Countries: Germany

Germany vs A Corp. (S-Corporation), November 2022, Finanzgericht Cologne, Case No 2 K 750/19

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It is disputed between the parties whether the A Corp. resident in the USA – a so-called S corporation – or its shareholders are entitled to full exemption and reimbursement of the capital gains tax with regard to a profit distribution by a domestic subsidiary of A Corp. (S-Corporation). A Corp. (S-Corporation) is a corporation […]

Germany vs X GmbH & Co. KG, October 2022, European Court of Justice, Case No C-431/21

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A Regional Tax Court in Germany had requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice on two questions related to German transfer pricing documentation requirements. whether the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU) or the freedom to provide services (Article 56 TFEU) is to be interpreted in such a way that it precludes […]

German draft-legislation on application of the arm’s length principle to cross-border relocation of functions

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On 5 July 2022, the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany published draft legislation regarding application of the arm’s length principle to cross-border relocation of functions. According to the general provisions A function is a business activity that consists of a grouping of similar operational tasks performed by specific units or departments of an enterprise. […]

Germany vs “C GmbH”, June 2022, Finanzgericht Köln, Case No 10 K 1406/18

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In 2014 a profit transfer agreement was effectively concluded between the plaintiff, C GmbH (controlled company), and its sole shareholder A. The profits to be transferred and interest to be paid for the disputed years 2009-2011 were subsequently booked to a “liabilities to shareholders” clearing account, but counterclaims or lump sum payments were not booked. […]

Germany vs Z Group, January 2022, Finanzgericht Cologne, Case No 2 V 827/21

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Z-Group had been subject to a joint transfer pricing audit by the tax administrations of Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and Germany in order to examine the appropriateness of the franchise fee charged between the group companies. Z Group filed a complaint where it disputed the German tax administration’s entitlement to cooperate in a coordinated […]

Germany vs “Shipping Investor Cyprus”, November 2021, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No IR 27/19

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“Shipping Investor Cyprus” was a limited liability company domiciled in Cyprus. In the financial years 2010 and 2011 it received interest income from convertible bonds subject to German withholding tax. “Shipping Investor Cyprus” had no substance itself, but an associated company, also domiciled in Cyprus, had both offices and employees. The dispute was whether “Shipping […]

German TP-Legislation updated as of June 2021

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German legislation on transfer pricing has been updated to align the rules with the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines 2017. The new amendments are effective as of fiscal year 2022. The update includes revised content on Substance over form Risk analysis Best method rule Use of interquartile range Aggregation of transactions Determination of actual ownership vs […]

New German Administrative Ordinance on transfer pricing issues AO 2020, DOK 2020/1174240

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In december 2020 the Federal Ministry of Finance in German issued a new administrative ordinance related to various transfer pricing issues. Among the issues are enhanced requirement to cooperate and submit additional documentation related to controlled transactions, but most notable may be the conditions under which estimated tax assessments can be issued. Below is an […]

Germany vs “NO-MAP GmbH”, September 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No IR 82/17

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A request for mutual agreement and arbitration procedure between Spain and Germany was denied due to highly punishable violation of tax regulations committed by the taxpayer. The mutual agreement procedure according to the EU Arbitration Convention is of a mandatory nature and therefore leads to the elimination of double taxation if the requirements are met. […]

Germany vs “Waiver KG”, February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 51/17

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Waiver KG had an outstanding (non-interest-bearing and unsecured) trade receivable of EUR 2,560,000 from a wholly-owned subsidiary in China related to deliveries made in FY 2004 and 2005. Waiver KG had first issued a partial waiver (EUR 560,000) on the receivable and then a complete waiver in December 2008, after a partial write-down had previously […]

Germany vs Cyprus Ltd, June 2018, BFH judgment Case No IR 94/15

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The Bundesfinanzhof confirmed prior case law according to which the provisions on hidden deposits and hidden profit distributions must be observed in the context of the additional taxation. On the question of economic activity of the controlled foreign company, the Bundesfinanzhof refers to the ruling of the European Court of Justice concerning Cadbury-Schweppes from 2006. […]

Germany vs “Turbine Owner Gmbh”, September 2016, Supreme Tax Court IV R 1 14

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Tax depreciation for wind turbines presupposes economic ownership of the asset. A change in economic ownership requires that any risks are transferred to the purchaser/customer. The German Supreme Tax Court held that economic ownership of an asset is not transferred at the time it generates income but rather when the risk of accidental destruction and accidental […]

Germany vs. “Loss and Limitation Gmbh”, November 2015, Supreme Tax Court judgment I R 57/13

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There are a number of exceptions to the German interest limitation rule essentially limiting the annual interest deduction to 30% of EBITDA as shown in the accounts. One of these is the equity ratio rule exempting a subsidiary company from the interest limitation provided its equity ratio (ratio of shareholder’s equity to the balance sheet […]

Germany – Constitutionality of interest limitation provisions, October 2015, Supreme Tax Court decision I R 20/15

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The Supreme Tax Court has requested the Constitutional Court to rule on the conformity of the interest limitation with the constitutional requirement to tax like circumstances alike. The interest limitation disallows net interest expense in excess of 30% of EBITDA. However, the rule does not apply to companies with a total net annual interest cost […]

Germany vs “Asset management Gmbh”, April 2013, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No I R 45/11

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Asset management Gmbh was a subsidiary of a Luxembourg investment fund management company. The German company paid substantial fees to a Luxembourg service company. Both companies in Luxembourg were wholly-owned by a Luxembourg holding company. Asset management Gmbh was obliged to follow the policies of the fund. These could only be revised by a two-thirds […]

Germany vs “Loss Distributor GmbH”, April 2005, Bundesfinanzhof, I R 22/04

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The Bundesfinanzhof confirmed that losses incurred by a simpel distribution entity over a longer period of time trigger a rebuttable presumption in Germany that transfer prices have not been at arm’s length. A German company, Loss Distributor GmbH, imported goods from their Swiss sister company S-AG and had made continious losses over a period of time. The tax […]

Germany vs “Clothing Distribution Gmbh”, October 2001, BFH Urt. 17.10.2001, IR 103/00

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A German GmbH distributed clothing for its Italian parent. The German tax authorities issued a tax assessment based on hidden profit distribution from the German GmbH in favor of its Italien parent as a result of excessive purchase prices, which led to high and continuous losses in Germany.  The tax authorities determined the arm’s length […]

Germany vs Corp, January 1973, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No BFH, 10.01.1973 – I R 119/70

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A hidden distribution of profit presupposes that a corporation grants its shareholder a pecuniary advantage outside the distribution of profits under company law which it would not have granted to a non-shareholder — under otherwise identical circumstances — if the diligence of a prudent and conscientious manager had been applied. It should be noted that […]