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Det nya skatterättsliga låneförbudet – en granskning av 2010 års lagstiftning

Walhammar, Pål LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Med verkan från den 12 februari 2009 har Sverige regler som begränsar lånemöjligheterna från utländska företag. Lagstiftningen trädde formellt i kraft den förste januari 2010 och har införts till följd av att Skatteverket uppmärksammat en ökad aktivitet av skatteplanering innefattande utländska holdingbolag. Ägarledda svenska företag överlät sin verksamhet till ett egenkontrollerat utländskt holdingbolag. Det svenska företaget kunde sedermera lämna utdelning till holdingbolaget, vilket i sin tur lämnade lån till den fysiske ägaren. Därmed kunde dubbelbeskattning kringgås, då den svenska lagstiftningen inte kunde tillämpas på utländska företag. Skatteverket angrep förfarandena med hjälp av genomsynsresonemang, vilket innebar att lånen... (More)
Med verkan från den 12 februari 2009 har Sverige regler som begränsar lånemöjligheterna från utländska företag. Lagstiftningen trädde formellt i kraft den förste januari 2010 och har införts till följd av att Skatteverket uppmärksammat en ökad aktivitet av skatteplanering innefattande utländska holdingbolag. Ägarledda svenska företag överlät sin verksamhet till ett egenkontrollerat utländskt holdingbolag. Det svenska företaget kunde sedermera lämna utdelning till holdingbolaget, vilket i sin tur lämnade lån till den fysiske ägaren. Därmed kunde dubbelbeskattning kringgås, då den svenska lagstiftningen inte kunde tillämpas på utländska företag. Skatteverket angrep förfarandena med hjälp av genomsynsresonemang, vilket innebar att lånen skulle omklassificeras till utdelning. Regeringen beslutade dock att lagstiftning var nödvändig och reglerna infördes bl.a. i 11 kap. 45 och 15 kap. 3 § inkomstskattelagen (1999:1229), (IL).

Lån lämnade från utländska företag är inte längre undantagna beskattning, utan skall tas upp. Räntor på sådana lån är inte längre avdragsgilla, vilket innefattar lån som upptagits innan lagstiftningen trätt ikraft. Emellertid finns undantag i de fall lån lämnats till ett aktiebolag. Det motiverades av att ett förbud skulle hämma den affärsmässiga verksamheten. De utländska rättsubjekt som omfattas, förutom associationer utan personligt ansvar, är delägarbeskattade personer, stiftelser samt pensionsutfästelser.

Som visas i uppsatsen är regleringen förenad med en del oklarheter, särskilt beträffande tillämpningen av avdragsförbudet för räntor samt omfattningen av reglernas tillämpningsområde. Kritik har riktats mot att reglerna är tillämpliga på alla typer av transaktioner som innefattar lån, trots att inget skatteplaneringssyfte finns. Vidare kan den retroaktivitet som är förenad med reglerna kunna anses brista i lagstiftande förutsägbarhet. En annan aspekt som varit förenad med kritik är om reglerna över huvudtaget behövs då beskattning för lånetransaktionen förr eller senare kommer tas upp.

Enligt den svenska lagstiftaren står de nya låneförbudsreglerna inte i strid med EU-rätten eftersom de inte gör någon skillnad beroende på om långivaren har sin hemvist i Sverige eller inte. EU-domstolen har dock i flera mål slagit fast att fördragets regler om likabehandling inte endast förbjuder öppen diskriminering på grund av nationalitet, utan varje form av dold diskriminering som genom tillämpning av särskiljande kriterier faktiskt leder till samma resultat. Eftersom de flesta svenska rättsubjekt inte lämnar lån i strid med svensk lagstiftning blir en tillämpning av låneförbudet sällan aktuellt. De nya reglerna kan därför förmodas få som störst betydelse vid gränsöverskridande transaktioner. Trots att man inte med säkerhet kan fastställa huruvida den svenska lagstiftningen står i strid med EU-rätten ter det sig som om regeringen allt för lättvindigt avfärdat de EU-rättsliga aspekterna.

Syftet med denna uppsats är att utreda innebörden av de nya låneförbudsreglerna i IL samt uppmärksamma vilka tillämpningsproblem de är förenade med. Dessutom undersöks huruvida lagstiftningen i något avseende står i strid med EU-rätten. (Less)
Abstract
With effect from 12 February 2010, Sweden has adopted rules which limit the right to accept loans from foreign companies. The legislation took formal affect 1 January 2010 and were in forced due to an inquiry made by the Swedish Tax Agency (Sv. Skatteverket), which highlighted an increasing activity of tax avoidance schemes through foreign holding companies. Management owned Swedish companies transferred their business to a subsidiary holding company, where the majority of shares where controlled by the same management. The Swedish company could thereafter distribute dividend to the holding company, and later on pass it on to management as loans. The Swedish legislation was not applicable on foreign companies, which meant no tax issues... (More)
With effect from 12 February 2010, Sweden has adopted rules which limit the right to accept loans from foreign companies. The legislation took formal affect 1 January 2010 and were in forced due to an inquiry made by the Swedish Tax Agency (Sv. Skatteverket), which highlighted an increasing activity of tax avoidance schemes through foreign holding companies. Management owned Swedish companies transferred their business to a subsidiary holding company, where the majority of shares where controlled by the same management. The Swedish company could thereafter distribute dividend to the holding company, and later on pass it on to management as loans. The Swedish legislation was not applicable on foreign companies, which meant no tax issues occurred. The Swedish Tax Agency attacked the transactions by interpret each action with purpose to avoid taxation (Sv. genomsynsresonemang), resulting in that the loans would in fact be classified as dividend. The Swedish government although decided that legislation were necessary and the new rules were implemented inter alia chapter 11 section 45 and chapter 15 section 3 of the Swedish Income Tax Act.

