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Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

European Court of Justice: Final Losses


The European Court of Justice held in its decision Memira Holding AB issued on 19 June 2019 that when assessing whether the losses of a non-resident subsidiary are final within the meaning of its judgment in Marks & Spencer on 13 December 2005 (C446/03), the fact that, in the event of a merger, the subsidiarys Member State of establishment does not does not allow the losses of one company to be transferred to another company liable for corporation tax, is not decisive, unless the parent company can demonstrate that it is impossible for it to deduct those losses through ensuring that – in particular by means of a sale- the losses are fiscally taken into account by a third party for future tax periods. Continue reading

Locker can constitute a fixed place of business for double tax treaty purposes


The Supreme Tax Court refused to overturn the tax court’s decision to refuse leave to appeal, agreeing with the lower court that a locker can constitute a fixed place of business within the meaning of Article XI Paragraph 1 of the German/British double tax treaty. Continue reading

R&D Subsidy Bill


The government draft bill, published on 22 May 2019, provides for the introduction of a subsidy for research and development (R&D). The subsidy – up to a maximum amount of €500,000 – should be available to all taxpaying businesses regardless size, profitability or purpose. The aim is to make Germany more attractive for investment generally and in particular for start-ups. The promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises is a particular focus but the desire remains to promote larger enterprises also. The planned law is to be re-evaluated five years after its entry into force to examine whether its aims, in particular its contribution to the promotion of Germany as a centre of innovation, are met. Continue reading

German Finance Minister talks “minimum taxation”


According to various statements of the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on 22 May 2019, a system of international minimum taxation will be discussed at the forthcoming G20 (June 2019) and G7 (August 2019) meetings. The aim is to agree such a system (within the terms of the Global Anti-Base Erosion “GloBE” agenda and given the name “BEPS 2.0”) with the other 128 states of the OECD in the Summer of 2020. Continue reading

State of Lower Saxony Tax Authorities issue directive announcing deviation from the rule of discounting certain liabilities during low- /negative- interest phases for banks


According to Section 6(1) no. 3 Income Tax Act, non-interest-bearing liabilities with terms of at least 12 months, which do not constitute a deposit or advance payment, are to be discounted, i.e. a fictitious interest component (interest rate 5.5%) is initially deducted from profits and added back to profits in subsequent years as notional interest over the term of the loan.
The directive states that, for certain liabilities of banks, no discounting within the meaning of Section 6(1) no. 3 Income Tax Act should occur.
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Ministry of Finance release new form for reporting foreign relationships


The Ministry of Finance has published a new form for reporting foreign relationships according to Section 138 (2) of the General Tax Code (GTC). The new form replaces the form originally included in the Ministry of Finance’s guidelines on the application of Section 138 (2) and Section 138b of the GTC dated 5 February 2018. Continue reading

Newsflash: Supreme Tax Court changes its case law regarding the blocking effect of Art. 9 (1) of the OECD Model Tax Convention


According to the Supreme Tax Court in its ruling of 27 February 2019, published on 15 May 2019, and contrary to its previous case law, Article 9 (1) of the OECD Model Tax Convention, does not prohibit an income adjustment under domestic transfer pricing rules, where the write-off of an unsecured group loan is not recognised as a deduction from taxable profits. Continue reading

Tax exemption on gains from share disposals available to financial undertakings resident in third countries


Gains realised by financial undertakings resident in third countries on the disposal of shares are fully exempt from corporation tax. In these proceedings,the Hessian Tax Court considered whether the exclusion from the benefit of the participation exemption under Section 8b (7) of the Corporation Tax Act also applied to credit institutions and financial services institutions not resident in the EU/EEA. Continue reading

Finance Bill 2019: proposed changes to the real estate transfer tax regulations in the case of so-called shares deals


Following the discussions of the Conference of Finance Ministers of the Federal States, the government has included in the Finance Bill 2019 amended regulations in respect of so-called “share deals” in real estate transactions. Aim of the proposed rules is a tightening of the financial framework around the indirect “transfers” of real estate held through companies and other associations of persons. The draft bill includes the following amendments: Continue reading

Draft Finance Bill 2019: Bill for the Further Tax Stimulation of Electric Mobility and on the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations


On 8 May 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance published a draft bill for the proposed legislation on the further tax stimulation of electro-mobility and changes to other tax regulations. The proposed Act on the Further Tax Stimulation of Electric Mobility and on the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations provides for measures for to give tax incentives to environmentally friendly mobility, as well as providing amendments to various areas of tax legislation requiring technical adjustments.further The draft also looks to introduce legislation to combat tax structuring schemes and secure tax revenue. Furthermore, the draft bill integrates makes necessary alignements to EU law and case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The draft bill also contains the expected regulations to limit of  the avoidance of real estate transfer tax through so-called share deals. Continue reading