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En studie av det skatterättsliga verksamhetsrekvisitet i 3:12-reglerna- med särskild inriktning på reglernas effekt i konsultverksamhet

Vad Jensen, Helena LU (2014) JURM02 20141
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I ett fåmansföretag existerar inget reellt tvåpartsförhållande mellan bolag och delägare eftersom delägaren innehar den totala kontrollen över företaget. Delägaren kan därmed styra över hur intäkter tas ut från företaget. Syftet med fåmansföretagsreglerna är att förhindra att inkomster som rätteligen utgör arbetsinkomst tas ut som lågbeskattad utdelning. Det särskilda regelverket för fåmansföretag är mycket komplicerat, bl.a. till följd av de ständiga ändringar som företas.

De s.k. 3:12-reglerna reglerar beskattningen av delägare i fåmansföretag. Reglerna är schablonmässigt konstruerade där den maximala kapitalinkomsten en delägare kan ta ut identifieras och den del av inkomsten som överstiger normal kapitalavkastning beskattas som... (More)
I ett fåmansföretag existerar inget reellt tvåpartsförhållande mellan bolag och delägare eftersom delägaren innehar den totala kontrollen över företaget. Delägaren kan därmed styra över hur intäkter tas ut från företaget. Syftet med fåmansföretagsreglerna är att förhindra att inkomster som rätteligen utgör arbetsinkomst tas ut som lågbeskattad utdelning. Det särskilda regelverket för fåmansföretag är mycket komplicerat, bl.a. till följd av de ständiga ändringar som företas.

De s.k. 3:12-reglerna reglerar beskattningen av delägare i fåmansföretag. Reglerna är schablonmässigt konstruerade där den maximala kapitalinkomsten en delägare kan ta ut identifieras och den del av inkomsten som överstiger normal kapitalavkastning beskattas som tjänst. För att omfattas av 3:12-reglerna måste ett antal kriterier vara uppfyllda, bl.a. att andelarna i företaget måste vara kvalificerade i enlighet med 57 kap. 4 § IL. För att andelarna ska anses vara kvalificerade krävs det att andelsägararen, eller någon närstående, har varit verksam i betydande omfattning i företaget under något av de fem föregående beskattningsåren.

I förarbetena åsyftas en kvalitativ bedömning av verksamhetsrekvisitet och avgörande för bedömningen är huruvida delägarens arbetsinsats har haft stor betydelse för vinstgenereringen i företaget. Bedömningen ska göras i det enskilda fallet med hänsyn till de omständigheter som föreligger. Av praxis framgår dock att domstolen i flera fall gör en kvantitativ bedömning då de hänvisar till antalet arbetade timmar för att avgöra hur stor påverkan en arbetsinsats har för vinsten i företaget. De rättsfall som har avgjort på området är alla in casu-avgöranden och det finns således ingen mall att följa när det kommer till bedömningen om vem som ska anses vara verksam i betydande omfattning. Det krävs fler avgöranden för att en sådan generell mall ska kunna utformas.

Avseende konsultverksamhet uttalas det i förarbetena att även anställda kan vara verksamma i betydande omfattning, särskilt i det fall där delägare bedriver en gemensam verksamhet. Enligt HFD, som har fastställt SRN:s förhandsavgöranden i alla mål rörande konsultverksamhet, föreligger det en presumtion för att aktiva delägare i ett konsultbolag i varje fall ska anses vara verksamma i betydande omfattning. Denna presumtion har inte stöd i varken lagtext eller förarbete men existerar numera efter etablerad praxis. Det har i praxis även konstaterats att det är de konsulter som deltar i den faktiska verksamheten som ska anses vara verksamma i betydande omfattning.

Fåmansföretagsreglerna gick från att vara strängt utformade till att utgöra väldigt förmånliga regler genom 2006 års skattereform. Den då införda löneunderlagsregeln och förenklingsregeln gjorde att fåmansföretag med enstaka ägare och fåmansföretag med många ägare gavs möjlighet att göra stora utdelningar till låg skatt. Syftet med de ändringar som företogs år 2006 var att försöka förenkla reglerna för fåmansföretagen och dess ägare, då reglerna uppfattades som komplexa. Reformen syftade även till att stimulera risktagande i näringslivet genom mer förmånliga regler. Vid införandet av de nya reglerna kunde dock få förutse i vilken utsträckning de skulle komma att överutnyttjas.