Loans from foreign companies is no longer excepted from tax and shall therefore be admitted to taxation. Interest connected to such loans is no longer deductible, which also includes interest connected to loans admitted prior to when the rules were implemented. Although, loans to limited liability companies is excepted from taxation, which was motivated by the interest of business operations. The foreign legal subjects that fall under the new rules, besides limited liability companies, is partnerships, trusts and pension commitments.

As shown in this essay, the legislation gives rise to several questions. This is the case particularly regarding to non deductible interest and the new rules range of application. Critics have stated that the rules is applicable on all types of loan transactions, even where no tax avoidance purpose exists. The retroactivity connected with the new rules can also be questioned in relation with the claim for predictability during law-making. Critics have also questioned if the new rules even at all shall exist, when future taxation will occur one way or the other in this type of loan transactions.

According to the Swedish legislator, the loan prohibition is not in conflict with EC law since the application of the new rules is the same, regardless of the creditor's domicile. However, the European Court of Justice has in several cases concluded that EC treaty rules regarding equality in treatment prohibit not only overt discrimination by reason of nationality, but all convert form of discrimination which, by the application of the criteria of differentiation, lead to the same result. Most of the Swedish legal subjects do not carry out loans in contrary to the legislation, which means that the rules against company loans rarely is put in use. Therefore it can be assumed that company loans will be denied at a more frequent rate if the creditor is located abroad. Even though it cannot be decided whether the new company loan restrictions is violating EC treaty law, criticism can be directed towards the Swedish government since it is rejecting the EC law aspects without proper consideration.

The purpose of this essay is to investigate the meaning of the new legislation inter alia chapter 11 section 45 and chapter 15 section 3 of the Swedish Income Tax Act, and highlight potential problems in the application of it. Furthermore, the analysis is extended to examine the consistency of the rules with EC tax law. (Less)
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author
Walhammar, Pål LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
New legislation regarding the prohibition of loans according to the Swedish Income Tax Act – a review of the legislation for 2010
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
skatterätt, låneförbud, Tax
language
Swedish
id
1701916
date added to LUP
2010-11-11 15:51:34
date last changed
2010-11-11 15:51:34
@misc{1701916,
  abstract     = {With effect from 12 February 2010, Sweden has adopted rules which limit the right to accept loans from foreign companies. The legislation took formal affect 1 January 2010 and were in forced due to an inquiry made by the Swedish Tax Agency (Sv. Skatteverket), which highlighted an increasing activity of tax avoidance schemes through foreign holding companies. Management owned Swedish companies transferred their business to a subsidiary holding company, where the majority of shares where controlled by the same management. The Swedish company could thereafter distribute dividend to the holding company, and later on pass it on to management as loans. The Swedish legislation was not applicable on foreign companies, which meant no tax issues occurred. The Swedish Tax Agency attacked the transactions by interpret each action with purpose to avoid taxation (Sv. genomsynsresonemang), resulting in that the loans would in fact be classified as dividend. The Swedish government although decided that legislation were necessary and the new rules were implemented inter alia chapter 11 section 45 and chapter 15 section 3 of the Swedish Income Tax Act.

Loans from foreign companies is no longer excepted from tax and shall therefore be admitted to taxation. Interest connected to such loans is no longer deductible, which also includes interest connected to loans admitted prior to when the rules were implemented. Although, loans to limited liability companies is excepted from taxation, which was motivated by the interest of business operations. The foreign legal subjects that fall under the new rules, besides limited liability companies, is partnerships, trusts and pension commitments.

As shown in this essay, the legislation gives rise to several questions. This is the case particularly regarding to non deductible interest and the new rules range of application. Critics have stated that the rules is applicable on all types of loan transactions, even where no tax avoidance purpose exists. The retroactivity connected with the new rules can also be questioned in relation with the claim for predictability during law-making. Critics have also questioned if the new rules even at all shall exist, when future taxation will occur one way or the other in this type of loan transactions. 

According to the Swedish legislator, the loan prohibition is not in conflict with EC law since the application of the new rules is the same, regardless of the creditor's domicile. However, the European Court of Justice has in several cases concluded that EC treaty rules regarding equality in treatment prohibit not only overt discrimination by reason of nationality, but all convert form of discrimination which, by the application of the criteria of differentiation, lead to the same result. Most of the Swedish legal subjects do not carry out loans in contrary to the legislation, which means that the rules against company loans rarely is put in use. Therefore it can be assumed that company loans will be denied at a more frequent rate if the creditor is located abroad. Even though it cannot be decided whether the new company loan restrictions is violating EC treaty law, criticism can be directed towards the Swedish government since it is rejecting the EC law aspects without proper consideration. 

The purpose of this essay is to investigate the meaning of the new legislation inter alia chapter 11 section 45 and chapter 15 section 3 of the Swedish Income Tax Act, and highlight potential problems in the application of it. Furthermore, the analysis is extended to examine the consistency of the rules with EC tax law.},
  author       = {Walhammar, Pål},
  keyword      = {skatterätt,låneförbud,Tax},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Det nya skatterättsliga låneförbudet – en granskning av 2010 års lagstiftning},
  year         = {2010},
}