Legal issue: Tax treaty interpretation

France vs Accor (Hotels), June 2022, CAA de Versailles, Case No. 20VE02607

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The French Accor hotel group was the subject of an tax audit related to FY 2010, during which the tax authorities found that Accor had not invoiced a fee for the use of its trademarks by its Brazilian subsidiary, Hotelaria Accor Brasil, in an amount of 8,839,047. The amount not invoiced was considered a deemed distribution of profits and the tax authorities applied a withholding tax rate of 25% to the amount which resulted in […]

France vs Société Planet, May 2022, Conseil d’État, Case No 444451

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In view of its purpose and the comments made on Article 12 of the OECD Model Convention, the Conseil d’État found that Article 12(2) of the Franco-New Zealand tax treaty was applicable to French source royalties whose beneficial owner resided in New Zealand, even if the royalties had been paid to an intermediary company established in a third country. The Supreme Court thus set aside the previous 2020 Judgement of the Administrative Court of Appeal. […]

Netherlands vs “Fertilizer BV”, April 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No. ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2022:1198

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In 2016 Fertilizer BV had been issued a tax assessment for FY 2012 in which the tax authorities had imposed additional taxable income of €133,076,615. In November 2019 the district court ruled predominantly in favor of the tax authorities but reduced the adjustment to €78.294.312. An appel was filed by Fertilizer BV with the Court of Appeal. Judgement of the Court of Appeal Various issues related to the assessment was disputed before the Court. Dispute […]

Denmark vs Heavy Transport Holding Denmark ApS, March 2021, High Court, Cases B-721-13

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Heavy Transport Holding Denmark ApS, a subsidiary in the Heerema group, paid dividends to a parent company in Luxembourg which in turn paid the dividends to two group companies in Panama. The tax authorities found that the company in Luxembourg was not the beneficial owner of the dividends and thus the dividends were not covered by the tax exemption rules of the EU Parent/Subsidiary Directive or the Double Taxation Convention between Denmark and Luxembourg. On […]

Costa Rica vs British Tobacco Centroamérica S.A. March 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 750-2022

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The tax authorities had started investigating a sales contract that British Tobacco Centroamérica S.A. had with a related company abroad for the import of goods. The historical price of the imported goods was compared to the price contained in the later sales contract. In the customs forms, the company declared one value, but in its invoices it recorded another value for the same products. The tax auditor discovered that the sales contract had a clause […]

Spain vs “XZ SA”, March 2022, TEAC, Case No Rec. 4377-2018

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“XZ SA” is a Spanish parent of a tax consolidation group which is part of a multinational group. The Spanish group participates in the group’s cash pooling system, both as a borrower and as a provider of funds. The objective of cash pooling agreements is to manage the cash positions of the participating entities, optimising the group’s financial results by channelling the excess liquidity of the group companies that generate it to the group companies […]

India vs UPS Asia Group Pte. Ltd., March 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Mumbai, Case No 220/Mum./2021

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UPS Asia is a company incorporated under the laws of Singapore and is engaged in the business of provision of supply chain management including the provision of freight forwarding and logistic services. In 2012 UPS Asia had entered into a Regional Transportation Services Agreement with UPS SCS (India) Pvt. Ltd. for the provisions of freight and logistics services. Under the Transportation Agreement, UPS Asia arranged to perform international freight transportation and provide overseas support services, […]

Bulgaria vs CBS, March 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 3012

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By judgment of 22 May 2020, the Administrative Court set aside a tax assessment in which CBS International Netherlands B.V. had been denied reimbursement of withholding tax in the amount of BGN 156 830,27 related to royalties and license payments. An appeal was filed by the tax authorities with the Supreme Administrative Court. In the appeal the tax authorities held that the beneficial owner of the licence and royalty payments was not CBS International Netherlands […]

India vs Synamedia Limited, February 2022, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – BANGALORE, Case No ITA No. 3350/Bang/2018

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Synamedia Ltd. provides open end-to-end digital technology services to digital pay television platform operators. The company has expertise in the area of providing conditional access system, interactive systems and other software solutions as well as integration and support services for digital pay TV networks. For FY 2014-15 the company filed a tax return with nil income. The case was selected for a transfer pricing audit. The tax authorities in India accepted the arm’s length pricing […]

Korea vs Microsoft, February 2022, Supreme Court, Case no. 2019두50946

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In 2011 Samsung signed the contract with Microsoft for use of software-patent in Android-based smartphone and tablets, and for the years 2012-2015 Samsung paid royalties to a Microsoft subsidiary, MS Licensing GP, while saving 15 percent for withholding tax. The royalties paid by Samsung to Microsoft during these years amounted to 4.35 trillion won, of which 15%, or 653.7 billion won, was paid as withholding tax. In June 2016, Microsoft filed a claim for a […]

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