Countries: Luxembourg

European Commission vs Luxembourg and Engie, May 2021, EU General Court, Case No T-516/18 and T-525/18

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Engie (former GDF Suez) is a French electric utility company. Engie Treasury Management S.à.r.l., a treasury company, and Engie LNG Supply, S.A, a liquefied natural gas trading company, are both part of the Engie group. In November 2017, Total has signed an agreement with Engie to acquire its LNG business, including Engie LNG Supply. In 2018 the European Commission has found that Luxembourg allowed two Engie group companies to avoid paying taxes on almost all […]

European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, May 2021, State Aid – European General Court, Case No T-816/17 and T-318/18

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In 2017 the European Commission concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million.  Following an in-depth investigation the Commission concluded that a tax ruling issued by Luxembourg in 2003, and prolonged in 2011, lowered the tax paid by Amazon in Luxembourg without any valid justification. The tax ruling enabled Amazon to shift the vast majority of its profits from an Amazon group company that is subject to tax in Luxembourg […]

Luxembourg vs “Lux Service SA”, December 2020, Higher Administrative Court, Case No 45072

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In August 2020, the competent authority of the Belgian tax administration sent a request for information to the Luxembourg tax administration concerning “Lux Service SA” under the tax convention between Luxembourg and Belgium. The requested information regarding “Lux Service SA” was documentation related to the basis for service payments from a related party in Belgium. The tax administration in Luxembourg contacted “Lux Service SA” and requested submission of the information and documents. Lux Service SA […]

Luxembourg vs L SARL, January 2020, Luxembourg Administrative Tribunal, Case No 41800

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In 2013, L SARL requested in writing an “advance tax agreement” regarding the tax treatment of Mandatory Redeemable Preference Shares (MRPS) which generated a preferred dividend for its sole shareholder. L SARL wanted confirmation that the MRPS would be characterised as debt and that payments under the MRPS would therefore be tax deductible. The tax administration issued an advance tax agreement confirming that the content of the request complied with the tax laws and administrative […]

Luxembourg vs Lender Societe, July 2019, Cour Administratif, Case No 42083

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Lender Societe had acquired real estate in 2008 for EUR 26 million. The acquisition had been financed by a bank loan of EUR 20 million and a shareholder loan of EUR 6 million. The interest rate on the shareholder loan was set at 12%. The Tax Authorities found that the “excessive” part of the interest paid on the shareholder loan was as a hidden distribution of profit subject to dividend withholding tax. The hidden profit distribution was calculated as […]

Luxembourg vs Lux SARL, December 2018, Administrative Court, Case No 40455

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In a case on hidden distribution of profits, the Luxembourg tax authorities stated the following on the issue of valuation methods for intangible assets (a patent): “…the evaluation of an intellectual property right is a rather complex subject; that evaluation reports from “independent” experts in this field are often rather subjective; whereas, therefore, reference should be made to a neutral and recognized body for the evaluation of patents, in this case WIPO, which proposes three different methods […]

Luxembourg vs Lender Societe, November 2018, Tribunal Administratif, Case No 40348

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Lender Societe had acquired real estate in 2008 for EUR 26 million. The acquisition had been financed by a bank loan of EUR 20 million and a shareholder loan of EUR 6 million. The interest rate on the shareholder loan was set at 12%. The Tax Authorities found that the “excessive” part of the interest paid on the shareholder loan was as a hidden distribution of profit subject to dividend withholding tax. The hidden profit distribution was calculated as […]

Luxembourg vs PPL-Co, July 2017, Cour Administrative, Case No 38357C

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The Administrative Court re-characterised a profit-participating loan into equity for tax purposes. The court provided the following reasoning: “Compared with the criteria specified above for a requalification as a disguised contribution of capital, it should firstly be noted that the sums made available to the two subsidiaries were allocated to investments in properties intended in principle to represent investments in the medium or long term as assets of the invested assets and in the absence […]

Luxembourg vs Lux SA, December 2016, Administrative Tribunal Case No 36954

By a trademark license agreement dated August 22, 2008, a group company in Luxembourg granted another group company a non-exclusive right to use and exploit the brands registered in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Benelux and the European Community for an initial period of ten years, renewable tacitly each time for a period of one year and this against a license fee paid and calculated annually corresponding to 3% of this turnover. […]

Luxembourg vs LuxCo TM, December 2015, Administrative Court, Case No 33611

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LuxCo TM sold trademarks to a newly established sister company. The price had been set at €975,000. The tax authorities issued an assessment where the price had been set at €6,475,000 and the difference was considered to be hidden profit distribution. The Administrative court ruled in favor of the tax authorities. LuxCo TM’s valuation had been based on wrong facts and assumptions.   Click here for translation  

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