Tag: Economic activities

Germany vs A... GmbH, March 2021, BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT, Case No 2 BvR 1161/19

Germany vs A… GmbH, March 2021, BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT, Case No 2 BvR 1161/19

A GmbH provided funding in the form of a clearing account to its Belgian subsidiary. The account was unsecured and carried an interest of 6% p.a. In 2005, A GmbH and the Belgian company agreed on a debt write-off which was deducted for tax purposes. The tax authorities issued an assessment where the write-off was denied as a tax deductible expense. According to the tax authorities, independent third parties would have agreed on some kind of security. The lack thereof was a violation of the arm’s length principle. A GmbH brought the assessment to court. The Federal Fiscal Court (I R 73/16) found the assessment of the tax authorities to be lawful. This decision was then appealed to the Constitutional Court by  A GmbH, alleging violation of the general principle of equality as well as a violation of its fundamental procedural right to the lawful judge. Decision of the Constitutional Court The Federal Constitutional Court decided in favour of A ... Read more
Germany vs "G-Lender GmbH", February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No IR 81/17

Germany vs “G-Lender GmbH”, February 2019, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No IR 81/17

G-Lender GmbH, owned 50% of Austrian company A GmbH. The remaining 50% of the shares in A GmbH were held by non related shareholders, who at the same time acted as managing directors of A GmbH. G-Lender GmbH granted A GmbH a total of five loans. These loans each carried an interest rate of  5.5% pa. Assets owned by A GmbH  were assigned as collateral. On 22 January 2002 and 16 June 2002, A GmbH made a partial payments on the loans to G-Lender. By a contract dated 9 April 2003, G-Lender GmbH provided a guarantee to an independent bank for a EUR 800,000 loan to A GmbH and at the same time declared subordination of its loan claims against A GmbH. Due to negative development in A GmbH, G-Lender GmbH on 31 December 2003, booked a partial depreciation on the loan in the amount of EUR 312.972. In December 2004 bankruptcy proceedings had been opened on A GmbH and ... Read more
Germany vs Cyprus Ltd, June 2018, BFH judgment Case No IR 94/15

Germany vs Cyprus Ltd, June 2018, BFH judgment Case No IR 94/15

The Bundesfinanzhof confirmed prior case law according to which the provisions on hidden deposits and hidden profit distributions must be observed in the context of the additional taxation. On the question of economic activity of the controlled foreign company, the Bundesfinanzhof refers to the ruling of the European Court of Justice concerning Cadbury-Schweppes from 2006. According to paragraphs §§ 7 to 14 in the Außensteuergesetz (AStG) profits from controlled foreign companies without business activity can be taxed in Germany. In the case at hand the subsidiary was located in a rented office in Cyprus and employed a resident managing director. Her job was to handle correspondence with clients, to carry out and supervise payment transactions, manage business records and keep records. She was also entrusted with obtaining book licenses to order these sub-licenses for the benefit of three of Russia’s and Ukraine’s affiliates, which distributed the books in the Russian-speaking market. The license income earned by subsidiary was taxed at ... Read more
UK vs Cadbury- Schweppes, September 2006, European Court of Justice, Case C-196/04

UK vs Cadbury- Schweppes, September 2006, European Court of Justice, Case C-196/04

The legislation on ‘controlled foreign companies’ in force in the United Kingdom provided for the inclusion, under certain conditions, of the profits of subsidiaries established outside the United Kingdom in which a resident company has a controlling holding. The UK tax authorities thus claimed from the parent company of the Cadbury Schweppes group, established in the United Kingdom, tax on the profits made by one of the subsidiaries of the group established in Ireland, where the tax rate was lower. The Court was asked to consider whether this legislation was compatible with the provisions of the Treaty on freedom of establishment (Articles 43 and 48 EC). The Court recalled that companies or persons could not improperly or fraudulently take advantage of provisions of Community law. However, the fact that a company has been established in a Member State for the purpose of benefiting from more favourable tax legislation does not in itself suffice to constitute abuse of the freedom of ... Read more