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Muslimska obligationer ur ett skatterättsligt perspektiv

Hellmark, Zara LU and Sirén , Klara (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
En av de grundläggande principerna för muslimsk ekonomi är att betalning och mottagande av ränta (riba) är kategoriskt förbjudet enligt muslimsk rätt (Sharia). Förbudet mot betalning och mottagande av ränta är också den största skillnaden mellan muslimsk och traditionell ekonomi. Förbudet mot riba har föranlett att alternativa finansieringsformer som är förenliga Sharia har utvecklats. Muslimska obligationer, sukuk, utgör den mest populära formen av värdepapper inom det muslimska finansväsendet och är värdepapper där ägandet av de underliggande tillgångarna överförs till ett stort antal investerare genom obligationer som representerar det proportionerliga värdet av de aktuella tillgångarna.

Vid utfärdande av sukuk i icke traditionellt... (More)
En av de grundläggande principerna för muslimsk ekonomi är att betalning och mottagande av ränta (riba) är kategoriskt förbjudet enligt muslimsk rätt (Sharia). Förbudet mot betalning och mottagande av ränta är också den största skillnaden mellan muslimsk och traditionell ekonomi. Förbudet mot riba har föranlett att alternativa finansieringsformer som är förenliga Sharia har utvecklats. Muslimska obligationer, sukuk, utgör den mest populära formen av värdepapper inom det muslimska finansväsendet och är värdepapper där ägandet av de underliggande tillgångarna överförs till ett stort antal investerare genom obligationer som representerar det proportionerliga värdet av de aktuella tillgångarna.

Vid utfärdande av sukuk i icke traditionellt muslimska stater kan skatterättsliga problem och oklarheter uppstå i de fall finansieringsalternativet inte är särskilt reglerat i lagstiftning. Storbritannien är en av de stater i Europa som nyligen har infört ny lagstiftning för att lösa de skatterättsliga problemen. Avsikten med den nya lagstiftningen var att undanröja de oklarheter som förelåg avseende hur sukuk skulle komma att beskattas och att tillförsäkra att sukuk inte skulle beskattas mindre fördelaktigt än konventionella obligationer. Detta för att sukuk inte skulle vara en mindre attraktiv finansieringsform.

Sukuk är idag inte särskilt reglerat i Sverige och det föreligger skatterättsliga oklarheter och problem avseende hur finansieringsformen skulle komma att beskattas i Sverige. Ett initialt skatterättsligt problem är klassificeringen av sukuk. Det är fråga om en finansieringsform som saknar motsvarighet i svensk rätt.

Då de enskilda transaktionerna utlöser skattekonsekvenser som inte skulle ha utlösts om sukuk hade varit en konventionell obligation föranleder det slutsatsen att sukuk idag skulle beskattas mindre fördelaktigt än konventionella obligationer. Det huvudsakliga problemet är att avkastningen på muslimska obligationerna troligtvis inte är avdragsgill då avkastningen vare sig utgör eller kan klassificeras som ränta. Ytterligare problem som kan aktualiseras är att de enskilda transaktionerna eventuellt kan utlösa frågor avseende stämpelskatt, kapitalvinstbeskattning samt frågor avseende vem det är som innehar rätten till värdeminskningsavdrag. Vad avser vissa transaktioner vid ett sukuk-upplägg torde det vara möjligt att utifrån praxis behandla transaktionerna likvärdigt med konventionella obligationer. Andra transaktioner förblir dock problematiska och vi anser att lagstiftning på området krävs för tydlighet och klarhet avseende muslimska obligationer och för att möjliggöra att sukuk blir en attraktiv finansieringsform i Sverige. (Less)
Abstract
One of the fundamental principles of Islamic finance is that the payment and receipt of interest (riba) is categorically forbidden under Islamic law (Shariah). The prohibition of payment and receipt of interest is also the main difference between Islamic and conventional finance. The prohibition of riba has led to the development of alternative forms of financing that are compatible with Shariah. Islamic bonds, sukuk, is the most popular form of securitisation in Islamic finance and are securities where ownership of the underlying assets are transferred to a large number of investors through bonds that represent the proportionate value of the assets in question.

Upon issuance of sukuk in non-muslim states problems and uncertainties... (More)
One of the fundamental principles of Islamic finance is that the payment and receipt of interest (riba) is categorically forbidden under Islamic law (Shariah). The prohibition of payment and receipt of interest is also the main difference between Islamic and conventional finance. The prohibition of riba has led to the development of alternative forms of financing that are compatible with Shariah. Islamic bonds, sukuk, is the most popular form of securitisation in Islamic finance and are securities where ownership of the underlying assets are transferred to a large number of investors through bonds that represent the proportionate value of the assets in question.

