Advanced

Armlängdsprincipen i svensk rätt - med fokus på indirekta prissättningssystem

Bengtzén, Jesper LU (2015) LAGM01 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna uppsats diskuterar internprissättning, d.v.s. koncernintern gränsöverskridande handel, i ljuset av de förändringar som BEPS-projektet innebär gällande aggressiv skatteplanering och skatteerosion. Arbetet innehåller en genomgång av gällande rätt, både vad avser grunderna kring armlängdsprincipen, rättstillämpningen, samt de faktorer som styr det marknadsmässiga priset i den enskilda transaktionen. Uppsatsen utgår från ett svenskt perspektiv då armlängdsregeln är vad som är bindande för svensk domstol. Materialet utgörs däremot primärt av internationella källor utgivna av OECD.

Fokus i uppsatsen ligger på problematiken kring att det i svensk praxis, som följd av att koncerner centraliserar en rad funktioner i ett bolag (s.k. group... (More)
Denna uppsats diskuterar internprissättning, d.v.s. koncernintern gränsöverskridande handel, i ljuset av de förändringar som BEPS-projektet innebär gällande aggressiv skatteplanering och skatteerosion. Arbetet innehåller en genomgång av gällande rätt, både vad avser grunderna kring armlängdsprincipen, rättstillämpningen, samt de faktorer som styr det marknadsmässiga priset i den enskilda transaktionen. Uppsatsen utgår från ett svenskt perspektiv då armlängdsregeln är vad som är bindande för svensk domstol. Materialet utgörs däremot primärt av internationella källor utgivna av OECD.

Fokus i uppsatsen ligger på problematiken kring att det i svensk praxis, som följd av att koncerner centraliserar en rad funktioner i ett bolag (s.k. group service center), godkänns att prissättningen sker indirekt. Sådan prissättning sker typiskt sett genom att tjänstemottagande bolag ersätter group service centret för dess utgifter, varför det rör sig om avdrag för kostnader i den svenska näringsverksamheten. Dessa kostnader grundas emellertid på schabloner som saknar samband med de tjänster som faktiskt erhålls i det mottagande bolaget. Dylik prissättning är en udda företeelse i vårt svenska beskattningssystem. Dess acceptans är ytterst beroende av rättsområdets internationella komplexitet, vilken synliggörs av att koncerner tillåts vidta affärsmässiga strategier i sin interna handel. Sådan affärsmässighet medför att någon korrigering i princip inte kan ske. Skatteverket har åtminstone fortfarande att vinna ett mål i högsta instans.

Men innebär indirekt prissättning att en del av skattebasen eroderar? Svensk praxis indikerar att det är sannolikt. Även OECD berör problematiken i BEPS Action Plan. Därmed uppstår frågan huruvida någonting kommer att göras åt grundvalarna för dessa indirekta prissättningssystem. Hur förhåller sig den eventuella skatteerosionen till de affärsmässiga skälen? Oklarheten är stor – i september 2015 ges en hint om rättsutvecklingen då OECD skall presentera förslag på nya riktlinjer i frågan. (Less)
Abstract
This essay deals with Transfer Pricing – a field in international tax law which deals with foreign transactions between separate entities in a corporate group. The composition deals with the challenges of aggressive tax planning and base erosion, observed by the OECD in the BEPS-project, which was launched in 2013. The investigation contains a survey of existing law in respect of the arm’s length principle, case law together with the factors that constitute the correct pricing in an individual transaction. Due to the fact that the arm’s length rule is the only regulation a Swedish Administrative Court is formally bound to, this essay starts out from a Swedish perspective. Thereafter the approach shifts to an international angle, and the... (More)
This essay deals with Transfer Pricing – a field in international tax law which deals with foreign transactions between separate entities in a corporate group. The composition deals with the challenges of aggressive tax planning and base erosion, observed by the OECD in the BEPS-project, which was launched in 2013. The investigation contains a survey of existing law in respect of the arm’s length principle, case law together with the factors that constitute the correct pricing in an individual transaction. Due to the fact that the arm’s length rule is the only regulation a Swedish Administrative Court is formally bound to, this essay starts out from a Swedish perspective. Thereafter the approach shifts to an international angle, and the focus is thus centered on sources published by the OECD.

