The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking

On January 30, 1992 the Federal Register published a notice of proposed rulemaking that proposed income tax regulations related to intercompany transfer pricing under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 57 Fed. Reg. 3571 (Jan. 30, 1992).

The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking discussed the legislative history of the commensurate-with-income sentence that had been added to section 482 by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. 57 Fed. Reg. 3571. Initially, the 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking made the following statement:

The legislative history of the Act states that this change was intended to assure that the division of income between related parties reasonably reflects the economic activities each undertakes. See H.R. Rep. 99-281, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986) at II-637.

Id. The citation of “H.R. Rep. 99-281, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986) at II-637” was apparently an error. The cited report, H.R. Rept. No. 99-281, appears to be unrelated to tax law. 146 The House report that was related to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was H.R. Rept. No. 99-426, a report written by the House Ways & Means Committee. However, nothing in H.R. Rept. No. 99-426 appears to correspond to the content attributed to “H.R. Rep. 99-281, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986) at II-637” in the 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking. Instead, the 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking probably meant to cite H.R. Conf. Rept. No. 99-841 (Vol. II), at II-637. This is the conference committee report that was related to the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Its content corresponds to the discussion of “H.R. Rep. 99-281, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986) at II-637” in the 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking. This discussion refers to dividing income so as to reflect economic activities. 147

The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking stated that the legislative history of the commensurate-with-income sentence “also expresses concern” about the improper use of comparables, including with respect to intangible property with high profit potential. 57 Fed. Reg. 3571 (citing the House Ways & Means Committee report, H.R. Rept. No. 99-426, at 424).

The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking stated that the “Conference Committee report” also had recommended that the IRS study the question of whether the regulations under section 482 should be modified. 57 Fed. Reg. 3571. This was obviously a reference to H.R. Conf. Rept. No. 99-841 (Vol. II), at II-637 to II-638, the conference committee report related to the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

The 1992 proposed regulations contained no change to section 1.482-1(d)(6) of the 1968 regulations relating to the deferred-income method of accounting for payments that would be barred by foreign legal restrictions, 33 Fed. Reg. 5849 (Apr. 16, 1968), 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6) (1969); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6) (1992) (same as 1969 edition).

The 1992 proposed regulations made no change to the “complete-power” sentence, or the sentence thereafter, in the 1968 regulations. 57 Fed. Reg. 3578. These two sentences in the 1968 regulation were:

The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable incomes are thereby understated, the district director shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or of any item or element affecting taxable income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true taxable income of each controlled taxpayer. * * *

26. C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1969) (1968 regulations); 148 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1992) (same as 1969 edition). Similar sentences had been in the regulations since 1934. See art. 45-1(b), Regulations 86 (1934). 149

The 1992 proposed regulations made no changes to the definition of “controlled” in the 1968 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(3) (1969); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(3) (1992) (same as 1969 edition). This definition had been in the regulations since 1934. See art. 45-1(a)(3), Regulations 86 (1934).

The 1992 proposed regulations made no changes to the definition of “true taxable income” in the 1968 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6) (1969); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6) (1992) (same as 1969 edition). A similar term — with a similar definition — had been in the regulations since 1934. See art. 45-1(a)(6), Regulations 86 (1934) (defining “true net income”).

The 1992 proposed regulations made no changes to the tax-parity sentence in the 1968 regulations. This 1968 sentence was: “The purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true taxable income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1969); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1992) (same as 1969 edition). A similar sentence regarding tax-parity had been in the regulations since 1934. See art. 45-1(b), Regulations 86 (1934).

The 1992 proposed regulations made no changes to the sentence in the 1968 regulations that imposed the arm's-length standard. This sentence was: “The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1969); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1992) (same text as 1969 edition). This sentence had been in the regulations since 1934. Art. 45-1(b), Regulations 86 (1934).

The 1992 proposed regulations contained the following addition relating to the arm's-length standard and the commensurate-with-income standard:

In determining whether controlled taxpayers have dealt with each other at arm's length, the general principle to be followed is whether uncontrolled taxpayers, each exercising sound business judgment on the basis of reasonable levels of experience (or, if greater, the actual level of experience of the controlled taxpayer) within the relevant industry and with full knowledge of the relevant facts, would have agreed to the same contractual terms under the same economic conditions and other circumstances. * * * In the case of any transfer of an intangible between or among controlled taxpayers, the true taxable income of the transferor with respect to such transfer must be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. See § 1.482-2(d).

Sec. 1.482-1(b)(1), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3578-3579 (Jan. 30, 1992).

The 1992 proposed regulations also contained proposed replacements to the transfer-pricing rules applicable to intangible property in section 1.482-2(d) of the 1968 regulations. 33 Fed. Reg. 5852 (Apr. 16, 1968); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d) (1992) (1968 regulations at the time of the 1992 proposed regulations); 150 sec. 1.482-2(d), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3579-3585 (Jan. 30, 1992) (1992 proposed regulations); 57 Fed. Reg. 3572 (Jan. 30, 1992) (explanation of 1992 proposed regulations). Under the 1992 proposed regulations, one of three methods would be used to determine the transfer price of intangible property: the matching-transaction method, the comparable-adjustable-transaction method, or the comparable-profit-interval method. Sec. 1.482-2(d)(3), (4), and (5), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3580-3584 (Jan. 30, 1992). The 1992 proposed regulations also proposed the following rule regarding annual adjustments: “If an intangible is transferred under an arrangement with a term covering more than one taxable year, the consideration charged in each taxable year may be adjusted to assure that it is commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible.” Sec. 1.482-2(d)(6)(i), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3584. The 1992 proposed regulations included a paragraph on cost-sharing agreements. Sec. 1.482-2(g), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3595-3601. This paragraph's counterpart in the 1968 regulations was section 1.482-2(d)(4). 33 Fed. Reg. 5854 (Apr. 16, 1968); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d)(4) (1992) (1968 regulations at the time of the 1992 proposed regulations).

The 1992 proposed regulations also proposed modifications to the rules with regard to tangible property in section 1.482-2(e) of the 1968 regulations. 33 Fed. Reg. 5854-5857 (Apr. 16, 1968) (1968 regulations), 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(e) (1992) (1968 regulations at the time of the 1992 proposed regulations); sec. 1.482-2(e), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3585-3586 (1992 proposed regulations); 57 Fed. Reg. 3574 (explanation of the 1992 proposed regulations). Under the proposed modifications, a comparable-profit-interval method would serve as a check on methods other than the comparable-uncontrolled-price method. Sec. 1.482-2(e), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3585-3586 (1992 proposed regulations); 57 Fed. Reg. 3574 (explanation of the 1992 proposed regulations). It has been said that the “most significant” change proposed in the 1992 proposed regulations was the introduction of the comparable-profit-interval method for transfers of intangible and tangible property. Bobbe Hirsch, Alan S. Lederman, & John M. Hughes, “Final Transfer Pricing Regulations Restate Arm's Length Principle”, 72 Taxes 587, 588 (1994).

The 1992 proposed regulations were proposed to be effective — as a general rule — for tax years beginning after December 31, 1992. 57 Fed. Reg. 3601. The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking invited the public to send comments on the 1992 proposed regulations to respondent. 57 Fed. Reg. 3578. It also invited the public to request a public hearing on the proposed regulations and stated that if such a request was received, a public hearing would be held and advance notice of the hearing would be published in the Federal Register. 57 Fed. Reg. 3578. The parties have not directed us to any record of a public hearing regarding the 1992 proposed regulations.

LL. The 1993 temporary regulations and the 1993 redesignation of the 1968 regulations

On January 21, 1993, the Treasury Department issued Treasury Decision 8470, which was published in the Federal Register at 58 Fed. Reg. 5263. Treasury Decision 8470 did two things. First, it created temporary regulations under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1T through-7T (1994)) which were generally effective for tax years beginning after April 21, 1993. Id. sec.-1T(h) (1994) (effective date). 151 Second, it redesignated the 1968 regulations (including subsequent amendments) and made them effective for tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993. 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1A and -2A (1994); T.D. 8470, para. 1a, 58 Fed. Reg. 5271 (employing the heading “Regulations Applicable for Taxable Years Beginning on or Before April 21, 1993” for sections 1.482-1A and -2A); 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993) (“The temporary regulations are generally effective for taxable years beginning after April 21, 1993. Regulations §§ 1.482-1 and 1.482-2, promulgated in 1968, were redesignated as §§ 1.482-1A and 1.482-2A, and are effective for taxable years beginning on or before April 21, 1993.”).

