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General Anti-Avoidance Rules and Legal Certainty in Sweden, USA and China – A taxation determined by legal culture?

Nyberg Andersson, Markus LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Faculty of Law
Department of Law
Abstract
The occurrence of taxpayers implementing arrangements without commercial purpose to avoid tax laws and reduce their taxation, id est tax avoidance, is counteracted in most legal systems with different methods. Most jurisdictions have implemented not only Specific Anti-Avoidance Rules ("SAARs"), but also General Anti Avoidance Rules ("GAARs") to counteract tax avoidance. The topic of this thesis is GAARs and the conflict between their application and taxpayers’ legal certainty. In the light of this conflict, the thesis examines GAARs in three different legal systems on three continents. Sweden, United States and China all apply a common method to counteract tax avoidance: statutory or judicially developed GAARs. This thesis investigates... (More)
The occurrence of taxpayers implementing arrangements without commercial purpose to avoid tax laws and reduce their taxation, id est tax avoidance, is counteracted in most legal systems with different methods. Most jurisdictions have implemented not only Specific Anti-Avoidance Rules ("SAARs"), but also General Anti Avoidance Rules ("GAARs") to counteract tax avoidance. The topic of this thesis is GAARs and the conflict between their application and taxpayers’ legal certainty. In the light of this conflict, the thesis examines GAARs in three different legal systems on three continents. Sweden, United States and China all apply a common method to counteract tax avoidance: statutory or judicially developed GAARs. This thesis investigates these three GAARs and examines their purpose, design, legal frameworks and application in the light of legal culture and legal certainty by examining each country's government, political governance, legal system and tax law interpretation. The thesis further analyzes how each GAAR in the light of legal culture affects taxpayers’ legal certainty. To achieve this purpose the thesis explores the significance of legal certainty in the countries, what impact GAARs have for taxpayers’ legal certainty, and how legal culture impacts on legal certainty in the application of GAARs. The study shows that the GAARs applied in Sweden, United States and China are very similar in terms of design, purpose and the criteria for application, as well as with regard to the fact that their effectiveness is conflicting with taxpayers’ legal certainty. Despite the fact that the three countries' GAARs are similar, there are however significant differences between their consequences for taxpayers’ legal certainty. The conclusions are that the importance given to taxpayers’ legal certainty vary between the countries, and in the context of GAAR application, there are conflicting interests that may limit taxpayers’ legal certainty. The differences are largely attributable to the legal cultures of Sweden, the United States and China, and the political ideologies dominating each country respectively have proven to have a major impact on the significance given to taxpayers’ legal certainty. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Förekomsten av att skattskyldiga genomför arrangemang utan affärsmässigt syfte för att kringgå skattelagstiftningen och sänka sin beskattning, id est skatteflykt, motverkas i de flesta rättssystem med olika metoder. De flesta jurisdiktioner har implementerat inte endast specifika skatteflyktsregler (”SAARs”), utan även generella så kallade General Anti-Avoidance Rules (”GAARs”) för att motverka skatteflykt. Ämnet för detta examensarbete är konflikten mellan GAARs och skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. I ljuset av denna konflikt undersöker examensarbetet GAARs i tre olika rättssystem på tre kontinenter. Sverige, USA och Kina tillämpar en gemensam metod för att motverka skatteflykt: lagstiftade eller rättspraxisutvecklade GAARs. Detta arbete... (More)
Förekomsten av att skattskyldiga genomför arrangemang utan affärsmässigt syfte för att kringgå skattelagstiftningen och sänka sin beskattning, id est skatteflykt, motverkas i de flesta rättssystem med olika metoder. De flesta jurisdiktioner har implementerat inte endast specifika skatteflyktsregler (”SAARs”), utan även generella så kallade General Anti-Avoidance Rules (”GAARs”) för att motverka skatteflykt. Ämnet för detta examensarbete är konflikten mellan GAARs och skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. I ljuset av denna konflikt undersöker examensarbetet GAARs i tre olika rättssystem på tre kontinenter. Sverige, USA och Kina tillämpar en gemensam metod för att motverka skatteflykt: lagstiftade eller rättspraxisutvecklade GAARs. Detta arbete undersöker