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Fri rörlighet för kapital och tredje land -en studie av EU-domstolens skatterättsliga praxis

Sigurdardottir, Maria LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Ett av målen med den Europeiska Unionen är att skapa en fri inre marknad genom att avskaffa alla hinder för den fria rörligheten för varor, tjänster, personer och kapital. På skatterättens område kan sådana hinder ofta uppstå då medlemsstaternas beskattningssystem inte är harmoniserade. EUD har dock i sin praxis under många år avskaffat en stor del av dessa hinder genom sin tolkning och utveckling av fördragsfriheterna.

Medlemsstaterna bedriver även omfattande handel med länder utanför EU, varför ett behov av att avskaffa hinder i förhållande till tredje land föreligger. Fördragsbestämmelserna tillhandahåller viss möjlighet till sådan ekonomisk öppenhet genom bestämmelserna om den fria rörligheten för kapital, som gäller även i... (More)
Ett av målen med den Europeiska Unionen är att skapa en fri inre marknad genom att avskaffa alla hinder för den fria rörligheten för varor, tjänster, personer och kapital. På skatterättens område kan sådana hinder ofta uppstå då medlemsstaternas beskattningssystem inte är harmoniserade. EUD har dock i sin praxis under många år avskaffat en stor del av dessa hinder genom sin tolkning och utveckling av fördragsfriheterna.

Medlemsstaterna bedriver även omfattande handel med länder utanför EU, varför ett behov av att avskaffa hinder i förhållande till tredje land föreligger. Fördragsbestämmelserna tillhandahåller viss möjlighet till sådan ekonomisk öppenhet genom bestämmelserna om den fria rörligheten för kapital, som gäller även i förhållande till tredje land. De andra fördragsfriheterna har inte samma territoriella tillämpningsområde, vilket gör att tillämplig fördragsfrihet är en fråga av avgörande betydelse i mål rörande tredje land.

Tillämpligheten för den fria rörligheten för kapital och dess relation till de andra fördragsfriheterna, främst etableringsfriheten, på skatterättens område har dock varit en fråga som länge har varit osäker, och EU-domstolen har inte kommit med klara svar i sin praxis. Problemen med att bestämma tillämplig frihet uppkommer ofta i mål rörande beskattning av andelsägande. Under början av 2000-talet började dock domstolen att fokusera på omständigheterna i det enskilda fallet i den nationella domstolen för att bestämma tillämplig fördragsfrihet. Efter den perioden följde några år då fokus istället låg på ändamålet med den nationella lagstiftningen i fråga. I nyare praxis tar domstolen inte ställning till vilket tillvägagångssätt som skall gälla, vilket har skapat en osäkerhet bland de nationella domstolarna. Ett efterlängtat klargörande från EU-domstolen kom med FII Group Litigation (2) i november 2012. Där slår domstolen fast att den fria rörligheten för kapital kan bli tillämplig i förhållande till tredje land i mål där sådant andelsägande föreligger att det medför bestämmande inflytande, förutsatt att de nationella reglerna är tillämpliga oavsett storlek på andelsinnehav. Således klargör domstolen att ändamålet med den nationella lagstiftningen skall väga tyngst vid bestämmande av tillämplig fördragsfrihet i skattemål som rör andelsägande.

Svenska skatteregler rörande utdelningsbeskattning är neutrala i förhållande till andra medlemsstater och tredjeländer, utdelning på näringsbetingade andelar är skattefria även när de kommer från bolag hemmahörande utanför unionens gränser. De svenska Lex Asea-reglerna har visserligen ansetts hindra den fria rörligheten för kapital i förhållande till tredje land, men rättfärdigades med hänvisning till behovet av effektiv skattekontroll. (Less)
Abstract
Achieving a free internal market by abolishing obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital is one of the fundamental objectives of the European Union. Such obstacles often appear within the field of income taxation, due to the lack of harmonization of the member states' tax systems. The CJEU has during the recent years managed to abolish a large number of restrictions through an extensive interpretation of the provisions relating to the free movement.

The member states also maintain a large range of economic relations with non-EU member states. Accordingly, nowadays the need for abolishing such obstacles between member states and third countries is promoted. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union... (More)
Achieving a free internal market by abolishing obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital is one of the fundamental objectives of the European Union. Such obstacles often appear within the field of income taxation, due to the lack of harmonization of the member states' tax systems. The CJEU has during the recent years managed to abolish a large number of restrictions through an extensive interpretation of the provisions relating to the free movement.

