Tag: Loans

France vs Electricité de France, January 2022, CAA de VERSAILLES, Case No 20VE00792

France vs Electricité de France, January 2022, CAA de VERSAILLES, Case No 20VE00792

In 2009 the English company EDF Energy UK Ltd (EDFE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAS Electricité de France International (SAS EDFI), issued 66,285 bonds convertible into shares (OCAs) for a unit nominal value of EUR 50,000. SAS EDFI subscribed to all of these OCAs for their nominal value, i.e. a total subscription price of EUR 3,314,250,000. The OCAs had a maturity of five years, i.e. until October 16, 2014, and could be converted into new EDFE shares at the instigation of the subscriber at any time after a three-year lock-up period, i.e. from October 16, 2012. Each bond entitled the holder to receive 36,576 EDFE shares after conversion. The annual coupon for the OCAs was set at 1.085%. In this respect, SAS EDFI determined, on the basis of a panel of bond issues of independent comparables, the arm’s length rate that should be applied to conventional bonds, i.e. 4.41% (mid-swap rate and premium of 1.70%), 490 million according to the ... Read more
Peru vs. "Mining Corp", December 2021, Tax Court, Case No 11557-1-2021

Peru vs. “Mining Corp”, December 2021, Tax Court, Case No 11557-1-2021

Mining Corp had deducted interest payments on an intra-group syndicated loan of $200.000.000 of which it stated an amount of $94,500,000.00, had been used, that is, a part of the syndicate $200,000,000.00, which was the subject of the loan, had been used to prepay the same loan for $65,000,000.00 and $29,500,000.00. Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment where, among other issued, deductions of interest payment on the loan had been adjusted. According to the tax authorities the accounting record of the credit or income from financing or the Cash Flow Statement was not sufficient to support the financial expenditure, especially if this does not demonstrate the movement of the money and its use in acquisitions, payments to third parties and other activities related to the line of business. In order to prove the use of the resources obtained, it was necessary to have the supporting documentation to prove the use of the resources obtained, and verify the ... Read more
France vs BSA Finances, December 2021, Court of Appeal Versailles, Case No 20VE03249

France vs BSA Finances, December 2021, Court of Appeal Versailles, Case No 20VE03249

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 ... Read more
Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd entered into a loan note issuance agreement (the LNIA) with a company (the subscriber) that was resident in Singapore. Singapore Telecom Australia and the subscriber were ultimately 100% owned by the same company. The loan notes issued totalled approximately $5.2 billion to the subscriber. The terms of the LNIA was amendet on three occasions – the first amendment and the second amendment were expressed to have effect as from the date when the LNIA was originally entered into. The interest rate under the LNIA as amended by the third amendment was 13.2575% Following an audit the tax authorities issued an amended assessment under the transfer pricing provisions and denied interest deductions totalling approximately $894 million in respect of four years of income. According to the tax authorities the conditions agreed between the parties differed from the arm’s length principle. Singapore Telecom Australia appealed the assessment to the Federal Court. Judgement of the Federal Court ... Read more
El Salvador vs Corp, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 096-2021

El Salvador vs Corp, June 2021, Tax Court, Case No 096-2021

Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment regarding interest payments on intra group loans and tax deductions for the costs for various services. An appeal was filed by the company. Judgement of the Tax Court The court upheld the assessment and decided in favour of the tax authorities. Click here for English translation TAIIA-R1704012TM ... 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
UK vs G E Financial Investments Ltd., June 2021, First-tier Tribunal, Case No [2021] UKFTT 210 (TC), TC08160

UK vs G E Financial Investments Ltd., June 2021, First-tier Tribunal, Case No [2021] UKFTT 210 (TC), TC08160

The case concerned a complex financing structure within the General Electric Group. The taxpayer, GE Financial Investments Ltd (GEFI Ltd), a UK resident company was the limited partner in a Delaware limited partnership, of which, GE Financial Investments Inc (GEFI Inc) a Delaware corporation was the general partner. GEFI Ltd filed UK company tax returns for FY 2003-2008 in which the company claimed a foreign tax credit for US federal income tax. In total, US federal income taxes amounted to $ 303 millions and exceeded the amount of tax due in the UK. The tax authorities opened an enquiry into each of GEFI’s company tax returns for the relevant period, and subsequently issued an assessment where the claims for foreign tax credits was denied in their entirety. Judgement of the Tax Tribunal The tribunal dismissed the appeal of GEFI Ltd and ruled that the UK company did not carry on business in the US. Hence GEFI Ltd was not entitled ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 Tax Tribunal 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 Tribunal 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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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, ... Read more
Spain vs JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS ES, SLU., November 2020, Tribunal Superior de Justicia, Case No STSJ M 7038/2019 - ECLI:EN:TS:2020:3730

