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Koncernavdrag, ett säkerställande av fördelningen av beskattningsrätten eller ett skydd mot minskade skatteintäkter

Jarlert, Edvard LU (2011) JURM01 20092
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I syfte att åstadkomma den gemensamma inre marknaden, har EU-domstolen fastslagit att medlemsstaterna vid utövandet av sin lagstiftningsbehörighet gällande direkt beskattning måste iaktta unionsrätten. Inom unionsrätten finns etableringsfriheten, vilken kräver att etableringar inte får missgynnas beroende på var inom unionen etablering genomförs. Som huvudregel har det, i de nationella skattesystemen, medgetts resultatutjämning för koncerner mellan företag med hemvist i samma stat, vilket kan sägas missgynna etableringar i olika stater. I EU-domstolens dom i målet Marks & Spencer framgick att nationella skatteregler som endast medger resultatutjämning mellan två inhemska koncernföretag kan rättfärdigas med hänvisning till bland annat... (More)
I syfte att åstadkomma den gemensamma inre marknaden, har EU-domstolen fastslagit att medlemsstaterna vid utövandet av sin lagstiftningsbehörighet gällande direkt beskattning måste iaktta unionsrätten. Inom unionsrätten finns etableringsfriheten, vilken kräver att etableringar inte får missgynnas beroende på var inom unionen etablering genomförs. Som huvudregel har det, i de nationella skattesystemen, medgetts resultatutjämning för koncerner mellan företag med hemvist i samma stat, vilket kan sägas missgynna etableringar i olika stater. I EU-domstolens dom i målet Marks & Spencer framgick att nationella skatteregler som endast medger resultatutjämning mellan två inhemska koncernföretag kan rättfärdigas med hänvisning till bland annat säkerställandet av fördelningen av beskattningsrätten och att fördelningen hade äventyrats om koncerner gavs möjlighet att välja i vilken medlemsstat förluster ska beaktas. De nationella reglerna ansågs gå utöver vad som var nödvändigt endast då förlusterna var slutliga, det vill säga när möjligheterna att utnyttja förlusterna i den andra medlemsstaten är uttömda.

2009 avgjorde Regeringsrätten ett antal mål som behandlade gränsöverskridande koncernbidrag, där domstolen fastslog att de svenska koncernbidragsreglerna stred mot EU-rätten då de inte medgav gränsöverskridande koncernbidrag då förlusterna i det utländska dotterföretaget var definitiva. Regeringsrätten fastslog även att förluster som är slutliga på grund av interna skatteregler i dotterföretagets hemviststat inte betraktas som slutliga. Ett år senare kodifierades Regeringsrättens domar i form av koncernavdragsregler. Reglerna innebär att ett svenskt moderbolag kan medges avdrag för slutliga förluster i ett utländskt dotterföretag om alla förutsättningar är uppfyllda. Reglerna har kritiserats i doktrinen utifrån att de innehåller alltför långtgående begränsningar och strider mot EU-rätten.

I analysen har jag konstaterat att EU-domstolen i sin senare rättspraxis har ökat skyddet för medlemsstaterna skattebaser genom att i större utsträckning rättfärdiga deras skatteregler. Koncernavdragsreglerna innehåller begränsningar som kräver långtgående tolkningar av EU-domstolens praxis som grund för att rättfärdigas, både vad gäller när avdrag medges och vad gäller storleken på avdraget. I vissa delar är de begränsande reglerna ett resultat av de frågor som kvarstår efter Marks & Spencer. Vidare konstateras att koncernavdragsreglerna utgår ifrån de svenska skattereglerna som en sorts norm och koncernavdrag utesluts i de situationer där förlusten är slutlig på grund av mindre gynnsamma regler i dotterföretagets hemviststat vad gäller carry forward av förluster och överföringar av förluster inom koncernen. I viss utsträckning är det förståeligt att koncernavdragsreglerna är så begränsade som de är med tanke på de frågor som inte besvarats i EU-domstolens praxis och bristen på harmonisering av direkt beskattning, men reglerna måste oavsett detta anses vara alltför långtgående och strida mot EU-rätten. (Less)
Abstract
In most national tax legislations within EU, only groups of companies within the same Member State are allowed to consolidate their gains and losses within the group, which clearly treats foreign establishments unfairly and therefore disregards the freedom of establishment. After the Marks & Spencer case, it’s been clear that national tax law that only allows group relief between national companies is justified in order to protect the balanced allocation of power to impose taxes between Member States, but a measure goes beyond what is necessary when the foreign subsidiary has exhausted all possibilities of having the losses taken into account in its State of residence.

In 2009 the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court settled cases... (More)
In most national tax legislations within EU, only groups of companies within the same Member State are allowed to consolidate their gains and losses within the group, which clearly treats foreign establishments unfairly and therefore disregards the freedom of establishment. After the Marks & Spencer case, it’s been clear that national tax law that only allows group relief between national companies is justified in order to protect the balanced allocation of power to impose taxes between Member States, but a measure goes beyond what is necessary when the foreign subsidiary has exhausted all possibilities of having the losses taken into account in its State of residence.

