Tag: Equity or Debt/Loan

Norway vs Fortis Petroleum Norway AS, March 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2021-26379

Norway vs Fortis Petroleum Norway AS, March 2022, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2021-26379

In 2009-2011 Fortis Petroleum Norway AS (FPN) bought seismic data related to oil exploration in the North Sea from a related party, Petroleum GeoServices AS (PGS), for NKR 95.000.000. FBN paid the amount by way of a convertible intra-group loan from PGS in the same amount. FPN also purchased administrative services from another related party, Consema, and later paid a substantial termination fee when the service contract was terminated. The acquisition costs, interest on the loan, costs for services and termination fees had all been deducted in the taxable income of the company for the years in question. Central to this case is the exploration refund scheme on the Norwegian shelf. This essentially means that exploration companies can demand cash payment of the tax value of exploration costs, cf. the Petroleum Tax Act § 3 letter c) fifth paragraph. If the taxpayer does not have income to cover an exploration cost, the company receives payment / refund of the tax ... Read more
Austria vs C-Group, March 2022, Bundesfinanzgericht, Case No RV/7102553/2021

Austria vs C-Group, March 2022, Bundesfinanzgericht, Case No RV/7102553/2021

C is the parent company of the C-group which is involved in the construction business. C is part of a joint venture and for the expansion of these activities a framework agreement on shareholder loans was concluded. Under the agreement two shareholder loans were granted: ***loan*** II totalling 212,935,716.33 euros and ***loan*** III totalling 446,000,000 euros. At issue is whether (***loan*** II and ***loan*** III) are to be regarded as hidden equity capital or debt capital. In regards of loan II a binding ruling had previously been issued stating that the loan was hidden equity. C took the position that both loan II and loan III were to be treated for tax purposes as equity capital. Following an audit the tax authorities assessed both shareholder loans as debt capital and added interest income to the taxable income of C. In regards of the binding ruling previously issued, the authorities stated that the underlying facts had changed to such an extend ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.13

For example, consider a situation in which Company B, a member of an MNE group, needs additional funding for its business activities. In this scenario, Company B receives an advance of funds from related Company C, which is denominated as a loan with a term of 10 years. Assume that, in light of all good-faith financial projections of Company B for the next 10 years, it is clear that Company B would be unable to service a loan of such an amount. Based on facts and circumstances, it can be concluded that an unrelated party would not be willing to provide such a loan to Company B due to its inability to repay the advance. Accordingly, the accurately delineated amount of Company C’s loan to Company B for transfer pricing purposes would be a function of the maximum amount that an unrelated lender would have been willing to advance to Company B, and the maximum amount that an unrelated borrower ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.12

In accurately delineating an advance of funds, the following economically relevant characteristics may be useful indicators, depending on the facts and circumstances: the presence or absence of a fixed repayment date; the obligation to pay interest; the right to enforce payment of principal and interest; the status of the funder in comparison to regular corporate creditors; the existence of financial covenants and security; the source of interest payments; the ability of the recipient of the funds to obtain loans from unrelated lending institutions; the extent to which the advance is used to acquire capital assets; and the failure of the purported debtor to repay on the due date or to seek a postponement ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.11

Particular labels or descriptions assigned to financial transactions do not constrain the transfer pricing analysis. Each situation must be examined on its own merits, and subject to the prefatory language in the previous paragraph, accurate delineation of the actual transaction under Chapter I will precede any pricing attempt ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.10

Although countries may have different views on the application of Article 9 to determine the balance of debt and equity funding of an entity within an MNE group, the purpose of this section is to provide guidance for countries that use the accurate delineation under Chapter I to determine whether a purported loan should be regarded as a loan for tax purposes (or should be regarded as some other kind of payment, in particular a contribution to equity capital) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.8

Although this guidance reflects an approach of accurate delineation of the actual transaction in accordance with Chapter I to determine the amount of debt to be priced, it is acknowledged that other approaches may be taken to address the issue of the balance of debt and equity funding of an entity under domestic legislation before pricing the interest on the debt so determined. These approaches may include a multi-factor analysis of the characteristics of the instrument and the issuer ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.7

Where it is considered that the arrangements made in relation to the transaction, viewed in their totality, differ from those which would have been adopted by independent enterprises behaving in a commercially rational manner in comparable circumstances, the guidance at Section D.2 of Chapter I may also be relevant ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.6

In the context of the preceding paragraphs, this subsection elaborates on how the concepts of Chapter I, in particular the accurate delineation of the actual transaction under Section D.1, may relate to the balance of debt and equity funding of an entity within an MNE group ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.5

