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Rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt

Pepaj, Shkurte LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Nationella inkomstskatteregler som hindrar den fria rörligheten i EUF-fördraget kan i vissa fall rättfärdigas genom exempelvis de rättfärdigandegrunder som utvecklats i EU-domstolens praxis. En sådan rättfärdigandegrund är behovet att hindra skatteflykt. Uppsatsens huvudfråga är att utreda när fördragsstridiga nationella skatteregler kan motiveras med rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt.

Traditionellt sett har rättfärdigandegrunderna bedömts separat. För att skatteregler ska kunna rättfärdigas med behovet att hindra skatteflykt som en separat grund ställer EU-domstolen strikta krav på att reglernas syfte är att förhindra rent konstlade upplägg. Praxisutvecklingen sedan Marks & Spencer-målet har lett till att... (More)
Nationella inkomstskatteregler som hindrar den fria rörligheten i EUF-fördraget kan i vissa fall rättfärdigas genom exempelvis de rättfärdigandegrunder som utvecklats i EU-domstolens praxis. En sådan rättfärdigandegrund är behovet att hindra skatteflykt. Uppsatsens huvudfråga är att utreda när fördragsstridiga nationella skatteregler kan motiveras med rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt.

Traditionellt sett har rättfärdigandegrunderna bedömts separat. För att skatteregler ska kunna rättfärdigas med behovet att hindra skatteflykt som en separat grund ställer EU-domstolen strikta krav på att reglernas syfte är att förhindra rent konstlade upplägg. Praxisutvecklingen sedan Marks & Spencer-målet har lett till att EU-domstolen gjort en samlad bedömning av flera rättfärdigandegrunder. Detta har bidragit till att praxis blivit otydlig och att rättsskippningens förutsebarhet begränsats. När rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt bedömts ihop med flera andra rättfärdigandegrunder har domstolen inte vidhållit det strikta kravet på rent konstlade upplägg. Denna praxisutveckling har bidragit till att man i doktrin ansett att domstolen valt två vägar för rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt. Praxisutvecklingen har även bidragit till att medlemsstater fått större möjlighet att rättfärdiga hindrande nationella åtgärder. I det nya SIAT-målet synes domstolen ha tillämpat flera rättfärdigandegrunder var för sig, där rättfärdigandegrunden att hindra skatteflykt var en bland andra tillämpade grunder. Detta mål kan dock inte med säkerhet tolkas som att domstolen återgått till att bedöma rättfärdigandegrunderna var för sig. SIAT-målet tyder dock på att kravet på konstlade upplägg är gällande än idag. Inom ramen för proportionalitetsbedömningen har EU-domstolen i detta mål ställt ett nytt krav, om att regler ska uppfylla kravet på rättsäkerhet och förutsebarhet för att godtas.

För att illustrera när fördragsstridiga nationella regler kan rättfärdigas med rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt, har jag även valt att analysera om den svenska skatteflyktslagen och CFC-reglerna kan rättfärdigas på denna grund. I och med Cadbury Schweppes-målet har Sverige fått se över CFC-reglerna. Därav infördes den nya kompletteringsregeln. Kravet på konstlade upplägg som ställts i EU-domen har därigenom införts i den nya kompletteringsregeln. Men trots detta skiljer den svenska regeln sig rent lagtekniskt från EU-domen. Detta har bidragit till CFC-reglernas förenlighet med EU-rätten ifrågasatts från flera håll. Den lagtekniska skillnaden behöver dock inte innebära att de fastslagna principerna i EU-domen frångåtts. I den mån CFC-reglerna vid en framtida tillämpning ges en EU-konform tolkning kan de svenska CFC-reglerna troligtvis rättfärdigas. Det faktum att skatteflyktslagens rekvisit är relativt öppna kan betyda att lagen behöver EU-anpassas, särskilt efter det nya SIAT-målet. I uppsatsen anges två invändningar som kan innebära att skatteflyktslagen kanske inte kan rättfärdigas. En invändning är att skatteflyktlagens tredje rekvisit kan uppfattas som strängare än vad EU-rätten tillåter eftersom det kan fånga in även andra situationer än rent konstlade upplägg. Denna brist kan dock överbryggas genom att lagen ges en EU-konform tolkning. Den andra invändningen rör skatteflyktslagens vaga rekvisit och särskilt det fjärde rekvisit eftersom den är mest avgörande för lagens tillämpning. Problematiken ligger i att detta rekvisit är svårtillämpad och lämnar en hel del frågetecken för hur skatteflyktslagen egentligen tillämpas. Därför har skatteflyktslagen flera gånger kritiserats för att brista i förutsebarhet och rättssäkerhet. I ljuset av detta samt SIAT-målet riskerar skatteflyktslagen att brista i det EU-rättsliga kravet på rättssäkerhet. Det som talar för att skatteflyktslagen ändå kan rättfärdigas är att generalklausuler mot skatteflykt tillämpas av ett flertal medlemsstater och är en generellt accepterad metod mot skatteflykt. Därför torde det vara mer accepterat att kravet på rättssäkerhet inte uppnås i dessa fall och särskilt när lagen för att uppnå sitt syfte kräver viss otydlighet. (Less)
Abstract
National income tax rules that restrict the free movement of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) may in some cases be justified by, for example, the justification grounds that has been developed in case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Such a justification ground is the need to prevent tax avoidance. This thesis main issue is to investigate when national tax rules that restrict the free movement of the TFEU can be justified with the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance.