In 2009 the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court settled cases regarding cross-border group contribution. The Swedish legislation was found to be at conflict with EU-law as it did not allow cross-border group contribution even when the foreign losses were final. The Court also settled that losses that are final due to internal tax law in the subsidiary State should not be considered final. One year later, Swedish cross-border group relief law was adopted. The group relief law has created an opportunity for a Swedish parent to deduct final losses in a foreign subsidiary, as long as it meets certain conditions. The conditions has been criticised to be too hard to accomplish and that they are at conflict with EU-law.

I have concluded that the ECJ has increased the protection of the tax bases of the Member States by justifying discriminatory measures in larger extent, which decreases the States’ desire to accomplish harmonisation within the union, while at the same time the lack of harmonisation is the source of the questions in topic. The Swedish group relief law contains restrictions which I find hard to justify according to EU-law, both regarding when group relief is allowed and to what extent. The restrictions are at some degree based on the fact that some questions remain even after the Marks & Spencer case. Furthermore, it is concluded that the group relief law is based on the viewpoint that the Swedish tax law regarding unlimited carry forward of losses and the transfer of losses within is the standard, which results in excluding, from group relief, all situations when the losses would not have been final if the subsidiary would have had its residence in Sweden. This is not supported by the ECJ case law and only partly supported by the national case law. In accordance with the above mentioned viewpoint, it’s questioned if not carry-forward of the transferred losses should be allowed in the parent company as long as the losses would have been deductable in the subsidiary state, instead of no carry-forward being allowed at all. To some extent it is understandable, that the conditions for Swedish group relief are tough to meet, because of the unanswered questions from the ECJ case law and the absence of harmonisation of direct taxation within the EU, but none the less the Swedish group relief law must be regarded as too demanding regarding when deduction of final losses is allowed. (Less)
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author
Jarlert, Edvard LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Group relief - protection of the balanced allocation of power to impose taxes or protection against reduced tax income
course
JURM01 20092
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-rätt, skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
1761973
date added to LUP
2011-04-11 08:29:02
date last changed
2011-04-11 08:29:02
@misc{1761973,
  abstract     = {In most national tax legislations within EU, only groups of companies within the same Member State are allowed to consolidate their gains and losses within the group, which clearly treats foreign establishments unfairly and therefore disregards the freedom of establishment. After the Marks & Spencer case, it’s been clear that national tax law that only allows group relief between national companies is justified in order to protect the balanced allocation of power to impose taxes between Member States, but a measure goes beyond what is necessary when the foreign subsidiary has exhausted all possibilities of having the losses taken into account in its State of residence.

In 2009 the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court settled cases regarding cross-border group contribution. The Swedish legislation was found to be at conflict with EU-law as it did not allow cross-border group contribution even when the foreign losses were final. The Court also settled that losses that are final due to internal tax law in the subsidiary State should not be considered final. One year later, Swedish cross-border group relief law was adopted. The group relief law has created an opportunity for a Swedish parent to deduct final losses in a foreign subsidiary, as long as it meets certain conditions. The conditions has been criticised to be too hard to accomplish and that they are at conflict with EU-law.

I have concluded that the ECJ has increased the protection of the tax bases of the Member States by justifying discriminatory measures in larger extent, which decreases the States’ desire to accomplish harmonisation within the union, while at the same time the lack of harmonisation is the source of the questions in topic. The Swedish group relief law contains restrictions which I find hard to justify according to EU-law, both regarding when group relief is allowed and to what extent. The restrictions are at some degree based on the fact that some questions remain even after the Marks & Spencer case. Furthermore, it is concluded that the group relief law is based on the viewpoint that the Swedish tax law regarding unlimited carry forward of losses and the transfer of losses within is the standard, which results in excluding, from group relief, all situations when the losses would not have been final if the subsidiary would have had its residence in Sweden. This is not supported by the ECJ case law and only partly supported by the national case law. In accordance with the above mentioned viewpoint, it’s questioned if not carry-forward of the transferred losses should be allowed in the parent company as long as the losses would have been deductable in the subsidiary state, instead of no carry-forward being allowed at all. To some extent it is understandable, that the conditions for Swedish group relief are tough to meet, because of the unanswered questions from the ECJ case law and the absence of harmonisation of direct taxation within the EU, but none the less the Swedish group relief law must be regarded as too demanding regarding when deduction of final losses is allowed.},
  author       = {Jarlert, Edvard},
  keyword      = {EU-rätt,skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Koncernavdrag, ett säkerställande av fördelningen av beskattningsrätten eller ett skydd mot minskade skatteintäkter},
  year         = {2011},
}