Type of court: High Court

Denmark vs NETAPP ApS and TDC A/S, May 2021, High Court, Cases B-1980-12 and B-2173-12

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On 3 May 2021, the Danish High Court ruled in two “beneficial owner” cases concerning the question of whether withholding tax must be paid on dividends distributed by Danish subsidiaries to foreign parent companies. The first case – NETAPP Denmark ApS – concerned two dividend distributions of approx. 566 million DKK and approx. 92 million made in 2005 and 2006 by a Danish company to its parent company in Cyprus. The National Tax Court had […]

South Africa vs Levi Strauss SA (PTY) LTD, April 2021, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No (509/2019) [2021] ZASCA 32

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Levi Strauss South Africa (Pty) Ltd, has been in a dispute with the African Revenue Services, over import duties and value-added tax (VAT) payable by it in respect of clothing imports. The Levi’s Group uses procurement Hubs in Singapore and Hong Kong but channeled goods via Mauritius to South Africa, thus benefiting from a favorable duty protocol between Mauritius and South Africa. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment in which it determined […]

India vs Concentrix Services & Optum Global Solutions Netherlands B.V., March 2021, High Court, Case No 9051/2020 and 2302/2021

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The controversy in the case of India vs Concentrix Services Netherlands B.V. & Optum Global Solutions International Netherlands B.V., was the rate of withholding tax to be applied on dividends paid by the Indian subsidiaries (Concentrix Services India Private Limited & Optum Global Solutions India Private Limited) to its participating (more than 10% ownership) shareholders in the Netherlands. The shareholders in the Netherlands held that withholding tax on dividends should be applied by a rate […]

South Africa vs ABSA bank, March 2021, High Court, Case No 2019/21825

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During FY 2014 – 2018 a South African company, ABSA, on four occasions bought tranches of preference shares in another South African company, PSIC 3. This entitled ABSA to dividends. The dividends received from PSIC 3 by ABSA were declared as tax free. The income in PSIC 3 was based on dividend payments on preference shares it owned in another South African company, PSIC 4. The income in PSIC 4 was from a capital outlay […]

Spain vs BIOMERIEUX ESPAÑA SA, February 2021, National Court, Case No 2021:416

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BIOMERIEUX ESPAÑA SA is active in the business of clinical and biological analysis, production, distribution, training and technical assistance. Likewise, the provision of computer services and, in particular, the computer management of laboratories. Following an audit the tax authorities found that the controlled prices agreed for the acquisition of instruments and consumables between bioMérieux España and its related entities, bioMérieux SA and bioMérieux Inc, did not provided bioMérieux España with an arm’s length return on […]

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

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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 […]

Tanzania vs African Barrick Gold PLC, August 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No. 144 of 2018, [2020] TZCA 1754

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AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD PLC (now Acacia Mining Plc), the largest mining company operating in Tanzania, was issued a tax bill for unpaid taxes, interest and penalties for alleged under-declared export revenues. As a tax resident in Tanzania, AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD was asked to remit withholding taxes on dividend payments amounting to USD 81,843,127 which the company allegedly made for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 (this sum was subsequently reduced to USD 41,250,426). AFRICAN […]

UK vs GE Capital, July 2020, High Court, Case No RL-2018-000005

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GE Capital (GE) have been routing financial transactions (AUS $ 5 billion) related to GE companies in Australia via the UK in order to gain a tax advantage – by “triple dipping” in regards to interest deductions, thus saving billions of dollars in tax in Australia, the UK and the US. Before entering into these transactions, GE obtained clearance from HMRC that UK tax rules were met, in particular new “Anti-Arbitrage Rules” introduced in the […]

India vs Heidelberg Cement India Ltd, March 2019, High Court, Case No ITA-125-2018

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Heidelberg Cement India Ltd is engaged in the business of manufacturing of cement and sells them to its customers in India. A TNM method where all the transactions was combined had been used by the company for determining the arm’s length price of its controlled transactions as they were considered closely linked. Following an audit for FY 2010 2011, the Indian tax authorities issued an assessment of additional taxable income where the pricing of the […]

Spain vs EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U., Feb 2018, High Court, Case No 314/2016

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EPSON IBÉRICA S.A.U. had deducted the full employee pension costs of a CEO that had worked both for the HQ in the Netherlands and the local Spanish Company. The tax authorities issued an assessment where 90% of the pension costs had been disallowed in regards to the taxable income in Spain. The disallowed percentage of the costs was based on the CEO’s salary allocation between Netherlands (90%) and Spain (10%), cf. the agreement entered between […]

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