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Konstlade upplägg och inte genuina arrangemang - En jämförelse av EU-domsolens praxis med moder- och dotterbolagsdirektivets skatteflyktsklausul

Enocksson, Malin LU (2016) JURM02 20161
Department of Law
Abstract
The European Court of Justice has for several years developed a case law regarding wholly artificial arrangements as a ground for justification to prevent tax avoidance. The last few years, EU has worked to prevent tax avoidance and the Parent- and Subsidiary directive has recently been amended by the introduction of a general anti-abuse rule (GAAR). It is questionable, whether the prerequisite not genuine arrangement has the same meaning as an artificial arrangement. Characteristic for an artificial arrangement is lack of economic reality with a view to avoid tax. To take advantage of a more favourable tax regime with a lower corporate tax rate does not itself constitute tax avoidance. According to the proposal of the amended directive,... (More)
The European Court of Justice has for several years developed a case law regarding wholly artificial arrangements as a ground for justification to prevent tax avoidance. The last few years, EU has worked to prevent tax avoidance and the Parent- and Subsidiary directive has recently been amended by the introduction of a general anti-abuse rule (GAAR). It is questionable, whether the prerequisite not genuine arrangement has the same meaning as an artificial arrangement. Characteristic for an artificial arrangement is lack of economic reality with a view to avoid tax. To take advantage of a more favourable tax regime with a lower corporate tax rate does not itself constitute tax avoidance. According to the proposal of the amended directive, the general anti-abuse rule refers to counteract aggressive tax planning. Which the commission has specified as taking advantage of technicalities of one or more tax regimes through legal arrangements which however contradict the intent of the law. Characteristic for a not genuine arrangement is that the arrangement is not imposed by valid commercial reasons that reflect economic reality.

There are both similarities and differences between the terms artificial arrangement and a not genuine arrangement. An argument for that both terms are equivalent is that the general anti-abuse rule refers to artificial arrangements and to the ECJ:s case law regarding wholly artificial arrangements, but the wording “ artificial arrangement” has been replaced to “not genuine arrangement” in the amended directive, which rather is an argument against equivalence. A key difference is the requirement of commercial reasons. It can only be an artificial arrangement if there is no economic reality, while it is sufficient for a not genuine arrangement that there is no valid commercial reason. The point that the proposal of the amended directive refers to the commission’s recommendation on aggressive tax planning argues that the terms doesn´t counter the same purpose.

In the light of the above mentioned, its questionable whether the meaning of the terms are intended to be the same. The case law regarding artificial arrangements are aimed to solely counteract tax avoidance, while the general anti-abuse rule also seeks to counter aggressive tax planning. As the terms, according to my opinion, are not equivalent to each other there is an obvious risk in the application of ECJ:s case law that the comparison will be the same as comparing apples and pears. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
EU-domstolen har sedan flera år utvecklat en praxis avseende rent konstlade upplägg som rättfärdigandegrund för motverkande av skatteflykt. EU har sedan några år arbetat med att förhindra skatteflykt och har nyligen förändrat moder- och dotterbolagsdirektivet genom införandet av en generell skatteflyktsklausul (GAAR). Det kan ifrågasättas huruvida innebörden är densamma i rekvisitet inte genuint arrangemang som i ett konstlat upplägg. Ett konstlat upplägg är för handen om upplägget saknar ekonomisk förankring samt om det vidtagits i syfte att undvika skatt. Att dra nytta av ett förmånligare skattesystem med lägre bolagsskattesats utgör inte i sig skatteflykt. Den generella skatteflyktsklausulen syftar till att motverka aggressiv... (More)
EU-domstolen har sedan flera år utvecklat en praxis avseende rent konstlade upplägg som rättfärdigandegrund för motverkande av skatteflykt. EU har sedan några år arbetat med att förhindra skatteflykt och har nyligen förändrat moder- och dotterbolagsdirektivet genom införandet av en generell skatteflyktsklausul (GAAR). Det kan ifrågasättas huruvida innebörden är densamma i rekvisitet inte genuint arrangemang som i ett konstlat upplägg. Ett konstlat upplägg är för handen om upplägget saknar ekonomisk förankring samt om det vidtagits i syfte att undvika skatt. Att dra nytta av ett förmånligare skattesystem med lägre bolagsskattesats utgör inte i sig skatteflykt. Den generella skatteflyktsklausulen syftar till att motverka aggressiv skatteplanering enligt förslaget till ändringsdirektivet. Något som kommissionen preciserat som att en skattskyldig drar nytta av teknikaliteter i ett eller flera skattesystem genom arrangemang som i och för sig är lagliga, men som strider mot lagstiftningens syfte. Medan med ett inte genuint arrangemang avses sådana arrangemang som ej införts av giltiga kommersiella skäl som återspeglar den ekonomiska verkligheten.

