Tag: Business purpose

Test used for identification of tax avoidance schemes. Artificial schemes which create circumstances under which no tax or minimal tax is levied may be disregarded if they do not serve a “business purpose”. See also lack of economic substance.

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

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

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 practices in force. However, despite the agreement the tax authorities challenged the 2013 tax return and demanded proof that the return on the MRPS complied with the arm’s length principle. L SARL found that such proof was not necessary since the MRPS’ tax treatment had already been agreed by the tax administration agreement. The tax administration disagreed and issued an assessment. The case was brought before the Administrative Tribunal. The Administrative Tribunal held that an advance tax agreement is binding upon the tax administration where ... Continue to full case
Japan vs. Universal Music Corp, June 2019, Tokyo District Court, Case No 平成27(行ウ)468

Japan vs. Universal Music Corp, June 2019, Tokyo District Court, Case No 平成27(行ウ)468

An intercompany loan in the form of a so-called international debt pushdown had been issued to Universal Music Japan to acquire the shares of another Japanese group company. The tax authority found that the loan transaction had been entered for the principal purpose of reducing the tax burden in Japan and issued an assessment where deductions of the interest payments on the loan had been disallowed for tax purposes. Decision of the Court The Tokyo District Court decided in favour of Universal Music Japan and set aside the assessment. The Court held that the loan did not have the principle purpose of reducing taxes because the overall restructuring was conducted for valid business purposes. Therefore, the tax authorities could not invoke the Japanese anti-avoidance provisions to deny the interest deductions. The case is now pending at the Tokyo High Court awaiting a final decision. Click here for English Translation Jap UM 2019 ... Continue to full case
Japan vs. IBM, March 2015, Tokyo High Court, Case no 第265号-56(順号12639)

Japan vs. IBM, March 2015, Tokyo High Court, Case no 第265号-56(順号12639)

An intermediate Japanese holding company in the IBM group acquired from its US parent all of the shares of a Japanese operating company. The Japanese holdings company then sold a portions of shares in the operating company back to the issuing company for the purpose of repatriation of earned profits. These sales resulted in losses in an amount of JPY 400 billion which for tax purposes were offset against the operating company’s taxable income in FY 2002 – 2005. The Japanese tax authorities did not allow deduction of the losses resulted from the sales referring to article 132 of the Corporation Tax Act of Japan (general anti avoidance regulation). The tax authorities found that the reduction of corporation tax due to the tax losses should be disregarded because there were no legitimate reason or business purpose for the transactions. According to the authorities the transactions would not have taken place between independent parties and the primary purpose of the transactions ... Continue to full case