PwC

Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

Assignment of players as gift to a football club


In a decision on 30 August 2017 the Supreme Tax Court held that where a third party provides his employees to a football club to serve as players, trainers or counsellors without receiving adequate consideration, the waiver of such compensation is to be considered as a taxable gift of the third party to the football club. Continue reading

Input VAT Refund: transmission of scanned invoice copies


Under the German VAT Implementation Regulations (Regulation 61 (2) 3rd Sentence – in the version valid until 29 December 2014), the condition that a “copy” of an invoice is to be attached to the input VAT refund application in electronic form, is met when the document which has been electronically transmitted is a faithful replication of the invoice. Continue reading

German exclusion from withholding tax relief in conflict with EU law? UPDATE


The German anti- treaty shopping rule denying full or partial relief from withholding tax, as otherwise prescribed under a double tax treaty or applicable EU directive, is questioned by the Lower Tax Court of Cologne as being in violation of community law. The question has been referred to the ECJ in number of cases. Continue reading

Commercial transactions between friends; recognition of losses


On 8 November 2017 the Supreme Tax Court published a decision made on 9 May 2017 on a case involving a gratuitous share transfer between friends, where the transferor had significant acquisition costs. The Court held that the presumption of a commercial transaction is not rebutted purely because a friendship exists between the contracting parties. Continue reading

Tax Consolidation Groups (“Organschaft”) for income tax purposes: Compensation payments to minority shareholders; failure to amend to “old agreements” of a GmbH following Section 302 (4) Stock Corporation Act.


According to a decision of the Supreme Tax Court published on 9 November 2017 a profit pooling agreement will not be recognised for tax purposes where the compensation agreement with the external shareholder contains both the right to a variable compensation payment calculated on the basis of the profits of the subsidiary/controlled company/”Organgesellschaft” (“subsidiary”) and a fixed amount. This also applies to subsidiaries in the form of a GmbH (i.e. limited companies as well as to public limited/stock companies (AGs)). The Supreme Tax Court also ruled that the requirement of Section 17 2nd Sentence No. 2 Corporation Tax Act (old version), according to which the assumption of losses was to be expressly agreed in the profit pooling agreement of a GmbH in accordance with Section 302 (4) Stock Corporation Act, was not only to be complied with at the time of conclusion of the agreement but also in each of the following years. It followed that those parts of the Section 302 regulation which had not entered into force at the time of the conclusion of the contract were also to be taken into consideration. Thus where a loss assumption agreement is not inserted into an “old” profit pooling agreement, (i.e. one concluded prior to the entry into force of Section 302 (4) Stock Corporation Act), in order to meet the requirements of the amended section and where this omission was not subsequently redressed under the amnesty rule, the Organschaft was no longer to be recognised for income tax purposes. Continue reading

Disposals of shares by limited taxpayers: no add-back of fictitious business expenses without domestic branch


The Supreme Tax Court has ruled that where a limited taxpayer has no permanent establishment (branch/permanent representative) located in Germany, the add-back of fictitious business expenses cannot be applied. Continue reading

VAT: Referrals to European Court of Justice on imputed taxation (“Sollbesteuerung”) and margin-scheme taxation.


Supreme Tax Court judges have expressed doubt both upon the previously uncontested obligation of entrepreneurs subject to the so-called imputed taxation (“Sollbesteuerung) to pre-finance VAT and upon the exclusion of the reduced VAT rate on the provision of holiday apartment rentals according to the so-called margin-scheme taxation. The Supreme Tax Court has therefore referred two cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) (i) referral of 21 June 2017: V R 51/16; and (ii) referral of 3 August 2017: V R 60/16. Continue reading

No pro-rata reduction of tax-free allowance for non-resident beneficiaries


The ECJ has previously held that the German inheritance and gift tax option according to which a higher exempt amount is available where one beneficiary is resident does not fully resolve the conflict with EU law arising from the lower personal allowances for non-residents. In consequence and considering the relevant ECJ case law the Supreme Tax Court ruled in favour of a Swiss-resident widow and granted the full higher tax-free allowance for spouses of €500,000 irrespective of the total inheritance transferred which also included foreign property not subject to German tax. Continue reading