Det finns både likheter och skillnader mellan termerna konstlat upplägg och inte genuina arrangemang. För att termerna är ekvivalenta talar att förslaget till den generella skatteflyktsklausulen hänvisar till artificiella arrangemang samt EU-domstolens praxis avseende rent konstlade upplägg, men i ändringsdirektivets lydelse har artificiella arrangemang ersatts mot ”inte genuina arrangemang”, vilket snarare är ett argument emot. En väsentlig skillnad återfinns i kravet på kommersiella skäl. Det kan enbart vara fråga om ett konstlat upplägg då en ekonomisk förankring helt saknas, medan det vid ett icke genuint arrangemang är tillräckligt att det saknas giltiga kommersiella skäl. Att förslaget till den generella skatteflyktsklausulen dessutom hänvisar till kommissionens rekommendation mot aggressiv skatteplanering talar för att termerna inte avser motverka samma sak.

Mot bakgrund av ovanstående kan det ifrågasättas om innebörden av termerna verkligen avsetts vara densamma. Den praxis som finns avseende konstlade upplägg syftar enbart till motverkande av skatteflykt, medan den generella skatteflyktsklausulen syftar även till att motverka aggressiv skatteplanering. Då termerna enligt min mening inte kan sägas vara ekvivalenta finns det en uppenbar risk vid tillämpning av EU-domstolens praxis att det är äpplen och päron som jämförs. (Less)
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author
Enocksson, Malin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Artificial arrangements and not genuine arrangements - A comparison of ECJ:s case law with the General Anti-Abuse Rule in the Parent- and Subsidiary Directive
course
JURM02 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt, EU-rätt, skatteflykt
language
Swedish
id
8874944
date added to LUP
2016-06-09 09:21:51
date last changed
2016-06-09 09:21:51
@misc{8874944,
  abstract     = {The European Court of Justice has for several years developed a case law regarding wholly artificial arrangements as a ground for justification to prevent tax avoidance. The last few years, EU has worked to prevent tax avoidance and the Parent- and Subsidiary directive has recently been amended by the introduction of a general anti-abuse rule (GAAR). It is questionable, whether the prerequisite not genuine arrangement has the same meaning as an artificial arrangement. Characteristic for an artificial arrangement is lack of economic reality with a view to avoid tax. To take advantage of a more favourable tax regime with a lower corporate tax rate does not itself constitute tax avoidance. According to the proposal of the amended directive, the general anti-abuse rule refers to counteract aggressive tax planning. Which the commission has specified as taking advantage of technicalities of one or more tax regimes through legal arrangements which however contradict the intent of the law. Characteristic for a not genuine arrangement is that the arrangement is not imposed by valid commercial reasons that reflect economic reality. 

There are both similarities and differences between the terms artificial arrangement and a not genuine arrangement. An argument for that both terms are equivalent is that the general anti-abuse rule refers to artificial arrangements and to the ECJ:s case law regarding wholly artificial arrangements, but the wording “ artificial arrangement” has been replaced to “not genuine arrangement” in the amended directive, which rather is an argument against equivalence. A key difference is the requirement of commercial reasons. It can only be an artificial arrangement if there is no economic reality, while it is sufficient for a not genuine arrangement that there is no valid commercial reason. The point that the proposal of the amended directive refers to the commission’s recommendation on aggressive tax planning argues that the terms doesn´t counter the same purpose. 

In the light of the above mentioned, its questionable whether the meaning of the terms are intended to be the same. The case law regarding artificial arrangements are aimed to solely counteract tax avoidance, while the general anti-abuse rule also seeks to counter aggressive tax planning. As the terms, according to my opinion, are not equivalent to each other there is an obvious risk in the application of ECJ:s case law that the comparison will be the same as comparing apples and pears.},
  author       = {Enocksson, Malin},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt,EU-rätt,skatteflykt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Konstlade upplägg och inte genuina arrangemang - En jämförelse av EU-domsolens praxis med moder- och dotterbolagsdirektivets skatteflyktsklausul},
  year         = {2016},
}