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Eaton Corp.'s Transfer Pricing Trial Begins August 24

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The U.S. Tax Court’s transfer pricing trial of Eaton Corp. v. Comm’r1 will begin on August 24, 2015, despite attempts by the I.R.S. to further delay the trial until 2016. The controversy between the parties began in 2011, when the I.R.S. used its discretionary power to cancel its advance pricing agreements2 with Eaton Corp. and issued a notice of deficiency. Eaton Corp. filed a petition in 2012 challenging the I.R.S. cancellations and claiming that the agreements should be upheld on the basis of contract principles. The outcome of the trial could have a substantial impact on the I.R.S. Advance Pricing Agreement Program and impact the finality of these agreements with other taxpayers.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin August 5, but the I.R.S. filed a motion to delay the trial for five months. In response to the motion, Judge Kathleen Kerrigan ordered a 19-day continuance. The I.R.S. filed another motion to reconsider the five-month delay, which Judge Kerrigan denied. The I.R.S. argued that Eaton Corp. has failed to cooperate during the discovery process and that it requires additional time to prepare for trial in light of new developments. Judge Kerrigan denied a further delay of the trial because she doubts that the hostile relationship between the parties will improve with additional time.