I budgetpropositionen 2013/14:1 anförde regeringen att löneunderlagsregeln användes på ett sätt som inte var avsett vid införandet av regeln. Revisorer, advokater och andra konsultverksamheter pekades ut som de som erhöll störst fördelar genom användandet av löneunderlagsregeln. De nya reglerna infördes i början av 2014 och mötte väldigt mycket kritik. De stora ändringarna som infördes var ett kapitalandelskrav på fyra procent, en ny definition av dotterbolag och ett tak för det lönebaserade utrymmet. Kapitalandelskravet innebär att endast de delägare som innehar minst fyra procent av kapitalet i företaget får använda löneunderlagsregeln. Detta leder till att många av de större fåmansföretagen fortfarande omfattas av regelverket men får inte ta del av de skattemässiga fördelarna. (Less)
Abstract
Most limited companies in Sweden are closely held companies and for whom special tax regulations are applicable, the 3:12-regulations. Since no bilateral relationship exist between the shareholder and the company, the shareholder has complete control over the company’s profit and how it should be distributed. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent labour income turning into capital income and thereby being taxed less heavily.

The 3:12 rules govern the taxation of shareholders of closely held companies and can be found in chapter 56 and 57 in the Swedish Income Tax Act (1999:1229). The rules determine the maximum capital income that a shareholder may receive as dividends and be taxed at a flat rate of 20 percent. The income that... (More)
Most limited companies in Sweden are closely held companies and for whom special tax regulations are applicable, the 3:12-regulations. Since no bilateral relationship exist between the shareholder and the company, the shareholder has complete control over the company’s profit and how it should be distributed. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent labour income turning into capital income and thereby being taxed less heavily.

The 3:12 rules govern the taxation of shareholders of closely held companies and can be found in chapter 56 and 57 in the Swedish Income Tax Act (1999:1229). The rules determine the maximum capital income that a shareholder may receive as dividends and be taxed at a flat rate of 20 percent. The income that exceeds this limit is taxed as earned income, at a progressive tax rate of maximum 57 percent. To be covered by the 3:12 rules a number of criteria must be met. The shares of the company must be qualified, in accordance with 57:4 IL, which require the shareholders to have been active in significant quantities in the company during any of the previous five tax assessment years.

The preparatory works to the 3:12 rules referrers to a qualitative assessment of the activity requirement being made and crucial for the assessment is whether the shareholders work effort have had a great impact on the profit generation in the company. The assessments shall be made on a case-by-case basis with regard to the specific circumstances in each case. It is clear that the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (HFD) in many cases makes a quantitative assessment, where they refer to the number of hours worked in the company to determine how much impact a shareholders work efforts has had on the profit generation. The HFD court rulings regarding the activity requirement are all in casu-decisions. Therefor there is no template to follow when it comes to the assessment of who should be considered to be active in significant quantities. Such a general template could only be made after many more court rulings.

In the preparatory work to the 3:12 rules it is stated that regarding consulting companies even employees can be active in significant quantities, particularly in the case where the shareholders engage in common activity. According to the HFD, which has established the SRN’s advanced rulings in all cases related to consulting companies, there is a presumption that the active shareholders in a consulting company should always be considered to be active in significant quantities. This presumption is not supported in neither statutory text or in the preamble to the closely held company-regulations, but the existence of the presumption must now be acknowledged after settled practice. It has, in practice, also been established that it is the consultants who is involved in the actual consulting activities that are considered to be active in significant quantities.

The closely held company regulations went from being rigorously designed to provide very favourable conditions by the tax reform in 2006. A new standard rule and a new wage-based rule were introduced that meant that closely held companies with both few shareholders as those companies with many shareholders were given the opportunity to receive large dividends to a much lower tax rate than before. The purpose of the new provisions was to try to simplify the rules for the closely held companies and its shareholders, as the regulations were perceived as complex. The reform also aimed to stimulate risk-taking and promote entrepreneurship through more favourable rules. At the time when the new rules were introduced, very few could predict the effects they would have.