Commentary to Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention notes at paragraph 3(b) that Article 9 is relevant “not only in determining whether the rate of interest provided for in a loan contract is an arm’s length rate, but also whether a prima facie loan can be regarded as a loan or should be regarded as some other kind of payment, in particular a contribution to equity capital.” ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.4

It may be the case that the balance of debt and equity funding of a borrowing entity that is part of an MNE group differs from that which would exist if it were an independent entity operating under the same or similar circumstances. This situation may affect the amount of interest payable by the borrowing entity and so may affect the profits accruing in a given jurisdiction ... Read more
Hungary vs G.K. Ktf, December 2021, Court of Appeals, Case No. Kfv.V.35.306/2021/9

Hungary vs G.K. Ktf, December 2021, Court of Appeals, Case No. Kfv.V.35.306/2021/9

G.K. Ktf was a subsidiary of a company registered in the United Kingdom. On 29 December 2010 G.K. Ktf entered into a loan agreement with a Dutch affiliate, G.B. BV, under which G.B. BV, as lender, granted a subordinated unsecured loan of HUF 3 billion to G.K. Ktf. Interest was set at a fixed annual rate of 11.32%, but interest was only payable when G.K. Ktf earned a ‘net income’ from its activities. The maturity date of the loan was 2060. The loan was used by G.K. Ktf to repay a debt under a loan agreement concluded with a Dutch bank in 2006. The bank loan was repaid in 2017/2018. The interest paid by G.K. Ktf under the contract was deducted as an expense of HUF 347,146,667 in 2011 and HUF 345,260,000 in 2012. But, in accordance with Dutch tax law – the so called participation exemption – G.B BV did not include the interest as taxable income in its ... Read more
Italy vs Pompea S.p.A., October 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 27636/2021

Italy vs Pompea S.p.A., October 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 27636/2021

This case deals with a non-interest bearing intragroup loan granted by Pompea S.p.A. to a foreign subsidiary and deductibility of interest expenses incurred by Pompea S.p.A. to obtain the funding needed to grant this loan to the subsidiary. The company was of the opinion that interest free inter-company loans were not covered by the Italien arm’s length provision at the time where the loan in question was established. The Italien tax authorities claimed that the arrangement was covered by the transfer pricing regulations art. 110 paragraph 7, and that an arm’s length interest had to be paid on the loan. They also found that interest on the bank loan was not deductible. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Court found that non-interest-bearing loan, was covered by the rules laid down in Article 110(7) of the TUIR (the Italien arm’s length provisions). Furthermore, the court found that the OECD 2010 TP Guidelines were unambiguous in clarifying (Chapter VII of the 2010 Guidelines, paras. 7.14 ... Read more
India vs Times Infotainment Media Ltd, August 2021, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal - Mumbai, TIA No 298/Mum/2014

India vs Times Infotainment Media Ltd, August 2021, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Mumbai, TIA No 298/Mum/2014

Times Infotainment Media Ltd (TIML India), is in the entertainment business, including running an FM Broadcasting channel in India. It successfully participated in the auction of the radio business of Virgin radio in March 2008 in the United Kingdom. To complete the acquisition, it acquired two SPV companies, namely TML Golden Square Limited and TIML Global Limited. TIML India wholly held TIML Global which in turn wholly held TIML Golden. TIML India received funding from its parent Bennet Coleman & Co. Limited and remitted money primarily as an interest-free loan to TIML Global on 27 June 2008. TIML Global, on behalf of TIL Golden, paid UKP 53.51 million for the acquisition of Virgin Radio Shares. The acquisition of shares in Virgin Radios by TIML Golden was completed on 30 June 2008. TIML India booked the transaction in its accounts as a loan to TIML Global Limited, but the arm’s length interest rate on the loan was claimed at zero percent ... Read more

Luxembourg vs “Lux PPL SARL”, July 2021, Administrative Tribunal, Case No 43264

Lux PPL SARL received a profit participating loan (PPL) from a related company in Jersey to finance its participation in an Irish company.  The participation in the Irish company was set up in the form of debt (85%) and equity (15%). The profit participating loan (PPL) carried a fixed interest of 25bps and a variable interest corresponding to 99% of the profits derived from the participation in the Irish company, net of any expenses, losses and a profit margin. After entering the arrangement, Lux PPL SARL filed a request for an binding ruling with the Luxembourg tax administration to verify that the interest  charge under the PPL would not qualify as a hidden profit distribution subject to the 15% dividend withholding tax. The tax administration issued the requested binding ruling on the condition that the ruling would be terminate if the total amount of the interest charge on the PPL exceeded an arm’s length charge. Later, Lux PPL SARL received ... Read more
Peru vs. Perupetro, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 05562-1-2021

