Tag: Freedom of establishment

Germany vs X GmbH & Co. KG, October 2022, European Court of Justice, Case No C-431/21

Germany vs X GmbH & Co. KG, October 2022, European Court of Justice, Case No C-431/21

A Regional Tax Court in Germany had requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice on two questions related to German transfer pricing documentation requirements. whether the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU) or the freedom to provide services (Article 56 TFEU) is to be interpreted in such a way that it precludes the obligation to provide transfer pricing documentation for transactions with a foreign related parties (Section 90 (3) AO) and whether the sanctions regulated in section 162(4) AO could be contrary to EU law The Regional Tax Court considered that these provisions establish special documentation requirements for taxpayers with transactions with foreign related parties. In the event of non-compliance with these documentation requirements, section 162(4) AO leads to a sanction in the form of a fine/surcharge. Neither was provided for taxpayers with transactions with domestic related parties. However, such discrimination can be justified by compelling reasons in the public interest. In this context, the Regional Tax ... Read more
Belgium, December 2021, Constitutional Court, Case No 184/2021

Belgium, December 2021, Constitutional Court, Case No 184/2021

By a notice of December 2020, the Court of Appeal of Brussels referred the following question for a preliminary ruling by the Constitutional Court : “ Does article 207, second paragraph, ITC (1992), as it applies, read together with article 79 ITC (1992), in the interpretation that it also applies to abnormal or gratuitous advantages obtained by a Belgian company from a foreign company, violate articles 10, 11 and 172 of the Constitution? “. The Belgian company “D.W.B.”, of which Y.S. and R.W. were the managers, was set up on 4 October 2006 by the Dutch company “W.”. On 25 October 2006, the latter also set up the Dutch company “D.W.” On 9 November 2006, bv “W.” sold its shareholdings in a number of subsidiaries of the D.W. group to its subsidiary nv ” D.W. “. It was agreed that 20 % of the selling price would be contributed by e.g. “W.” to the capital of the latter and that ... Read more
Romania vs Impresa Pizzarotti & C SPA Italia, October 2020, ECJ Case C-558/19

Romania vs Impresa Pizzarotti & C SPA Italia, October 2020, ECJ Case C-558/19

A Regional Court of Romania requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice in the Case of Impresa Pizzarotti. Impresa Pizzarotti is the Romanian branch of SC Impresa Pizzarotti & C SPA Italia (‘Pizzarotti Italia’), established in Italy. In 2017, the Romanian tax authorities conducted an audit of an branch of Impresa Pizzarotti. The audit revealed that the branch had concluded, as lender, two loan agreements with its parent company, Pizzarotti Italia: one dated 6 February 2012 for EUR 11 400 000 and another dated 9 March 2012 for EUR 2 300 000. Those sums had been borrowed for an initial period of one year, which could be extended by way of addendum, that the loan agreements did not contain any clause concerning the charging of interest by Impresa Pizzarotti, and that although the outstanding amount as of 1 January 2013 was EUR 11 250 000, both loans had been repaid in full by 9 April 2014. Transactions between Romanian persons and non-resident ... Read more
Netherlands vs Hunkemöller B.V., January 2020, AG opinion - before the Supreme Court, Case No ECLI:NL:PHR:2020:102

Netherlands vs Hunkemöller B.V., January 2020, AG opinion – before the Supreme Court, Case No ECLI:NL:PHR:2020:102

To acquire companies and resell them with capital gains a French Investment Fund distributed the capital of its investors (€ 5.4 billion in equity) between a French Fund Commun de Placement à Risques (FCPRs) and British Ltds managed by the French Investment Fund. For the purpose of acquiring the [X] group (the target), the French Investment Fund set up three legal entities in the Netherlands, [Y] UA, [B] BV, and [C] BV (the acquisition holding company). These three joint taxed entities are shown as Fiscal unit [A] below. The capital to be used for the acquisition of [X] group was divided into four FCPRs that held 30%, 30%, 30% and 10% in [Y] respectively. To get the full amount needed for the acquisition, [Y] members provided from their equity to [Y]: (i) member capital (€ 74.69 million by the FCPRs, € 1.96 million by the Fund Management, € 1.38 million by [D]) and (ii) investment in convertible instruments (hybrid loan ... Read more
Denmark vs Bevola, June 2018, European Court of Justice, Case No C-650/16