Treasury Decision 8470 contained errors that were later corrected in the Federal Register in three sets of corrections. 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 28446 (May 13, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 28921 (May 18, 1993). The first set of corrections related to both the 1993 temporary regulations and the redesignation of the 1968 regulations. 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993). The second and third sets of corrections related only to the 1993 temporary regulations. 58 Fed. Reg. 28446 (May 13, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 28921 (May 18, 1993).

The changes to the section 482 regulations made by Treasury Decision 8470 (as corrected) were reflected in codified regulations published in the 1994 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. 152 In explaining the changes made by Treasury Decision 8470 (and its corrections), we will refer to the codified regulations that were published in the 1994 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (which reflected the changes made by Treasury Decision 8470 and its corrections) rather than the text of Treasury Decision 8470 (and its corrections) printed in the Federal Register.

Whereas the 1992 proposed regulations would have modified some parts of the 1968 regulations and would have left some parts of the 1968 regulations intact, the 1993 temporary regulations were a comprehensive set of regulations replacing the 1968 regulations in their entirety. See T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34972 (July 8, 1994) (preamble to final 1994 regulations). Section 1.482-1T set forth general transfer-pricing rules governing all types of transactions. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T (1994). Specific types of transactions were dealt with in sections -2T(a) (loans); -2T(b) (services); -2T(c) (use of tangible property); -3T (transfers of tangible property); -4T (transfers of intangible property); -5T (comparable-profits method relating to transfer of tangible and intangible property); and -7T (cost-sharing agreements). 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-2T, 3T, -4T, -5T, -7T (1994). Section 1.482-6T was marked as reserved for future regulations regarding the profit-split method. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-6T (1994).

Recall that section 1.482-2 of the 1968 regulations had been divided into the following five paragraphs: (a) loans, (b) services, (c) use of tangible property, (d) transfer or use of intangible property, and (e) sales of tangible property. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2 (1992). The first three paragraphs ((a), (b), and (c)) were copied verbatim to the 1993 temporary regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2T(a) through (c) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

Paragraph (d) of section 1.482-2 of the 1968 regulations had dealt with the transfer or use of intangible property. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d) (1992). Paragraph (d) included subparagraph (4) regarding cost-sharing agreements. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d)(4) (1992). The counterparts to paragraph (d) of section 1.482-2 of the 1968 regulations were sections 1.482-4T (transfer of intangible property) and -7T (cost-sharing agreements) of the 1993 temporary regulations. 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-4T, -7T (1994). Section 1.482-7T of the 1993 temporary regulations regarding cost-sharing agreements was substantively the same as section 1.482-2(d)(4) of the 1968 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-7T (1994) (1993 temporary regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d)(4) (1992) (1968 regulations); see 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993) (“[T]he 1968 regulations cost sharing provisions * * * will continue to apply as § 1.482-7T during the period before further action is taken on the 1992 proposed cost sharing regulations.”); 59 Fed. Reg. 34987 (July 8, 1994) (stating that the 1993 temporary regulations relating to cost sharing incorporated the text of the 1968 regulations). However, the 1993 provisions were different from the 1992 proposed regulations on cost-sharing agreements. Sec. 1.482-2(g), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3595-3601 (Jan. 30, 1992).

Paragraph (e) of section 1.482-2 of the 1968 regulations dealt with sales of tangible property. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(e) (1992) (1968 regulations). Its counterpart in the 1993 temporary regulations was section 1.482-3T. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-3T (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1993 temporary regulations replaced the passage containing the “complete-power” sentence in the 1968 regulations, a passage that had existed in various forms in the regulatory scheme since 1934. This passage in the 1968 regulations had been:

The interests controlling a group of controlled taxpayers are assumed to have complete power to cause each controlled taxpayer so to conduct its affairs that its transactions and accounting records truly reflect the taxable income from the property and business of each of the controlled taxpayers. If, however, this has not been done, and the taxable incomes are thereby understated, the district director shall intervene, and, by making such distributions, apportionments, or allocations as he may deem necessary of gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances, or of any item or element affecting taxable income, between or among the controlled taxpayers constituting the group, shall determine the true taxable income of each controlled taxpayer. * * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1992) (1968 regulations). In the 1993 temporary regulations, the passage was replaced by the following provision: “If a controlled taxpayer has not reported its true taxable income, the district director may make allocations between or among the members of a controlled group. In such cases, the district director may allocate income, deductions, credits, allowances, basis, or any other item or element affecting taxable income (referred to as “allocations”). 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a)(2) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The complete-power sentence was therefore eliminated in the 1993 temporary regulations.

The 1993 temporary regulations replaced the definition of “controlled” in the 1968 regulations with a similar definition. See 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(3) (1992) (1968 regulations). The 1993 temporary regulations provided:

Controlled includes any kind of control, direct or indirect, whether legally enforceable, and however exercisable or exercised. It is the reality of the control that is decisive, not its form or the mode of its exercise. A presumption of control arises if income or deductions have been arbitrarily shifted as a result of the actions of two or more taxpayers acting in concert or with a common goal or purpose.

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(4) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1993 temporary regulations defined a “group of controlled taxpayers” as “the taxpayers owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(6) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations); cf. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(5) (1992) (1968 regulations) (defining a “group of controlled taxpayers” as “the organizations, trades, or businesses owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests”).

The 1993 temporary regulations created the concept of a “controlled transaction”. A “controlled transaction” was defined as “any transaction * * * between two or more members of the same group of controlled taxpayers.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(8) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1993 temporary regulations replaced the definition of “true taxable income” in the 1968 regulations. See 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(6) (1992) (1968 regulations). The 1993 temporary regulations provided: “True taxable income means, in the case of a controlled taxpayer, the taxable income that would have resulted had it dealt with the other member or members of the group at arm's length.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(9) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1993 temporary regulations modified the tax-parity sentence in the 1968 regulations. The 1968 regulations had stated: “The purpose of section 482 is to place a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer, by determining, according to the standard of an uncontrolled taxpayer, the true taxable income from the property and business of a controlled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1992) (1968 regulations). By contrast, the 1993 temporary regulations stated: “The purpose of section 482 is to ensure that taxpayers clearly reflect income attributable to controlled transactions, and to prevent the avoidance of taxes with respect to such transactions. Section 482 places a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer by determining the true taxable income of the controlled taxpayer in a manner that reasonably reflects the relative economic activity undertaken by each taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1993 temporary regulations replaced the following sentence in the 1968 regulations imposing the arm's-length standard: “The standard to be applied in every case is that of an uncontrolled taxpayer dealing at arm's length with another uncontrolled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (1992) (1968 regulations). The new sentence in the 1993 temporary regulations was: “In determining the true taxable income of a controlled taxpayer, the standard to be applied in every case is that of a taxpayer dealing at arm's length with an uncontrolled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(b)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1993 temporary regulation did not adopt the additional text in the 1992 proposed regulation relating to the arm's-length standard and the commensurate-with-income standard. Sec. 1.482-1(b)(1), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3578-3579 (Jan. 30, 1992). Instead, the 1993 temporary regulation adopted the following sentence: “A controlled transaction meets the arm's length standard if the results of that transaction are consistent with the results that would have been realized if uncontrolled taxpayers had engaged in a comparable transaction under comparable circumstances.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(b)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The matching-transaction and comparable-adjustable-transaction methods for determining the transfer prices of intangible property in the 1992 proposed regulations were combined into a single comparable-uncontrolled-transaction method in the 1993 temporary regulations. See T.D. 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5269 (Jan. 21, 1993) (preamble to 1993 temporary regulations); 26 C.F.R. 1.482-4T(c) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d)(2)(iii), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3580 (Jan. 30, 1992). Instead of the comparable-profit-interval method for tangible and intangible property described in the 1992 proposed regulations (sec. 1.482-2(d)(5), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3583-3584 (Jan. 30, 1992); sec. 1.482-2(e)(1)(iii), (f), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3586-3595 (Jan. 30, 1992)), the 1993 temporary regulations described a comparable-profit method that was broadly similar to the comparable-profit-interval method. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-5T (1994) (1993 temporary regulations); T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34974 (July 8, 1994) (preamble to 1994 final regulations). The comparable-profit method, unlike the comparable-profit-interval method in the 1992 proposed regulations, did not serve as a mandatory check on other methods. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-3T(a)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations); sec. 1.482-2(e)(1)(iii), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3586 (Jan. 30, 1992); Hirsch et al., supra, at 588 (“The mandatory CPI check was deleted, while a comparable profits method (CPM), similar to the CPI, was introduced as a specified method for transfer of either tangible or intangible property.”).

