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LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

När skatteflyktslagen tillämpas på förfaranden som omfattas av skatteavtal

Sköld, Mattias LU (2013) JURM02 20132
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det grundläggande syftet med uppsatsen är att analysera tillämpningen och tolkningen av skatteflyktslagen på förfaranden som omfattas av skatteavtal. HFD har inte prövat frågan utan endast uttalat att lagen principiellt kan tillämpas om den gemensamma partsavsikten i det aktuella skatteavtalet inte hindrar det. Däremot har skatteflyktslagens tillämpning på s.k. Peru-upplägg prövats i kammarrätterna. Mot bakgrund av detta är det centrala i uppsatsen att analysera och redogöra för kammarrätternas praxis på området.

I uppsatsen delar jag in kammarrätternas avgöranden i tre kategorier. I den första kategorin återfinns domar där domstolen ansåg att förfarandet inte stred mot syftet med lagstiftningen och att skatteflyktslagen därmed inte... (More)
Det grundläggande syftet med uppsatsen är att analysera tillämpningen och tolkningen av skatteflyktslagen på förfaranden som omfattas av skatteavtal. HFD har inte prövat frågan utan endast uttalat att lagen principiellt kan tillämpas om den gemensamma partsavsikten i det aktuella skatteavtalet inte hindrar det. Däremot har skatteflyktslagens tillämpning på s.k. Peru-upplägg prövats i kammarrätterna. Mot bakgrund av detta är det centrala i uppsatsen att analysera och redogöra för kammarrätternas praxis på området.

I uppsatsen delar jag in kammarrätternas avgöranden i tre kategorier. I den första kategorin återfinns domar där domstolen ansåg att förfarandet inte stred mot syftet med lagstiftningen och att skatteflyktslagen därmed inte var tillämplig. Utgången motiverades med att skatteavtalet mellan Sverige och Peru saknade ett syfte att motverka skatteflykt. Den andra kategorin består av mål i vilka skatteflyktslagen ansågs hindra förfarandet. I domskälen framfördes bl.a. att avtalet missbrukats genom transaktionerna och att det knappast kan ha varit tänkt att avtalet skulle leda till dylika konstruktioner. Den sista kategorin utgörs av domar som följer HFD:s avgörande i HFD 2012 ref. 20. I enlighet med HFD:s prejudikat konstaterades i kammarrättsdomarna att skatteavtalet inte begränsade Sveriges rätt att beskatta inkomsten. Förfarandet prövades därför inte mot skatteflyktslagen.

Vidare behandlas i uppsatsen frågor som uppkommer i samband med att lagen tillämpas på förfaranden som omfattas av skatteavtal. Bl.a. ger jag exempel ur HFD:s praxis som kan bidra till förståelsen för lagens tillämpning på detta område. Exemplen kretsar framför allt kring HFD:s bedömningar av lagstiftningens syfte, lagstiftarens passivitet och förfarandets sammanhållning i tiden.

I uppsatsen ställer jag vidare frågan huruvida tillämpningen av ett skatteavtal kan leda till att en skatteförmån uppkommer i skatteflyktslagens mening. Utifrån förarbeten och HFD:s praxis är min uppfattning att det inte har någon betydelse vilka skattebestämmelser som tillämpas vid transaktionerna utan att det avgörande är om den kommunala- och statliga inkomstskatten blivit förmånligare för den skattskyldige än vid ett ”normalt” förfarande.