Denmark vs Bevola, June 2018, European Court of Justice, Case No C-650/16

The Danish company Bevola had a PE in Finland. The PE incurred a loss when it was closed in 2009 that could not be utilized in Finland. Instead, Bevola claimed a tax deduction in its Danish tax return for 2009 for the loss suffered in Finland. A deduction of the loss was disallowed by the tax authorities because section 8(2) of the Danish Corporate Tax Act stipulates that the taxable income does not include profits and losses of foreign PEs (territoriality principle). Bevola would only be entitled to claim a tax deduction for the Finnish loss in the Danish tax return by making an election of international joint taxation under section 31 A. However, such an election means that all foreign entities must be included in the Danish tax return and the election is binding for a period of 10 years. The decision of the tax authorities was confirmed by the National Tax Tribunal on 20 January 2014. The taxpayer ... Read more
Germany vs Hornbach-Baumarkt, May 2018, European Court of Justice, C-382/16

Germany vs Hornbach-Baumarkt, May 2018, European Court of Justice, C-382/16

In the Hornbach-Baumarkt case, a German parent company guaranteed loans of two related companies for no remuneration. The German tax authorities made an assessment of the amount of income allocated to the parent company as a result of the guarantee, based on the fact that unrelated third parties, under the same or similar circumstances, would have agreed on a remuneration for the guarantees. Hornbach-Baumarkt argued that German legislation was in conflict with the EU freedom of establishment and lead to an unequal treatment of domestic and foreign transactions since, in a case involving german domestic transactions, no corrections to the income would have been made for guarantees granted to subsidiaries. The company further argued that the legislation is disproportionate to achieving the objectives as it provides no opportunity for the company to present commercial justification for the non-arm’s-length transaction. The German Court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice on these arguments. In May 2018 The European ... Read more
Spain vs. Schwepps (Citresa), February 2017, Spanish Supreme Court, case nr. 293/2017

Spain vs. Schwepps (Citresa), February 2017, Spanish Supreme Court, case nr. 293/2017

The Spanish Tax administration made an income adjustment of Citresa (a Spanish subsidiary of the Schweeps Group) Corporate Income Tax for FY 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, resulting in a tax liability of €38.6 millon. Citresa entered into a franchise agreement and a contract manufacturing agreement with Schweppes International Limited (a related party resident in the Netherlands). The transactions between the related parties were not found to be in accordance with the arm’s length principle. In the parent company, CITRESA, the taxable income declared for the years 2003 to 2005 was increased as a result of an adjustment of market prices relating to the supply of certain fruit and other components by Citresa to Schweppes International Limited. In the subsidiary, SCHWEPPES, S.A. (SSA), the taxable income declared for the years 2003 to 2006 was increased as a result of adjustment of market prices relating to the supply of concentrates and extracts by the entity Schweppes International Limited, resident in Holland, to SSA. The taxpayer ... Read more
Belgium vs Lammers & Van Cleeff, January 2008, European Court of Justice, Case No. C-105/07

Belgium vs Lammers & Van Cleeff, January 2008, European Court of Justice, Case No. C-105/07

The question in this case, was whether EU community law precluded Belgien statutory rules under which interest payments were reclassified as dividends, and thus taxable, if made to a foreign shareholder company. A Belgian subsidiary was established and the two shareholders of the Belgian subsidiary and the parent company, established in the Netherlands, were appointed as directors. The subsidiary paid interest to the parent which was considered by the Belgian tax authorities in part to be dividends and was assessed as such. The European Court of Justice was asked to rule on the compatibility of these Belgien statutory rules with EU Community law The Court ruled that art. 43 and 48 EC precluded national legislation under which interest payments made by a company resident in a member state to a director which was a company established in another member state were reclassified as taxable dividends, where, at the beginning of the taxable period, the total of the interest-bearing loans was higher ... 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
Netherlands vs Bosal Holding BV, September 2003, European Court, Case no C-168/01

Netherlands vs Bosal Holding BV, September 2003, European Court, Case no C-168/01

Bosal is a company which carries on holding, financing and licensing/royalty related activities and which, as a taxpayer, is subject to corporation tax in the Netherlands. For the 1993 financial year, it declared costs amounting to NLG 3 969 339 in relation to the financing of its holdings in companies established in nine other Member States. In an annex to its declaration concerning that financial year, Bosal claimed that those costs should be deducted from its own profits. The inspector refused to allow the deduction sought, and the Gerechtshof te Arnhem (Netherlands), before which Bosal brought an action against the dismissal of its claim, confirmed the inspector’s position. It is in those circumstances that Bosal appealed on a point of law to the referring court. Taking the view that an interpretation of Community law was necessary in order to resolve the dispute before it, the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden decided to stay the proceedings and refer the following questions to ... Read more