Peru vs. Perupetro, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 05562-1-2021

A foreign group had transferred funds to one of its branches, Perupetro, in Peru and claimed that the transfer was a capital contribution – and not a loan. Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment, where the funds transferred were considered a loan and withholding taxes on the interest payments had been lifted. An appeal was filed by Perupetro. Perupetro held that the transfers of funds made by its non-domiciled parent company in its favour in the financial year 2014 constitute assigned capital (capital contributions) and not loans as considered by the Administration. It pointed out that the tax authorities has not followed the procedure established by the Income Tax Law and the OECD Guidelines to delineate the operation observed, a situation that would have allowed it to note that it does not qualify as a loan. Perupetro further claimed that the tax authorities had not carried out a correct comparability analysis for the transaction subject to assessment, ... Read more
Germany vs Lender GmbH, May 2021, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 62/17

Germany vs Lender GmbH, May 2021, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 62/17

Lender GmbH acquired all shares in T GmbH from T in 2012 (year in dispute) for a purchase price of … €. To finance the purchase price of the shares, Lender GmbH took out a loan from its sole shareholder, D GmbH, a loan in the amount of … €, which bore interest at 8% p.a. (shareholder loan). The interest was not to be paid on an ongoing basis, but only on expiry of the loan agreement on 31.12.2021. No collateral was agreed. D GmbH, for its part, borrowed funds in the same amount and under identical terms and conditions from its shareholders, among others from its Dutch shareholder N U.A. In addition Lender GmbH received a bank loan in the amount of … €, which had an average interest rate of 4.78% p.a. and was fully secured. Finally Lender GmbH also received a vendor loan from the vendor T in the amount of … €, which bore an interest ... Read more
European Commission vs Luxembourg and Engie, May 2021, EU General Court, Case No T-516/18 and T-525/18

European Commission vs Luxembourg and Engie, May 2021, EU General Court, Case No T-516/18 and T-525/18

Engie (former GDF Suez) is a French electric utility company. Engie Treasury Management S.à.r.l., a treasury company, and Engie LNG Supply, S.A, a liquefied natural gas trading company, are both part of the Engie group. In November 2017, Total has signed an agreement with Engie to acquire its LNG business, including Engie LNG Supply. In 2018 the European Commission has found that Luxembourg allowed two Engie group companies to avoid paying taxes on almost all their profits for about a decade. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it gives Engie an undue advantage. Luxembourg must now recover about €120 million in unpaid tax. The Commission’s State aid investigation concluded that the Luxembourg tax rulings gave Engie a significant competitive advantage in Luxembourg. It does not call into question the general tax regime of Luxembourg. In particular, the Commission found that the tax rulings endorsed an inconsistent tax treatment of the same structure leading to non-taxation at all ... Read more
Italy vs GI Group S.p.A., May 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 13850/2021

Italy vs GI Group S.p.A., May 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 13850/2021

A non-interest-bearing loan had been granted by GI Group S.p.A., to a related company – Goldfinger Limited – in Hong Kong, in order to acquire a 56% shareholding in the Chinese company Ningbo Gi Human Resources Co. Limited. The Italien tax authorities had issued an assessment, where an interest rate on the loan had been determined and an amount equal to the interest calculated on that basis had been added to the taxable income of GI Group S.p.A. GI Group brought this assessment to the Regional Tax Commission where a decision was rendered setting aside the assessment. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court by the tax authorities. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme court upheld the appeal of the tax authorities and referred the case back to the Regional Tax Commission. According to the Supreme Court, the decision of the Tax Commission dit not comply with the principles of law concerning the subject matter of evidence and ... Read more
Norway vs Petrolia Noco AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-5842

Norway vs Petrolia Noco AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-5842

In 2011, Petrolia SE established a wholly owned subsidiary in Norway – Petrolia Noco AS – to conduct oil exploration activities on the Norwegian shelf. From the outset, Petrolia Noco AS received a loan from the parent company Petrolia SE. The written loan agreement was first signed later on 15 May 2012. The loan limit was originally MNOK 100 with an agreed interest rate of 3 months NIBOR with the addition of a margin of 2.25 percentage points. When the loan agreement was formalized in writing in 2012, the agreed interest rate was changed to 3 months NIBOR with the addition of an interest margin of 10 percentage points. The loan limit was increased to MNOK 150 in September 2012, and then to MNOK 330 in April 2013. In the tax return for 2012 and 2013, Petrolia Noco AS demanded a full deduction for actual interest costs on the intra-group loan to the parent company Petrolia SE. Following an audit ... Read more
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