Traditionally the justification grounds have been assessed separately. In order to justify tax rules on the basis of the need to prevent tax avoidance as a separate ground, the ECJ strictly requires that the purpose of... (More)
National income tax rules that restrict the free movement of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) may in some cases be justified by, for example, the justification grounds that has been developed in case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Such a justification ground is the need to prevent tax avoidance. This thesis main issue is to investigate when national tax rules that restrict the free movement of the TFEU can be justified with the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance.

Traditionally the justification grounds have been assessed separately. In order to justify tax rules on the basis of the need to prevent tax avoidance as a separate ground, the ECJ strictly requires that the purpose of the rules is to prevent wholly artificial arrangements. The development in case law since the Marks & Spencer case has led to the ECJ making an overall assessment of several justification grounds. This has caused a lot of uncertainty and the predictability has become limited. When the objective of preventing tax avoidance has been taken together with others justification grounds the Court does not uphold the strict requirement of wholly artificial arrangements. Based on this case law the doctrine considers that the Court has chosen two ways for the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance. The development in this case law also makes it much easier for the Member States to justify restrictive national measures. In the new SIAT case the Court seems to have applied several justification grounds separately and the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance was one among other applied grounds. This case cannot with certainty be interpreted as the Court went back to assess the justification grounds separately. The SIAT case indicates that the requirements for artificial arrangements are still relevant today. Within the framework of proportionality assessment, the ECJ also imposed a new requirement that rules must fulfill the requirements for legal certainty and predictability in order to be accepted.

To illustrate, when national restrictive rules can be justified with the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance, I have also chosen to analyze if the Swedish Tax Avoidance Law and the CFC-legislation can be justified on this ground. Since the ruling in the Cadbury Schweppes case Sweden has been forced to oversee their CFC-legislation. In order to fulfill the requirement on artificial arrangements set up in the Cadbury Schweppes case Sweden introduced a new rule in their CFC-rules. But despite this the Swedish rule is differently formulated than the ruling. The consequence of this is that many have questioned if the CFC-rules are consistent with the Union law. Only the mere fact that the Swedish rules are formulated differently does not mean that the established principles of the ruling are abandoned. If the CFC-rules at a future application are given an interpretation in conformity with Union law the Swedish CFC-rules can probably be justified. The fact that the prerequisites in the Swedish Tax Avoidance Law are quite open might mean that the Tax Avoidance Law has to be adapted to Union law, especially after the new case SIAT. In this essay I provide two objections which may mean that the Tax Avoidance Law may not be justified. One objection is that the third prerequisite in the Tax Avoidance Law could be perceived as more stringent than Union law allows because it may capture other situations than wholly artificial arrangements. But this lack can be overcome by giving the law an interpretation in conformity with Union law. The second objection concerns the vague prerequisites in the Tax Avoidance Law and especially the fourth prerequisite because this prerequisite is most crucial to whether the law is applicable. The problem is that this prerequisite is difficult to apply and leaves a lot of questions on how the law actually applies. Therefore, the Tax Avoidance Law has repeatedly been criticized for lacking in predictability and legal certainty. In view of this the Tax Avoidance Law tends to risk lacking in the requirement of legal certainty that was required in the case SIAT. The Tax Avoidance Law can nevertheless be justified because general clauses against tax avoidance are used by several Member States, and are a generally accepted method to prevent tax avoidance. In those cases it may be more acceptable if the requirement of legal certainty cannot be achieved, especially when the law in order to achieve its purpose requires some vagueness. (Less)
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author
Pepaj, Shkurte LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Hindra skatteflykt, Skatterätt, CFC-regler, Skatteflyktslagen
language
Swedish
id
3350113
date added to LUP
2013-01-30 08:59:27
date last changed
2013-02-01 06:09:35
@misc{3350113,
  abstract     = {National income tax rules that restrict the free movement of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) may in some cases be justified by, for example, the justification grounds that has been developed in case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Such a justification ground is the need to prevent tax avoidance. This thesis main issue is to investigate when national tax rules that restrict the free movement of the TFEU can be justified with the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance. 