The main focus point in this paper is the issue concerning Swedish case law which approves indirect pricing methods. This acceptance is the result of multinational enterprises centralizing a number of functions in one corporation (so called group service centers). Such indirect pricing typically consists of a service receiving recipient reimbursing the costs of the service provider. The recipient has, in the scope of this paper, its place of residence in Sweden, why the situation relates to cost deductions in the Swedish business. However, the costs incurred are based on templates which lack a connection with the services actually being rendered to the recipient. Such pricing is a divergence in the Swedish taxation system. Its acceptance is ultimately dependent on the international complexity of the area. The approval of commercial strategies in the foreign trade of corporate groups strongly indicates the existence of this complexity. The commercial purpose behind investments or transactions makes it difficult to make corrections in the company’s taxable result. The Swedish Tax Administration has as yet to win a Transfer Pricing case in the Supreme Administrative Court.

The question arises whether these indirect pricing methods lead up to base erosion? Swedish case law implies that it is probable. The OECD also grazes the issue in the BEPS Action Plan. By the purpose of eliminating such tax erosion it is not unlikely the new proposed guidelines in TPG will entail revisions in the groundwork of indirect pricing methods. Further, it is unclear how the possible base erosion relates to the commercial purposes. In September 2015 the OECD shall present a proposal to new general outlines in this respect. Hopefully, we will then receive a hint of the future of the arm’s length principle and indirect pricing methods. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bengtzén, Jesper LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The arm's length principle in Swedish Tax law - and the implications of indirect pricing methods
course
LAGM01 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt, Internprissättning, Transfer Pricing, BEPS, Tax Law, Indirekt prissättning, Indirect pricing methods
language
Swedish
id
5434109
date added to LUP
2015-06-11 20:31:16
date last changed
2015-06-11 20:31:16
@misc{5434109,
  abstract     = {This essay deals with Transfer Pricing – a field in international tax law which deals with foreign transactions between separate entities in a corporate group. The composition deals with the challenges of aggressive tax planning and base erosion, observed by the OECD in the BEPS-project, which was launched in 2013. The investigation contains a survey of existing law in respect of the arm’s length principle, case law together with the factors that constitute the correct pricing in an individual transaction. Due to the fact that the arm’s length rule is the only regulation a Swedish Administrative Court is formally bound to, this essay starts out from a Swedish perspective. Thereafter the approach shifts to an international angle, and the focus is thus centered on sources published by the OECD.

The main focus point in this paper is the issue concerning Swedish case law which approves indirect pricing methods. This acceptance is the result of multinational enterprises centralizing a number of functions in one corporation (so called group service centers). Such indirect pricing typically consists of a service receiving recipient reimbursing the costs of the service provider. The recipient has, in the scope of this paper, its place of residence in Sweden, why the situation relates to cost deductions in the Swedish business. However, the costs incurred are based on templates which lack a connection with the services actually being rendered to the recipient. Such pricing is a divergence in the Swedish taxation system. Its acceptance is ultimately dependent on the international complexity of the area. The approval of commercial strategies in the foreign trade of corporate groups strongly indicates the existence of this complexity. The commercial purpose behind investments or transactions makes it difficult to make corrections in the company’s taxable result. The Swedish Tax Administration has as yet to win a Transfer Pricing case in the Supreme Administrative Court.

The question arises whether these indirect pricing methods lead up to base erosion? Swedish case law implies that it is probable. The OECD also grazes the issue in the BEPS Action Plan. By the purpose of eliminating such tax erosion it is not unlikely the new proposed guidelines in TPG will entail revisions in the groundwork of indirect pricing methods. Further, it is unclear how the possible base erosion relates to the commercial purposes. In September 2015 the OECD shall present a proposal to new general outlines in this respect. Hopefully, we will then receive a hint of the future of the arm’s length principle and indirect pricing methods.},
  author       = {Bengtzén, Jesper},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt,Internprissättning,Transfer Pricing,BEPS,Tax Law,Indirekt prissättning,Indirect pricing methods},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Armlängdsprincipen i svensk rätt - med fokus på indirekta prissättningssystem},
  year         = {2015},
}