Tag: Hidden distribution of profits

France vs Bluestar Silicones France, Feb 2021, Supreme Administrative Court (CAA), Case No 16VE00352

France vs Bluestar Silicones France, Feb 2021, Supreme Administrative Court (CAA), Case No 16VE00352

Bluestar Silicones France (BSF), now Elkem Silicones France SAS (ESF), produces silicones and various products that it sells to other companies belonging to the Bluestar Silicones International group. The company was audited for the financial years 2007 – 2008 and an assessment was issued. According to the tax authorities, the selling prices of the silicone products had been below the arm’s length price and the company had refrained from invoicing of management exepences and cost of secondment of employees . In the course of the proceedings agreement had been reached on the pricing of products. Hence, in dispute before the court was the issue of lacking invoicing of management exepences and cost of secondment of employees for the benefit of the Chinese and Brazilian subsidiaries of the Group. According to the company there had been no hidden transfer of profits; its method of constructing the group’s prices has not changed and compliance with the arm’s length principle has been demonstrated ... Continue to full case
France vs Société Générale S.A., Feb 2021, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 16VE00352

France vs Société Générale S.A., Feb 2021, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 16VE00352

Société Générale S.A. had paid for costs from which its subsidiaries had benefited. The costs in question was not deducted by Société Générale in its tax return, but nor had they been considered distribution of profits subject to withholding tax. Following an audit for FY 2008 – 2011 a tax assessment was issued by the tax authorities according to which the hidden distribution of profits from which the subsidiaries benefited should have been subject to withholding tax in France Société Générale held that the advantage granted by the parent company in not recharging costs to the subsidiaries resulted in an increase in the valuation of the subsidiaries. It also argued that the advantages in question were not “hidden” since they were explicitly mentioned in the documents annexed to the tax return By judgment of 11 October 2018, the court of first instance discharged the withholding taxes as regards the absence of re-invoicing of costs incurred on behalf of the subsidiaries located ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs "Contractual Seller SA", January 2021, Federal Supreme Court, Case No 2C_498/2020

Switzerland vs “Contractual Seller SA”, January 2021, Federal Supreme Court, Case No 2C_498/2020

C. SA provides “services, in particular in the areas of communication, management, accounting, management and budget control, sales development monitoring and employee training for the group to which it belongs, active in particular in the field of “F”. C. SA is part of an international group of companies, G. group, whose ultimate owner is A. The G group includes H. Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands, I. Ltd, based in Guernsey and J. Ltd, also based in Guernsey. In 2005, K. was a director of C. SA. On December 21 and December 31, 2004, an exclusive agreement for distribution of “F” was entered into between L. Ltd, on the one hand, and C. SA , H. Ltd and J. Ltd, on the other hand. Under the terms of this distribution agreement, L. Ltd. undertook to supply “F” to the three companies as of January 1, 2005 and for a period of at least ten years, in return for payment ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs "Contractual Seller SA", May 2020, Federal Administrative Court, Case No A-2286/2017

Switzerland vs “Contractual Seller SA”, May 2020, Federal Administrative Court, Case No A-2286/2017

C. SA provides “services, in particular in the areas of communication, management, accounting, management and budget control, sales development monitoring and employee training for the group to which it belongs, active in particular in the field of “F”. C. SA is part of an international group of companies, G. group, whose ultimate owner is A. The G group includes H. Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands, I. Ltd, based in Guernsey and J. Ltd, also based in Guernsey. In 2005, K. was a director of C. SA. On December 21 and December 31, 2004, an exclusive agreement for distribution of “F” was entered into between L. Ltd, on the one hand, and C. SA , H. Ltd and J. Ltd, on the other hand. Under the terms of this distribution agreement, L. Ltd. undertook to supply “F” to the three companies as of January 1, 2005 and for a period of at least ten years, in return for payment ... Continue to full case
Luxembourg vs Lender Societe, July 2019, Cour Administratif, Case No 42083