Spain vs JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS ES, SLU., November 2020, Tribunal Superior de Justicia, Case No STSJ M 7038/2019 – ECLI:EN:TS:2020:3730

At issue in this case was whether or not it is possible to regularize transactions between companies by directly applying art. 9.1 of DTA between Spain and French, without resorting to the transfer pricing methods provided for in local Spanish TP legislation. Application of article 9 and taxing according to local tax legislation is often a question of determining the arm’s length price. But sometimes other rules will apply regardless of the value – for instance anti avoidance legislation where the question is not the price but rather the justification and substance of the transaction. In the present case the arm’s length price of the relevant transaction was not discussed, but rather whether or not transaction of shares had sufficient economic substance to qualify for application of Spanish provisions for tax depreciation of the shares in question. The National Court understood that the share acquisition lacked substance and only had a tax avoidance purpose. It could not be understood that ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Romania vs "Machinery rental" S.C. A. SRL, September 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 4453/2020

Romania vs “Machinery rental” S.C. A. SRL, September 2020, Supreme Court, Case No 4453/2020

An assessment had been issued where the pricing of intra group rental expenses for machinery had been set aside by the tax authorities for FY 2010-2013. By an application filed with the Court of Appeal S.C. A. S.R.L. requested the Court for annulment of the assessment issued by the tax authorities. The Court of Appeal by judgment no. 164 of 31 October 2017, partially partially annulled the assessment. Unsatisfied with this decision, both parties filed an appeal to the High Court. S.C. A. S.R.L. considers that the first court misapplied the substantive rules of law applicable to the case with regard to the additional determination of a corporation tax in the amount of RON 56,715 for 2010, with reference to the interpretation of the OECD Guidelines. “Although the expert appointed by the court of first instance correctly established the adjusted margins of trade mark-up for each of the years 2010 to 2013 and the adjusted margins of operating profit for ... Read more
UK vs Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited and Irish Nationwide Building Society, August 2020, Court of Appeal , Case No [2020] EWCA Civ 1128

UK vs Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited and Irish Nationwide Building Society, August 2020, Court of Appeal , Case No [2020] EWCA Civ 1128

This case concerned deductibility of notional interest paid in 2003-7 by two permanent establishments in the UK to their Irish HQs. The loans – and thus interest expenses – had been allocated to the PEs as if they were separate entities. The UK tax authorities held that interest deductibility was restricted by UK tax law, which prescribed that PE’s has such equity and loan capital as it could reasonably be expected to have as a separate entity. The UK taxpayers, refered to  Article 8 of the UK-Ireland tax treaty. Article 8 applied the “distinct and separate enterprise” principle found in Article 7 of the 1963 OECD Model Tax Convention, which used the language used in section 11AA(2). Yet nothing was said in the treaty about assumed levels of equity and debt funding for the PE. In 2017, the First-tier Tribunal found in favour of the tax authority, and in October 2019 the Upper Tribunal also dismissed the taxpayers’ appeals. Judgement ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Philippines vs Yi Wine Club, Inc., December 2017, Tax Court, CTA CASE No. 8809

Philippines vs Yi Wine Club, Inc., December 2017, Tax Court, CTA CASE No. 8809

In this case, the tax authorities had issued an assessment to Yi Wine Club, Inc. where interest on an interest free loan extended to its affiliates had been imputed and added to the taxable income, pursuant to Section 50 of the National Internal Revenue Code. Judgement of the Tax Court The Court decided in favour of Yi Wine Club and set aside the tax assessment. The court referred to the previous Supreme Court case of Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Filinvest Development Corporation. Excerpts from the Filinvest case: “Indeed, in the afore-cited Filinvest case, the Supreme Court ruled with finality that the CIR’s powers of distribution, apportionment or allocation of gross income and deductions under Section 43 of the 1993 NIRC and Section 179 of Revenue Regulations No. 2 do not include the power to impute ‘theoretical interests’ to the controlled taxpayer’s transactions.” More so, when it is borne in mind that, pursuant to Article 1956 of the Civil Code ... Read more
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 ... Read more

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 ... Read more
Peru vs "Holding S.A.", June 2017, Tax Court, Case No 1308-2009