Section 1.482-4T(e)(2)(i) of the 1993 temporary regulations had the following provision: “If an intangible is transferred under an arrangement that covers more than one year, the consideration charged in each taxable year may be adjusted to ensure that it is commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. Adjustments made pursuant to this paragraph (e)(2) shall be consistent with the arm's length standard and the provisions of § 1.482-1T.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-4T(e)(2)(i) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The first sentence of the provision was similar to a sentence in the 1992 proposed regulations. Sec. 1.482-2(d)(6)(i), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3584 (Jan. 30, 1992). The second sentence of the provision had no counterpart in the 1992 proposed regulations. Id. The preamble to the 1993 temporary regulations explained the provision as follows: “Section 1.482-4T(e)(2)(i) provides that if an intangible is transferred for a period in excess of one year, the consideration charged is generally subject to annual adjustment to ensure that it is commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. This provision is required by the 1986 amendment to section 482.” 58 Fed. Reg. 5270 (Jan. 21, 1993).

The 1993 temporary regulations did not contain any rules comparable to section 1.482-1(d)(6) of the 1968 regulations (26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(d)(6) (1969)), which governed the deferred-income method of accounting for payments prevented by foreign legal restrictions. 153 The 1993 temporary regulations did not contain any rules regarding the effect of foreign legal restrictions on section 482 allocations. The 1993 temporary regulations contained a placeholder for such rules in section 1.482-1T(f)(2), which had the heading “Effect of Foreign legal restrictions” and the text “[Reserved]”. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1-482-1T(f)(2) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The preamble to the 1993 temporary regulations, T.D. 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5264 (Jan. 21, 1993), stated that the 1993 temporary regulations were needed immediately to provide guidance to the public and that therefore it was impractical and contrary to the public interest to comply with section 4(a) of the APA. 154

The preamble to the 1993 temporary regulations contained a discussion of the legislative history of the commensurate-with-income sentence that had been added to section 482 by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. 58 Fed. Reg. 5264 (Jan. 21, 1993). This discussion was similar to the discussion of the legislative history in the 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking. 57 Fed. Reg. 3571 (Jan. 30, 1992).

Treasury Decision 8470, published on January 21, 1993, redesignated the 1968 regulations and provided that they applied only for earlier years, i.e., those tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993. Until the 1993 redesignation, the 1968 regulations had two sections: 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1 and -2 (1992). Section 1.482-2 of the 1968 regulations was divided into five paragraphs:

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(a) (1992)

loans

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(b) (1992)

services

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(c) (1992)

use of tangible property

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d) (1992)

transfer or use of intangible property

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(e) (1992)

sales of tangible property

Treasury Decision 8470 redesignated section 1.482-1 of the 1968 regulations as section 1.482-1A and made section 1.482-1A applicable for tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1A (1994); see T.D. 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5271 (Jan. 21, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993). For those years, Treasury Decision 8470 also created section 1.482-2A(a) through (c), which provided: “For applicable rules, see § 1.482-2T(a) through (c).” As noted before, section 1.482-2T(a) through (c) of the 1993 temporary regulations (regarding loans, services, and use of tangible property, respectively) are verbatim copies of section 1.482-2(a) through (c) of the 1968 regulations, respectively. In addition, Treasury Decision 8470 created section 1.482-2A(d), which consisted of a verbatim copy of section 1.482-2(d) of the 1968 regulations (regarding transfer or use of intangible property, including subparagraph (4) regarding cost-sharing agreements). 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(d) (1992); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2A(d) (1994). Treasury Decision 8470 also created section 1.482-2A(e), which was a verbatim copy of section 1.482-2(e) of the 1968 regulations (regarding sales of tangible property). 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2(e) (1992); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-2A(e) (1994). In summary, sections -1 and -2 of the 1968 regulations (26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1 and -2 (1992)) were transformed into sections -1A and -2A (26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1A, -2A (1994)) and made applicable for tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993.

MM. The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking

On January 21, 1993, the same day it issued Treasury Decision 8470, the Treasury Department published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. 58 Fed. Reg. 5310. The notice of proposed rulemaking withdrew the 1992 proposed regulations with the exception of section 1.482-2(g), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3595 (Jan. 30, 1992), which related to cost-sharing agreements. See 58 Fed. Reg. 5310. Thus, paragraph 2(g) of the 1992 proposed regulations remained a proposal by the Treasury Department. 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993) (“The 1992 proposed cost sharing regulations will be the basis of the final regulations that will be promulgated as § 1.482-7, and therefore, are the provisions on which comments are solicited.”); see also 59 Fed. Reg. 34987 (July 8, 1994).

The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking explained that the Treasury Department proposed that sections -1T through -5T of the 1993 temporary regulations (26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1T through -5T (1994)) eventually be made final. 58 Fed. Reg. 5310; T.D. 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5272. This meant that sections -1T through -5T of the 1993 temporary regulations had the status of both (1) temporary regulations and (2) proposed regulations. See 59 Fed. Reg. 34972 (July 8, 1994) (referring to regulations as both temporary and proposed).

Recall that section 1.482-6T of the 1993 temporary regulations was merely a placeholder for future regulations regarding the profit-split method. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-6T (1994). The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking contained the text of proposed regulations related to the profit-split method. This text was section 1.482-6T, Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5313 (Jan. 21, 1993). Although the text bore the identifier “T”, for temporary, the regulation was not a temporary regulation, but a proposal for a final regulation. 58 Fed. Reg. 5310 (“In addition to the text of the temporary regulations, the final regulations that will result from the regulations proposed in this notice will be based on the text of proposed §§ 1.482-1T(f)(2) and 1.482-6T contained in this notice. These provisions are proposed to take the place of reserved sections of the temporary regulations.”). Therefore, for years governed by the 1993 temporary regulations (i.e., generally tax years beginning after April 21, 1993), no applicable regulatory provision related to the profit-split method.

Recall that section 1.482-7T of the 1993 temporary regulations related to cost-sharing agreements. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-7T (1994) (1993 temporary regulations); 58 Fed. Reg. 17776 (Apr. 6, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 28921 (May 18, 1993). Recall that section 1.482-2(g) of the 1992 proposed regulations (Proposed Income Tax Regs., 57 Fed. Reg. 3595-3601 (Jan. 30, 1992)) also related to cost-sharing agreements.

Recall that a passage from the 1993 temporary regulations related to the purpose and scope of section 482 but omitted the complete-power sentence found in the 1968 regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a)(1) (1994). The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking proposed that this passage be made final through the effect of its general proposal that there be made final sections 1.482-1T to -5T of the 1993 temporary regulations, 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1T through -5T (1994). 58 Fed. Reg. 5310; T.D. 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5272.

Recall that the 1993 temporary regulations had a provision (-4T(e)(2)(i)) permitting annual adjustments in the compensation for the long-term use of intangible property. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-4T(e)(2)(i) (1994). The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking proposed that this provision be made final through the effect of its general proposal that there be made final sections 1.482-1T to -5T of the 1993 temporary regulations, 26 C.F.R. secs. 1.482-1T through -5T (1994). 58 Fed. Reg. 5310; T.D. 8470, 58 Fed. Reg. 5272.

Recall that section 1.482-1T(f)(2) of the 1993 temporary regulations contained a placeholder for future provisions regarding the “Effect of foreign legal restrictions”. The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking included, as proposed regulations, section 1.482-1T(f)(2), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312, headed “Effect of foreign legal restrictions”. Although this proposed provision was identified with a “T”, for temporary, the provision was not a temporary regulation, but a proposal for a final regulation. See 58 Fed. Reg. 5310. Here is the text of section 1.482-1T(f)(2), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312:

(i) In general. The district director may make an allocation under section 482 without regard to the effect of any foreign legal restriction, except as provided in paragraph (f)(2)(iv) of this section. However, an allocation under section 482 will be treated as deferrable if the following requirements are met:

(A) The taxpayer must establish to the satisfaction of the district director that the payment or receipt of part or all of the arm's length amount that would otherwise be required under section 482 was prevented because of a foreign legal restriction and circumstances described in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section.

