Category: Permanent Establishments

A permanent establishment is a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on.

  • There has to a ‘place of business ’ taking examples such as premises or, in certain circumstances machinery or equipment;
  • The place of business must be “fixed” meaning it must be established at a distinct place with a certain degree of permanence;
  • The business of the enterprise must be carried out through this fixed place of business. Meaning that it should be persons who, in one way or another, are dependent on the enterprise (personnel) that conducts the business of the enterprise.
France vs Google, September 2019, Court approval of CJIP Agreement - Google agrees to pay EUR 1 billion in fines and taxes to end Supreme Court Case

France vs Google, September 2019, Court approval of CJIP Agreement – Google agrees to pay EUR 1 billion in fines and taxes to end Supreme Court Case

The district court of Paris has approved a  “convention judiciaire d’intérêt public” negotiated between the French state and Google for an amount of € 500 million plus another agreement with the French tax authorities which amounts to 465 million euros. The agreement puts an end to the French lawsuits against Google for aggressive tax evasion, and litigation with the tax administration relating to adjustments for the periods going from 2005 to 2018. The CJIP “convention judiciaire d’intérêt public”, was established by Article 22 of Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 in France on transparency and fight against corruption. By Law No. 2018-898 of October 23, 2018 the law was extended to cover cases for tax evasion. According to the CJIP legal actions can be ended in return for the payment of a fine. The dispute concerned the existence of a permanent establishment of Google ... Continue to full case
France vs. Google, April 2019, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case N° 17PA03065

France vs. Google, April 2019, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case N° 17PA03065

The French tax administration argued that Google had a permenent establishment in France because the parent company in the US and its subsidiary in Ireland had been selling a service – online ads – to customers in France. In 2017 the administrative court found that Google France did not have the capability to carry out the advertising activities on its own. Google Ireland Limited therefore did not have a permanent establishment in France. The same conclution was reached i 2019 by the Administrative court of appeal. Click here for translation France vs Google April 2019, No 17PA03065, Share: ... Continue to full case
Netherlands vs NL PE, October 2018, Amsterdam Court of Appeal, case no. 17/00407 to 17/00410

Netherlands vs NL PE, October 2018, Amsterdam Court of Appeal, case no. 17/00407 to 17/00410

The issue in this case was attribution of profits to a permanent establishment in the Netherlands. Click here for translation ECLI_NL_GHAMS_2018_2438, Gerechtshof Amsterdam, 17_00407 tm 17_00410N Share: ... Continue to full case
India vs Mastercard, June 2018, AAR No 1573 of 2014

India vs Mastercard, June 2018, AAR No 1573 of 2014

The issue was whether Mastercard Asien Pasific Ltd has a permanent establishment in India as regards the use of a global network and infrastructure to process card payment transactions for customers in India and as regards other related activities. India’s Authority for Advance Rulings found that that Mastercard’s activities in India created a permanent establishment under several different theories. The AAR also concluded that processing fees paid to Mastercard’s regional headquarters in Singapore by Indian banks and other financial institutions were royalty income, but would be taxable as business profits in India under Article 7 in the DTT between India and Singapore for being effectively connected with a PE of Mastercard Asia Pacific in India. AAR ruling: India-vs-Mastercard-asia-pacific-ltd-6-June-2018-AAR-No-1573-of-2014 Share: ... Continue to full case
Nokia paid 202 million euro to settle a long running dispute with the tax authorities in India

Nokia paid 202 million euro to settle a long running dispute with the tax authorities in India

Under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP), Finland and India have settled a long running tax dispute involving Nokia. The tax authorities in India issued a tax assessment to Nokia for violating withholding tax regulations in India while making royalty payments to its parent company in Finland. An additional assessment was then issued by the tax authorities in India to the parent company in Finland for the same transaction as – according to the tax authorities – the company had a permanent establishment in India. According to the MAP settlement Nokia will pay 102 million euro in addition to the 100 million euro already paid in India during 2013-2015. Share: ... Continue to full case
France vs PetO Ferrymasters Ltd. April 2018, Conseil d’État N° 399884

