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Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

Free movement of capital in cases of shareholdings of at least 10%


In its judgement of 24 July 2018, published on 30 January 2019, the Supreme Tax Court held that with regard to national provisions with a requirement of a minimum shareholding of at least 10%, the principle of the free movement of capital is not blocked by the principle of freedom of establishment. Whilst the judgement specifically related to a legal provision, which is no longer applicable, it represents a departure by the Supreme Tax Court from its previous view on this issue. Continue reading

Trade tax: Dividend income exemption in case of double residence


According to the Lower Tax Court of Hesse, the dividend income exemption for trade tax on qualifying shareholdings is also available for distributions of companies of foreign legal form – provided the foreign company is comparable to a German corporation, has its place of management and thus a permanent establishment in Germany. Continue reading

Distinction between the interruption of a business and its termination


In its judgment of 18 July 2018 published on 23 July 2019, the Supreme Tax Court decided that, where – looking at the situation from an objective point of view – it would be possible for the taxpayer to continue his business, it should be considered as interrupted rather than terminated. Furthermore, the Court held that the taxpayer could not submit a termination declaration and retain the business infrastructure without making any significant changes. Continue reading

Catering costs on film set not fully deductible as business expenses


Only 70 per cent of the costs incurred by a film production company for meals and drinks distributed free of charge to the persons employed at the film location for the production of the recordings can be deducted as business expenses, provided that the meals and drinks are also distributed to those persons who are not employees of the company itself, but who, for example, participate in the production of the set as employees of the participating television stations. Continue reading

Double tax treaties: recognition of losses from a Belgian permanent establishment.


Section 50d (9) Income Tax Act (ITA) excludes a tax exemption in Germany under a double tax treaty where, inter alia, the income is not taxed in the other treaty state. In a decision of the Supreme Tax Court published on 19 December 2018, the Court held that the term “income” in this context applied to both positive and negative income. Thus, provided that the other conditions set out in Section 50d (9) have been met, losses, which were originally excluded as tax-free treaty income, could, be deducted from domestic taxable income, regardless of the treaty. Continue reading

Input VAT deduction available despite missing details on the date of supply


For the purposes of input VAT deduction, the necessary information about the tax point (the date of the supply) may be inferred from the date on which an invoice was issued, if it can be assumed that the service was provided in the month in which invoice was issued.  The Supreme Tax Court also confirmed European Court of Justice case law, according to which a retroactive adjustment of the invoice reverts to the year of its issue. Continue reading