(B) The taxpayer whose U.S. tax liability may be affected by the foreign legal restrictions must elect the deferred income method of accounting, as described in paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section, on a written statement attached to a timely U.S. income tax return (or an amended return) filed before the Internal Revenue Service first contacts any member of the controlled group concerning an examination of the return for the taxable year to which the foreign restriction applies. A written statement furnished by a taxpayer subject to the Coordinated Examination Program will be considered an amended return for purposes of this paragraph (f)(2)(i) if it satisfies the requirements of a qualified amended return for purposes of § 1.6662-5(j)(1) as set forth in those regulations or as the Commissioner may prescribe by applicable revenue procedures. The election statement must identify the affected transactions, the parties to the transactions, and the applicable foreign legal restrictions.

(ii) Applicable legal restrictions. Foreign legal restrictions (whether temporary or permanent) will be taken into account for purposes of this paragraph (f)(2) only if the conditions set forth in paragraphs (f)(2)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section are met.

(A) The restrictions are publicly promulgated, generally applicable to all similarly situated persons (both controlled and uncontrolled), and not imposed as part of a commercial transaction between the taxpayer and the foreign sovereign.

(B) The taxpayer (or other member of the controlled group with respect to which the restrictions apply) has exhausted all effective and practical remedies prescribed by foreign law or practice for obtaining a waiver of such restrictions (other than remedies that would have a negligible prospect of success if pursued).

(C) The restrictions expressly prevented the payment or receipt of part or all of the arm's length amount that would otherwise be required under section 482; a restriction that applies only to the deductibility of an expense for tax purposes is not a restriction on payment or receipt for this purpose.

(D) The related parties subject to the restriction did not engage in any transaction with controlled or uncontrolled parties that had the effect of circumventing the restriction, and have not otherwise violated the restriction in any material respect.

(iii) Deferred income method of accounting. If the requirements of paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section are satisfied, any allocation that may be made under section 482 with respect to such transaction will be treated as deferrable until payment or receipt of the relevant item ceases to be prevented by the foreign legal restriction. For purposes of the deferred income method of accounting under this paragraph (f)(2)(iii), deductions (including the cost or other basis of inventory and other assets sold or exchanged) and credits properly chargeable against any amount so deferred, are subject to deferral under the provisions of § 1.461-1(a)(4).

(iv) Exception for arm's length transactions. Regardless of whether the election described in paragraph (f)(2)(i)(B) of this section has been made, an allocation will not be made under section 482 with respect to a controlled transaction if the taxpayer establishes the following to the satisfaction of the district director —

(A) Payment or reimbursement for the controlled transaction was prevented at the time of the transaction because of a foreign legal restriction and circumstances described in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section; and

(B) Uncontrolled transactions that establish a comparable uncontrolled price under § 1.482-3T(b) (in the case of tangible property) or a comparable uncontrolled transaction under § 1.482-4T(c) (in the case of intangible property) demonstrate that, taking into account the foreign legal restriction, the controlled transaction was at arm's length.

(v) Examples. The following examples, in which Sub is a Country FC subsidiary of U.S. corporation, Parent, illustrate this paragraph (f)(2).

Example 1. (i) Parent licenses an intangible to Sub. FC law prohibits Sub from paying a royalty to Parent. The requirements of paragraphs (f)(2)(ii)(A), (B), and (C) of this section are satisfied. Parent attached to its timely filed U.S. income tax return a written statement that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (f)(2)(i)(B) of this section, electing the deferred income method of accounting under paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section. The arm's length royalty rate for the use of the intangible property in the absence of the foreign restriction is 10% of its sales in country FC.[ 155]

(ii) The district director makes an allocation of royalty income to Parent, based on the arm's length royalty rate of 10%. Further, the district director determines that because the distribution from Sub to Parent had the effect of circumventing the FC law, the requirements of paragraph (f)(2)(ii)(D) of this section are not satisfied. Thus, Parent did not validly elect the deferred income method of accounting, and the allocation of royalty income cannot be treated as deferrable. In appropriate circumstances, the district director may permit the amount of the distribution to be treated as payment by Sub of the royalty allocated to Parent, under the provisions of § 1.482-1T(e)(4).

Example 2. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Sub distributes an amount equal to 8% of its sales in country FC. Because the distribution has the effect of circumventing the FC law within the meaning of paragraph (f)(2)(ii)(D) of this section, the deferred income method of accounting was not validly elected, and does not apply, with respect to the amount of the distribution. However, the election was properly made, and does apply, with respect to the 2% difference between the arm's length royalty rate and the amount of the distribution. Accordingly, of the 10% royalty allocated to Parent, 2% may be treated as deferrable. In appropriate circumstances, the district director may permit the 8% that was distributed to be treated as payment by Sub of the royalty allocated to Parent, under the provisions of § 1.482-1T(e)(4).

Example 3. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Country FC law permits the payment of a royalty, but limits the amount to 5% of sales, and Sub pays the 5% royalty to Parent. Parent demonstrates the existence of comparable uncontrolled transactions in which an uncontrolled parties accepted a royalty rate of 5%, even though an arm's length royalty would otherwise have equaled 10%. Because the requirements of paragraph (f)(2)(iv) of this section are satisfied, the district director does not make an allocation of royalty income to Parent under section 482.

The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking gave the following explanation of section 1.482-1T(f)(2), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312:

Section 1.482-1T(f)(2) provides guidance on the extent to which foreign legal restrictions on payments between controlled taxpayers will be respected for purposes of section 482. In general, 1.482-1T(f)(2)(i) provides that a foreign legal restriction will be recognized for this purpose if the taxpayer demonstrates that the receipt of an arm's length payment was prevented by a foreign legal restriction, and the taxpayer elects the deferred income method of accounting with respect to such payments.

Section 1.482-1T(f)(2)(ii) defines an applicable foreign legal restriction as a restriction that is publicly promulgated and generally applicable, with respect to which the controlled taxpayer has exhausted all practicable legal remedies afforded under foreign law for obtaining a waiver, expressly prevents the payment of an arm's length amount within the meaning of section 482, and was not circumvented through other transactions between the controlled taxpayers.

Section 1.482-1T(f)(2)(iii) provides that if the restriction meets the definition of an applicable foreign legal restriction and the taxpayer has elected the deferred income method of accounting, any section 482 allocation connected with the transaction will be deferrable until the restriction is removed. Deductions and credits chargeable against a deferred amount are subject to deferral under section 461.

Section 1.482-1T(f)(2)(iv) provides an exception from the election requirement in cases in which the taxpayer can demonstrate, based on a comparable uncontrolled transaction, that the transaction as structured was at arm's length.

58 Fed. Reg. 5310. The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking also made the following general statement:

Before adopting these regulations, consideration will be given to any written comments that are timely submitted (preferably a signed original and eight copies) to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. All comments will be available for public inspection and copying. A public hearing will be held upon written request by any person who submits timely written comments on the proposed rules. Notice of the time, place and date for the hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

Id. Respondent received comments pertaining to section 1.482-1T(f)(2), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312-5313, from the following four organizations:

  • The American Petroleum Institute, which submitted “Comments by the American Petroleum Institute on the Temporary and Proposed Regulations on Intercompany Transfer Pricing under Code section 482,” dated July 20, 1993.

  • Tax Executives Institute, Inc. (“Tax Executives Institute”), which submitted a letter dated August 6, 1993, enclosing “Comments of Tax Executives Institute, Inc. On Temporary and Proposed Regulations under Section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code, T.D. 8470, IL-401-88, submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.”

  • TRW, Inc. (“TRW”), which submitted a letter dated July 16, 1993.

  • United States Council for International Business, which submitted a letter dated July 21, 1993, enclosing “Statement of the United States Council for International Business on Proposed Regulation Section 1.482(f)(2) Issued Pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.”

All four organizations that submitted comments on section 1.482-1T(f)(2), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312, stated that the proposed regulations were inconsistent with the holding in First Security Bank. The American Petroleum Institute stated that the proposed regulation “apparently ignores” First Security Bank‘s holding, which, in the view of the American Petroleum institute, was that “an allocation of income is inappropriate where a government restriction negates the 'complete power' of a taxpayer to control the distribution of income among affiliates.” All four commentators stated that the proposed regulations were inconsistent with the reasoning of the Tax Court and the Sixth Circuit in Procter & Gamble, which involved the effect of a foreign legal restriction.