In the budget act for 2014 the government stated that the wage-based rule was being used in a way that was not intended by the introduction of the rule. Accountants, lawyers and other consultants were identified as those who received the greatest benefits from the use of the wage-based rule. The new rules were introduced at the end of 2013 and met a lot of criticism. The major changes introduced were an equity requirement of four percent, a new definition of subsidiary company and a cap on the wage-based space. The equity requirement means that only those shareholders holding no less than four percent of the capital of the company may use the wage-based rule. The effects has been that many of the bigger closely held companies, with many shareholders, still being covered by the regulations, but not being able to take part of the tax benefits. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Vad Jensen, Helena LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A study of the fiscal activity requirement in the 3:12 rules - With particular focus on the effect of the rules in consulting companies
course
JURM02 20141
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt Inkomstskattelagen Fåmansföretag 3:12-reglerna Verksam i betydande omfattning Konsultverksamhet
language
Swedish
id
4449599
date added to LUP
2014-06-12 09:03:14
date last changed
2014-06-12 09:03:14
@misc{4449599,
  abstract     = {Most limited companies in Sweden are closely held companies and for whom special tax regulations are applicable, the 3:12-regulations. Since no bilateral relationship exist between the shareholder and the company, the shareholder has complete control over the company’s profit and how it should be distributed. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent labour income turning into capital income and thereby being taxed less heavily. 

The 3:12 rules govern the taxation of shareholders of closely held companies and can be found in chapter 56 and 57 in the Swedish Income Tax Act (1999:1229). The rules determine the maximum capital income that a shareholder may receive as dividends and be taxed at a flat rate of 20 percent. The income that exceeds this limit is taxed as earned income, at a progressive tax rate of maximum 57 percent. To be covered by the 3:12 rules a number of criteria must be met. The shares of the company must be qualified, in accordance with 57:4 IL, which require the shareholders to have been active in significant quantities in the company during any of the previous five tax assessment years. 

The preparatory works to the 3:12 rules referrers to a qualitative assessment of the activity requirement being made and crucial for the assessment is whether the shareholders work effort have had a great impact on the profit generation in the company. The assessments shall be made on a case-by-case basis with regard to the specific circumstances in each case. It is clear that the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (HFD) in many cases makes a quantitative assessment, where they refer to the number of hours worked in the company to determine how much impact a shareholders work efforts has had on the profit generation. The HFD court rulings regarding the activity requirement are all in casu-decisions. Therefor there is no template to follow when it comes to the assessment of who should be considered to be active in significant quantities. Such a general template could only be made after many more court rulings. 

In the preparatory work to the 3:12 rules it is stated that regarding consulting companies even employees can be active in significant quantities, particularly in the case where the shareholders engage in common activity. According to the HFD, which has established the SRN’s advanced rulings in all cases related to consulting companies, there is a presumption that the active shareholders in a consulting company should always be considered to be active in significant quantities. This presumption is not supported in neither statutory text or in the preamble to the closely held company-regulations, but the existence of the presumption must now be acknowledged after settled practice. It has, in practice, also been established that it is the consultants who is involved in the actual consulting activities that are considered to be active in significant quantities. 

The closely held company regulations went from being rigorously designed to provide very favourable conditions by the tax reform in 2006. A new standard rule and a new wage-based rule were introduced that meant that closely held companies with both few shareholders as those companies with many shareholders were given the opportunity to receive large dividends to a much lower tax rate than before. The purpose of the new provisions was to try to simplify the rules for the closely held companies and its shareholders, as the regulations were perceived as complex. The reform also aimed to stimulate risk-taking and promote entrepreneurship through more favourable rules. At the time when the new rules were introduced, very few could predict the effects they would have. 

In the budget act for 2014 the government stated that the wage-based rule was being used in a way that was not intended by the introduction of the rule. Accountants, lawyers and other consultants were identified as those who received the greatest benefits from the use of the wage-based rule. The new rules were introduced at the end of 2013 and met a lot of criticism. The major changes introduced were an equity requirement of four percent, a new definition of subsidiary company and a cap on the wage-based space. The equity requirement means that only those shareholders holding no less than four percent of the capital of the company may use the wage-based rule. The effects has been that many of the bigger closely held companies, with many shareholders, still being covered by the regulations, but not being able to take part of the tax benefits.},
  author       = {Vad Jensen, Helena},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt Inkomstskattelagen Fåmansföretag 3:12-reglerna Verksam i betydande omfattning Konsultverksamhet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {En studie av det skatterättsliga verksamhetsrekvisitet i 3:12-reglerna- med särskild inriktning på reglernas effekt i konsultverksamhet},
  year         = {2014},
}