France vs PetO Ferrymasters Ltd. April 2018, Conseil d’État N° 399884

The French Supreme Court issued a decision on 4 April 2018, concluding that a permanent establishment (PE) existed in France for purposes of determining nonresident companies’ exposure to French VAT in a case involving a transport commissionaire arrangement. The decisions clarify the criteria for determining whether a service provider will be considered to have sufficient substance in France to enable the services to be performed in an independent manner, and thus constitute a PE. A UK sea carriage commissionaire signed a client assignment contract with a French company carrying out the same activity, as well as a contract for the French company to organize and provide transport services. The UK company was required to approve any new clients or suppliers. The UK company also managed the reservation systems for clients to book the transport and communicated with the clients regarding the transport and the insurance ... Continue to full case
France vs Valueclick Ltd. March 2018, CAA, Case no 17PA01538

France vs Valueclick Ltd. March 2018, CAA, Case no 17PA01538

The issue in the case before the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris was whether an Irish company had a PE in France in a situation where employees of a French company in the same group carried out marketing, representation, management, back office and administrative assistance services on behalf of the group. The following facts were used to substantiate the presence of a French PE: French employees negotiated the terms of contracts and were involved in drafting certain contractual clauses with the customers. Contracts were automatically signed by the Irish company – whether this action corresponded to a simple validation of the contracts negotiated and drawn up by the managers and employees in France. Local advertising programs were developed and monitored by employees in France. French employees acted to third parties as employees of the Irish company. Customers did not distinguish between the Irish and the French company. However, ... Continue to full case
France vs. Google, July 2017, Administrative Court

France vs. Google, July 2017, Administrative Court

The French tax administration argued that Google had a permenent establishment in France because the parent company in the US and its subsidiary in Ireland had been selling a service – online ads – to customers in France. The administrative court found that Google France did not have the capability to carry out the advertising activities on its own. Google Ireland Limited therefore did not have a permanent establishment in France. Share: ... Continue to full case
Sweden vs S BV, 16 June 2017, Administrative Court, case number 2385-2390-16

Sweden vs S BV, 16 June 2017, Administrative Court, case number 2385-2390-16

S BV was not granted deductions in its Swedish PE for interest on debt relating to the acquisition of subsidiaries. The Court of Appeal considers that it is clear that key personnel regarding acquisition, financing and divestment of the shares in the subsidiary and the associated risks have not existed in the PE. It is also very likely that the holding of the shares has not been necessary for and conditioned by the PE’s operations. Therefore, there is no support for allocating the shares and the related debt to the PE. Click here for translation Sweden vs Corp 30 June 2017 KRNS, mål nr 2385—2390-16 Share: ... Continue to full case
India vs Formula One World Championship Ltd, April 2017, India's Supreme Court

India vs Formula One World Championship Ltd, April 2017, India’s Supreme Court

India’s Supreme Court found that Formula One World Championship which conducts Formula One racing events, has a permanent establishment (PE) for its business in India and income accruing from it is taxable. “We are of the opinion that the test laid down by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Visakhapatnam Port Trust case fully stands satisfied. Not only the Buddh International Circuit is a fixed place where the commercial/economic activity of conducting F-1 Championship was carried out, one could clearly discern that it was a virtual projection of the foreign enterprise, namely, Formula-1 (i.e. FOWC) on the soil of this country. It is already noted above that as per Philip Baker, a PE must have three characteristics: stability, productivity and dependence. All characteristics are present in this case. Fixed place of business in the form of physical location, i.e. Buddh International Circuit, was at the disposal of ... Continue to full case
Australia vs. Tech Mahindra Limited, September 2016, Federal Court, Case no. 2016 ATC 20-582

Australia vs. Tech Mahindra Limited, September 2016, Federal Court, Case no. 2016 ATC 20-582

This case is about the interpretation of Article 7 (the business profits rule) and Article 12 (the royalties provision) of the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of India for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. The issue was misuse of the provision in article 12 about cross-border royalties and article 7 about business profits. The case was brought before the Supreme Court, where special leave to appeal was refused 10 March 2017. Australia-vs-TECH-MAHINDRA-LIMITED-September-2016-Federal-Court-case-no-2016-ATC-20-582 Share: ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. Dell, June 2016, Supreme Court, Case No. 1475/2016