Peru vs “Holding S.A.”, June 2017, Tax Court, Case No 1308-2009

Following an audit the tax authorities issued an assessment, where the interest rate on a loan had been changed based on application of transfer pricing rules. An appeal was filed by “Holding S.A.” arguing that the transfer pricing rules do not apply to the loan operations observed, since there has not been a lower payment of income tax as required by paragraph a) of article 32-A of the aforementioned tax law, This is also not verified by having obtained losses in the years 2000 to 2005, since being a holding company and only receiving income from dividends, such losses cannot be carried forward, in addition to the fact that the only effect of the objection formulated is to reduce the loss and not to determine a higher tax payable. Judgement of the Tax Court The Tax Court sets aside the assessment and decided in favour Holding S.A. Excerpts “In this sense, it has not been proven that the Administration had ... Read more
India vs BG Exploration and Production Ltd., April 2017, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Delhi, Case no. 2227/Del/2014 & CO 13/Del/2015

India vs BG Exploration and Production Ltd., April 2017, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Delhi, Case no. 2227/Del/2014 & CO 13/Del/2015

BG Exploration and Production Ltd. had determined the remuneration for various services provided on an aggregated basis by applying the TNMM method using profit to sales as the Profit Level Indicator. The tax authorities found that a CUP method was the most appropriate method and that the various services provided should be priced separately. On that basis an assessment was issued. BG E&P filed a complaint and the Dispute Resolution Panel set aside the assessment. “Consequently, after verifying that assessee has demonstrated need for those services, benefit derived from those services, evidence of receipt of such services and submitting that those services are neither duplicative in nature and nor are share holder activities, the DRP directed the Ld. transfer pricing officer to delete the adjustment proposed with respect to the intragroup services of Rs. 3329766244/–, deserves to be upheld.” The tax authorities then filed an appeal with the Income Tax Tribunal. Judgement of the Tribunal. “The main issue under these ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Bulgaria vs "K-Bul", March 2016, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 2690

Bulgaria vs “K-Bul”, March 2016, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 2690

K-Bul is a Bulgarian subsidiary in the K Group. In the years 2007 to 2013 certain financial intra-group contracts were entered (Two financial service contract – concluded on 02.10.2007 and a Loan agreement concluded on 26.01.2010). Following an audit, the market interest rate was determined by the tax authorities on the basis of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB)’s interest rate statistics published on the Bank’s website, and for the first two contracts a market interest rate of 8.22% was adopted, as reported by the BNB for October 2007 for euro loans to non-financial corporations for a period of one to five years. The loan agreement concluded on 26.01.2010 has a market interest rate of 6,88 %, which corresponds to the BNB interest rate statistics for January 2010 for euro loans to non-financial corporations for a period of up to one year. On that basis the taxable income of K-Bul was restated by amounts representing the difference between the interest charged ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
France vs. Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank AG, April 2014, Conseil d'État, Case No. FR:CESSR:2014:344990.20140411

France vs. Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank AG, April 2014, Conseil d’État, Case No. FR:CESSR:2014:344990.20140411

Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank AG (HVB-AG), a banking institution under German law, set up a French branch under the name “HVB-AG Paris” and contributed ten million Deutschmarks to this structure. The French branch also took out loans from the company’s head office or from third-party companies Following an audit of the branch’s accounts, the tax authorities, after considering that these loans revealed an insufficiency of the contribution made by the head office, particularly in relation to the equity capital that the branch should have had if it had had legal personality, refused to allow the interest corresponding to the fraction of the loans deemed excessive to be deducted from the results taxable in France in respect of the branch’s activity and demanded that the company pay additional corporation tax for the financial year ending in 1994, together with increases In order to justify this reassessment, the tax authorities first argued, during the contradictory reassessment procedure, that the disputed interest characterized ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Philippines vs Filinvest Development Corporation, July 2011, Supreme Court, G.R. No. 163653

Philippines vs Filinvest Development Corporation, July 2011, Supreme Court, G.R. No. 163653

In the Filinvest case an assessment had been issued where the tax authorities had imputed interest on an interest free loan. Judgement of the Tax Court The Court set aside the assessment. The tax authorities power to allocate gross income does not include the power to impute ‘theoretical interest’ because there must be actual or, at the very least, probable receipt or realisation by the taxpayer of the income that is being allocated. Philippines vs Filinvest Development Corporation July 2011 Supreme Court 163653y ... Read more
Czech Republic vs. DATON technology, spol. s.r.o., August 2010, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 2 Afs 53/2010 – 63

Czech Republic vs. DATON technology, spol. s.r.o., August 2010, Supreme Administrative Court , Case No 2 Afs 53/2010 – 63

