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Differentierad utdelning eller lön? - Vad är det HFD gör när de avgör?

Naud Björklund, David LU (2020) LAGF03 20201
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det svenska skattesystemet skiljer mellan olika inkomstslag som beskattas olika. Tanken när systemet infördes var att det skulle kompensera för t.ex. inflationen och att det faktiskt beskattade värdet därigenom skulle bli detsamma. Så blev inte fallet och det är idag mycket lukrativare att föra ut vinst ur bolag genom utdelning än lön.

Eftersom skatterättsliga bestämmelser anknyter till civilrättsliga termer möjliggör den vida avtalsfriheten för skatteskyldiga att påverka beskattningen. För skatterätten som syftar till att generera intäkter att finansiera välfärden och olika samhällsfunktioner är det problematiskt. Som verktyg däremot kan en rättshandlings verkliga innebörd läggas till grund för beskattning. Härigenom ses det av... (More)
Det svenska skattesystemet skiljer mellan olika inkomstslag som beskattas olika. Tanken när systemet infördes var att det skulle kompensera för t.ex. inflationen och att det faktiskt beskattade värdet därigenom skulle bli detsamma. Så blev inte fallet och det är idag mycket lukrativare att föra ut vinst ur bolag genom utdelning än lön.

Eftersom skatterättsliga bestämmelser anknyter till civilrättsliga termer möjliggör den vida avtalsfriheten för skatteskyldiga att påverka beskattningen. För skatterätten som syftar till att generera intäkter att finansiera välfärden och olika samhällsfunktioner är det problematiskt. Som verktyg däremot kan en rättshandlings verkliga innebörd läggas till grund för beskattning. Härigenom ses det av avtalsfriheten konstruerade upplägget igenom. Uppsatsen undersöker hur Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolen gör det.

Utgångspunkten är principen om rättshandlingars verkliga innebörd. Arbetet visar att civilrättsliga begrepp är prejudiciella för beskattning. Emellertid är dessa inte sällan mångtydiga där innebörden varierar beroende på sammanhang. Det gäller alldeles särskilt om termerna fått en skatterättslig modifikation. Härigenom kan domstolen tolka begreppen så att de lämpar sig efter skatterätten.

När domstolen tillämpar metoden på konstruerade utdelningsupplägg beskattar de istället enlig den civilrättsliga innebörden lön eller ersättning för arbetsprestation. Inkomstslagens inbördes hierarki innebär dock att utdelningen borde ges företräde. Därför finner uppsatsen att utdelningsbegreppet fått en skatterättslig modifikation. Det medför att en utdelning som differentieras beroende på vem som äger aktierna och baseras på arbetsprestationen underkänns skatterättsligt. De senaste två rättsfallen som berör området från Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolen kan dessutom innebära att det skatterättsliga begreppet tillåts divergera ytterligare från det civilrättsliga.

Avslutningsvis diskuteras principen verklig innebörd tillämpad på differentierad utdelning med beaktande av rättssäkerhet, närmare bestämt förutsägbarhets- och föreskriftskraven. Arbetet finner att praxis det senaste halvåret visat tendenser som äventyrar förutsägbarheten men ökar skatteeffektiviteten. Vad gäller legalitet beror följsamheten av om utdelningsbegreppet tillåts tolkas ändamålsenligt eller inte. För att slutligt ta ställning uppmanar uppsatsen läsaren att ta ställning mellan rättssäkerhet och skatteffektivitet. (Less)
Abstract
The Swedish tax system distinguishes between different types of income and taxes them differently. The idea when the system was introduced was that it would compensate for e.g. inflation so that the actual taxation would be the same. However, it didn’t work out and today it is much more lucrative to bring out profits from companies through dividends than wages.

Because tax law provisions are linked to civil law concepts, the wide freedom of contract in civil law makes it possible for companies and taxpayers to influence taxation. For tax law, which aims to generate revenue to finance welfare and various social functions, this is problematic. As a tool to combat this, a legal act can be taxed based on its true meaning. Hereby the... (More)
The Swedish tax system distinguishes between different types of income and taxes them differently. The idea when the system was introduced was that it would compensate for e.g. inflation so that the actual taxation would be the same. However, it didn’t work out and today it is much more lucrative to bring out profits from companies through dividends than wages.

