Tag: Value Added Tax (VAT)

Specific type of turnover tax levied at each stage in the production and distribution process. Although VAT ultimately bears on individual consumption of goods or services, liability for VAT is on the supplier of goods or services. VAT normally utilizes a system of tax credits to place the ultimate and real burden of the tax on the final consumer and to relieve the intermediaries of any final tax cost.

South Africa vs Levi Strauss SA (PTY) LTD, April 2021, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No (509/2019) [2021] ZASCA 32

South Africa vs Levi Strauss SA (PTY) LTD, April 2021, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No (509/2019) [2021] ZASCA 32

Levi Strauss South Africa (Pty) Ltd, has been in a dispute with the African Revenue Services, over import duties and value-added tax (VAT) payable by it in respect of clothing imports. The Levi’s Group uses procurement Hubs in Singapore and Hong Kong but channeled goods via Mauritius to South Africa, thus benefiting from a favorable duty protocol between Mauritius and South Africa. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment in which it determined that the place of origin certificates issued in respect of imports from countries in the South African Development Community (SADC) and used to clear imports emanating from such countries were invalid, and therefore disentitled Levi SA from entering these goods at the favorable rate of zero percent duty under the Protocol on Trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region (the Protocol). The tax authorities also determined that the transaction value of the imported goods on which duty was payable should include certain commissions ... Continue to full case
Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 - 118

Czech Republic vs. STARCOM INTERNATIONAL s.r.o., February 2021, Regional Court , Case No 25Af 18/2019 – 118

A tax assessment had been issued for FY 2013 resulting in additional taxes of to CZK 227,162,210. At first the tax administration disputed that the applicant had purchased 1 TB SSDs for the purpose of earning, maintaining and securing income. It therefore concluded that the Starcom Internatioal had not proved that the conditions for tax deductions were met. On appeal, the tax administrator changed its position and accepted that all the conditions for tax deductions were met, but now instead concluded that Starcom Internatioal was a connected party to its supplier AZ Group Czech s.r.o. It also concluded that the transfer prices had been set mainly for the purpose of reducing the tax base within the meaning of Section 23(7)(b)(5) of the ITA. It was thus for the tax authorities to prove that Starcom Internatioal and AZ Group Czech s.r.o. (‘AZ’) were ‘otherwise connected persons’ and that the prices agreed between them differed from those which would have been agreed ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. VAT PE of Ashland Industries Europe GMBH, November 2020, Supreme Court, Case no 1.500/2020

Spain vs. VAT PE of Ashland Industries Europe GMBH, November 2020, Supreme Court, Case no 1.500/2020

A Swiss company, Ashland Industries Europe GmbH, had not declared a presence in Spain for VAT purposes and did not charge VAT for local sales. However, the Swiss company used the resources of its Spanish subsidiary when performing these local sales of goods in Spain. On that basis, the Spanish tax authorities found that the company had a permanent establishment for in Spain for VAT purposes and issued an assessment. An appeal was filed by Ashland Industries, but the appeal was dismissed by the courts. The Spanish Supreme Court concluded that: “First. To determine whether a permanent establishment can be deemed to exist in the Spanish territory of application of VAT where the only transactions carried out subject to that tax are supplies of goods other than supplies of gas, electricity, heat or refrigeration. Second. If the answer to the previous question is in the affirmative, what conditions are necessary to establish that a Spanish subsidiary constitutes a permanent establishment ... Continue to full case
Tanzania vs Atlas Copco Tanzania Ltd., August 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No 167 of 2019, TZCA 317

Tanzania vs Atlas Copco Tanzania Ltd., August 2020, Court of Appeal, Case No 167 of 2019, TZCA 317

Atlas Copco Tanzania Ltd. is part of Atlas Copco Group, a conglomerate of multinational companies headquartered in Sweden. The group produces and sell compressors, vacuum solutions, generators, pumps, power tools etc. Apart from supplying generators in Tanzania on its own, Atlas Tanzania sold generators as an agent of its sister companies which had no presence in the country. For the latter type of sales, known as “indent sales”, Atlas Tanzania earned a commission. Being oblivious that the commission income attracted Value Added Tax (“VAT”), Atlas Tanzania did not file any VAT returns on indent sales until its external auditors, KPMG, informed it of the requirement. By then, Atlas Tanzania had posted in its sales ledgers commission income amounting to TZS. 134,413,682,281.00 for FY 2007 and 2008. Atlas Tanzania then accounted for VAT on the commission for the years 2007 and 2008 amounting to TZS. 5,692,574,000.00, which was paid through the VAT returns filed in 2009. This amount was much smaller ... Continue to full case
Italy vs Rohm and Haas Italia s.r.l, Febuary 2020, Supreme Court Case No 3599 13/02/2020

Italy vs Rohm and Haas Italia s.r.l, Febuary 2020, Supreme Court Case No 3599 13/02/2020

