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Två sidor av samma mynt? - En jämförelse av principen om rättshandlingars verkliga innebörd och lagen mot skatteflykt

Jakobsson, Hanna LU (2017) JURM02 20171
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Swedish tax law contains – apart from a vast and detailed tax legislation – two main approaches against the type of tax minimization commonly referred to as tax evasion. These are the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) and the case law based principle that taxation should be based on the true implications of a transaction. According to the Swedish constitution, taxation may only be conducted if there is tax legislation corresponding to the situation at hand. Analogies are not permitted. The vague formulation of the Tax Evasion Law and the case law principle have therefore been questioned.
Tax evasion procedures lead to hundreds of billions SEK being withheld from the treasury every year. Therefore, minimizing these procedures is a... (More)
Swedish tax law contains – apart from a vast and detailed tax legislation – two main approaches against the type of tax minimization commonly referred to as tax evasion. These are the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) and the case law based principle that taxation should be based on the true implications of a transaction. According to the Swedish constitution, taxation may only be conducted if there is tax legislation corresponding to the situation at hand. Analogies are not permitted. The vague formulation of the Tax Evasion Law and the case law principle have therefore been questioned.
Tax evasion procedures lead to hundreds of billions SEK being withheld from the treasury every year. Therefore, minimizing these procedures is a pressing matter for the leadership of this country.
This essay contains a comparison between the Tax Evasion Law and the case law principle. I have asked the question if they are in fact so similar that it could be argued that they are one and the same. To answer this question, I have conducted a relatively extensive case study, the purpose being partly to discover the established law, but also to examine how the first and second instances apply the case law principle. I have also studied the documents of legislative history in which a provision against tax evasion was discussed. This way I have been able to not only assess how the courts handle these matters, but also what is said about tax evasion and the ways to decrease it and how these matters relate to each other.
My research has shown that the case law principle is a method of adjudication and that it is applied in a variety of ways by the courts. The legislator, the courts and the Swedish Tax Authority seem to have different ideas about how and when this method should be applied. Therefore, there is no uniformity in the application. The study of the legal history documents has shown that the case law principle and the GAAR have been considered as two equal methods against tax avoidance throughout. The study of case law has shown that the taxation in many instances turns out identical regardless if the court has
6
applied the case law principle or the GAAR. My conclusion is therefore that the case law principle and the GAAR are – from the standpoint of the questions asked in this essay – so closely related that they could be considered identical. In a wider context the answer might however be another. Difficulties in separating the scope of the methods make my conclusion somewhat less precise. The current situation is however unsatisfactory, and a clarification through case law or new legislation is therefore desirable and urgent. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I svensk rätt finns det – utöver en omfattande skattelagstiftning – två huvudsakliga angreppssätt mot sådant skatteundandragande som vanligen benämns skatteflykt. Dessa består av lagen mot skatteflykt samt en praxisutvecklad princip om att beskattning ska ske på grundval av rättshandlingarnas verkliga innebörd – även kallad genomsynsmetoden. På det skatterättsliga området råder ett absolut föreskriftskrav, och genomsynsmetodens egenskap av praxisprincip och skatteflyktslagens vaga utformning har därför ifrågasatts i den juridiska litteraturen.
Skatteundandragande i olika former innebär att hundratals miljarder kronor årligen undanhålls staten, och att minimera skatteflykten är således en angelägen fråga för det allmänna. I den här... (More)
I svensk rätt finns det – utöver en omfattande skattelagstiftning – två huvudsakliga angreppssätt mot sådant skatteundandragande som vanligen benämns skatteflykt. Dessa består av lagen mot skatteflykt samt en praxisutvecklad princip om att beskattning ska ske på grundval av rättshandlingarnas verkliga innebörd – även kallad genomsynsmetoden. På det skatterättsliga området råder ett absolut föreskriftskrav, och genomsynsmetodens egenskap av praxisprincip och skatteflyktslagens vaga utformning har därför ifrågasatts i den juridiska litteraturen.