Traditionally the justification grounds have been assessed separately. In order to justify tax rules on the basis of the need to prevent tax avoidance as a separate ground, the ECJ strictly requires that the purpose of the rules is to prevent wholly artificial arrangements. The development in case law since the Marks & Spencer case has led to the ECJ making an overall assessment of several justification grounds. This has caused a lot of uncertainty and the predictability has become limited. When the objective of preventing tax avoidance has been taken together with others justification grounds the Court does not uphold the strict requirement of wholly artificial arrangements. Based on this case law the doctrine considers that the Court has chosen two ways for the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance. The development in this case law also makes it much easier for the Member States to justify restrictive national measures. In the new SIAT case the Court seems to have applied several justification grounds separately and the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance was one among other applied grounds. This case cannot with certainty be interpreted as the Court went back to assess the justification grounds separately. The SIAT case indicates that the requirements for artificial arrangements are still relevant today. Within the framework of proportionality assessment, the ECJ also imposed a new requirement that rules must fulfill the requirements for legal certainty and predictability in order to be accepted.

To illustrate, when national restrictive rules can be justified with the justification ground the need to prevent tax avoidance, I have also chosen to analyze if the Swedish Tax Avoidance Law and the CFC-legislation can be justified on this ground. Since the ruling in the Cadbury Schweppes case Sweden has been forced to oversee their CFC-legislation. In order to fulfill the requirement on artificial arrangements set up in the Cadbury Schweppes case Sweden introduced a new rule in their CFC-rules. But despite this the Swedish rule is differently formulated than the ruling. The consequence of this is that many have questioned if the CFC-rules are consistent with the Union law. Only the mere fact that the Swedish rules are formulated differently does not mean that the established principles of the ruling are abandoned. If the CFC-rules at a future application are given an interpretation in conformity with Union law the Swedish CFC-rules can probably be justified. The fact that the prerequisites in the Swedish Tax Avoidance Law are quite open might mean that the Tax Avoidance Law has to be adapted to Union law, especially after the new case SIAT. In this essay I provide two objections which may mean that the Tax Avoidance Law may not be justified. One objection is that the third prerequisite in the Tax Avoidance Law could be perceived as more stringent than Union law allows because it may capture other situations than wholly artificial arrangements. But this lack can be overcome by giving the law an interpretation in conformity with Union law. The second objection concerns the vague prerequisites in the Tax Avoidance Law and especially the fourth prerequisite because this prerequisite is most crucial to whether the law is applicable. The problem is that this prerequisite is difficult to apply and leaves a lot of questions on how the law actually applies. Therefore, the Tax Avoidance Law has repeatedly been criticized for lacking in predictability and legal certainty. In view of this the Tax Avoidance Law tends to risk lacking in the requirement of legal certainty that was required in the case SIAT. The Tax Avoidance Law can nevertheless be justified because general clauses against tax avoidance are used by several Member States, and are a generally accepted method to prevent tax avoidance. In those cases it may be more acceptable if the requirement of legal certainty cannot be achieved, especially when the law in order to achieve its purpose requires some vagueness.},
  author       = {Pepaj, Shkurte},
  keyword      = {Hindra skatteflykt,Skatterätt,CFC-regler,Skatteflyktslagen},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Rättfärdigandegrunden behovet att hindra skatteflykt},
  year         = {2012},
}