Avslutningsvis diskuteras i uppsatsen hur lagstiftningens syfte ska bestämmas och vad som krävs för att förfaranden som omfattas av skatteavtal ska anses strida mot lagstiftningens syfte. Beträffande Peru-uppläggen är det tolkningen av detta rekvisit, 2 § 4 p. skatteflyktslagen, som främst skiljer kammarrätternas domar åt. Enligt min mening måste det första steget vara att utreda syftet med skatteavtalet, vilket görs genom att tolka avtalet utifrån Wienkonventionens tolkningsbestämmelser samt genom att ge särskild betydelse till kommentaren till OECD:s modellavtal. I några svenska skatteavtal finns ett uttryckligt syfte att motverka skatteflykt medan det i det stora flertalet avtal saknas stöd för ett sådant syfte. År 2003 infördes en skrivning i kommentaren till OECD:s modellavtal att skatteavtal har ett syfte att motverka skatteflykt. Vilken påverkan detta uttalande får på tidigare ingångna skatteavtal är emellertid osäkert. Det andra steget är enligt min uppfattning att analysera huruvida förfarandet strider mot syftet med avtalet. Vid den bedömningen är det nödvändigt att bestämma om den skattskyldige genom förfarandet kringgått något särskilt i avtalets uppbyggnad eller ändamål. Även frågan om syftet med de interna reglerna har kringgåtts kan i sammanhanget diskuteras. (Less)
Abstract
The objective of this thesis is to analyse the interpretation and application of the Swedish General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR – Sw. lag (1995:575) mot skatteflykt) to transactions involving tax treaties. The Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has not ruled on the issue. However, the SAC has declared that the GAAR, in principle, can be applied to such transactions if the common intention of the parties does not prevent the application. The Swedish Administrative Courts of Appeal have decided a number of cases concerning the application of the GAAR to so-called Peru-structures. The main focus of the thesis is therefore to analyse and report on these judgments of the Swedish Administrative Courts of Appeal.

The judgments are... (More)
The objective of this thesis is to analyse the interpretation and application of the Swedish General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR – Sw. lag (1995:575) mot skatteflykt) to transactions involving tax treaties. The Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has not ruled on the issue. However, the SAC has declared that the GAAR, in principle, can be applied to such transactions if the common intention of the parties does not prevent the application. The Swedish Administrative Courts of Appeal have decided a number of cases concerning the application of the GAAR to so-called Peru-structures. The main focus of the thesis is therefore to analyse and report on these judgments of the Swedish Administrative Courts of Appeal.

The judgments are divided into three categories. The first category consists of cases in which the GAAR did not prevent the transactions. The court concluded that the transactions were not contrary to the purpose of the legislation since the tax treaty between Sweden and Peru lacked a purpose to prevent tax avoidance. The second category contains judgments where all the prerequisites of the GAAR were met. In the reasoning the court put forward that the transactions constituted an abuse of the tax treaty and that it hardly was the intention of the parties to favour such structures. The last category consists of judgments that follow the SAC’s ruling in the case HFD 2012 ref. 20. In accordance with the precedent, the court found that the tax treaty did not limit Sweden’s right to tax the income. Accordingly the court did not examine the application of the GAAR.

Furthermore, the thesis gives examples from SAC case law to deepen the understanding for situations where the GAAR is applied to transactions involving tax treaties. These examples mainly concern judgments regarding the purpose of the legislation, the legislature’s failure to act and transactions’ cohesion in time.

The thesis also discusses whether a difference in taxation between two countries can result in a tax benefit under the GAAR. Based on SAC case law and preliminary work, my position on the matter is that the application of a tax treaty can result in a tax benefit since the decisive factor is whether the income tax is more favourable to the taxpayer than would have been the case at a comparatively “normal” procedure. In my view it is insignificant which tax provisions that have been used when obtaining the tax benefit.

Finally, the thesis provides an analysis on how to determine the purpose of the legislation, and what is required for a transaction involving tax treaties to be viewed as contrary to the purpose of the legislation. In my view, the first step must be to examine the purpose of the tax treaty. This will be achieved by interpreting the treaty based on the rules of interpretation of the Vienna Convention, however also by giving special significance to the Commentary to the OECD Model Tax Convention. In some Swedish tax treaties there is an explicit purpose to prevent tax avoidance, however the vast majority of the treaties lacks support for such a purpose. Since 2003 it is stated in the Commentary that it is a purpose of tax treaties to prevent tax avoidance. In my opinion it is uncertain to what extent this statement may have effect on tax treaties concluded before 2003.

