Tag: Loans

Spain vs DIGITEX INFORMÁTICA S.L., February 2021, National Court, Case No 2021:629

Spain vs DIGITEX INFORMÁTICA S.L., February 2021, National Court, Case No 2021:629

DIGITEX INFORMATICA S.L. had entered into a substantial service contract with an unrelated party in Latin America, Telefonica, according to which the DIGITEX group would provide certain services for Telefonica. The contract originally entered by DIGITEX INFORMATICA S.L. was later transferred to DIGITEX’s Latin American subsidiaries. But after the transfer, cost and amortizations related to the contract were still paid – and deducted for tax purposes – by DIGITEX in Spain. The tax authorities found that costs (amortizations, interest payments etc.) related to the Telefonica contract – after the contract had been transferred to the subsidiaries – should have been reinvoiced to the subsidiaries, and an assessment was issued to DIGITEX for FY 2010 and 2011 where these deductions had been disallowed. DIGITEX on its side argued that by not re-invoicing the costs to the subsidiaries the income received from the subsidiaries increased. According to the intercompany contract, DIGITEX would invoice related entities 1% of the turnover of its own ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs. "H Borrower and Lender A/S", January 2021, Tax Tribunal, Case no SKM2021.33.LSR

Denmark vs. “H Borrower and Lender A/S”, January 2021, Tax Tribunal, Case no SKM2021.33.LSR

“H Borrower and Lender A/S”, a Danish subsidiary in the H Group, had placed deposits at and received loans from a group treasury company, H4, where the interest rate paid on the loans was substantially higher than the interest rate received on the deposits. Due to insufficient transfer pricing documentation, the tax authorities (SKAT) issued a discretionary assessment of taxable income where the interest rate on the loans had been adjusted based on the rate received on the deposits. Decision of the Court The National Tax Tribunal stated that the documentation was deficient to such an extent that it could be equated with a lack of documentation. The tax authorities had therefore been entitled to make a discretionary assessment. The National Tax Court referred, among other things, to the fact that the company’s transfer pricing documentation lacked a basic functional analysis of the group treasury company with which the company had controlled transactions. “The National Tax Tribunal finds that the ... Continue to full case
France vs BSA Finances, December 2020, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 433723

France vs BSA Finances, December 2020, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 433723

In 2009, 2010 and 2011 BSA Finances received a total of five loans granted by the Luxembourg company Nethuns, which belongs to the same group (the “Lactalis group”). Depending on the date on which the loans were granted, they carried interest rates of respectively 6.196%, 3.98% and 4.52%. Following an audit covering the FY 2009 to 2011, the tax authorities considered that BSA Finances did not justify that the interest rates thus charged should exceed the average effective rates charged by credit institutions for variable-rate loans to companies with an initial term of more than two years. Hence, the portion of interest exceeding these rates was considered non-deductible pursuant to the provisions of Article 212(I) of the General Tax Code. In 2017, the  Administrative Court ruled in favor of BSA Finances and discharged the additional corporate tax. But this decision was appealed by the authorities to the Administrative Court of Appeal which in  June 2019 overturned the decision of the ... Continue to full case
France vs Sté Paule Ka Holding, December 2020, Paris Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 18PA02715

France vs Sté Paule Ka Holding, December 2020, Paris Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 18PA02715

Sté Paule Ka Holding, was set up as part of a leveraged buy-out (LBO) operation to finance the acquisition of the Paule Ka group, and in 2011 it acquired the entire capital of the group a price of 42 million euros. The acquisition was financed by issuing convertible bonds carrying an interest rate of 8%. The French tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions for certain payments related to the acquisition and part of the interest payments on the bonds were disallowed. Decision from the Administrative court of appeal The Court found in favor of the company in regards to the payment related to the acquisition and in favor of the tax administration in regards to the partially disallowed deduction of interest payments. “It follows from the foregoing that the elements invoked by the administration do not provide proof that the expenditure of EUR 390,227 correctly entered in the accounts was not incurred in the interest of the company Paule Ka Holding. The ... Continue to full case
France vs WB Ambassador, December 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 428522

France vs WB Ambassador, December 2020, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 428522

