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Affärsmässigt motiverat i ränteavdragsbegränsningsreglerna - om vaga rekvisit i förhållande till skattelag och den svenska rättsordningen

Waering, Amelie LU (2016) LAGM01 20152
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Sveriges riksdag och regering har under de senaste decennierna kommit att engagera sig allt mer i arbetet för att stävja skatteflyktens utbredning. I arbetet har inte minst olika lagtekniska lösningar utvecklats och implementerats i syfte att förhindra multinationella företags möjligheter att genom skatteplanering urholka den nationella skattebasen. Förfaranden där koncerninterna lån upptogs med avdragsgilla räntekostnader som resultat, fick särskild uppmärksamhet i en utredning som år 2009 utmynnade i de nya ränteavdragsbegränsningsreglerna och den så kallade ventilen. Enligt denna är det en prövning av omständigheterna kring lånet - och det eventuella förvärvet - mot rekvisitet affärsmässigt motiverat, som avgör huruvida avdrag för... (More)
Sveriges riksdag och regering har under de senaste decennierna kommit att engagera sig allt mer i arbetet för att stävja skatteflyktens utbredning. I arbetet har inte minst olika lagtekniska lösningar utvecklats och implementerats i syfte att förhindra multinationella företags möjligheter att genom skatteplanering urholka den nationella skattebasen. Förfaranden där koncerninterna lån upptogs med avdragsgilla räntekostnader som resultat, fick särskild uppmärksamhet i en utredning som år 2009 utmynnade i de nya ränteavdragsbegränsningsreglerna och den så kallade ventilen. Enligt denna är det en prövning av omständigheterna kring lånet - och det eventuella förvärvet - mot rekvisitet affärsmässigt motiverat, som avgör huruvida avdrag för räntekostnaderna ska medges eller ej. Rekvisitets egentliga innehåll har dock alltsedan dess ifrågasatts, och dess innebörd är fortfarande inte klarlagd.

I denna uppsats utreds varför rekvisitet affärsmässigt motiverat har kommit att vålla sådana bekymmer inom den svenska rättsordningen, och då särskilt för förhandsbeskedsinstitutet Skatterättsnämnden och HFD. Fokus för uppsatsen ligger på rekvisitets förhållande till, och förenlighet med, de ramar som den svenska rättsordningen sätter upp och verkar inom. Detta med särskild tyngdpunkt på de för skatterättens vidkommande avgörande rättsliga principerna för upprätthållandet av rättssäkerheten. I en undersökning av andra rättsordningars lagtekniska lösningar på området som reglerar företags möjligheter till ränteavdrag belyses för- och nackdelar med vaga rekvisit respektive precisa och mätbara sådana.

En slutsats som kan dras utifrån uppsatsens utredning är att lagregler innehållande vaga och öppna rekvisit inte alltid, men under vissa omständigheter, ger upphov till större rättsosäkerhet än motsvarande precisa och mätbara regler. En sådan omständighet är att inte klargörande praxisutveckling sker. I Sverige kan en del av förklaringen till avsaknaden av sådan praxis återfinnas i svensk domstols formalistiska inställning till tolkning av skatterätten, en inställning som kan ses som grundad på bland annat rättsliga principer och den svenska rättskulturen. När förutsebarheten avseende en bestämmelses tillämpning är låg och inte ökar genom praxisskapande försvagas inte bara rättssäkerheten utan dessutom bestämmelsens effektivitet. Samtidigt visar undersökningen av de mekanismer som följer med användandet av mer precisa och mätbara rekvisit att sådana å sin sida riskerar att öka förekomsten av diverse kringgåendeförfaranden, vilket även det minskar reglernas effektivitet. Sammanfattningsvis kan konstateras att rekvisitet affärsmässigt motiverat, inom ramen för ränteavdragsbegränsningsreglerna och skattelag i synnerhet, ger upphov till bekymmer i relation till såväl rättssäkerhetskravet som strävan efter hög effektivitet. I skapandet av regler som ska skydda den svenska skattebasen måste målet tvärtom vara att ge uttryck för båda dessa värden, i en välavvägd balans. (Less)
Abstract
During the last decades the Swedish parliament and government have become increasingly engaged in their efforts to prevent the spread of tax avoidance. This includes a development of different technical legal tools implemented with the purpose to minimise the possibilities for multinational corporations to hollow the national tax base through certain forms of tax planning. Procedures comprising of inter-group loans with deductible interest costs as an effect were particularly attended to in the investigation leading up to the new rules on limitation regarding the possibility for such deductions, which were introduced in the year of 2009. Since, according to the main rule, inter-group interest costs are no longer deductible. An exception... (More)
During the last decades the Swedish parliament and government have become increasingly engaged in their efforts to prevent the spread of tax avoidance. This includes a development of different technical legal tools implemented with the purpose to minimise the possibilities for multinational corporations to hollow the national tax base through certain forms of tax planning. Procedures comprising of inter-group loans with deductible interest costs as an effect were particularly attended to in the investigation leading up to the new rules on limitation regarding the possibility for such deductions, which were introduced in the year of 2009. Since, according to the main rule, inter-group interest costs are no longer deductible. An exception from this rule is nevertheless applicable if the circumstances surrounding the loan - and the eventual acquisition - are commercially motivated. If so, the interest costs are consequently allowed as deductible. The term commercially motivated has however since its introduction been questioned, and its meaning is still not clarified.

