Tag: Circular arrangement

Circular transactions, e.g. round-tripping of funds, with no other primary commercial function than obtaining tax advantages.

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

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 against GE in July 2020. Judgement of the Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal overturned the judgement of the High Court and ruled in favour of GE Capital. UK vs GE 2021 COA 1716 ... Continue to full case
India vs. M/s Redington (India) Limited, December 2020, High Court of Madras, Case No. T.C.A.Nos.590 & 591 of 2019

India vs. M/s Redington (India) Limited, December 2020, High Court of Madras, Case No. T.C.A.Nos.590 & 591 of 2019

Redington India Limited (RIL) established a wholly-owned subsidiary Redington Gulf (RG) in the Jebel Ali Free Zone of the UAE in 2004. The subsidiary was responsible for the Redington group’s business in the Middle East and Africa. Four years later in July 2008, RIL set up a wholly-owned subsidiary company in Mauritius, RM. In turn, this company set up its wholly-owned subsidiary in the Cayman Islands (RC) – a step-down subsidiary of RIL. On 13 November 2008, RIL transferred its entire shareholding in RG to RC without consideration, and within a week after the transfer, a 27% shareholding in RC was sold by RG to a private equity fund Investcorp, headquartered in Cayman Islands for a price of Rs.325.78 Crores. RIL claimed that the transfer of its shares in RG to RC was a gift and therefore, exempt from capital gains taxation in India. It was also claimed that transfer pricing provisions were not applicable as income was exempt from ... Continue to full case
UK vs GE Capital, July 2020, High Court, Case No RL-2018-000005

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

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 UK in 2005, specifically designed to prevent tax avoidance through the exploitation of the tax treatment of ‘hybrid’ entities in different jurisdictions. The clearance was granted by the tax authorities in 2005 based on the understanding that the funds would be used to invest in businesses operating in Australia. In total, GE’s clearance application concerned 107 cross-border loans amounting to debt financing of approximately £21.2 billion. The Australian Transaction was one part of the application. After digging into the financing structure and receiving documents from ... Continue to full case
US vs Reserve Mechanical Corp, June 2018, US Tax Court, Case No. T.C. Memo 2018-86

US vs Reserve Mechanical Corp, June 2018, US Tax Court, Case No. T.C. Memo 2018-86

The issues were whether transactions executed by the company constituted insurance contracts for Federal income tax purposes and therefore, whether Reserve Mechanical Corp was exempt from tax as an “insurance company”. For that purpose the relevant factors for a captive insurance to exist was described by the court. According to the court in determining whether an entity is a bona fide insurance company a number of factors must be considered, including: (1) whether it was created for legitimate nontax reasons; (2) whether there was a circular flow of funds; (3) whether the entity faced actual and insurable risk; (4) whether the policies were arm’s-length contracts; (5) whether the entity charged actuarially determined premiums; (6) whether comparable coverage was more expensive or even available; (7) whether it was subject to regulatory control and met minimum statutory requirements; (8) whether it was adequately capitalized; and (9) whether it paid claims from a separately maintained account. US v Reserve Medical Corp TCMemo_2018-86 ... Continue to full case
New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

The tax scheme in the Ben Nevis-case involved land owned by the subsidiary of a charitable foundation being licensed to a group of single purpose investor loss attributing qualifying companies (LAQC’s). The licensees were responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting the forest through a forestry management company. The investors paid $1,350 per hectare for the establishment of the forest and $1,946 for an option to buy the land in 50 years for half its then market value. There were also other payments, including a $50 annual license fee. The land had been bought for around $580 per hectare. This meant that the the investors, if it wished to acquire the land after harvesting the forest, had to pay half its then value, even though they had already paid over three times the value at the inception of the scheme. In addition to the above payments, the investors agreed to pay a license premium of some $2 million per hectare, payable ... Continue to full case
US vs Laidlaw Transportation, Inc., June 1998, US Tax Court, Case No 75 T.C.M. 2598 (1998)

US vs Laidlaw Transportation, Inc., June 1998, US Tax Court, Case No 75 T.C.M. 2598 (1998)

Conclusion of the Tax Court: “The substance of the transactions is revealed in the lack of arm’s-length dealing between LIIBV and petitioners, the circular flow of funds, and the conduct of the parties by changing the terms of the agreements when needed to avoid deadlines. The Laidlaw entities’ core management group designed and implemented this elaborate system to create the appearance that petitioners were paying interest, while in substance they were not. We conclude that, for Federal income tax purposes, the advances from LIIBV to petitioners for which petitioners claim to have paid the interest at issue are equity and not debt. Thus, petitioners may not deduct the interest at issue for 1986, 1987, and 1988.” NOTE: 13 October 2016 section 385 of the Internal Revenue Code was issued containing regulations for re-characterisation of Debt/Equity for US Inbound Multinationals. Further, US documentation rules in Treasury Regulation § 1.385-2 facilitate analysis of related-party debt instruments by establishing documentation and maintenance requirements, operating ... Continue to full case
UK vs. W. T. Ramsay Limited, March 1981, HOUSE OF LORDS, Case No. HL/PO/JU/18/241

UK vs. W. T. Ramsay Limited, March 1981, HOUSE OF LORDS, Case No. HL/PO/JU/18/241

In the case of Ramsay a substance over form-doctrine was endorsed by the House of Lords (predecessor of the “UK Supreme Court” established in 2009). The “Ramsay principle” has since been applied in other cases involving tax avoidance schemes in the UK, where transactions have been constructed purely for tax purposes. Statutes referring to “commercial” concepts have also been applied in tax cases where transactions have lacked economic substance. UK vs RAMSAY LIMITED 1981 ... Continue to full case