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Generalklausulen i skatteflyktslagen - En regel i behov av förändring?

Ottosson, Lisa LU (2017) JURM02 20171
Department of Law
Abstract
The basis for the funding of welfare systems is a well-functioning tax system. Tax base erosion, founded in tax avoidance, imposes significant costs for both Sweden and other countries and it risks obstructing the funding of the welfare system. General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAARs) is an instrument for countering tax avoidance. For many years, Sweden has had a GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act. In July 2016, the EU adopted the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive aimed to prevent tax avoidance practices. The directive needs to be implemented in Swedish law by the end of 2018. In this paper, GAARs are reviewed and analysed. The compatibility of the GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act and the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive is also... (More)
The basis for the funding of welfare systems is a well-functioning tax system. Tax base erosion, founded in tax avoidance, imposes significant costs for both Sweden and other countries and it risks obstructing the funding of the welfare system. General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAARs) is an instrument for countering tax avoidance. For many years, Sweden has had a GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act. In July 2016, the EU adopted the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive aimed to prevent tax avoidance practices. The directive needs to be implemented in Swedish law by the end of 2018. In this paper, GAARs are reviewed and analysed. The compatibility of the GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act and the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive is also analysed to determine whether the Swedish GAAR needs to be redrafted to correctly implement the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive.

GAARs results in both advantages and disadvantages for states, tax subjects and tax authorities. The purpose behind GAARs is to fill legal gaps where there are no specific rules against tax avoidance. GAARs are often vague in their prerequisites, with generalized wording – creating space for interpretation. Such rules are often criticized from a legal standpoint in terms of foreseeability perspective. GAARs are effective in the sense that it allows the fiscal interest to prevail in collecting taxes which otherwise would have been lost. This, due to the lack of specific rules designed for a certain transaction. It is virtually impossible for legislators to predict all possible tax avoidance transactions in advance, and thus regulating them through specific rules. The criticism expressed, both from critics and supporters of GAARs, are qualified. The advantages of applying GAARs, in my opinion, weighs heavier than the drawbacks.

My conclusion, based on a comparison between the GAARs, are that there are differences as well as similarities. The prerequisites of the GAARs does not appear to be fully compatible. This applies primarily to the third prerequisite of the Swedish GAAR the predominant reason, whereas the EU GAAR establishes a lower requirement. Due to EU legislation, national anti-avoidance rules are not allowed to be more favourable than the minimum rules laid down by the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. Therefore, I conclude that the Swedish GAAR must be redrafted, so the Swedish GAAR is consistent with the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. Exactly what the result of the implementation of the EU GAAR in the Swedish law will be, remains to be seen. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Ett väl fungerande skattesystem utgör basen för finansieringen av välfärdssystemet. Skatteflykt ger upphov till skattebaserosion, ett fenomen som ger upphov till stora kostnader, såväl för Sverige som för andra stater och försvårar finansieringen av välfärdssystemet. Generalklausuler utgör ett verktyg mot skatteflykt. I Sverige finns sedan många år tillbaka en generalklausul mot skatteflykt i skatteflyktslagen. I juli 2016 antogs det så kallade skatteflyktsdirektivet på EU-nivå som syftar till att motverka skatteflyktsmetoder och som ska implementeras i svensk rätt vid utgången av år 2018. I denna uppsats undersöks och analyseras generalklausuler mot skatteflykt. Vidare analyseras generalklausuler mot skatteflykt som ett... (More)
Ett väl fungerande skattesystem utgör basen för finansieringen av välfärdssystemet. Skatteflykt ger upphov till skattebaserosion, ett fenomen som ger upphov till stora kostnader, såväl för Sverige som för andra stater och försvårar finansieringen av välfärdssystemet. Generalklausuler utgör ett verktyg mot skatteflykt. I Sverige finns sedan många år tillbaka en generalklausul mot skatteflykt i skatteflyktslagen. I juli 2016 antogs det så kallade skatteflyktsdirektivet på EU-nivå som syftar till att motverka skatteflyktsmetoder och som ska implementeras i svensk rätt vid utgången av år 2018. I denna uppsats undersöks och analyseras generalklausuler mot skatteflykt. Vidare analyseras generalklausuler mot skatteflykt som ett regleringsinstrument. Likaså analyseras förenligheten mellan generalklausulen i skatteflyktslagen och generalklausulen i skatteflyktsdirektivet i syfte att avgöra huruvida den svenska generalklausulen behöver ändras för en korrekt implementering av generalklausulen i skatteflyktsdirektivet.