At issue was deduction of VAT on purported costs incurred for intra-group services, which had been deemed non-deductible for tax as well as VAT purposes by the Italien Tax Authorities, as the taxpayer had not been able to prove the effectiveness and relevance of these services. The Supreme Court found that in order for intra-group cost to be deductible (and VAT deductible) taxpayer must prove that, a real service have been received which is objectively determinable and adequately documented. This burden of proof had not been lifted by the taxpayer and VAT payments on the purported services were consequently non-deductible. Click here for English translation Sentenza Cassazione Civile n. 3599 del 13022020 ... Continue to full case
Czech Republic vs. Eli Lilly ČR, s.r.o., December 2019, District Court of Praque, No. 6 Afs 90/2016 - 62

Czech Republic vs. Eli Lilly ČR, s.r.o., December 2019, District Court of Praque, No. 6 Afs 90/2016 – 62

Eli Lilly ČR imports pharmaceutical products purchased from Eli Lilly Export S.A. (Swiss sales and marketing hub) into the Czech Republic and Slovakia and distributes them to local distributors. The arrangement between the local company and Eli Lilly Export S.A. is based on a Service Contract in which Eli Lilly ČR is named as the service provider to Eli Lilly Export S.A. (the principal). Eli Lilly ČR was selling the products at a lower price than the price it purchased them for from Eli Lilly Export S.A. According to the company this was due to local price controls of pharmaceuticals. Eli Lilly ČR was also paid for providing marketing services by the Swiss HQ, which ensured that Eli Lilly ČR was profitable, despite selling the products at a loss. Eli Lilly ČR reported the marketing services as a provision of services with the place of supply outside of the Czech Republic; therefore, the income from such supply was exempt from ... Continue to full case

EU report on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance

In March 2018 a special EU committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3) was established. Now, one year later, The EU Parliament has approved a controversial report from the committee. According to the report close to 40 % of MNEs’ profits are shifted to tax havens globally each year with some European Union countries appearing to be the prime losers of profit shifting, as 35 % of shifted profits come from EU countries. About 80 % of the profits shifted from EU Member States are channelled to or through a few other EU Member States. The latest estimates of tax evasion within the EU point to a figure of approximately EUR 825 billion per year. Tax avoidance via six EU Member States results in a loss of EUR 42,8 billion in tax revenue in the other 22 Member States, which means that the net payment position of these countries can be offset against the losses they inflict ... Continue to full case
France vs PetO Ferrymasters Ltd. April 2018, Conseil d’État N° 399884

France vs PetO Ferrymasters Ltd. April 2018, Conseil d’État N° 399884

The French Supreme Court issued a decision on 4 April 2018, concluding that a permanent establishment (PE) existed in France for purposes of determining nonresident companies’ exposure to French VAT in a case involving a transport commissionaire arrangement. The decisions clarify the criteria for determining whether a service provider will be considered to have sufficient substance in France to enable the services to be performed in an independent manner, and thus constitute a PE. A UK sea carriage commissionaire signed a client assignment contract with a French company carrying out the same activity, as well as a contract for the French company to organize and provide transport services. The UK company was required to approve any new clients or suppliers. The UK company also managed the reservation systems for clients to book the transport and communicated with the clients regarding the transport and the insurance linked to the business. The French company was responsible for the overall development of the ... Continue to full case
Zimbabwe vs CF (Pvt), February 2018, High Court, Case No HH 99-18

Zimbabwe vs CF (Pvt), February 2018, High Court, Case No HH 99-18

CF (Pvt) Ltd’s main business was import, distribution and marketing of motor vehicles and spare parts of a specified brand. Following an audit CF had been issued a tax assessment related to the transfer pricing and VAT – import prices, management fees, audit costs etc. Judgement of the High Court The High Court issued a decision predominantly in favor of the tax authorities. In its judgement, the court stated that either the general deduction provision under section 15 (2) or section 24 or section 98 of the Income Tax Act could be employed to deal with transfer pricing matters. Excerpts: “It seems to me that the unsupported persistent assertions maintained by the appellant even after the concession of 14 November 2014 were indicative of both corporate moral dishonesty and a lack of good faith. I therefore find that the appellant through the mind of its management evinced the intention to evade the payment of the correct amount of tax as contemplated ... Continue to full case
Europe vs Hamamatsu, Dec 2017, European Court of Justice, Case No C-529-16

Europe vs Hamamatsu, Dec 2017, European Court of Justice, Case No C-529-16

The case concerns the effect of transfer pricing year-end adjustments on VAT – the relationship between transfer pricing and the valuation of goods for customs (VAT) purposes (Hamamatsu case C-529/16). Hamamatsu Photonics Deutschland GmbH (Hamamatsu) is a German subsidiary of the Japanese company Hamamatsu, and it acts as a distributor of optical devices purchased from the parent company. The transfer pricing policy of the group, which is covered by an Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) with the German Tax Authorities, provides that the consideration paid by Hamamatsu to purchase the goods sold allows Hamamatsu Photonics a target profit. Hamamatsu accounted for an operating margin below the threshold agreed upon in the APA. The Japanese parent company consequently carried out a downward adjustment to allow the achievement of the target profitability by its German subsidiary. Hamamatsu filed a refund claim for the higher customs duties paid on the price that was declared to customs at the time of importation. Customs, at that ... Continue to full case