Tag: No commercial purpose or rationale

Denmark vs Takeda A/S and NTC Parent S.a.r.l., November 2021, High Court, Cases B-2942-12 and B-171-13

Denmark vs Takeda A/S and NTC Parent S.a.r.l., November 2021, High Court, Cases B-2942-12 and B-171-13

The issue in these two cases is whether withholding tax was payable on interest paid to foreign group companies considered “beneficial owners” via conduit companies covered by the EU Interest/Royalties Directive and DTA’s exempting the payments from withholding taxes. The first case concerned interest accruals totalling approximately DKK 1,476 million made by a Danish company in the period 2007-2009 in favour of its parent company in Sweden in connection with an intra-group loan. The Danish Tax Authorities (SKAT) subsequently ruled that the recipients of the interest were subject to the tax liability in Section 2(1)(d) of the Corporation Tax Act and that the Danish company was therefore obliged to withhold and pay withholding tax on a total of approximately DKK 369 million. The Danish company brought the case before the courts, claiming principally that it was not obliged to withhold the amount collected by SKAT, as it disputed the tax liability of the recipients of the interest attributions. The second ... Read more
South Africa vs ABSA bank, March 2021, High Court, Case No 2019/21825

South Africa vs ABSA bank, March 2021, High Court, Case No 2019/21825

During FY 2014 – 2018 a South African company, ABSA, on four occasions bought tranches of preference shares in another South African company, PSIC 3. This entitled ABSA to dividends. The dividends received from PSIC 3 by ABSA were declared as tax free. The income in PSIC 3 was based on dividend payments on preference shares it owned in another South African company, PSIC 4. The income in PSIC 4 was from a capital outlay to an off shore trust, D1 Trust. The trust then lent money to MSSA, a South African subsidiary of the Macquarie Group, by means of subscribing for floating rate notes. The D1 Trust made investments by way of the purchase of Brazilian Government bonds. It then derived interest thereon. In turn, PSIC 4 received interest on its capital investment in D1 Trust. The South African Revenue Service held that ABSA had been a party to a tax avoidance scheme covered by local anti-avoidance provisions and ... Read more
UK vs Blackrock, November 2020, First-tier Tribunal, Case No TC07920

UK vs Blackrock, November 2020, First-tier Tribunal, Case No TC07920

In 2009 the BlackRock Group acquired Barclays Global Investors for a total sum of $13,5bn . The price was paid in part by shares ($6.9bn) and in part by cash ($6.6bn). The cash payment was paid by BlackRock Holdco 5 LLC – a US Delaware Company tax resident in the UK – but funded by the parent company by issuing $4bn loan notes to the LLC. In the years following the acquisition Blackrock Holdco 5 LLC claimed tax deductions in the UK for interest payments on the intra-group loans. Following an audit in the UK the tax authorities disallowed the interest deductions. The tax authorities held that the transaction would not have happened between independent parties. They also found that the loans were entered into for an unallowable tax avoidance purpose. A UK taxpayer can be denied a deduction for interest where a loan has an unallowable purpose i.e, where a tax advantage is the company’s main purpose for entering ... Read more
Netherlands vs [X] B.V., legal successor to [Y] U.A., March 2020, Pending before the Supreme Court, Case No ECLI:NL:PHR:2020:102

Netherlands vs [X] B.V., legal successor to [Y] U.A., March 2020, Pending 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
Canada vs Loblaw Companies Ltd., September 2018, Canadian tax court, Case No 2018 TCC 182

Canada vs Loblaw Companies Ltd., September 2018, Canadian tax court, Case No 2018 TCC 182

The Canada Revenue Agency had issued a reassessments related to Loblaw’s Barbadian banking subsidiary, Glenhuron, for tax years 2001 – 2010. The tax authorities had determined that Glenhuron did not meet the requirements to be considered a foreign bank under Canadian law, and therefore was not exempt from paying Canadian taxes. “Loblaw took steps to make Glenhuron look like a bank in order to avoid paying tax. Government lawyers said Glenhuron did not qualify because, among other things, it largely invested the grocery giant’s own funds and was “playing with its own money.“ Tax Court found the transactions entered into by Loblaw regarding Glenhuron did result in a tax benefit but “were entered primarily for purposes other than to obtain the tax benefit and consequently were not avoidance transactions.” The Tax Court concludes as follows: “I do not see any extending the scope of paragraph 95(2)(l) of the Act. No, had there been any avoidance transactions the Appellant would not ... Read more
New Zealand vs BNZ Investments Ltd, July 2009, HIGH COURT

New Zealand vs BNZ Investments Ltd, July 2009, HIGH COURT

The case: Is each of six similar structured finance transactions entered into by the plaintiffs (the BNZ) a ‘tax avoidance arrangement’ void under s BG 1 Income Tax Act 1994? That is the primary issue in these five consolidated proceedings brought by the BNZ against the Commissioner, challenging his assessments issued after he voided each of the transactions pursuant to s BG 1. The BNZ claims the transactions are not caught by s BG 1. A second issue, arising only if s BG 1 applies, is the correctness of the way in which the Commissioner has, pursuant to s GB 1, counteracted the tax advantage obtained by the BNZ under the transactions. The Commissioner disallowed the deductions claimed by the BNZ, as its costs of the transactions. The BNZ claims the deductions should be disallowed only to the extent they are excessive or ‘overmarket’. A third, and perhaps strictly antecedent, issue is whether the guarantee arrangement fee (GAF) or guarantee ... Read more
New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

The tax scheme in the Ben Nevis-case involved land owned by the subsidiary of a charitable foundation being licensed to a group of single purpose investor loss attributing qualifying companies (LAQC’s). The licensees were responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting the forest through a forestry management company. The investors paid $1,350 per hectare for the establishment of the forest and $1,946 for an option to buy the land in 50 years for half its then market value. There were also other payments, including a $50 annual license fee. The land had been bought for around $580 per hectare. This meant that the the investors, if it wished to acquire the land after harvesting the forest, had to pay half its then value, even though they had already paid over three times the value at the inception of the scheme. In addition to the above payments, the investors agreed to pay a license premium of some $2 million per hectare, payable ... Read more