Two commentators — the Tax Executives Institute and TRW — argued against the requirement of section 1.482-1T(f)(2)(ii)(A), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312, that, for a foreign legal restriction to be taken into account, it would have to be “generally applicable to all similarly situated persons (both controlled and uncontrolled).” The Tax Executives Institute explained that “[a] legal restriction should not have to apply to all businesses in the foreign jurisdiction in order to trigger First Security Bank‘s limitation on section 482.” The Tax Executives Institute added: “Some countries in Latin America, for example, apply such restrictions only to payments between related parties.” TRW also opposed the “both controlled and uncontrolled” clause, arguing that it was inconsistent with the Sixth Circuit opinion in Procter & Gamble.

Two commentators — the American Petroleum Institute and TRW — questioned the requirement of section 1.482-1T(f)(2)(ii)(D), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312, that “related parties subject to the restriction did not engage in any transaction with controlled or uncontrolled parties that had the effect of circumventing the restriction”. Specifically, they expressed concern that the proposed rule could be interpreted to mean that the payment of dividends, or (according to the American Petroleum Institute) even just the ability to pay dividends, might be considered a way to circumvent a legal restriction.

Two commentators — the American Petroleum Institute and the Tax Executives Institute — addressed the requirement in section 1.482-1T(f)(2)(ii)(B), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312, that the taxpayer must have “exhausted all effective and practical remedies prescribed by foreign law or practice for obtaining a waiver of such restrictions (other than remedies that would have a negligible prospect of success if pursued).” The American Petroleum Institute stated that the exhaustion-of-remedies requirement “will be difficult to establish with developing nations where the effectiveness of various avenues of appeal is subject to question and a vigorous pursuit of an appeal may place the taxpayer's business interests in that county at risk.” The Tax Executives Institute merely requested clarification: “The regulations should also clarify (perhaps in an example) when taxpayers will be considered to have exhausted their remedies under foreign law. The requirement should not compel taxpayers to pursue futile, costly actions.”

The American Petroleum Institute challenged the proposed regulation's requirement that a restriction imposed by foreign law be publicly promulgated. The American Petroleum Institute stated that, even in the industrialized world, “restrictions which have the practical force and effect of law may not necessarily be traceable to a specific published statutory or regulatory source.”

Two commentators — the American Petroleum Institute and the Tax Executives Institute — argued that taxpayers should continue to be allowed to make the deferral election within the time limits that had been permitted by the 1968 regulations. Recall that the 1968 regulations required that the election be made before any of the following events occurred: (1) the taxpayer's waiver of the period for assessment, (2) 30 days after the examination report, or (3) the closing agreement or offer-in-compromise. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1A(d)(6) (1994). The 1993 proposed regulation would have required the election to be made before the IRS first contacted the taxpayer about an examination. Sec. 1.482-1T(f)(2)(i)(B), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312.

Following the receipt of written comments relating to the 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking, the Treasury Department and respondent held a public hearing on August 16, 1993. Although several witnesses testified at the hearing, none testified regarding section 1.482-1T(f)(2), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5312, which related to foreign legal restrictions.

NN. The 1994 final regulations

On July 8, 1994, Treasury Decision 8552 was published in the Federal Register. 59 Fed. Reg. 34971. Treasury Decision 8552 did two things. First, it promulgated final regulations under section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. T.D. 8552, para. 3, 59 Fed. Reg. 34988. These 1994 final regulations were comprehensive: They comprised all regulations related to section 482 for the tax years and transactions to which they applied. Second, it removed the 1993 temporary regulations. T.D. 8552, para. 2, 59 Fed. Reg. 34988.

The effective dates of the 1994 final regulations were specified in section 1.482-1(j) of the 1994 final regulations, which is printed below:

(1) The regulations in this are generally effective for taxable years beginning after October 6, 1994.

(2) Taxpayers may elect to apply retroactively all of the provisions of these regulations for any open taxable year. Such election will be effective for the year of the election and all subsequent taxable years.

(3) Although these regulations are generally effective for taxable years as stated, the final sentence of section 482 (requiring that the income with respect to transfers or licenses of intangible property be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible) is generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 1986. For the period prior to the effective date of these regulations, the final sentence of section 482 must be applied using any reasonable method not inconsistent with the statute. The IRS considers a method that applies these regulations or their general principles to be a reasonable method.

(4) These regulations will not apply with respect to transfers made or licenses granted to foreign persons before November 17, 1985, or before August 17, 1986, for transfers or licenses to others. Nevertheless, they will apply with respect to transfers or licenses before such dates if, with respect to property transferred pursuant to an earlier and continuing transfer agreement, such property was not in existence or owned by the taxpayer on such date.[ 156]

Petitioner does not argue that any provision of section 1.482-1(j) of the 1994 final regulations results in the 1994 final regulations' not being effective for the 2006 tax year of the 3M consolidated group.

The 2006 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations contains the regulations generally applicable for the 2006 tax year for taxpayers, such as the 3M consolidated group, who use the calendar year as the tax year. Therefore, when we wish to cite the regulations that are effective for this case, we cite the 2006 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. Between the promulgation of the 1994 final regulations and the publication of the 2006 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations, some amendments had been made to the 1994 final regulations. 157 However, neither petitioner nor respondent relies on these amendments. In this Opinion we do not refer to portions of the regulations that were amended after the 1994 final regulations.

As mentioned before, the second change effected by Treasury Decision 8552 was the removal of temporary regulation 1.482-1T to -6T. 158 T.D. 8552, para. 2, 59 Fed. Reg. 34988 (July 8, 1994). Treasury Decision 8552 provided that the effective date for the removal of the 1993 temporary regulations was October 6, 1994. T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34971 (sections 1.482-1T to -6T of the 1993 regulations “are removed effective October 6, 1994”). This effective-date provision for the removal of the 1993 temporary regulations was not expressed in terms of tax years. However, the new 1994 final regulations were generally effective for the tax years beginning after October 6, 1994. See section 1.482-1(j)(1) of the 1994 final regulations, 59 Fed. Reg. 35002 (July 8, 1994). Therefore it would be sensible to consider the temporary regulations to be removed generally for the tax years beginning after October 6, 1994. If this interpretation is placed on the effective-date provision regarding the removal of the 1993 temporary regulations, then the general scope of the section 482 regulations from this era can be described thus:

Beginning date of tax year

Regulations generally applicable for tax year

On or before Apr. 21, 1993

1968 regulations, redesignated in 1993

After Apr. 21, 1993, and on or before Oct. 6, 1994

1993 temporary regulations

The preamble to the 1994 final regulations contained a discussion of the legislative history of the commensurate-with-income sentence that had been added to section 482 by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. 59 Fed. Reg. 34972 (July 8, 1994). This 1994 discussion of legislative history is similar to the discussions of legislative history in the 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking, 57 Fed. Reg. 3571 (Jan. 30, 1992), and in the preamble to the 1993 temporary regulations, 58 Fed. Reg. 5264 (Jan. 21, 1993); see supra part II.KK (discussing 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking) and LL (discussing preamble to the 1993 temporary regulations).

The preamble to the 1994 final regulations also explained that “[w]ritten comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking were received, and a public hearing was held on August 16, 1993”; and that “[a]fter consideration of all the comments”, the proposed regulations under the 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking, as revised by Treasury Decision 8552, were adopted and the 1993 temporary regulations were removed. T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34972, 34988.

The preamble to the 1994 final regulations made the following general comparison to the 1993 temporary regulations (which were also proposed regulations): “While the final regulations reflect numerous modifications in response to the comments received on the 1993 regulations, both the format and substance of the final regulations are generally consistent with the 1993 regulations. The changes adopted are intended to clarify and refine those provisions of the 1993 regulations that required improvement, without fundamentally altering the basic policies reflected in the 1993 regulations.” T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34975.