dessa tre GAARs och granskar deras syfte, utformning, rättsliga ramverk och tillämpning i ljuset av rättskultur och rättssäkerhet genom att undersöka respektive lands regering, politiska styre, rättssystem och skatterättsliga lagtolkning. Examensarbetet analyserar vidare hur respektive GAAR i ljuset av rättskultur inverkar på skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. För att uppnå detta syfte utröner uppsatsen vilken betydelse rättssäkerhet har inom länderna, vilken inverkan GAARs har för skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet, samt hur rättskulturen inverkar på rättssäkerhet vid tillämpningen av GAARs. Undersökningen visar att de GAARs som tillämpas i Sverige, USA och Kina är mycket likartade vad avser utformning, syfte och kriterier för tillämpning, samt i avseendet att deras effektivitet står i konflikt med skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. Trots att de tre ländernas GAARs är likartade finns emellertid väsentliga skillnader mellan deras konsekvenser för skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. Slutsatserna är att betydelsen som ges till skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet varierar mellan länderna, och i kontexten av GAAR tillämpning finns motstående intressen som kan begränsa skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. Skillnaderna är till stor del hänförbara till rättskulturerna i Sverige, USA och Kina, och de politiska ideologier som dominerar respektive land har visat sig ha stor inverkan på den betydelse som ges till skattskyldigas rättssäkerhet. (Less)
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author
Nyberg Andersson, Markus LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Tax Avoidance, Legal Certainty, GAAR, Sweden, United States, USA, U.S., China, General Anti-Avoidance Rules, Tax law, skatterätt, internationell skatterätt, international tax law, ATAD, BEPS Project, Chinese GAAR, SAAR, OECD, Swedish GAAR, U.S. GAAR, People's Republic of China
language
English
id
8941574
date added to LUP
2018-06-13 10:40:47
date last changed
2018-06-13 10:40:47
@misc{8941574,
  abstract     = {The occurrence of taxpayers implementing arrangements without commercial purpose to avoid tax laws and reduce their taxation, id est tax avoidance, is counteracted in most legal systems with different methods. Most jurisdictions have implemented not only Specific Anti-Avoidance Rules ("SAARs"), but also General Anti Avoidance Rules ("GAARs") to counteract tax avoidance. The topic of this thesis is GAARs and the conflict between their application and taxpayers’ legal certainty. In the light of this conflict, the thesis examines GAARs in three different legal systems on three continents. Sweden, United States and China all apply a common method to counteract tax avoidance: statutory or judicially developed GAARs. This thesis investigates these three GAARs and examines their purpose, design, legal frameworks and application in the light of legal culture and legal certainty by examining each country's government, political governance, legal system and tax law interpretation. The thesis further analyzes how each GAAR in the light of legal culture affects taxpayers’ legal certainty. To achieve this purpose the thesis explores the significance of legal certainty in the countries, what impact GAARs have for taxpayers’ legal certainty, and how legal culture impacts on legal certainty in the application of GAARs. The study shows that the GAARs applied in Sweden, United States and China are very similar in terms of design, purpose and the criteria for application, as well as with regard to the fact that their effectiveness is conflicting with taxpayers’ legal certainty. Despite the fact that the three countries' GAARs are similar, there are however significant differences between their consequences for taxpayers’ legal certainty. The conclusions are that the importance given to taxpayers’ legal certainty vary between the countries, and in the context of GAAR application, there are conflicting interests that may limit taxpayers’ legal certainty. The differences are largely attributable to the legal cultures of Sweden, the United States and China, and the political ideologies dominating each country respectively have proven to have a major impact on the significance given to taxpayers’ legal certainty.},
  author       = {Nyberg Andersson, Markus},
  keyword      = {Tax Avoidance,Legal Certainty,GAAR,Sweden,United States,USA,U.S.,China,General Anti-Avoidance Rules,Tax law,skatterätt,internationell skatterätt,international tax law,ATAD,BEPS Project,Chinese GAAR,SAAR,OECD,Swedish GAAR,U.S. GAAR,People's Republic of China},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {General Anti-Avoidance Rules and Legal Certainty in Sweden, USA and China – A taxation determined by legal culture?},
  year         = {2018},
}