WB Ambassador, took out two loans with its Luxembourg parent company and another group company, each bearing an annual interest rate of 7%. Following an audit, the tax authorities, considering that the company did not justify that the 7% interest rate of the above-mentioned intra-group loans corresponded to the rate it could have obtained from independent financial institutions or organisations under similar conditions and partially disallowed deductions of the interest incurred. Supreme Administrative Court The Supreme Administrative Court overturned the decision of the Administrative court of Appeal and ruled in favor of the WB Ambassador. It stated that the Lower Court had erred in law in ruling out the possibility that a company, in order to justify the rate it could have obtained from independent financial institutions for a loan granted under similar conditions, could rely, in order to assess that rate, on the yield of bond issues granted by undertakings in comparable economic conditions. Consequently, WB Ambassador was entitled, ... Continue to full case
France vs Studialis, October 2020, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 18PA01026

France vs Studialis, October 2020, Administrative Court of Appeal, Case No 18PA01026

Between the end of 2008 and the end of 2012 Studialis had issued bonds subscribed by British funds, partners of a Luxembourg company, itself a majority partner of Studialis, carrying an interest rate of 10%. The Tax authorities considered that the interest rate on the bonds was higher than the limit provided for by Article 212, I of the CGI (at the time between 2.8% and 4.1%). According to the authorities only an effective loan offer contemporaneous with the transactions and taking into account the specific characteristics of the borrowing company could establish with certainty the rate it would have received from a independent credit institution, and rejected all the evidence in support of the pricing presented by the company. Decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal The Court ruled in favor of Studialis. It considered that the evidence provided by Studialis – loan offers and certificates from independent banks combined with and a comparability study on rates of bonds ... Continue to full case
France vs SAS Wheelabrator Group, July 2019, Conseil d’Etat Opinion, No 429426

France vs SAS Wheelabrator Group, July 2019, Conseil d’Etat Opinion, No 429426

In an Opinion issued on 10 July 2019 on request from the Administrative Court of Versailles, the Conseil d’Etat states as a principle that the arm’s length nature of intra-group interest rate can be demonstrated by reference to comparable unrelated transactions, when these loans constitutes realistic alternatives to the intra-group loan. Excerpt from the Opinion “… 5. The rate that the borrowing enterprise could have obtained from independent financial establishments or organizations under similar conditions means, for the purposes of these provisions, the rate that such establishments or organizations would have been susceptible, account given its own characteristics, in particular its risk profile, to grant it for a loan with the same characteristics under arm’s length conditions. 6. This rate cannot, having regard to the difference in nature between a loan from a financial institution or body and financing by bond issue, be that which this enterprise would itself have been able to serve for subscribers if it had chosen to ... Continue to full case
European Commission vs. UK, April 2019, European Commission, Case no C(2019) 2526 final

European Commission vs. UK, April 2019, European Commission, Case no C(2019) 2526 final

Back in 2017 the European Commission opened an in-depth probe into a UK scheme that exempts certain transactions by multinational groups from the application of UK rules targeting tax avoidance. The EU commission concluded its investigations in a decision issued 2 April 2019. According to the decision the UK “Group Financing Exemption” is in breach of EU State aid rules. Under the Scheme foreign multinationals would benefit from tax exemption of profits related to payments of interest on intragroup loans. “In conclusion, the Commission finds that the United Kingdom has unlawfully implemented the contested measure to the benefit of certain UK resident companies in breach of Article 108(3) of the Treaty. The Commission also finds that the Group Financing Exemption constitutes State aid that is incompatible with the internal market within the meaning of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, in as far as it applies to non-trading finance profits from qualifying loan relationships, which profits fall within Section 371EB (UK ... Continue to full case
European Commission vs. UK, October 2017, State aid, CFC

European Commission vs. UK, October 2017, State aid, CFC

The European Commission has opened an in-depth probe into a UK scheme that exempts certain transactions by multinational groups from the application of UK rules targeting tax avoidance. It will investigate if the scheme allows these multinationals to pay less UK tax, in breach of EU State aid rules. European Commission vs. UK, October 2017, state aid CFC ... Continue to full case

July 2017: ATO guidance on related party financing arrangements

The Practical Compliance Guideline (Guideline) from the ATO outlines the compliance approach to the taxation outcomes associated with a ‘financing arrangement’, as defined in section 995-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997), or a related transaction or contract, entered into with a cross border related party. Such an arrangement, transaction or contract is referred to in this Guideline as a ‘related party financing arrangement’. This Guideline does not cover financing arrangements characterised as equity in accordance with Division 974 of the ITAA 1997. The framework in these Guideline and the accompanying schedules are used to assess risk and tailor engagement according to the features of the related party financing arrangement, the profile of the parties to the related party financing arrangement and the choices and behaviours of the group. The tax risk associated with the related party financing arrangement is assessed having regard to a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators. If the related party financing arrangement ... Continue to full case
UK vs. Ladbroke Group, February 2017, case nr. UT/2016/0012 & 0013