The 1994 final regulations included a finalized version of the 1993 temporary regulations (which were also proposed regulations) regarding the comparable-profits method. Sec. 1.482-5, 59 Fed. Reg. 35021 (text of section 1.482-5, the portion of the 1994 final regulations relating to the comparable-profits method); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-5T (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The 1994 final regulations included a finalized version of the 1993 proposed regulations regarding the profit-split method. Sec. 1.482-6, 59 Fed. Reg. 35025 (text of section 1.482-6, the portion of the 1994 final regulations relating to the profit-split method); 59 Fed. Reg. 34986 (preamble describing history of section 1.482-6 of 1994 final regulations); sec. 1.482-6T, Proposed Income Tax Regs., 58 Fed. Reg. 5313-5316 (Jan. 21, 1993) (text of proposed regulation on profit-split method in 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking).

The 1994 final regulations had no provisions regarding cost-sharing agreements. 59 Fed. Reg. 34987. Thus, the provisions in the 1993 temporary regulations continued to apply. Id.; 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-7T (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

Like the 1993 temporary regulations, the 1994 final regulations had a provision permitting the consideration charged for an intangible to be periodically adjusted to be commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-4(f)(2) (2006) (1994 final regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-4T(e)(2)(i) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).159 The preamble to the 1994 final regulations explained the provision as follows: “Section 1.482-4(f)(2) provides that if an intangible is transferred for a period in excess of one year, the consideration charged is generally subject to an annual adjustment to ensure that it is commensurate with the income attributable to the intangible. This provision is required by the 1986 amendment to section 482.” 59 Fed. Reg. 34984.160

Recall that before the 1994 final regulations were promulgated, the regulatory provisions containing the “complete power” sentence were in effect only for tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993. As we have explained, the section 482 regulations before the promulgation of the 1994 final regulations had consisted of two separate tracks. Tax years beginning on or before April 21, 1993, were generally governed by the 1968 regulations as redesignated in 1993. T.D. 8470 para. 1, 58 Fed. Reg. 5271 (Jan. 21, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993). This redesignated set of regulations had the provisions containing the “complete power” sentence. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1A(b)(1) (1994). Tax years beginning after April 21, 1993, were governed by the 1993 temporary regulations. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a), (h) (1994). The 1993 temporary regulations did not have the provisions containing the “complete power” sentence. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

Like the 1993 temporary regulations, the 1994 final regulations did not have the passage containing the “complete power” sentence that had existed in various forms from 1934 to 1993. Instead of this passage, the 1993 temporary regulations had provided:

If a controlled taxpayer has not reported its true taxable income, the district director may make allocations between or among the members of a controlled group. In such cases, the district director may allocate income, deductions, credits, allowances, basis, or any other item or element affecting taxable income (referred to as “allocations”).

* * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a)(2) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The 1994 final regulations had similar provisions:

The district director may make allocations between or among the members of a controlled group if a controlled taxpayer has not reported its true taxable income. In such case, the district director may allocate income, deductions, credits, allowances, basis, or any other item or element affecting taxable income (referred to as allocations). * * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a)(2) (2006) (1994 final regulations).

The 1994 final regulations' definition of the word “controlled”, which was similar to the definition in the 1993 temporary regulations, was as follows:

Controlled includes any kind of control, direct or indirect, whether legally enforceable or not, and however exercisable or exercised, including control resulting from the actions of two or more taxpayers acting in concert or with a common goal or purpose. It is the reality of the control that is decisive, not its form or the mode of its exercise. A presumption of control arises if income or deductions have been arbitrarily shifted.

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(i)(4) (2006) (1994 final regulations); see 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(4) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

Like the 1993 temporary regulations, the 1994 final regulations defined a “group of controlled taxpayers” as “the taxpayers owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(i)(6) (2006) (1994 final regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(6) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1994 final regulations, like the 1993 temporary regulations, defined a “controlled transaction” as “any transaction * * * between two or more members of the same group of controlled taxpayers.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(i)(8) (2006) (1994 final regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(8) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1994 final regulations' definition of the term “true taxable income” was similar to the definition in the 1993 temporary regulations:

True taxable income means, in the case of a controlled taxpayer, the taxable income that would have resulted had it dealt with the other member or members of the group at arm's length. * * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(i)(9) (2006) (1994 final regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(g)(9) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations).

The 1994 final regulations contained provisions regarding the purpose of section 482, which included a reference to the tax-parity goal. The purpose provisions in the 1994 final regulations were:

The purpose of section 482 is to ensure that taxpayers clearly reflect income attributable to controlled transactions, and to prevent the avoidance of taxes with respect to such transactions. Section 482 places a controlled taxpayer on a tax parity with an uncontrolled taxpayer by determining the true taxable income of the controlled taxpayer. * * *

26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(a) (2006) (1994 final regulations). These provisions were the same as the provisions in the 1993 temporary regulations, except that the 1994 final regulations omitted the clause “in a manner that reasonably reflects the relative economic activity undertaken by each taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(a)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The preamble to the 1994 final regulations explained this omission.

The definition of true taxable income in § 1.482-1(i)(9) already incorporates the notion that, under section 482, the controlled taxpayer should earn the amount of income that would have resulted had it dealt with other controlled taxpayers at arm's length. Because a transaction at arm's length naturally would reflect the 'relative economic activity undertaken,' this definition incorporates that concept, and it is unnecessary to include the additional language in this provision.

T.D. 8552, 59 Fed. Reg. 34976.

The 1994 final regulations contained a sentence similar to the sentence in the 1993 temporary regulations that imposed the arm's-length standard. 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (2006) (1994 final regulations); 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(b)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The sentence in the 1994 final regulations was this: “In determining the true taxable income of a controlled taxpayer, the standard to be applied in every case is that of a taxpayer dealing at arm's length with an uncontrolled taxpayer.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (2006) (1994 final regulations).

As explained before, the 1993 temporary regulation adopted the following sentence: “A controlled transaction meets the arm's length standard if the results of that transaction are consistent with the results that would have been realized if uncontrolled taxpayers had engaged in a comparable transaction under comparable circumstances.” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1T(b)(1) (1994) (1993 temporary regulations). The parallel sentence in the 1994 final regulations was this: “A controlled transaction meets the arm's length standard if the results of the transaction are consistent with the results that would have been realized if uncontrolled taxpayers had engaged in the same transaction under the same circumstances (arm's length result).” 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(b)(1) (2006) (1994 final regulations).

The 1994 final regulations under section 482, which were promulgated by Treasury Decision 8552, included 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006) (1994 final regulations). Subparagraph (2), headed “Effect of foreign legal restrictions”, provides:

(i) In general. The district director will take into account the effect of a foreign legal restriction to the extent that such restriction affects the results of transactions at arm's length. Thus, a foreign legal restriction will be taken into account only to the extent that it is shown that the restriction affected an uncontrolled taxpayer under comparable circumstances for a comparable period of time. In the absence of evidence indicating the effect of the foreign legal restriction on uncontrolled taxpayers, the restriction will be taken into account only to the extent provided in paragraphs (h)(2)(iii) and (iv) of this section (Deferred income method of accounting).

(ii) Applicable legal restrictions. Foreign legal restrictions (whether temporary or permanent) will be taken into account for purposes of this paragraph (h)(2) only if, and so long as, the conditions set forth in paragraphs (h)(2)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section are met.

(A) The restrictions are publicly promulgated, generally applicable to all similarly situated persons (both controlled and uncontrolled), and not imposed as part of a commercial transaction between the taxpayer and the foreign sovereign;

(B) The taxpayer (or other member of the controlled group with respect to which the restrictions apply) has exhausted all remedies prescribed by foreign law or practice for obtaining a waiver of such restrictions (other than remedies that would have a negligible prospect of success if pursued);

(C) The restrictions expressly prevented the payment or receipt, in any form, of part or all of the arm's length amount that would otherwise be required under section 482 (for example, a restriction that applies only to the deductibility of an expense for tax purposes is not a restriction on payment or receipt for this purpose); and

(D) The related parties subject to the restriction did not engage in any arrangement with controlled or uncontrolled parties that had the effect of circumventing the restriction, and have not otherwise violated the restriction in any material respect.