Because tax law provisions are linked to civil law concepts, the wide freedom of contract in civil law makes it possible for companies and taxpayers to influence taxation. For tax law, which aims to generate revenue to finance welfare and various social functions, this is problematic. As a tool to combat this, a legal act can be taxed based on its true meaning. Hereby the structure constructed by the freedom of contract is seen through. The essay examines how the Supreme Administrative Court does that.

The starting point is the principle of the true meaning of legal acts. The thesis shows that the taxation should be done on the basis of the civil law concepts. However, they are often ambiguous with a meaning that varies depending on the context. This is especially true if the concepts have been modified in tax law. This allows the court to interpret the concepts so that they are suitable for tax purposes.

When the court applies the method to dividends adapted to influence taxation, they instead tax based on the civil law concept of salary or compensation for work performance. However, the hierarchy of different types of income means that the dividend should be given preference. Therefore, the thesis finds that the concept of dividend has been modified in tax law. This means that if a dividend is differentiated depending on who owns the share and if the differentiation is based on the owner’s work performance the dividend is rejected by tax law. Two resent court cases from the Supreme Administrative Court may enable civil law concepts used in tax law to diverge further from their original meaning in civil law.

Finally, the thesis discusses if the principle of true meaning applied on differentiated dividends complies with the rule of law, more specifically two important principles such as predictability and the legality. The work finds that case law from the past six months may jeopardize predictability but increase tax efficiency. Regarding the principle of legality, the compliance depends on whether the dividend concept is allowed to be interpreted according to the tax purposes. To determine the accordance, the essay encourages the reader to either give preference to the rule of law or tax efficiency. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Naud Björklund, David LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20201
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
finansrätt, fiscal law, skatterätt, differentierad utdelning, principen om verklig innebörd, omklassificering, genomsyn, skatterättslig genomsynsprincip, civilrättsliga begrepp i skatterätten, utdelningsbegreppet
language
Swedish
id
9010932
date added to LUP
2020-09-18 11:40:43
date last changed
2020-09-18 11:40:43
@misc{9010932,
  abstract     = {The Swedish tax system distinguishes between different types of income and taxes them differently. The idea when the system was introduced was that it would compensate for e.g. inflation so that the actual taxation would be the same. However, it didn’t work out and today it is much more lucrative to bring out profits from companies through dividends than wages.

Because tax law provisions are linked to civil law concepts, the wide freedom of contract in civil law makes it possible for companies and taxpayers to influence taxation. For tax law, which aims to generate revenue to finance welfare and various social functions, this is problematic. As a tool to combat this, a legal act can be taxed based on its true meaning. Hereby the structure constructed by the freedom of contract is seen through. The essay examines how the Supreme Administrative Court does that.

The starting point is the principle of the true meaning of legal acts. The thesis shows that the taxation should be done on the basis of the civil law concepts. However, they are often ambiguous with a meaning that varies depending on the context. This is especially true if the concepts have been modified in tax law. This allows the court to interpret the concepts so that they are suitable for tax purposes.

When the court applies the method to dividends adapted to influence taxation, they instead tax based on the civil law concept of salary or compensation for work performance. However, the hierarchy of different types of income means that the dividend should be given preference. Therefore, the thesis finds that the concept of dividend has been modified in tax law. This means that if a dividend is differentiated depending on who owns the share and if the differentiation is based on the owner’s work performance the dividend is rejected by tax law. Two resent court cases from the Supreme Administrative Court may enable civil law concepts used in tax law to diverge further from their original meaning in civil law.

Finally, the thesis discusses if the principle of true meaning applied on differentiated dividends complies with the rule of law, more specifically two important principles such as predictability and the legality. The work finds that case law from the past six months may jeopardize predictability but increase tax efficiency. Regarding the principle of legality, the compliance depends on whether the dividend concept is allowed to be interpreted according to the tax purposes. To determine the accordance, the essay encourages the reader to either give preference to the rule of law or tax efficiency.},
  author       = {Naud Björklund, David},
  keyword      = {finansrätt,fiscal law,skatterätt,differentierad utdelning,principen om verklig innebörd,omklassificering,genomsyn,skatterättslig genomsynsprincip,civilrättsliga begrepp i skatterätten,utdelningsbegreppet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Differentierad utdelning eller lön? - Vad är det HFD gör när de avgör?},
  year         = {2020},
}