Japan vs “TH Corp”, January 2017, District Court, Case No. 56 of 2014 (Gyoseu)

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A tax assessment based on Japanese CFC rules (anti-tax haven rules) had been applied to a “TH Corp”‘s, subsidiary in Singapore.

According to Japanese CFC rules, income arising from a foreign subsidiary located in a state or territory with significantly lower tax rates is deemed to arise as the income of the parent company when the principal business of the subsidiary is holding shares or IP rights.

However, the CFC rules do not apply when the subsidiary has substance and it makes economic sense to conduct business in the subsidiary in the low tax jurisdiction.

Judgement of the court.

According to the court, total revenue, number of employees, and fixed facilities are relevant in this determination.

The Court held that the Singapore subsidiary had conducted a broad range of businesses – including finance and logistics – with the economically rational purpose of streamlining its ASEAN operations, and thus set aside the CFC taxation.

Excerpt
“Satisfaction of the substance and control criteria
(a) According to the above-mentioned findings, A1 rents an office in Singapore and uses it for the regional control business. Therefore, it can be said that A1 has fixed facilities in Singapore, the country where its head office is located, which are deemed to be necessary for the conduct of its main business, the regional control business. Therefore, it satisfies the substantive criteria (Article 6-6(4) and (3) of the Act).
(b) According to the facts certified above, A1 holds general meetings of shareholders and meetings of the board of directors, executes the duties of officers, and prepares and keeps accounting books in Singapore. Therefore, it can be said that A1 manages, controls and operates its own business in the country where its head office is located, and therefore, the management control standard (Article 66-6 Article 66-6, paragraphs 4 and 3).
Conclusion
According to the above, A1 satisfies all of the requirements for exemption from application, namely, the business criterion, the country of domicile criterion, the substance criterion and the control criterion. Therefore, the plaintiff is exempted from the application of Article 66-6(1) of the Measures Act in each of the fiscal years in question.”

 

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