Att tillämpa generalklausuler mot skatteflykt resulterar i såväl fördelar som nackdelar för stater, skattskyldiga och skattemyndigheter. Generalklausuler syftar till att täppa igen luckor där specifika regler mot skatteflykt saknas. Generalklausuler utgörs inte sällan av vaga och öppna rekvisit som ger upphov till tolkningsutrymme, vilket kan kritiseras utifrån ett rättssäkerhets- och förutsebarhetsperspektiv. Generalklausuler är effektiva i den meningen att de tillåter fiskalen att driva in skatter som annars hade gått förlorade till följd av avsaknaden av specifika regler mot skatteflyktstransaktioner. För lagstiftaren är det i princip omöjligt att på förhand förutse alla tänkbara skatteflyktstransaktioner och att reglera dessa genom specifika skatteflyktsregler. Kritiken som framförs, från såväl motståndare som förespråkare av generalklausuler, är berättigad. Fördelarna med att tillämpa generalklausuler väger dock, enligt min mening, tyngre än nackdelarna.

Vid en jämförelse av generalklausulerna i skatteflyktslagen och skatteflyktsdirektivet kan det konstateras att det föreligger såväl skillnader som likheter. Generalklausulernas rekvisit synes inte vara fullständigt kompatibla. Det gäller främst det tredje rekvisitet i den svenska generalklausulen det övervägande skälet, där det enligt den EU-rättsliga generalklausulen uppställs ett lägre krav. EU-rätten tillåter inte att nationella skatteflyktsregler är mindre stränga än de minimiregler som uppställs i skatteflyktsdirektivet. Således krävs enligt min mening en ändring av rekvisitet i skatteflyktslagen för att den svenska generalklausulen ska överensstämma med generalklausulen i skatteflyktsdirektivet. Exakt vad som blir resultatet av implementeringen av generalklausulen i svensk rätt återstår att se. (Less)
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author
Ottosson, Lisa LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act - A rule in need of change?
course
JURM02 20171
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt, skatteflykt, generalklausul, skatteflyktslagen, skatteflyktsdirektivet
language
Swedish
id
8908905
date added to LUP
2017-06-14 15:06:15
date last changed
2017-06-14 15:06:15
@misc{8908905,
  abstract     = {The basis for the funding of welfare systems is a well-functioning tax system. Tax base erosion, founded in tax avoidance, imposes significant costs for both Sweden and other countries and it risks obstructing the funding of the welfare system. General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAARs) is an instrument for countering tax avoidance. For many years, Sweden has had a GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act. In July 2016, the EU adopted the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive aimed to prevent tax avoidance practices. The directive needs to be implemented in Swedish law by the end of 2018. In this paper, GAARs are reviewed and analysed. The compatibility of the GAAR in the Swedish Anti-Avoidance Act and the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive is also analysed to determine whether the Swedish GAAR needs to be redrafted to correctly implement the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. 

GAARs results in both advantages and disadvantages for states, tax subjects and tax authorities. The purpose behind GAARs is to fill legal gaps where there are no specific rules against tax avoidance. GAARs are often vague in their prerequisites, with generalized wording – creating space for interpretation. Such rules are often criticized from a legal standpoint in terms of foreseeability perspective. GAARs are effective in the sense that it allows the fiscal interest to prevail in collecting taxes which otherwise would have been lost. This, due to the lack of specific rules designed for a certain transaction. It is virtually impossible for legislators to predict all possible tax avoidance transactions in advance, and thus regulating them through specific rules. The criticism expressed, both from critics and supporters of GAARs, are qualified. The advantages of applying GAARs, in my opinion, weighs heavier than the drawbacks.

My conclusion, based on a comparison between the GAARs, are that there are differences as well as similarities. The prerequisites of the GAARs does not appear to be fully compatible. This applies primarily to the third prerequisite of the Swedish GAAR the predominant reason, whereas the EU GAAR establishes a lower requirement. Due to EU legislation, national anti-avoidance rules are not allowed to be more favourable than the minimum rules laid down by the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. Therefore, I conclude that the Swedish GAAR must be redrafted, so the Swedish GAAR is consistent with the GAAR in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. Exactly what the result of the implementation of the EU GAAR in the Swedish law will be, remains to be seen.},
  author       = {Ottosson, Lisa},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt,skatteflykt,generalklausul,skatteflyktslagen,skatteflyktsdirektivet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Generalklausulen i skatteflyktslagen - En regel i behov av förändring?},
  year         = {2017},
}