Legal issue: Disallowed deduction

ATO and Singtel in Court over Intra-company Financing Arrangement

In 2001, Singtel, through its wholly owned Australian subsidiary, Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Limited (Singtel Au), acquired the majority of the shares in Cable & Wireless Optus for $17.2 billion. The tax consequences of this acqusition was decided by the Federal Court in Cable & Wireless Australia & Pacific Holding BV (in liquiatie) v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCAFC 71. Cable & Wireless argued that part of the price paid under a share buy-back […]

Panama vs “Pharma Distributor S.A.”, July 2021, Administrative Tax Court, Case No TAT-RF-066


An adjustment for FY 2013 and 2014 had been issued to a pharmaceutical company in Panama “Pharma Distributor S.A” that resulted in an income adjustment of 19.5 million dollars, which in turn resulted in additional taxes of 2.4 million dollars. The resale price method had been used by Pharma Distributor S.A. to determine the market value of an asset acquired from a related entity that was sold to an independent entity. This method was rejected […]

St. Vincent & the Grenadines vs Unicomer (St. Vincent) Ltd., April 2021, Supreme Court, Case No SVGHCV2019/0001


Unicomer (St. Vincent) Ltd. is engaged in the business of selling household furniture and appliances. In FY 2013 and 2014 Unicomer entered into an “insurance arrangement” involving an unrelated party, United insurance, and a related party, Canterbury. According to the tax authorities United Insurance had been used as an intermediate/conduit to funnel money from the Unicomer to Canterbury, thereby avoiding taxes in St. Vincent. In 2017 the Inland Revenue Department issued an assessments of additional […]

UK vs GE Capital, April 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No [2020] EWHC 1716


In 2005 an agreement was entered between the UK tax authority and GE Capital, whereby GE Capital was able to obtain significant tax benefits by routing billions of dollars through Australia, the UK and the US. HMRC later claimed, that GE Capital had failed to disclose all relevant information to HMRC prior to the agreement and therefore asked the High Court to annul the agreement. The High Court ruled that HMRC could pursue the claim […]

Spain vs EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U., March 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 390:2021


The SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION is a multinational group of Japanese origin active in among others areas, production and sale of computer products. The group is present in Spain, EPSON IBÉRICA, but has its European HQ in the Netherlands, EPSON EUROPE BV. The main shareholder and sole director of EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U. was initially Mr. Jose Augusto. However, following a capital increase on 24 April 1986, EPSON IBÉRICA SAU became the subsidiary of the EPSON Group […]

France vs. SMAP, March 2021, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No. 19VE01161


The French company SMAP carries out activities in the area of advertising management and organisation of trade fairs. Following an audit of the company for FY 2008 to 2011 and assessment was issued where deduction of costs for certain intra group “services” had been denied, resulting in additional value added tax, corporate income tax surcharges, apprenticeship tax and business value added tax. The company held that the tax administration had disregarded fiscal procedures, and that […]

Spain vs DIGITEX INFORMÁTICA S.L., February 2021, National Court, Case No 2021:629


DIGITEX INFORMATICA S.L. had entered into a substantial service contract with an unrelated party in Latin America, Telefonica, according to which the DIGITEX group would provide certain services for Telefonica. The contract originally entered by DIGITEX INFORMATICA S.L. was later transferred to DIGITEX’s Latin American subsidiaries. But after the transfer, cost and amortizations related to the contract were still paid – and deducted for tax purposes – by DIGITEX in Spain. The tax authorities found […]

Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 – 118


A tax assessment had been issued for FY 2013 resulting in additional taxes of to CZK 227,162,210. At first the tax administration disputed that the applicant had purchased 1 TB SSDs for the purpose of earning, maintaining and securing income. It therefore concluded that the Starcom Internatioal had not proved that the conditions for tax deductions were met. On appeal, the tax administrator changed its position and accepted that all the conditions for tax deductions […]

Italy vs “Plastic Pipes s.p.a.”, January 2021, Supreme Court, Case 230-2021


Plastic Pipes s.p.a. produces and sells flexible plastic pipes, via foreign subsidiaries, to which it supplies the product to be resold to foreign customers and it operates abroad, selling the product directly to customers, also in foreign countries where it has a subsidiary. The tax authorities had issued a notice of assessment for FY 2006 claiming that Plastic Pipes s.p.a. had incurred (and deducted) marketing costs in the interest of its subsidiaries, without recharging their […]

Singapore vs Intevac Asia Pte Ltd, October 2020, High Court, Case No [2020] SGHC 218, Tax Appeal No 3 of 2020


The Intevac group initially focused on designing and producing thin-film production systems for the manufacturing of hard disk drives (“HDD”). However, sometime in or around the mid-2000s, Intevac Asia Pte Ltd received a purchase order for a tool designed for the manufacturing of solar cells. Intevac Asia Pte Ltd did not possess the relevant R&D capabilities to develop such a tool and therefore entered into a Research and Development Services Agreement with Intevac US dated […]

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