In this essay an examination is made as to why the term commercially motivated has caused such troubles within the Swedish legal system, especially for the institution Skatterättsnämnden and the highest administrative court HFD. The focus is set on the term’s relation to - and compatibility with – the frames set up by the Swedish legal system. A particular emphasis is laid on the principles maintaining the value of legal certainty, especially in the field of tax law. In an investigation of different technical legal solutions regulating the possibilities of corporations to deduct interest costs in other legal systems, the advantages and disadvantages following the use of vague terms and the respective precise and measurable ones, are highlighted.

A conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that rules containing vague and open terms under some circumstances weaken the legal certainty, in contrast to the use of more precise and measurable rules. The lack of a development in court giving rise to clarifying precedents is identified as one such circumstance. In a Swedish context, part of the explanation to this situation might be the courts formalistic understanding on their role in interpreting and applying tax law. This can be viewed as in part based on legal principles and the Swedish legal culture. When the foreseeability regarding a certain rule is low and does not increase, not only the value of legal certainty but also the effectiveness of the rule declines. On the other hand, the use of precise and measurable rules brings a greater risk of added attempts to circumvent the law, which harms their effectiveness. In sum it can be stated that the term commercially motivated, particularly when used within the Swedish interest deduction limitation rules, interferes with both the demand for legal certainty as well as the strive for effectiveness. The goal when implementing rules to protect the Swedish tax base must be to find the ideal balance between these two values. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Waering, Amelie LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Commercially motivated in rules on interest deduction limitation - vague terms in relation to tax law and the swedish legal system
course
LAGM01 20152
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
skatterätt, ränteavdragsbegränsningsregler
language
Swedish
id
8514551
date added to LUP
2016-02-08 11:26:55
date last changed
2016-02-08 11:26:55
@misc{8514551,
  abstract     = {During the last decades the Swedish parliament and government have become increasingly engaged in their efforts to prevent the spread of tax avoidance. This includes a development of different technical legal tools implemented with the purpose to minimise the possibilities for multinational corporations to hollow the national tax base through certain forms of tax planning. Procedures comprising of inter-group loans with deductible interest costs as an effect were particularly attended to in the investigation leading up to the new rules on limitation regarding the possibility for such deductions, which were introduced in the year of 2009. Since, according to the main rule, inter-group interest costs are no longer deductible. An exception from this rule is nevertheless applicable if the circumstances surrounding the loan - and the eventual acquisition - are commercially motivated. If so, the interest costs are consequently allowed as deductible. The term commercially motivated has however since its introduction been questioned, and its meaning is still not clarified. 

In this essay an examination is made as to why the term commercially motivated has caused such troubles within the Swedish legal system, especially for the institution Skatterättsnämnden and the highest administrative court HFD. The focus is set on the term’s relation to - and compatibility with – the frames set up by the Swedish legal system. A particular emphasis is laid on the principles maintaining the value of legal certainty, especially in the field of tax law. In an investigation of different technical legal solutions regulating the possibilities of corporations to deduct interest costs in other legal systems, the advantages and disadvantages following the use of vague terms and the respective precise and measurable ones, are highlighted. 

A conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that rules containing vague and open terms under some circumstances weaken the legal certainty, in contrast to the use of more precise and measurable rules. The lack of a development in court giving rise to clarifying precedents is identified as one such circumstance. In a Swedish context, part of the explanation to this situation might be the courts formalistic understanding on their role in interpreting and applying tax law. This can be viewed as in part based on legal principles and the Swedish legal culture. When the foreseeability regarding a certain rule is low and does not increase, not only the value of legal certainty but also the effectiveness of the rule declines. On the other hand, the use of precise and measurable rules brings a greater risk of added attempts to circumvent the law, which harms their effectiveness. In sum it can be stated that the term commercially motivated, particularly when used within the Swedish interest deduction limitation rules, interferes with both the demand for legal certainty as well as the strive for effectiveness. The goal when implementing rules to protect the Swedish tax base must be to find the ideal balance between these two values.},
  author       = {Waering, Amelie},
  keyword      = {skatterätt,ränteavdragsbegränsningsregler},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Affärsmässigt motiverat i ränteavdragsbegränsningsreglerna - om vaga rekvisit i förhållande till skattelag och den svenska rättsordningen},
  year         = {2016},
}