(iii) Requirement for electing the deferred income method of accounting. If a foreign legal restriction prevents the payment or receipt of part or all of the arm's length amount that is due with respect to a controlled transaction, the restricted amount may be treated as deferrable if the following requirements are met —

(A) The controlled taxpayer establishes to the satisfaction of the district director that the payment or receipt of the arm's length amount was prevented because of a foreign legal restriction and circumstances described in paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section; and

(B) The controlled taxpayer whose U.S. tax liability may be affected by the foreign legal restriction elects the deferred income method of accounting, as described in paragraph (h)(2)(iv) of this section, on a written statement attached to a timely U.S. income tax return (or an amended return) filed before the IRS first contacts any member of the controlled group concerning an examination of the return for the taxable year to which the foreign legal restriction applies. A written statement furnished by a taxpayer subject to the Coordinated Examination Program will be considered an amended return for purposes of this paragraph (h)(2)(iii)(B) if it satisfies the requirements of a qualified amended return for purposes of § 1.6664-2(c)(3) as set forth in those regulations or as the Commissioner may prescribe by applicable revenue procedures. The election statement must identify the affected transactions, the parties to the transactions, and the applicable foreign legal restrictions.

(iv) Deferred income method of accounting. If the requirements of paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section are satisfied, any portion of the arm's length amount, the payment or receipt of which is prevented because of applicable foreign legal restrictions, will be treated as deferrable until payment or receipt of the relevant item ceases to be prevented by the foreign legal restriction. For purposes of the deferred income method of accounting under this paragraph (h)(2)(iv), deductions (including the cost or other basis of inventory and other assets sold or exchanged) and credits properly chargeable against any amount so deferred, are subject to deferral under the provisions of § 1.461-1(a)(4). In addition, income is deferrable under this deferred income method of accounting only to the extent that it exceeds the related deductions already claimed in open taxable years to which the foreign legal restriction applied.

(v) Examples. The following examples, in which Sub is a Country FC subsidiary of U.S. corporation, Parent, illustrate this paragraph (h)(2).

Example 1. Parent licenses an intangible to Sub. FC law generally prohibits payments by any person within FC to recipients outside the country. The FC law meets the requirements of paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section. There is no evidence of unrelated parties entering into transactions under comparable circumstances for a comparable period of time, and the foreign legal restrictions will not be taken into account in determining the arm's length amount. The arm's length royalty rate for the use of the intangible property in the absence of the foreign restriction is 10% of Sub's sales in country FC. However, because the requirements of paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section are satisfied, Parent can elect the deferred income method of accounting by attaching to its timely filed U.S. income tax return a written statement that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (h)(2)(iii)(B) of this section.

Example 2. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Sub, although it makes no royalty payment to Parent, arranges with an unrelated intermediary to make payments equal to an arm's length amount on its behalf to Parent.

(ii) The district director makes an allocation of royalty income to Parent, based on the arm's length royalty rate of 10%. Further, the district director determines that because the arrangement with the third party had the effect of circumventing the FC law, the requirements of paragraph (h)(2)(ii)(D) of this section are not satisfied. Thus, Parent could not validly elect the deferred income method of accounting, and the allocation of royalty income cannot be treated as deferrable. In appropriate circumstances, the district director may permit the amount of the distribution to be treated as payment by Sub of the royalty allocated to Parent, under the provisions of § 1.482-1(g) (Collateral adjustments).

Example 3. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that the laws of FC do not prevent distributions from corporations to their shareholders. Sub distributes an amount equal to 8% of its sales in country FC. Because the laws of FC did not expressly prevent all forms of payment from Sub to Parent, Parent cannot validly elect the deferred income method of accounting with respect to any of the arm's length royalty amount. In appropriate circumstances, the district director may permit the 8% that was distributed to be treated as payment by Sub of the royalty allocated to Parent, under the provisions of § 1.482-1(g) (Collateral adjustments).

Example 4. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Country FC law permits the payment of a royalty, but limits the amount to 5% of sales, and Sub pays the 5% royalty to Parent. Parent demonstrates the existence of a comparable uncontrolled transaction for purposes of the comparable uncontrolled transaction method in which an uncontrolled party accepted a royalty rate of 5%. Given the evidence of the comparable uncontrolled transaction, the 5% royalty rate is determined to be the arm's length royalty rate.

The preamble to Treasury Decision 8552 explains the final 1994 regulations. The portion of the preamble related to 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006) states:

The rules on foreign legal restrictions were originally issued in proposed form in the 1993 regulations. Section 1.482-1(h)(2) modifies and finalizes that provision. It provides that a foreign legal restriction will be taken into account to the extent that such restriction affects the results of transactions at arm's length. If there is no evidence that the restriction affected uncontrolled taxpayers the restriction will be disregarded in determining an arm's length result, and it will be taken into account only to the extent provided in §§ 1.482-1(h)(2)(iii) and (iv), relating to the deferred income method of accounting. A foreign legal restriction is generally defined under § 1.482-1(h)(2)(ii) as a restriction that is publicly promulgated and generally applicable, not imposed as part of a commercial transaction between the taxpayer and the foreign government, with respect to which the taxpayer has exhausted all practicable legal remedies afforded under foreign law, expressly prevents the payment, in any form, of an arm's length amount within the meaning of section 482, and was not otherwise circumvented by the controlled taxpayers.

Section 1.482-1(h)(2)(iii) provides that if a provision meets the definition of a foreign legal restriction and the taxpayer has elected the deferred income method of accounting, any section 482 allocation connected with the transaction will be deferrable until the restriction is removed.

Section 1.482-1(h)(2)(iv) provides that if the requirements of § 1.482-1(h)(2)(iii) are satisfied, the amount subject to the restriction will be treated as deferrable until payment or receipt of the relevant item ceases to be prevented by the foreign legal restriction. Deductions and credits incurred in open years and that are chargeable against a deferred amount are subject to deferral under § 1.461-1(a)(4).

59 Fed. Reg. 34981.

OO. Stipulations regarding the 1994 final regulations

Petitioner and respondent have stipulated that the “administrative record pertaining to the adoption of subparagraph (h)(2) of Treas. Reg. § 1.482-1 consists of the following documents”:

  • The 1992 notice of proposed rulemaking, dated January 30, 1992. 57 Fed. Reg. 3571 (Jan. 30, 1992).

  • “1993 Temporary Income Tax Regulations (T.D. 8470; 58 FR 5263-02), dated January 21, 1993.” Note that the stipulation here cites only Treasury Decision 8470, and fails to acknowledge the three later corrections to Treasury Decision 8470 relating to errors in the 1993 temporary regulations. The three corrections are 58 Fed. Reg. 17775 (Apr. 6, 1993); 58 Fed. Reg. 28446 (May 13, 1993); and 58 Fed. Reg. 28921 (May 18, 1993). As noted in the fourth bullet point below, the stipulation later mistakenly says the corrections are to the 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking. These anomalies in the stipulation appear to be to be insignificant.

  • The 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking, dated January 21, 1993. 58 Fed. Reg. 5310 (Jan. 21, 1993).

  • “Corrections to the 1993 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, dated April 6, 1993 (58 Fed. Reg. 17775), dated May 13, 1993 (58 Fed. Reg. 28446), dated May 18, 1993 (58 Fed. Reg. 28921).” In our view, while the first correction related to both the 1993 temporary regulation and the 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking, the second and third corrections related only to the 1993 temporary regulations. They did not relate to the 1993 notice of proposed rulemaking.

  • Public comments:

    • American Petroleum Institute, dated June 20, 1993,

    • Tax Executives Institute, dated August 6, 1993,

    • TRW, dated July 16, 1993, and

    • United States Council for International Business, dated July 21, 1993.

  • The 1994 final regulations, T.D. 8552, dated July 8, 1994. 59 Fed. Reg. 34971 (July 8, 1994).

Petitioner and respondent stipulated that the fixed ceilings on the amounts payable as royalties for the licensing of patents, unpatented technology, and trademarks are Brazilian legal restrictions that apply only to payments made by a Brazilian company to a controlling foreign company. Petitioner and respondent stipulated that therefore, at all relevant times, including during the 2006 tax year, there is no evidence that these legal restrictions affected “an uncontrolled taxpayer under comparable circumstances for a comparable period of time” within the meaning of 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(i) (2006).

Petitioner and respondent have stipulated that petitioner did not elect the deferred income method of accounting described in 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2)(iv) (2006), and that petitioner does not assert that it is entitled to use that method.

PP. The 1996 amendment to section 7805(a) regarding regulations relating to post-1996 provisions of the Internal Revenue Code

When the section 482 regulations were adopted in 1994, section 7805 could be summarized as follows:

  • Section 7805(a) authorized the Treasury Department to prescribe all “needful” regulations for the enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code. 26 U.S.C. sec. 7805(a) (1994).

