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Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

Current version of German anti-treaty shopping legislation is also incompatible with EU law


On 25 June 2018, the European Court of Justice published its decision of 14 June 2018 concerning the current version of the German anti-treaty /anti-directive shopping legislation. Again, the ECJ found that the provision both contravened the Parent/Subsidiary Directive and constituted a restriction of the freedom of establishment. Continue reading

German CFC rules may be compatible with EU law


The European Court of Justice held that the German CFC regulations – as such – do not generally pose a restriction on the freedom of establishment. It is up to the referring court, however, to decide whether the legislation did in fact give the taxpayer the chance to prove that the terms were agreed on for commercial reasons resulting from its status as a shareholder of the non-resident company.
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ECJ decision German CFC regulations to be published on 31 May 2018


The publication of the decision of the European Court for Justice (ECJ) in the Hornbach-Baumarkt case is scheduled for 31 May 2018. The case revolves around the question whether Section 1 of the Foreign Transaction Tax Act (“FTTA” – in the version in force in 2003) violates the freedom of establishment. The section in question calls for income corrections to be made on related party transactions which are not considered to have been concluded at arm’s length. Continue reading

Compatibility of Dutch group taxation regime with EU fundamental freedom of establishment


The European Court of Justice issued a joint judgment in two cases regarding the Dutch group taxation regime under which a parent company is not allowed to deduct interest in respect of a loan taken from a Swedish related company in order to finance its capital contribution to an Italian subsidiary. This is held to be in conflict with the EU freedom of establishment. On the other hand, the refusal to deduct currency losses resulting from fluctuations in the exchange rate is viewed by the court as being not in violation of EU-law. Continue reading

European Court of Justice: customs values and the recognition of transfer pricing adjustments


In its decision in Hamamatsu Photonics Deutschland (C-529/16) the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that Articles 28 to 31 of the Customs Code (old version) must be interpreted as meaning that they do not permit an agreed transaction value, composed of an amount initially invoiced and declared and a flat-rate adjustment made after the end of the accounting period, to form the basis for the customs value, without it being possible to know at the end of the accounting period whether that adjustment would be made up or down. Continue reading

German taxation of dividends paid to Canadian pension fund in conflict with EU law?


The Lower Tax Court of Munich referred preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice regarding the compatibility of the German regime of dividend withholding tax imposed on a Canadian pension fund with the free movement of capital as provided in Article 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Continue reading

ECJ – German Anti-Treaty-Shopping Rule infringes EU law


On 20 December 2017 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its decision on two cases referred to it by the Cologne Tax Court on the compatibility of the anti-abuse rule in Section 50d Income Tax Act (ITA) with EU law. According to Section 50d (3) ITA certain intermediary foreign companies are not entitled to a (full or partial) refund of German withholding tax; without a preceding oral hearing the ECJ took the view that the section was incompatible with both the Parent-Subsidiary Directive and the freedom of establishment. – See update further below! Continue reading

VAT: Divergent treatment of discounts on medicinal products violates EU law


On 20 December 2017 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the divergent VAT treatment of discounts granted by pharmaceutical companies (i.e. trader/entrepreneur for VAT purposes) to statutory (public) health insurance funds and private health insurance funds constitutes an infringement of EU law. The ECJ followed the Advocate General’s opinion and confirmed the doubts of the German Supreme Tax Court which had referred the question to the ECJ under reference V R 42/15. Continue reading