Skatteundandragande i olika former innebär att hundratals miljarder kronor årligen undanhålls staten, och att minimera skatteflykten är således en angelägen fråga för det allmänna. I den här uppsatsen har jag jämfört skatteflyktslagen och genomsynsmetoden. Jag har ställt frågan om skatteflyktslagen och genomsynsmetoden i själva verket är så nära sammankopplade att det kan sägas vara fråga om en och samma sak. För att besvara frågeställningen har jag gått igenom ett stort antal rättsfall och analyserat domstolens argumentation. Syftet har inte bara varit att fastställa gällande rätt avseende genomsynsmetoden utan också undersöka hur metoden tillämpas av underinstanserna. Jag har också undersökt de förarbeten som lagts fram genom åren i vilka skatteflykt och en bestämmelse där emot har diskuterats. Härigenom har jag kunnat analysera hur lagen mot skatteflykt och genomsynsmetoden beskrivits och betraktats och hur de förhållit sig till varandra de senaste 100 åren.
Min utredning har visat att genomsyn är en partiell rättstillämpningsmetod som tar sig en mängd olika uttryck i praxis. Lagstiftaren, domstolarna och Skatteverket tycks ha olika uppfattning om metodens räckvidd och det saknas enhetlig tillämpning. Genomgången av förarbetena har visat att genomsynsmetoden och lagen mot skatteflykt genomgående betraktats som två metoder mot skatteflykt, och praxisgenomgången har visat att beskattningskonsekvenserna i många fall blir desamma oavsett om domstolen
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tillämpar genomsynsmetoden eller lagen mot skatteflykt. Sammantaget menar jag att skatteflyktslagen och genomsynsmetoden, i de avseenden som omfattas av uppsatsens frågeställningar, är så närliggande att det kan sägas vara fråga om två identiska metoder mot skatteflykt. Frågan kompliceras emellertid av gränsdragningssvårigheter mellan metodernas tillämpningsområde i en vidare kontext, och detta gör svaret något mindre precist. Jag menar trots detta att det nuvarande rättsläget är otillfredsställande och att det är önskvärt och angeläget med klargörande praxis alternativt en lagreglerad genomsynsprincip. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jakobsson, Hanna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Two Sides of the Same Coin? - A comparison of the case-law principle of true meaning and the Tax Evasion Law
course
JURM02 20171
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
8922323
date added to LUP
2017-08-16 13:37:51
date last changed
2017-08-16 13:37:51
@misc{8922323,
  abstract     = {Swedish tax law contains – apart from a vast and detailed tax legislation – two main approaches against the type of tax minimization commonly referred to as tax evasion. These are the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) and the case law based principle that taxation should be based on the true implications of a transaction. According to the Swedish constitution, taxation may only be conducted if there is tax legislation corresponding to the situation at hand. Analogies are not permitted. The vague formulation of the Tax Evasion Law and the case law principle have therefore been questioned.
Tax evasion procedures lead to hundreds of billions SEK being withheld from the treasury every year. Therefore, minimizing these procedures is a pressing matter for the leadership of this country.
This essay contains a comparison between the Tax Evasion Law and the case law principle. I have asked the question if they are in fact so similar that it could be argued that they are one and the same. To answer this question, I have conducted a relatively extensive case study, the purpose being partly to discover the established law, but also to examine how the first and second instances apply the case law principle. I have also studied the documents of legislative history in which a provision against tax evasion was discussed. This way I have been able to not only assess how the courts handle these matters, but also what is said about tax evasion and the ways to decrease it and how these matters relate to each other.
My research has shown that the case law principle is a method of adjudication and that it is applied in a variety of ways by the courts. The legislator, the courts and the Swedish Tax Authority seem to have different ideas about how and when this method should be applied. Therefore, there is no uniformity in the application. The study of the legal history documents has shown that the case law principle and the GAAR have been considered as two equal methods against tax avoidance throughout. The study of case law has shown that the taxation in many instances turns out identical regardless if the court has
6
applied the case law principle or the GAAR. My conclusion is therefore that the case law principle and the GAAR are – from the standpoint of the questions asked in this essay – so closely related that they could be considered identical. In a wider context the answer might however be another. Difficulties in separating the scope of the methods make my conclusion somewhat less precise. The current situation is however unsatisfactory, and a clarification through case law or new legislation is therefore desirable and urgent.},
  author       = {Jakobsson, Hanna},
  keyword      = {skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Två sidor av samma mynt? - En jämförelse av principen om rättshandlingars verkliga innebörd och lagen mot skatteflykt},
  year         = {2017},
}