UK vs. Ladbroke Group, February 2017, case nr. UT/2016/0012 & 0013

Tax avoidance scheme. Use of total return swap over shares in subsidiary to create a deemed creditor relationship. Value of shares depressed by novating liability for large loans to subsidiary. The scheme used by Ladbroke UK involved a total return swap and a novation of loans to extract reserves. Used to achieve a “synthetic transfer” of the JBB business to LB&G. In essence, this involved extracting the surplus which had accumulated in LGI and transferring it to LB&G prior to an actual sale of the JBB business to LB&G. The normal way to extract such reserves would be by a dividend payment. The Court ruled, that it is sufficient for the application of paragraph 13 (UK GAAR) that the relevant person has an unallowable purpose. Where the unallowable purpose is to secure a tax advantage for another person, HMRC do not have to show that the other person has in fact obtained a tax advantage, if the other person has been prevented ... Continue to full case
Sweden vs. Nobel Biocare Holding AB, HFD 2016 ref. 45

Sweden vs. Nobel Biocare Holding AB, HFD 2016 ref. 45

In January 2003, a Swedish company, Nobel Biocare Holding AB, entered into three loan agreements with its Swiss parent company. The loans had 15, 25 and 30 maturity respectively, with terms of amortization and with a variable interest rate corresponding to Stibor plus an interest rate margin of 1.75 percent points for one of the loans and 1.5 percent points for the other two loans. The same day the parent company transfered the loans to a sister company domiciled in the Netherlands Antilles. In June 2008 new loan agreements was signed. The new agreements lacked maturity and amortization and interest rates were stated in accordance with the Group’s monthly fixed interest rates. Amortization continued to take place in accordance with the provisions of the 2003 agreement, and the only actual change in relation to those agreements consisted in raising the interest rates by 2.5 percent points. These loans were transferred to a Swiss sister company. The Swedish Tax administration denied tax deductions corresponding to the difference between ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. PEUGEOT CITROEN AUTOMOVILES, May 2016, Supreme Court, case nr. 58/2015

Spain vs. PEUGEOT CITROEN AUTOMOVILES, May 2016, Supreme Court, case nr. 58/2015

The company had deducted impairment losses recognised on an investment in an Argentinean company (recently acquired from a related entity) arising from the conversion into capital of loans granted to the entity by other group companies, loans which had been acquired by the Spanish taxpayer. The tax administration argued that acquisition of such loans would not have taken place between independent parties due to the economic situation in Argentina at that time. The Supreme Court considered this conclusion to be wrong for two reasons: From a technical point of view, it was unacceptable to consider that the loans had no market value, since economic reality shows that even in situations of apparent insolvency there is an active market to purchase loans that are apparently uncollectible. If the loans acquired could have a market value, it was not possible to deny that they had such value without proving it; and From a legal point of view, it was not possible to disregard transactions actually ... Continue to full case
Italy vs PDM D srl, February 2016, Supreme Court case no. 6331-2016

Italy vs PDM D srl, February 2016, Supreme Court case no. 6331-2016

This case is about deduction of certain “cost” related to sale of property and intragroup financing between an Italian company and a related group company in Luxembourg. Judgment of the Supreme Court The Court ruled partly in favour of the tax authorities and partly in favour of the PDM D srl. I regards to the deduction of the “guarantee” granted in relation to the sale of real estate the Court states: “In the present case, in the absence of proof of the above requirements in the reference financial year (2005/2006), and since the costs in question have not yet been actually incurred, but are future costs that may be incurred in subsequent financial years, following a comparison between the amount actually received from the leases and the fixed amount guaranteed by the seller company and therefore depending on the actual development of the lease relationship, the tax recovery is legitimate. ” In regards to the arm’s length nature of the ... Continue to full case
Finland vs. Corp, July 2014, Supreme Administrative Court HFD 2014:119