Luxembourg vs Lender Societe, July 2019, Cour Administratif, Case No 42083

Lender Societe had acquired real estate in 2008 for EUR 26 million. The acquisition had been financed by a bank loan of EUR 20 million and a shareholder loan of EUR 6 million. The interest rate on the shareholder loan was set at 12%. The Tax Authorities found that the “excessive” part of the interest paid on the shareholder loan was as a hidden distribution of profit subject to dividend withholding tax. The hidden profit distribution was calculated as the difference between an arm’s length interest rate set at approximately 3% and the interest rate according to the loan agreement of 12%. Lender Societe disagreed with the assessment and brought the case before the Tribunal Administratif. The Tribunal agreed with the Tax Authorities and qualified the excessive interest payments as a hidden profit distribution subject to a 15% dividend withholding tax. The decision of the Tax Tribunal is affirmed by the Cour Administratif. Click here for translation Luxembourg vs S.A 17 July 2019 Case No 42043C ... Continue to full case
Luxembourg vs Lux SARL, December 2018, Administrative Court, Case No 40455

Luxembourg vs Lux SARL, December 2018, Administrative Court, Case No 40455

In a case on hidden distribution of profits, the Luxembourg tax authorities stated the following on the issue of valuation methods for intangible assets (a patent): “…the evaluation of an intellectual property right is a rather complex subject; that evaluation reports from “independent” experts in this field are often rather subjective; whereas, therefore, reference should be made to a neutral and recognized body for the evaluation of patents, in this case WIPO, which proposes three different methods of valuation, including (a) the cost method, (b) the revenue method, as well as (c) the market method; that the first method of evaluation is to be dismissed from the outset in view of the absence of research and development expenses reported by the Claimant; that the second method is based on the future revenues of the patent invention; therefore, there must be a large enough amount of data to predict future revenues over the life of the patent, which is not the case here, as the tax dispute ... Continue to full case
Luxembourg vs Lender Societe, November 2018, Tribunal Administratif, Case No 40348

Luxembourg vs Lender Societe, November 2018, Tribunal Administratif, Case No 40348

Lender Societe had acquired real estate in 2008 for EUR 26 million. The acquisition had been financed by a bank loan of EUR 20 million and a shareholder loan of EUR 6 million. The interest rate on the shareholder loan was set at 12%. The Tax Authorities found that the “excessive” part of the interest paid on the shareholder loan was as a hidden distribution of profit subject to dividend withholding tax. The hidden profit distribution was calculated as the difference between an arm’s length interest rate set at approximately 3% and the interest rate according to the loan agreement of 12%. Lender Societe disagreed with the assessment and brought the case before the Tribunal Administratif. The Tribunal agreed with the Tax Authorities and qualified the excessive interest payments as a hidden profit distribution subject to a 15% dividend withholding tax. Click here for translation Luxembourg vs Societe 071018 tribunal administratif du Luxembourg No 40348 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
Germany vs "A Investment GmbH", June 2017, Tax Court , Case no 10 K 771/16

Germany vs “A Investment GmbH”, June 2017, Tax Court , Case no 10 K 771/16

A Investment GmbH, acquired all shares of B in May 2012. To finance the acquisition, A Investment GmbH took up a bank loan (term: 5 years; interest rate: 4.78%; secured; senior), a vendor loan (term: 6 years; interest rate: 10%; unsecured; subordinated) and a shareholder loan (term: 9 to 10 years; interest rate: 8%; unsecured; subordinated). The 8 % interest rate on the shareholder loan was determined by A Investment GmbH by applying the CUP method based on external comparables. The German tax authority, found that the interest rate of 8 % did not comply with the arm’s length principle. An assessment was issued where the interest rate was set to 5% based on the interest rate on the bank loan (internal CUP). A Investment GmbH filed an appeal to Cologne Tax Court. The court ruled that the interest rate of the bank loan, 4.78%, was a reliable CUP for setting the arm’s length interest rate of the controlled loan. The ... Continue to full case
Luxembourg vs LuxCo TM, December 2015, Administrative Court, Case No 33611

Luxembourg vs LuxCo TM, December 2015, Administrative Court, Case No 33611

LuxCo TM sold trademarks to a newly established sister company. The price had been set at €975,000. The tax authorities issued an assessment where the price had been set at €6,475,000 and the difference was considered to be hidden profit distribution. The Administrative court ruled in favor of the tax authorities. LuxCo TM’s valuation had been based on wrong facts and assumptions. Click here for translation Lux vs Luxco 10 dec 2015 33611 ... Continue to full case
Germany vs Capital GmbH, June 2015, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 29/14

Germany vs Capital GmbH, June 2015, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 29/14