  • Section 7805(b) authorized the Treasury Department to determine the extent, if any, to which such regulations would apply without retroactive effect. 26 U.S.C. sec. 7805(b) (1994).161

In 1996, however, Congress amended section 7805(b) to provide as follows:

(1) In general. — Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no temporary, proposed, or final regulation relating to the internal revenue laws shall apply to any taxable period ending before the earliest of the following dates:

(A) The date on which such regulation is filed with the Federal Register.

(B) In the case of any final regulation, the date on which any proposed or temporary regulation to which such final regulation relates was filed with the Federal Register.

(C) The date on which any notice substantially describing the expected contents of any temporary, proposed, or final regulation is issued to the public.

(2) Exception for promptly issued regulations. — Paragraph (1) shall not apply to regulations filed or issued within 18 months of the date of the enactment of the statutory provision to which the regulation relates.

(3) Prevention of abuse. — The Secretary may provide that any regulation may take effect or apply retroactively to prevent abuse.

(4) Correction of procedural defects. — The Secretary may provide that any regulation may apply retroactively to correct a procedural defect in the issuance of any prior regulation.

(5) Internal regulations. — The limitation of paragraph (1) shall not apply to any regulation relating to internal Treasury Department policies, practices, or procedures.

(6) Congressional authorization. — The limitation of paragraph (1) may be superseded by a legislative grant from Congress authorizing the Secretary to prescribe the effective date with respect to any regulation.

(7) Election to apply retroactively. — The Secretary may provide for any taxpayer to elect to apply any regulation before the dates specified in paragraph (1).

(8) Application to rulings. — The Secretary may prescribe the extent, if any, to which any ruling (including any judicial decision or any administrative determination other than by regulation) relating to the internal revenue laws shall be applied without retroactive effect.

Sec. 7805(b), as amended by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2, Pub. L. No. 104-168, sec. 1101(a), 110 Stat. at 1468 (1996).

So, before the 1996 amendment section 7805(b) gave the Treasury Department the discretion to make regulations without retroactive effect. See TBL Licensing LLC v. Commissioner, 158 T.C. ___ (slip op. at 25 n.10 (Jan. 31, 2022) (stating that under pre-1996 section 7805(b), “regulations generally applied retroactively unless the Secretary of the Treasury exercised his discretion to apply them prospectively”). But after the 1996 amendment section 7805(b) generally imposed an antiretroactivity rule that was keyed to when the public received notice of the content of the regulation.

Under the effective-date provision of the 1996 amendment, the 1996 amendment applied “with respect to regulations which relate to statutory provisions enacted on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 30, 1996].” Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2, sec. 1101(b), 110 Stat. at 1469. Would the 1994 final regulations (including 26 C.F.R. sec. 1.482-1(h)(2) (2006)) be considered “regulations which relate to statutory provisions enacted on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 30, 1996]”?

The effective-date provision of the 1996 amendment has been interpreted to mean that the phrase “enacted on or after the date of the enactment of this Act” modifies the term “statutory provisions.” Grapevine Imp., Ltd. v. United States, 636 F.3d 1368, 1381 n.6 (Fed. Cir. 2011), vacated and remanded, 566 U.S. 971 (2012); Esden v. Bank of Bos., 229 F.3d 154, 171 n.21 (2d Cir. 2000); TBL Licensing LLC v. Commissioner, 158 T.C. at ___ (slip op. at 25 n.10); Intermountain Ins. Serv. of Vail, LLC v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. 211, 229 n.3 (2010) (Halpern & Holmes, JJ., concurring in result only), rev'd and remanded, 650 F.3d 691 (D.C. Cir. 2011), vacated and remanded, 566 U.S. 972 (2012); Steve R. Johnson, “Preserving Fairness in Tax Administration in the Mayo Era”, 32 Va. Tax Rev. 269, 312 (2012). Under this view, the 1996 amendment to section 7805(b) would not govern the 1994 final regulations. The 1994 final regulations related to section 482, which was enacted before 1996. Therefore, the pre-1996 version of section 7805(b) would govern the 1994 final regulations. But pre-1996 section 7805(b) would have no effect on whether the 1994 final regulations are applicable for the 2006 tax year. The pre-1996 version of section 7805(b) generally provided that tax regulations are applied retroactively, but that is irrelevant to the 1994 final regulations as applied for the 2006 tax year, as that is a prospective application.

Another interpretation of the effective-date provision of the 1996 amendment to section 7805(b) is that the phrase “enacted on or after” modifies the word “regulations” and not the phrase “statutory provisions”. John Bunge, “Statutory Protection From IRS Reinterpretation of Old Tax Laws”, 144 Tax Notes 1177 (2014). Under this view, the 1996 amendment to section 7805(b) would govern the 1994 regulations because these regulations could not be said to have been “enacted” after 1996; they were promulgated in 1994. If the 1996 amendments to section 7805(b) govern the 1994 final regulations, then section 7805(b) does not prevent the 1994 final regulations from being applicable for the 2006 tax year of the 3M consolidated group. The post-1996 version of section 7805(b) is essentially a prohibition on retroactive regulations, see sec. 7805(b)(1), with certain exceptions. But the 1994 final regulations are prospective, not retroactive, with respect to the 2006 tax year.

The bottom line is that neither version of section 7805(b) would preclude the 1994 final regulations from being applicable for the 2006 tax year.

QQ. Post-2006 amendments to section 482

After 2006, the tax year at issue, section 482 was affected by several amendments.

A 2017 law amended section 482 to add a third sentence:

For purposes of this section, the Secretary shall require the valuation of transfers of intangible property (including intangible property transferred with other property or services) on an aggregate basis or the valuation of such a transfer on the basis of the realistic alternatives to such a transfer, if the Secretary determines that such basis is the most reliable means of valuation of such transfers.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Pub. L. No. 115-97, sec. 14221(b)(2), 131 Stat. at 2219 (codified at 26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (2018)). The amendment was applicable for transfers in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Id. subsec. (c)(1).

The same 2017 law indirectly affected the second sentence of section 482. As it was enacted in 1986, the sentence referred to “intangible property (within the meaning of section 936(h)(3)(B))”. 26 U.S.C. sec. 482 (Supp. IV 1987). Section 936(h)(3)(B) then provided:

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.

26 U.S.C. sec. 936(h)(3)(B) (1982). In 2017, the definition of intangible property in section 936(h)(3)(B) was amended. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, sec. 14221(a), 131 Stat. at 2218. After the 2017 amendment, section 936(h)(3)(B) provided:

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;

(vi) any goodwill, going concern value, or workforce in place (including its composition and terms and conditions (contractual or otherwise) of its employment); or

(vii) any other item the value or potential value of which is not attributable to tangible property or the services of any individual.

26 U.S.C. sec. 936(h)(3)(B) (2012 ed. & Supp. V 2018). This amendment too was applicable for transfers in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, sec. 14221(c)(1).

In 2018, section 482 was amended to replace the words “intangible property (within the meaning of section 936(h)(3)(B))” with the words “intangible property (within the meaning of section 367(d)(4))”. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-141, div. U, sec. 401(d)(1)(D)(viii)(III), 132 Stat. at 1207. Section 367(d)(4) provides:

For purposes of this subsection, the term “intangible property” means any —

(A) patent, invention, formula, process, design, pattern, or know-how,

(B) copyright, literary, musical, or artistic composition,

(C) trademark, trade name, or brand name,

(D) franchise, license, or contract,

(E) method, program, system, procedure, campaign, survey, study, forecast, estimate, customer list, or technical data,

(F) goodwill, going concern value, or workforce in place (including its composition and terms and conditions (contractual or otherwise) of its employment), or

(G) other item the value or potential value of which is not attributable to tangible property or the services of any individual.

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, sec. 401(d)(1)(D)(viii)(I), 132 Stat. at 1207 (codified at 26 U.S.C. sec. 367(d)(4) (2018)). The 2018 amendment had retroactive effect only to the extent the 2018 version of section 482 would result in the same tax liability as the pre-2018 version, i.e., only if the 2018 amendment would have no effect. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, div. U, sec. 401(e), 132 Stat. at 1212-1213.

In summary, the 2017 amendments to section 482 and