Finland vs. Corp, July 2014, Supreme Administrative Court HFD 2014:119

A Ab had in 2009 from its majority shareholder B, based in Luxembourg, received a EUR 15 million inter-company loan. A Ab had in 2009 deducted 1,337,500 euros in interest on the loan. The loan had been granted on the basis that the banks financing A’s operations had demanded that the company acquire additional financing, which in the payment scheme would be a subordinated claim in relation to bank loans, and by its nature a so-called IFRS hybrid, which the IFRS financial statements were treated as equity. The loan was guaranteed. The fixed annual interest rate on the loan was 30 percent. The loan could be paid only on demand by A Ab. The Finnish tax authorities argued that the legal form of the inter-company loan agreed between related parties should be disregarded, and the loan reclassified as equity. Interest on the loan would therefore not be deductible for A Ab. According to the Supreme Administrative Court interest on the loan was tax deductible. The Supreme Administrative ... Continue to full case
South Africa vs MTN International Ltd (Mauritius), Marts 2014, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No. 275/2013 [2014] ZASCA 8

South Africa vs MTN International Ltd (Mauritius), Marts 2014, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No. 275/2013 [2014] ZASCA 8

The issue before the Supreme Court of Appeal was whether a tax assessment issued by the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), in terms of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, for the year 2006 were to be set aside. MTN International Ltd had claimed interest deductions on loans it had incurred as expenditure against its gross income for the year of assessment. On 31 March 2011, which was the last day before the original assessment by SARS was due to prescribe, SARS issued a revised assessment, disallowing deduction of the interest expenditure. The tax assessment resulted in an income tax liability of R 73.476.101 of MTN International Ltd. When issuing the tax assessment the officer at SARS manually fixed the ‘due date’ as 30 March 2011, being one day prior to the day on which the assessment was actually issued. MTN International Ltd applied the High Court to have the tax assessment set aside, on the ... 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
Denmark vs. Swiss Re. February 2012, Supreme Court, SKM2012.92

Denmark vs. Swiss Re. February 2012, Supreme Court, SKM2012.92

This case concerned the Danish company, Swiss Re, Copenhagen Holding ApS, which was wholly owned by the US company, ERC Life Reinsurance Corporation. In 1999 the group considered transferring the German subsidiary, ERC Frankona Reinsurance Holding GmbH, from the US parent company to the Danish company. The value of the German company was determined to be DKK 7.8 billion. The purchase price was to be settled by the Danish Company issuing shares with a market value of DKK 4.2 billion and debt with a market value of DKK 3.6 billion. On 27 May 1999, the parent company and the Danish company considered to structure the debt as a subordinated, zero-coupon note. Compensation for the loan would be structured as a built-in capital gain in order to defer recognition of the compensation for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000. The Danish company would be unable to use a deduction in income year 1999. A built-in capital gain should ... Continue to full case
Netherlands vs Corp, 2011, Dutch Supreme Court, Case nr. 08/05323 (10/05161, 10/04588)

Netherlands vs Corp, 2011, Dutch Supreme Court, Case nr. 08/05323 (10/05161, 10/04588)

In this case, the Dutch Supreme Court further outlined the Dutch perspective on the distinction between debt and equity in its already infamous judgments on the so-called extreme default risk loan (EDR loan) L sold a securities portfolio to B for EUR 5.3 million against B’s acknowledgement of debt to L for the same amount. The debt was then converted into a 10 year loan with  an interest rate of 5% and a pledge on the portfolio. Both L and B were then moved to the Netherlands Antilles. Later on L deducted a EUR 1.2 mill. loss on the loan to B due to a decrease in value of the securities portfolio. The Dutch Tax Authorities disallowed the deduction based on the argument, that the loan was not a business motivated loan. The Dutch Supreme Court ruled that in principle civil law arrangement is decisive in regard to taxation. However there are exceptions in which a civil law loan arrangement can be disregarded ... Continue to full case
Sweden vs. Diligentia, June 2010, Regeringsratten case nr 2483-2485-09

Sweden vs. Diligentia, June 2010, Regeringsratten case nr 2483-2485-09

Diligentia was the parent company of a Group active in real estate. After a take-over of Diligentia by another Group, Skandia Liv, external loans in Diligentia were terminated and replaced with intra-group loans from the new parent company, Skandia Liv. The new loans had an interest rate of 9,5 percent compared to the interest rates before the take over where the average rate was 4,5 percent (STIBOR added with 0,4 percent). Skandia Liv was a life insurance company (tax free under Swedish law) The tax authorities stated that the interest rate level exceeded a marked interest rate level and that the excess rate constituted deemed dividends. The Administrative Court established that an arm‟s length rate can be determined by looking at a wide range of interest rate levels since an interest rate is determined by a number of elements such as the borrower‟s credit worthiness, collateral, term to maturity etc. The court set the interest at 6,5 percent. The Court claimed that the loans should be compared ... Continue to full case