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Sexmånadersregelns förenlighet med EU-rätten

Cedergren, Emelie LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract
This thesis aims to describe the Swedish six months rule and analyse whether the provision in a situation where compensation is given retroactively should be viewed as discriminating and incompatible with EU law. An individual unlimited liable to tax in Sweden is tax liable on his worldwide income. The six months rule works as an exception, stating that anyone that is unlimited liable to tax in Sweden and has an employment that implicates living abroad for at least six months, is not tax liable in Sweden on income that derives from such employment if the income is subject to tax in the working state. The six months rule is also applicable on income that is disbursed after the individual has returned to Sweden, if it derives from the... (More)
This thesis aims to describe the Swedish six months rule and analyse whether the provision in a situation where compensation is given retroactively should be viewed as discriminating and incompatible with EU law. An individual unlimited liable to tax in Sweden is tax liable on his worldwide income. The six months rule works as an exception, stating that anyone that is unlimited liable to tax in Sweden and has an employment that implicates living abroad for at least six months, is not tax liable in Sweden on income that derives from such employment if the income is subject to tax in the working state. The six months rule is also applicable on income that is disbursed after the individual has returned to Sweden, if it derives from the employment abroad.
Article 18 EUFF prohibits any discrimination based on nationality. Since national tax legislation rarely differentiates upon nationality, the EC court has stated that the prohibition also relates to discrimination based on other criteria with similar effect as differentiation based on nationality – so called indirect discrimination. Residency is seen as one such criterion. For a national rule to be compatible with EU law, the situation for someone with residency abroad must be comparable to someone resident in the first state.
It is argued in the thesis that a situation where an individual who is limited liable to tax moves to Sweden and receives a compensation attributable to a prior employment abroad is comparable to a situation where someone who is unlimited liable to tax moves back to Sweden and receives a retroactive payment attributable to a period on which the provisions in the six months rule were met. The six months rule is however only applicable in the latter case, i.e., the situations are treated differently under Swedish national law. Differentiation based on prior residency where the situations are comparable constitutes indirect discrimination, which is prohibited under article 18 EUFF.
The EU Court has accepted indirect discrimination in some circumstances, if justifiable on any grounds under the rule of reason test. Conclusively, the possibility of justification, based on the argumentation in the thesis, does not seem very likely. Hence, it could be argued that the six months rule is incompatible with EU law. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsens syfte har varit att beskriva den svenska sexmånadersregeln i IL 3 kap. 9 § första stycket, och utreda om den i en situation där lön utbetalas retroaktivt kan verka diskriminerande och därmed strida mot EU-rätten. Som obegränsat skattskyldig i Sverige är man enligt bosättningsprincipen skattskyldig för alla sina inkomster här, även sådana inkomster som kommer från utlandet. Sexmånadersregeln är en undantagsregel som stadgar att en i Sverige obegränsat skattskyldig person som har anställning som innebär att han vistas utomlands i minst sex månader, inte är skattskyldig i Sverige för inkomst av sådan anställning till den del inkomsten beskattas i verksamhetslandet. Sexmånadersregeln gäller även utbetalning som är hänförlig till... (More)
Uppsatsens syfte har varit att beskriva den svenska sexmånadersregeln i IL 3 kap. 9 § första stycket, och utreda om den i en situation där lön utbetalas retroaktivt kan verka diskriminerande och därmed strida mot EU-rätten. Som obegränsat skattskyldig i Sverige är man enligt bosättningsprincipen skattskyldig för alla sina inkomster här, även sådana inkomster som kommer från utlandet. Sexmånadersregeln är en undantagsregel som stadgar att en i Sverige obegränsat skattskyldig person som har anställning som innebär att han vistas utomlands i minst sex månader, inte är skattskyldig i Sverige för inkomst av sådan anställning till den del inkomsten beskattas i verksamhetslandet. Sexmånadersregeln gäller även utbetalning som är hänförlig till anställningen utomlands men som utbetalas efter det att individen flyttat tillbaka till Sverige.