The German subsidiary of a Canadian group lent significant sums to its under-capitalised UK subsidiary. The debt proved irrecoverable and was written off in 2002 when the UK company ceased trading. At the time, such write-offs were permitted subject to adherence to the principle of dealing at arm’s length. In its determination of profits on October 31, 2002, the German GmbH made a partial write-off of the repayment claim against J Ltd. in the amount of 717.700 €. The tax authorities objected that the unsecured loans were not at arm’s length. The tax authorities subjected the write-down of the claims from the loan, which the authorities considered to be equity-replacing, to the deduction prohibition of the Corporation Tax Act. The authorities further argued that if this was not the case, then, due to the lack of loan collateral, there would be a profit adjustment pursuant to § 1 of the Foreign Taxation Act. Irrespective of this, the unsecured loans had ... Continue to full case
Germany vs C-GmbH, December 2014, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 23/13

Germany vs C-GmbH, December 2014, Bundesfinanzhof, Case No I R 23/13

C-GmbH was the sole shareholder of I-GmbH. In 2000, I-GmbH, together with another company, set up a US company for the development of the US market, H-Inc., in which the I-GmbH held 60 per cent of the shares. H-Inc. received equity from the two shareholders and also received a bank loan of approx. $ 1.5 million (USD), which the shareholders secured through guarantees. As of December 31, 2003, the balance sheet of H-Inc. showed a deficit not covered by equity of approx. 950,000 USD. On June 30 , 2004,  I-GmbH became the sole shareholder of H-Inc. Then the bank put the H-Inc. granted loans due. Since H-Inc. was not able to serve the bank loan, C-GmbH paid the bank. As of December 31, 2004, the balance sheet of H-Inc. showed a deficit not covered by equity of approx. $ 450,000 , which at December 31 , 2005 amounted to approx. $ 1.6 million, as at 31 December 2006 $ 2.5 million ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs Corp, Oct. 2014, Federal Supreme Court, Case No. 4A_138-2014

Switzerland vs Corp, Oct. 2014, Federal Supreme Court, Case No. 4A_138-2014

Decision on the criteria for the arm’s length test of interest rates on inter-company loans. This case i about intercompany loans created by zero balancing cash pooling and the funding of group companies by a group finance company. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court states – If the terms of inter-company loans are not conforming to market conditions, then the payment qualifies as a distribution and a special reserve must be made in the balance sheet of the lender. The Court also states – It is questionable from the outset whether a participation in the cash pool, by which the participant disposes of its liquidity, can pass the market conditions test at all. Click here for translation Swiss case law 4A_138-2014 ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs Hotel X. SA, Nov. 2013, Courts of Switzerland, Case No. 2C_291 / 2013 / 2C_292 / 2013

Switzerland vs Hotel X. SA, Nov. 2013, Courts of Switzerland, Case No. 2C_291 / 2013 / 2C_292 / 2013

A loan was granted from a swiss company to its shareholder. The interest rate was fixed at 2,5%. This was found to be a hidden distribution of profit to the shareholder, cf Art. 58 al. 1 letter. b LIFD. Click here for English translation Hotel X vs switzerland ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs. X, Oct. 2013, Federal Supreme Court, Case No. 2C_644-2013

Switzerland vs. X, Oct. 2013, Federal Supreme Court, Case No. 2C_644-2013

X was the principal shareholder and Chairman in the Insurance Agency, Y AG. In 2003, the company went bankrupt, with the bankruptcy proceedings suspended for lack of assets and the company was removed from the commercial register in September 2003. On 12 March 2007, the tax administration initiated a subsequent taxation proceedings against X concerning monetary benefits which it was supposed to have received from Y AG in the years 1997 to 2000. On 2 May 2012, the tax administration imposed an additional tax in the amount of CHF 39’056.20 including default interest. The appeal against this decision was rejected by the Tax Appeals Commission. Before the Federal Supreme Court, X appealed the decision. Excerp from the Federal Supreme Court ruling: “3.1 According to Art. 20 para. 1 lit.c DBG Income from movable assets, in particular dividends, profit shares, liquidation surpluses and non-cash benefits arising from participations of all kinds. In the relevant economic view, this includes all payments, transfers, ... Continue to full case
Germany vs "Spedition Gmbh", December 2012, Federal Tax Court 11.10.2012, I R 75/11

Germany vs “Spedition Gmbh”, December 2012, Federal Tax Court 11.10.2012, I R 75/11