Upon issuance of sukuk in non-muslim states problems and uncertainties regarding taxation may arise due to the lack of adequate legislation. United Kingdom, as well as some other European nations, has recently adopted new legislation to resolve the problems regarding taxation. The intention of the legislation was to remove the ambiguity that existed regarding the taxation of sukuk and to ensure that sukuk would not be taxed less favourably than conventional bonds, thus making sukuk an equally attractive form of financing.

Sukuk is currently not explicitly regulated in Sweden and there are uncertainties and concerns regarding the taxation of this form of financing in Sweden. An initial problem in a fiscal assessment of sukuk is how to categorize the arrangement. It is a form of finance, which has no equivalent in Swedish law.

The individual transactions trigger tax consequences that would not have been triggered if it had been a conventional bond, the conclusion must therefore be that sukuk today would be taxed less favourably than conventional bonds. The main problem is that the return of the Islamic bonds probably would not be deductible because the return would not be categorized as interest. An additional problem that may arise is that the individual transactions may trigger questions concerning Swedish stämpelskatt (stamp duty), kapitalvinstbeskattning (capital gains tax) and issues relating to whom it is that holds the right to claim värdeminskningsavdrag (depreciation). With regard to certain transactions in a sukuk structure, based on existing case law, it should be possible to treat the transactions in question equivalent to conventional bonds. However, other transactions remain problematic and we believe that legislation is required to raise the transparency and clarity that is desirable on Islamic bonds and to allow sukuk as an attractive financing alternative in Sweden. (Less)
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author
Hellmark, Zara LU and Sirén , Klara
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Islamic bonds and Swedish taxation
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt, Sukuk, muslimska obligationer, Islamic bonds, muslimsk ekonomi, muslimsk rätt, Sharia, Alternative Finance Investment Bond, omklassificering, sale and lease back, Ijarah, Musharaka, Murabaha, Mudaraba
language
Swedish
id
1762173
date added to LUP
2011-01-13 14:48:39
date last changed
2011-01-13 14:48:39
@misc{1762173,
  abstract     = {One of the fundamental principles of Islamic finance is that the payment and receipt of interest (riba) is categorically forbidden under Islamic law (Shariah). The prohibition of payment and receipt of interest is also the main difference between Islamic and conventional finance. The prohibition of riba has led to the development of alternative forms of financing that are compatible with Shariah. Islamic bonds, sukuk, is the most popular form of securitisation in Islamic finance and are securities where ownership of the underlying assets are transferred to a large number of investors through bonds that represent the proportionate value of the assets in question. 

Upon issuance of sukuk in non-muslim states problems and uncertainties regarding taxation may arise due to the lack of adequate legislation. United Kingdom, as well as some other European nations, has recently adopted new legislation to resolve the problems regarding taxation. The intention of the legislation was to remove the ambiguity that existed regarding the taxation of sukuk and to ensure that sukuk would not be taxed less favourably than conventional bonds, thus making sukuk an equally attractive form of financing.  

Sukuk is currently not explicitly regulated in Sweden and there are uncertainties and concerns regarding the taxation of this form of financing in Sweden. An initial problem in a fiscal assessment of sukuk is how to categorize the arrangement. It is a form of finance, which has no equivalent in Swedish law. 

The individual transactions trigger tax consequences that would not have been triggered if it had been a conventional bond, the conclusion must therefore be that sukuk today would be taxed less favourably than conventional bonds. The main problem is that the return of the Islamic bonds probably would not be deductible because the return would not be categorized as interest. An additional problem that may arise is that the individual transactions may trigger questions concerning Swedish stämpelskatt (stamp duty), kapitalvinstbeskattning (capital gains tax) and issues relating to whom it is that holds the right to claim värdeminskningsavdrag (depreciation). With regard to certain transactions in a sukuk structure, based on existing case law, it should be possible to treat the transactions in question equivalent to conventional bonds. However, other transactions remain problematic and we believe that legislation is required to raise the transparency and clarity that is desirable on Islamic bonds and to allow sukuk as an attractive financing alternative in Sweden.},
  author       = {Hellmark, Zara and Sirén , Klara},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt,Sukuk,muslimska obligationer,Islamic bonds,muslimsk ekonomi,muslimsk rätt,Sharia,Alternative Finance Investment Bond,omklassificering,sale and lease back,Ijarah,Musharaka,Murabaha,Mudaraba},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Muslimska obligationer ur ett skatterättsligt perspektiv},
  year         = {2011},
}