The member states also maintain a large range of economic relations with non-EU member states. Accordingly, nowadays the need for abolishing such obstacles between member states and third countries is promoted. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for a substantial degree of economic openness vis-à-vis third countries through the provisions relating to the free movement of capital, which also applies on restrictions between member states and third countries. Since the other treaty freedoms don't have as wide territorial scope as the free movement of capital, the question of applicable freedom is of great importance regarding situations concerning third countries.

However, the borderline between the scope of the free movement of capital and the other treaty freedoms in the field of income taxation has for a long time been unclear, and CJEU hasn't offered any clear guidance in its case law. The issue regarding applicable freedom has often occured in cases concerning shareholding and dividend taxation. During the first years of the new century, the court began to focus on the actual facts of the case to determine applicable freedom. That period was followed by some years where the court instead focused on the purpose of the national legislation. Recent case law shows that both criterions are being used in different cases for determining applicable freedom. The CJEU hasn't clearly defined one of the two methods as more significant which has caused uncertainty amongst the national courts. A most welcome clarification from the court came in November 2012 in FII Group Litigation (2). The court established that the free movement of capital can be applicable vis-à-vis third countries in factual situations that concernes shareholding that results in definite influence, provided that the national legislation applies regardless of the extent of the shareholding. Consequently, the court clarified that the purpose of the national legislation should be significant when deciding applicable freedom in cases concerning shareholding and dividend taxation.

Swedish tax legislation concerning dividend taxation is neutral, dividends can be exempted from taxation to the same extent no matter if is from a Swedish or a foreign company. The Swedish legislation called Lex Asea constitutes an obstacle to the free movement of capital vis-à-vis third countries, but has been justified by the CJEU referring to the grounds of fiscal supervision. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sigurdardottir, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Free Movement of Capital and Third Country Situations - An examination of the CJEU case law
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-rätt, skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
3798322
date added to LUP
2013-06-05 09:06:37
date last changed
2013-06-05 09:06:37
@misc{3798322,
  abstract     = {Achieving a free internal market by abolishing obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital is one of the fundamental objectives of the European Union. Such obstacles often appear within the field of income taxation, due to the lack of harmonization of the member states' tax systems. The CJEU has during the recent years managed to abolish a large number of restrictions through an extensive interpretation of the provisions relating to the free movement. 

The member states also maintain a large range of economic relations with non-EU member states. Accordingly, nowadays the need for abolishing such obstacles between member states and third countries is promoted. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for a substantial degree of economic openness vis-à-vis third countries through the provisions relating to the free movement of capital, which also applies on restrictions between member states and third countries. Since the other treaty freedoms don't have as wide territorial scope as the free movement of capital, the question of applicable freedom is of great importance regarding situations concerning third countries.

However, the borderline between the scope of the free movement of capital and the other treaty freedoms in the field of income taxation has for a long time been unclear, and CJEU hasn't offered any clear guidance in its case law. The issue regarding applicable freedom has often occured in cases concerning shareholding and dividend taxation. During the first years of the new century, the court began to focus on the actual facts of the case to determine applicable freedom. That period was followed by some years where the court instead focused on the purpose of the national legislation. Recent case law shows that both criterions are being used in different cases for determining applicable freedom. The CJEU hasn't clearly defined one of the two methods as more significant which has caused uncertainty amongst the national courts. A most welcome clarification from the court came in November 2012 in FII Group Litigation (2). The court established that the free movement of capital can be applicable vis-à-vis third countries in factual situations that concernes shareholding that results in definite influence, provided that the national legislation applies regardless of the extent of the shareholding. Consequently, the court clarified that the purpose of the national legislation should be significant when deciding applicable freedom in cases concerning shareholding and dividend taxation.

Swedish tax legislation concerning dividend taxation is neutral, dividends can be exempted from taxation to the same extent no matter if is from a Swedish or a foreign company. The Swedish legislation called Lex Asea constitutes an obstacle to the free movement of capital vis-à-vis third countries, but has been justified by the CJEU referring to the grounds of fiscal supervision.},
  author       = {Sigurdardottir, Maria},
  keyword      = {EU-rätt,skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Fri rörlighet för kapital och tredje land -en studie av EU-domstolens skatterättsliga praxis},
  year         = {2013},
}