Spedition Gmbh entered a written agreement – at year-end – to pay management fees to its Dutch parent for services received during the year. The legal question was the relationship between arm’s-length principle as included in double tax treaties and the norms for income assessments in German tax law. The assessment of the tax office claiming a hidden distribution of profits because of the “retrospective” effect of the written agreement, was rejected by the Court. According to the Court the double tax treaty provisions bases the arm’s length standard on amount, rather than on the reason for, or documentation, of a transaction. Click here for English translation Click here for other translation Germany-vs-Corp-October-2012-BUNDESFINANZHOF-Urteil-IR-75-11- ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs. Corp, Juli 2012, Federal Supreme Court, Case No. 2C_834-2011, 2C_836-2011

Switzerland vs. Corp, Juli 2012, Federal Supreme Court, Case No. 2C_834-2011, 2C_836-2011

In this ruling, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court comments on the application of the arm’s length principel and the burden of proff in Switzerland. “Services, which have their legal basis in the investment relationship, are to be offset against the taxable income of the company to the extent that they would otherwise not be granted to a third party under the same circumstances or not to the same extent and would not constitute a capital repayment. This rule of the so-called third-party comparison (or the principle of “dealing at arm’s length”) therefore requires that even legal transactions with equity holders or between Group companies be conducted on the same terms as would be agreed with external third parties on competitive and market conditions.” “Swiss Law – with the exception of individual provisions – does not have any actual group law and treats each company as a legally independent entity with its own bodies which have to transact the business in ... Continue to full case
Turkey vs Lender, April 2012, Danıştay Üçüncü Dairesi, E. 2011/5165, K. 2012/1247, UYAP, 12.04.2012

Turkey vs Lender, April 2012, Danıştay Üçüncü Dairesi, E. 2011/5165, K. 2012/1247, UYAP, 12.04.2012

A Turkish company located in a tax free zone had obtained interest income based on the interest rate applied to foreign currency loans, although the company had lent money to its partner in Turkish Lira. Normally interest income is considered taxable, but within the tax free zone, income from listed activities is exempt. Click here for translation Turkey Case e-2011-5165-k-2012-1247-t-12-4-2012 ... Continue to full case
Turkey vs Pharmaceutical Industry and Trade Corporation, December 2011, Danıştay Üçüncü Dairesi, E. 2009/2352, K. 2011/7637, UYAP, 20.12.2011.

Turkey vs Pharmaceutical Industry and Trade Corporation, December 2011, Danıştay Üçüncü Dairesi, E. 2009/2352, K. 2011/7637, UYAP, 20.12.2011.

A Turkeys Pharma Company carried out drug production, import and sales operations, and had purchased different active ingredients from foreign group companies. Following an audit the tax office found that the prices paid by the Pharma Company for six ingredients had been above the market price resulting in a hidden distribution of profits. A price study was performed for similar active ingredients suggesting price deviations ranging from 167 – 975 % Table 2: Price deviation from market price Theophylline 167.26% ibuprofen 478.34% Fluoxetine 975.15% Hyoscine-N-Butilbrüm 150.13% Povidone Iodine 176.83% metamizolesodi 260.05% An assessment was issued where the cost of the ingredients – and thus taxable income of the Pharma company – was adjusted based on the price paid for similar active ingredients between unrelated parties. The Pharma Company disagreed with the assessment and brought the case before the tax court. The Tax Court issued a decision in favor of the Pharma company. In a study from the Turkish Pharmaceutical Association ... Continue to full case
Turkey vs No-Banker Corp, November 2008, Administrative Court, E. 2006/3620 K. 2008/4633 T. 18.11.2008

Turkey vs No-Banker Corp, November 2008, Administrative Court, E. 2006/3620 K. 2008/4633 T. 18.11.2008

No-banker Corp had issued an interest free loan to a related party. The Turkish tax office held that the lack of interest on the loan constituted a hidden distribution of profits and issued an assessment where additional income tax and a tax deficiency penalty was added and also banking and insurance transactions tax (BITT). The company filed a lawsuit based on the assessment. The tax court examined the case and determined that the loan to the partner had been used in the business of the company. Therefore, it was decided that the interest-free loan did not constitute a hidden distribution of profit. Hence, the tax court decided in favor of No-Banker Corp. The tax office then filed an appeal with Administrative Court. In a majority vote decision the Administrative Court rejected the appeal of the tax office and the decision of the tax court was upheld. It was emphasized that No-Banker Corp was not involved in bank or insurance business ... Continue to full case