Spain vs. Dell, June 2016, Supreme Court, Case No. 1475/2016

Dell Spain is part of a multinational group (Dell) that manufactures and sells computers. Dell Ireland, operates as distributor for most of Europe. Dell Ireland has appointed related entities to operate as its commissionaires in several countries; Dell Spain and Dell France are part of this commissionaire network. The Dell Group operates through a direct sales model. Purchase orders are placed on a web page or in a call centre. Dell Spain operated as a full-fledged distributor. After the restructuring, Dell Spain serves large customers of the group, through a commissionaire agreement with Dell Ireland. In many cases, large customers require specialized services and Dell Spain’s client support personnel serves them. Sales to private customers in Spain are conducted by Dell France, through a call centre and a web page. The Supreme Court concludes that the activities of Dell Spain constitutes a PE of Dell Ireland under both the “dependent agent” and “fixed place ... Continue to full case
Netherlands vs X BV, June 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 2016:1031 (14/05100)

Netherlands vs X BV, June 2016, Supreme Court, Case No 2016:1031 (14/05100)

In 1996, X BV acquired the right to commercially exploit an intangible asset (Z) for a period of 15 years for $ 63.5 million. X BV then entered a franchise agreements with group companies for the use of Z, including a Spanish PE of Y BV. According to the franchise agreement Y BV paid X BV a fee. According to X, in the calculation of the loss carry forward in Spain the franchise fee should not be fully attributed to the PE in Spain due to existing rules on internal roaylties. X states that the loss carry forward amounts to € 13.1 million. The tax authorities increases the loss carry forward with the fee paid to X, for the use of Z by the Spanish PE. According to the tax authorities, the loss carry forward is € 16.1 million. The District Court finds that no ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. INC Bank, July 2015, Spanish National High Court

Spain vs. INC Bank, July 2015, Spanish National High Court

In the INC bank case the tax administration recharacterised part of the interest-bearing debt of the bank branch as “free” capital, with the consequent reduction of the tax-deductible expenses for debt interest. The adjustment made in relation to year 2002 and 2003 was based on the Commentaries on the OECD Model Convention approved in 2008 The court did not agree with the “dynamic interpretation” of Article 7 applied by the tax administration, in relation to “free” capital, and ruled in favor of INC Bank. Click here for translation Spain vs INC Bank 100715 Spanish National High Court Share: ... Continue to full case
South Africa vs. AB LLC and BD Holdings LLC, May 2015, Tax Court, Case No: 13276

South Africa vs. AB LLC and BD Holdings LLC, May 2015, Tax Court, Case No: 13276

US companies, AB LLC and BD Holdings LLC, came to South Africa in 2007 to perform certain services for X, a company based in and operating from South Africa. To perform these services they concluded a contract with X. There only purpose for coming to South Africa was to perform the services and earn income or profits in terms of the contract. Having achieved this objective they left the country in 2008. Furthermore in 2009 they recieved a succes bonus for the work performed in 2007 and 2008. On 14 June 2011 they were assessed for taxation purposes for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 years by the Revenue Service. The total taxable amount for these years, although only earned during the period February 2007 to May 2008, according to the respondent, was R 63.990.639. The assessment was based on the provisions of Articles 7(1), 5(1) ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs. Finanz AG, Oct. 2012, Federal Supreme Court, Case No 2C_708/2011

Switzerland vs. Finanz AG, Oct. 2012, Federal Supreme Court, Case No 2C_708/2011

A company of a Swiss based group maintained a permanent establishment in the Cayman Islands for financing the domestic group companies. Whereas the group companies were able to deduct the interest payments from the taxable profit to their full extent, the interest income, for Swiss tax purposes, was allocated to the permanent establishment in the Cayman Islands, and therefore led to non-taxation of this interest income. By interpreting the legal term “foreign permanent establishment” the Federal Supreme Court concluded that the finance company in the Cayman Islands had only four employees and that such a lean structures was in contrast to the figures in the annual accounts. Therefore, it denied the allocation of interest income to the Cayman Islands for Swiss tax purposes. Click here for English translation Federal Tax Administration against X. Finanz AG Share: ... Continue to full case
South Africa vs. Tradehold Ltd, May 2012, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No. 132/11