The tax authorities had increased the amount of the tax due to a change in the calculation of interest on loans granted by DATON technology to its partners (managing directors). At issue was whether the amount of the normal interest on loans granted by DATON technology to its managing directors should be determined on the basis of a fixed interest rate for the entire period of the loan or whether changes in the interest rate should be taken into account when calculating the interest as a monetary benefit – income from employment. Judgement of the Court The Supreme Administrative Court did not find that the pleaded ground of appeal was met and therefore dismissed the appeal. In failing to take account of changes in interest rates in 1998, the year for which it imposed the tax, when calculating the interest on the interest-free loan granted by the applicant (in its capacity as ’employer’) to the managing directors (in their capacity ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Norway vs. Telecomputing, June 2010, Supreme Court case nr. HR-2010-1072-A

Norway vs. Telecomputing, June 2010, Supreme Court case nr. HR-2010-1072-A

This case was about the qualification of capital transfers to a US subsidiary – whether the capital should be qualified as a loan (as done by the company) or as a equity contribution (as agrued by the tax administration). The Supreme Court concluded that the capital transfers to the subsidiary as a whole should be classified as loans. The form chosen by the company (loan) had an independent commercial rationale and Section 13-1 of the Tax Code did not allow for reclassification of the capital transfer The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Telecomputing AS. Click here for translation Norway rt-2010-s-790-Telecomputing-rentefritt-lån ... Read more
US vs National Westminster Bank PLC, January 2008, US Court of Appeals, Case No. No. 2007-5028

US vs National Westminster Bank PLC, January 2008, US Court of Appeals, Case No. No. 2007-5028

NatWest is a United Kingdom corporation engaged in international banking activities. For the tax years 1981-1987, NatWest conducted wholesale banking operations in the United States through six permanently established branch locations (collectively “the U.S. Branch”). On its United States federal income tax returns for the years at issue, NatWest claimed deductions for accrued interest expenses as recorded on the books of the U.S. Branch. On audit, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recomputed the interest expense deduction according to the formula set forth in Treasury Regulation § 1.882-5. The formula excludes consideration of interbranch transactions for the determination of assets, liabilities, and interest expenses. Treas. Reg. § 1.882-5(a)(5) (1981).2 The formula also imputes or estimates the amount of capital held by the U.S. Branch based on either a fixed ratio or the ratio of NatWest’s average total worldwide liabilities to average total worldwide assets. Id. § 1.882-5(b)(2). Pursuant to the IRS’s recalculation of the interest expense deduction, NatWest’s taxable income was ... Read more
Philippines vs Belle Corporation, October 2006, Tax Court, CTA CASE No. 6156

Philippines vs Belle Corporation, October 2006, Tax Court, CTA CASE No. 6156

In this case, the tax authorities had issued an assessment to Belle Corporation pursuant to Section 43 (now Section 50) of the National Internal Revenue Code. The tax authorities alleges that Belle’s granting of advances to its affiliates is tantamount to granting loan or credit which is subject to DST under Section 180 of the Tax Code. Furthermore, the CIR argues that the letters of instruction and cash vouchers, which are written documents to advance money from one company to another, are loan transactions by their very nature even though they do not strictly conform to the supposed documentation of a loan. The advances covered by inter-office memo made by BELLE to its affiliates should be treated as loans extended to the latter, and the inter-office memo is in the nature of a promissory note within the purview of Section 180 of the Tax Code. Judgement of the Tax Court The Court decided predominantly in favour of the tax authorities ... Read more
Netherlands vs "Dutch Low Risk Treasury B.V.", August 2003, District Court, Case No 01/04083, ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2003:AJ6865

Netherlands vs “Dutch Low Risk Treasury B.V.”, August 2003, District Court, Case No 01/04083, ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2003:AJ6865

This case concerns a Dutch treasury company with a low risk intra-group borrowing and on-lending activity. The interested party was incorporated on 5 August 1995 by a legal person named V Limited, under Canadian law. Its subscribed and paid-up capital amounted to NLG 40,000 in the years under review. The claimant is part of the V group. Its actual activities are described in its “Declaration of data on business start-ups” submitted to the tax authorities as “intra-group financing”. It maintained a bank account with the Bank of Montreal. In the financial years in question, the interested party lent substantial amounts of pounds sterling to its sister company Y Plc, incorporated under the laws of the United Kingdom, in the form of promissory notes and a revolving credit facility with effect from 31 January and 1 February 1996 respectively. The stakeholder obtained the necessary pounds by way of a loan from its sister company Z B.V. The funds borrowed and lent ... Read more