The second step contains an analysis of whether the transaction is contrary to the purpose of the treaty. In this assessment it is necessary to establish a more specific treaty scheme or purpose that is abused by the transactions. The assessment should also address the question whether the transaction is contrary to the purpose of the internal rules that have been circumvented. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sköld, Mattias LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Application of the Swedish General Anti-Avoidance Rule to Transactions Involving Tax Treaties
course
JURM02 20132
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
skatterätt, internationell skatterätt, skatteavtal, skatteflykt, skatteflyktslagen, missbruk av skatteavtal, Peru-mål, Peru-upplägg, RÅ 2004 not. 59, HFD 2012 ref. 20, tax avoidance, GAAR
language
Swedish
id
4229205
date added to LUP
2014-01-21 06:39:10
date last changed
2014-01-21 06:39:10
@misc{4229205,
  abstract     = {The objective of this thesis is to analyse the interpretation and application of the Swedish General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR – Sw. lag (1995:575) mot skatteflykt) to transactions involving tax treaties. The Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has not ruled on the issue. However, the SAC has declared that the GAAR, in principle, can be applied to such transactions if the common intention of the parties does not prevent the application. The Swedish Administrative Courts of Appeal have decided a number of cases concerning the application of the GAAR to so-called Peru-structures. The main focus of the thesis is therefore to analyse and report on these judgments of the Swedish Administrative Courts of Appeal.

The judgments are divided into three categories. The first category consists of cases in which the GAAR did not prevent the transactions. The court concluded that the transactions were not contrary to the purpose of the legislation since the tax treaty between Sweden and Peru lacked a purpose to prevent tax avoidance. The second category contains judgments where all the prerequisites of the GAAR were met. In the reasoning the court put forward that the transactions constituted an abuse of the tax treaty and that it hardly was the intention of the parties to favour such structures. The last category consists of judgments that follow the SAC’s ruling in the case HFD 2012 ref. 20. In accordance with the precedent, the court found that the tax treaty did not limit Sweden’s right to tax the income. Accordingly the court did not examine the application of the GAAR.

Furthermore, the thesis gives examples from SAC case law to deepen the understanding for situations where the GAAR is applied to transactions involving tax treaties. These examples mainly concern judgments regarding the purpose of the legislation, the legislature’s failure to act and transactions’ cohesion in time.

The thesis also discusses whether a difference in taxation between two countries can result in a tax benefit under the GAAR. Based on SAC case law and preliminary work, my position on the matter is that the application of a tax treaty can result in a tax benefit since the decisive factor is whether the income tax is more favourable to the taxpayer than would have been the case at a comparatively “normal” procedure. In my view it is insignificant which tax provisions that have been used when obtaining the tax benefit.

Finally, the thesis provides an analysis on how to determine the purpose of the legislation, and what is required for a transaction involving tax treaties to be viewed as contrary to the purpose of the legislation. In my view, the first step must be to examine the purpose of the tax treaty. This will be achieved by interpreting the treaty based on the rules of interpretation of the Vienna Convention, however also by giving special significance to the Commentary to the OECD Model Tax Convention. In some Swedish tax treaties there is an explicit purpose to prevent tax avoidance, however the vast majority of the treaties lacks support for such a purpose. Since 2003 it is stated in the Commentary that it is a purpose of tax treaties to prevent tax avoidance. In my opinion it is uncertain to what extent this statement may have effect on tax treaties concluded before 2003.

The second step contains an analysis of whether the transaction is contrary to the purpose of the treaty. In this assessment it is necessary to establish a more specific treaty scheme or purpose that is abused by the transactions. The assessment should also address the question whether the transaction is contrary to the purpose of the internal rules that have been circumvented.},
  author       = {Sköld, Mattias},
  keyword      = {skatterätt,internationell skatterätt,skatteavtal,skatteflykt,skatteflyktslagen,missbruk av skatteavtal,Peru-mål,Peru-upplägg,RÅ 2004 not. 59,HFD 2012 ref. 20,tax avoidance,GAAR},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {När skatteflyktslagen tillämpas på förfaranden som omfattas av skatteavtal},
  year         = {2013},
}