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De svenska koncernavdragsreglerna i ljuset av EU-rätten

Pistol, Mushka LU (2010) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I de flesta av EU:s medlemsstater kan bolag inom samma koncern resultatutjämna mellan sig. Förutsatt att bolagen har hemvist i samma medlemsstat kan ett bolag som går med vinst utjämna denna mot ett annat koncernbolags förluster. På så vis blir koncernen beskattad för sitt nettoresultat och skattebelastningen blir varken högre eller lägre än om verksamheten hade bedrivits inom ett enda bolag istället.

Om koncernen däremot etablerar ett bolag i en annan medlemsstat upphör som regel rätten till förlustutjämning. Detta riskerar att leda till en högre skattebelastning för koncernen som helhet eftersom moderbolagets hemviststat inte tar hänsyn till förluster i de utländska dotterbolagen vid beräkningen av moderbolagets beskattningsbara... (More)
I de flesta av EU:s medlemsstater kan bolag inom samma koncern resultatutjämna mellan sig. Förutsatt att bolagen har hemvist i samma medlemsstat kan ett bolag som går med vinst utjämna denna mot ett annat koncernbolags förluster. På så vis blir koncernen beskattad för sitt nettoresultat och skattebelastningen blir varken högre eller lägre än om verksamheten hade bedrivits inom ett enda bolag istället.

Om koncernen däremot etablerar ett bolag i en annan medlemsstat upphör som regel rätten till förlustutjämning. Detta riskerar att leda till en högre skattebelastning för koncernen som helhet eftersom moderbolagets hemviststat inte tar hänsyn till förluster i de utländska dotterbolagen vid beräkningen av moderbolagets beskattningsbara vinst.

Förutom att särbehandlingen av utländska dotterbolag i jämförelse med inhemska dotterbolag kan ifrågasättas ur ett principiellt samt ekonomiskt perspektiv, har EU-domstolen också fastslagit i målen Marks & Spencer samt Oy AA att den strider mot den EU-rättsliga etableringsfriheten.

Marks & Spencer och Oy AA fick direkta följder för svensk rättstillämpning i mars 2009 då Regeringsrätten i flera avgöranden rörande rätten till gräns¬överskridande resultatutjämning fann att de svenska koncernbidragsreglerna i vissa delar stod i strid med EU-rätten. Som en konsekvens av dessa avgöranden samt EU-domstolens praxis trädde de svenska reglerna om gränsöverskridande koncernavdrag i kraft i juli i år.

Reglerna om koncernavdrag öppnar upp för en möjlighet för svenska moderbolag att göra avdrag för förluster som uppkommit i dotterbolag i någon annan medlemsstat, under förutsättning att förlusterna är definitiva i lagens mening. Det är ett steg på vägen mot att skattemässigt behandla koncerner med bolag i flera medlemsstater på samma sätt som koncerner med bolag endast inom en medlemsstat.

Lagstiftningen är dock en ytterst snäv tolkning av EU-rätten såsom den kom till uttryck i Regeringsrätten i mars 2009 samt i EU-domstolens domar i Marks & Spencer och Oy AA. Resultatet är en svårtillämpad lagstiftning med många begränsningar som dessutom i flera delar kan anses stå i strid med EU-rätten. (Less)
Abstract
Most EU Member States have tax systems allowing domestic groups of companies to offset their losses both horizontally and vertically within the group. Since the groups will be taxed on their net result, the overall tax burden is neither higher nor lower than if carried out within a single company.

If, however, the group chooses to establish a company in another Member State, it looses the right to offset losses between the group and the subsidiaries on the other side of the border. The result may be that the overall tax burden of the group of companies is based on a higher net income than it, seen as an economic unit, actually makes. This is since the home state of the parent company does not take into account losses suffered in other... (More)
Most EU Member States have tax systems allowing domestic groups of companies to offset their losses both horizontally and vertically within the group. Since the groups will be taxed on their net result, the overall tax burden is neither higher nor lower than if carried out within a single company.

If, however, the group chooses to establish a company in another Member State, it looses the right to offset losses between the group and the subsidiaries on the other side of the border. The result may be that the overall tax burden of the group of companies is based on a higher net income than it, seen as an economic unit, actually makes. This is since the home state of the parent company does not take into account losses suffered in other Member States.

The special treatment of foreign subsidiaries can be questioned from an economic point of view as well as a neutrality perspective. In addition the European Court of Justice stated in the Marks & Spencer and Oy AA cases that national legislation treating foreign subsidiaries less favourably than domestic subsidiaries constitutes a restriction on the freedom of establishment.

The Marks & Spencer and Oy AA cases had a direct impact on Swedish law in March 2009, when the Supreme Administrative Court passed sentences upon ten cases concerning the right to cross-border loss compensation. The court found that the Swedish rules on group contributions in some cases violated EU law. As a consequence of the sentences, the Swedish government decided to incorporate the outcome of the ECJ’s and the Supreme Administrative Court’s rulings in July this year.

The rules on corporate group deductions opens up the possibility for a Swedish parent company to deduct losses incurred in subsidiaries in another Member State, on condition that the losses are final in the sense of the law. This is a first step on the way to equal tax treatment between domestic and cross-border corporate groups.

Nevertheless, the legislation is an extremely narrow interpretation of EU law as expressed in the Supreme Administrative Court's judgments and the Marks & Spencer and Oy AA cases. Because of the many limitations in the right to cross-border loss compensation the rules are difficult to put into practice and may well not be compatible with EU law. (Less)
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author
Pistol, Mushka LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The Swedish rules on corporate group deductions - an EU perspective
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Tax law, Skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
1710117
date added to LUP
2010-11-12 08:55:34
date last changed
2010-11-12 08:55:34
@misc{1710117,
  abstract     = {Most EU Member States have tax systems allowing domestic groups of companies to offset their losses both horizontally and vertically within the group. Since the groups will be taxed on their net result, the overall tax burden is neither higher nor lower than if carried out within a single company.

If, however, the group chooses to establish a company in another Member State, it looses the right to offset losses between the group and the subsidiaries on the other side of the border. The result may be that the overall tax burden of the group of companies is based on a higher net income than it, seen as an economic unit, actually makes. This is since the home state of the parent company does not take into account losses suffered in other Member States. 

The special treatment of foreign subsidiaries can be questioned from an economic point of view as well as a neutrality perspective. In addition the European Court of Justice stated in the Marks & Spencer and Oy AA cases that national legislation treating foreign subsidiaries less favourably than domestic subsidiaries constitutes a restriction on the freedom of establishment.

The Marks & Spencer and Oy AA cases had a direct impact on Swedish law in March 2009, when the Supreme Administrative Court passed sentences upon ten cases concerning the right to cross-border loss compensation. The court found that the Swedish rules on group contributions in some cases violated EU law. As a consequence of the sentences, the Swedish government decided to incorporate the outcome of the ECJ’s and the Supreme Administrative Court’s rulings in July this year.

The rules on corporate group deductions opens up the possibility for a Swedish parent company to deduct losses incurred in subsidiaries in another Member State, on condition that the losses are final in the sense of the law. This is a first step on the way to equal tax treatment between domestic and cross-border corporate groups. 

Nevertheless, the legislation is an extremely narrow interpretation of EU law as expressed in the Supreme Administrative Court's judgments and the Marks & Spencer and Oy AA cases. Because of the many limitations in the right to cross-border loss compensation the rules are difficult to put into practice and may well not be compatible with EU law.},
  author       = {Pistol, Mushka},
  keyword      = {Tax law,Skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {De svenska koncernavdragsreglerna i ljuset av EU-rätten},
  year         = {2010},
}