I Art. 18 EUFF förbjuds all diskriminering på grund av nationalitet inom fördragets tillämpningsområde. I nationell skattelagstiftning görs det sällan skillnad på personer baserat på deras nationalitet, varför EU-domstolen har slagit fast att diskrimineringsförbudet också inbegriper s.k. dold diskriminering. Dold diskriminering uppstår när man använder ett annat kriterium än nationalitet för särskiljande och därmed uppnår samma effekt som vid öppen diskriminering. Ett sådant kriterium är t.ex. hemvist. Situationen för de utomlands bosatta måste vara jämförbar med situationen för personer bosatta inom landet för att en nationell skatteregel ska kunna vara förenlig med EU-rätten.

Uppsatsen argumenterar för att situationen då en i Sverige tidigare begränsat skattskyldig flyttar till Sverige och får en utbetalning hänförlig till sitt tidigare arbete utomlands, är att anse som jämförlig med den när en i Sverige obegränsat skattskyldig flyttar tillbaka efter en period utomlands och får en retroaktiv utbetalning hänförlig till en period då sexmånadersregeln var tillämplig. Sexmånadersregeln är emellertid bara tillämplig på den senare situationen, varför situationerna enligt svensk intern skatterätt behandlas på olika vis. Att särskilja genom tidigare hemvist vid dessa två jämförbara situationer konstituerar således dold diskriminering som är förbjudet enligt art. 18 EUFF.

EU-domstolen har i vissa fall godtagit dold diskriminering om den kunnat rättfärdigas med hjälp av de grunder som tagits fram i EU-domstolens rule of reason-test. Denna möjlighet ter sig utifrån argumentationen i uppsatsen inte särskilt trolig. Det kan således argumenteras för att sexmånadersregeln strider mot EU-rätten. (Less)
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author
Cedergren, Emelie LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
1600149
date added to LUP
2010-05-07 10:58:19
date last changed
2010-05-07 10:58:19
@misc{1600149,
  abstract     = {This thesis aims to describe the Swedish six months rule and analyse whether the provision in a situation where compensation is given retroactively should be viewed as discriminating and incompatible with EU law. An individual unlimited liable to tax in Sweden is tax liable on his worldwide income. The six months rule works as an exception, stating that anyone that is unlimited liable to tax in Sweden and has an employment that implicates living abroad for at least six months, is not tax liable in Sweden on income that derives from such employment if the income is subject to tax in the working state. The six months rule is also applicable on income that is disbursed after the individual has returned to Sweden, if it derives from the employment abroad.
Article 18 EUFF prohibits any discrimination based on nationality. Since national tax legislation rarely differentiates upon nationality, the EC court has stated that the prohibition also relates to discrimination based on other criteria with similar effect as differentiation based on nationality – so called indirect discrimination. Residency is seen as one such criterion. For a national rule to be compatible with EU law, the situation for someone with residency abroad must be comparable to someone resident in the first state.
It is argued in the thesis that a situation where an individual who is limited liable to tax moves to Sweden and receives a compensation attributable to a prior employment abroad is comparable to a situation where someone who is unlimited liable to tax moves back to Sweden and receives a retroactive payment attributable to a period on which the provisions in the six months rule were met. The six months rule is however only applicable in the latter case, i.e., the situations are treated differently under Swedish national law. Differentiation based on prior residency where the situations are comparable constitutes indirect discrimination, which is prohibited under article 18 EUFF.
The EU Court has accepted indirect discrimination in some circumstances, if justifiable on any grounds under the rule of reason test. Conclusively, the possibility of justification, based on the argumentation in the thesis, does not seem very likely. Hence, it could be argued that the six months rule is incompatible with EU law.},
  author       = {Cedergren, Emelie},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Sexmånadersregelns förenlighet med EU-rätten},
  year         = {2010},
}