South Africa vs. Tradehold Ltd, May 2012, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No. 132/11

Tradehold is an investment holding company, incorporated in South Africa, with its registered office at 36 Stellenberg Road, Parow, Industria, and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. During the tax year under consideration, being the year of assessment ended 28 February 2003, Tradehold’s only relevant asset was its 100 per cent shareholding in Tradegro Holdings which, in turn, owned 100 per cent of the shares in Tradegro Limited, a company incorporated in Guernsey which owned approximately 65 per cent of the issued share capital in the UK-based company, Brown & Jackson plc. On 2 July 2002, at a meeting of Tradehold’s board of directors in Luxembourg, it was resolved that all further board meetings would be held in that country. This had the effect that, as from 2 July 2002, Tradehold became effectively managed in Luxembourg. It nevertheless remained a ‘resident’ in the Republic ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. Roche, January 2012, Supreme Court case nr. 1626/2008

Spain vs. Roche, January 2012, Supreme Court case nr. 1626/2008

This case is about the consequences of converting a manufacturer and full-fledged distributor into a toll manufacturer and commissionaire, without actually changing the underlying operations. The Supreme Court decided that the restructured Spanish entity acted as a manufacturing agent that created a PE. The profits attributed to the PE included not only the manufacturing profits but also the profits from the distribution activity on behalf of Roche Vitamins Europe Ltd. in Switzerland. Prior to a business restructuring in 1999, the Spanish subsidiary was a full-fledged distributor, involved in manufacturing, importing, and selling the pharmaceutical products in the Spanish and Portuguese markets. In 1999 the Spanish subsidiary and the Swiss parent entered into two agreements. Under the manufacturing agreement, the Spanish subsidiary manufactored products  according to directions and using formulas, know-how, patents, and trademarks from the Swiss parent. These manufacturing activities were remunerated at cost plus 3.3 percent. Under the distribution (agancy) agreement, the Spanish subsidiary would “represent, protect and ... Continue to full case
Norge vs. Dell Norge. December 2011, HRD saknr 2011-755

Norge vs. Dell Norge. December 2011, HRD saknr 2011-755

The Irish company Dell Products was taxable in Norway for years 2003-2006. The issue was whether Dell Products had a permenent establishment in Norway, cf. Article 5. 5 in the tax treaty between Ireland and Norway from 2000. Dell Products sold PC’s and equipment by a commission agreement in which the Irish company was Principal and the Norwegian company Dell AS was commissioner. Both the companies are part of the Dell group. Dell AS sold to customers who were large enterprises and the public sector. It was not disputed that the agreement was not legally binding on Dell Products in relation to customers. Dell Products would have a permanent establishment in Norway and may be taxable Norway, if Dell Norway had acted “on behalf of” and had the “authority to conclude contracts on behalf of the” Dell, ref. Tax Treaty Article 5. 5. Unlike the District Court and the Court ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. Borex, February 2011, National Court case nr. 80-2008

Spain vs. Borex, February 2011, National Court case nr. 80-2008

A Spanish subsidiary of a UK Group (Borex), which imported, processed and sold the materials to third parties, was transformed into a a contract manufacturer. The Spanish subsidiary signed two separate contracts with the UK parent, one for warehousing and the provision of services and the other in respect of an sales agency. Under the first contract, the minerals purchased by the parent would be stored and processed by the subsidiary, which would also provide other relevant services. Under the second contract, the Spanish subsidiary would promote sales of the minerals in Spain, but, as the prices and conditions were fixed by the UK parent, the subsidiary would only send orders to the parent, which was not bound to accept them. The subsidiary could not accept orders in the name of the parent or receive payment. The tax administration argued that there was a high degree of overlapping ... Continue to full case
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