Tag: Requalification

Germany vs. Corp, October 2014, Supreme Tax Court judgment I R 31/13

Germany vs. Corp, October 2014, Supreme Tax Court judgment I R 31/13

The German Supreme Tax Court rejected the tax administrations recharacterisation of a repayment of share capital to a payment of dividend. A German company resolved a share capital reduction of €16 m in preparation for a capital repayment to avoid an IFRS consolidation requirement for its sole shareholder, a public utility. It took the reduction to capital reserve, waited as required by the German Company Act for one year after a public announcement to it’s creditors, reported the reduction to the German trade registry and repaid an amount of €4 m to the shareholder. This repayment was sufficient to reduce the assets below the level for the consolidation requirement. The tax administration recharacterised the payment to a “dividend distribution” subject to withholding tax under the German Corporate Tax Act provision to the effect that payments to shareholders are deemed to be made from retained earnings unless unambiguously specified as repayments of share capital. The Supreme Tax Court concluded that the unambiguous ... Continue to full case
Belgium vs Lammers & Van Cleeff, January 2008, European Court of Justice, Case No. C-105/07

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

The question in this case, was whether EU community law precluded Belgien statutory rules under which interest payments were reclassified as dividends, and thus taxable, if made to a foreign shareholder company. A Belgian subsidiary was established and the two shareholders of the Belgian subsidiary and the parent company, established in the Netherlands, were appointed as directors. The subsidiary paid interest to the parent which was considered by the Belgian tax authorities in part to be dividends and was assessed as such. The European Court of Justice was asked to rule on the compatibility of these Belgien statutory rules with EU Community law The Court ruled that art. 43 and 48 EC precluded national legislation under which interest payments made by a company resident in a member state to a director which was a company established in another member state were reclassified as taxable dividends, where, at the beginning of the taxable period, the total of the interest-bearing loans was higher ... Continue to full case
Norway vs. Statoil Angola, 2007, Supreme Court, No. RT 2007-1025

Norway vs. Statoil Angola, 2007, Supreme Court, No. RT 2007-1025

Two inter-company loans were provided to Statoil Angola by it’s Norwegian parent company, Statoil Norway ASA, and a Belgian sister company, Statoil Belgium (SCC). Statoil Angola only had the financial capacity to borrow an amount equal to the loan from Statoil Belgium. Hence, no interest was paid on the loan from Statoil Norway. The tax authorities divided Statoil Angola’s borrowing capacity between the two loans and imputed interest payments on part of the loan from Statoil Norway in an assessment for the years 2000 and 2001. The Supreme Court, in a split 3/2 decision, found that Statoil’s allocation of the full borrowing capacity of Statoil Angola to the loan from the sister company in Belgium was based on commercial reasoning and in accordance with the arm’s length principle. The Court majority argued that Statoil Norway – unlike Statoil Belgium – had a 100% ownership of Statoil Angola, and the lack of interest income would therefore be compensated by an increased ... Continue to full case