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Tax & Legal

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Tax & Legal

No deduction of final branch losses following EU law.


Payments made to a purchaser to compensate for a poor economic position following the transfer of an interest in a partnership may not be deducted from the domestic tax base to the extent they are attributable to a foreign branch (i.e. a permanent establishment for tax treaty purposes) of the partnership. In its decision the Supreme Tax Court cited a decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) from 2015. Continue reading

Curtailment of loss relief for companies in part unconstitutional


The German Constitutional Court held that the rules for curtailment of loss relief on change of shareholders to be in breach of the formal provisions of the constitution under the principle of equal treatment insofar as changes of more than 25% and up to 50% of the shares in a company within a period of five years are concerned. Continue reading

Municipality as a business for VAT


In a recent decision the Supreme Tax Court dealt with the provision of services by public bodies under German VAT law. If the economic activities of a public body are not outstanding and distinct from its overall activities it is not a taxable business for VAT and thus not eligible to deduct input VAT incurred on the underlying costs. Continue reading

Preemptive warnings to competitors subject to VAT


A company dealing in the field of electronic data processing served its competitors with prior written warnings due to violations of general business terms and conditions and received reimbursement of the expenses incurred. The tax office assumed a taxable service being subject to VAT. The Supreme Tax Court confirmed this view. Continue reading

OECD publishes International VAT/GST Guidelines


The International VAT/GST Guidelines now published present a set of internationally agreed standards and recommended approaches to address the issues that arise from the uncoordinated application of national VAT systems in the context of international trade. The Guidelines were adopted as a Recommendation by the Council of the OECD in September 2016. Continue reading