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Abstract

This article aims to give an overview of the rules concerning taxation of companies in Sweden and of trends in the taxation of companies that have been evident in the last few years. It focuses in particular on issues that are connected with the so-called BEPS discussion, for instance interest deduction limitations, CFC rules, general anti-avoidance rules and other rules intended to protect the national tax base. It also sets out to describe other important features of the Swedish tax legislation in regard to companies, such as the rules on taxation of inbound and outbound dividends, interest and royalty.

Abstract

This article investigates if increasing neutrality between debt and equity capital might improve the efficiency in a corporate tax system. Firm-level and sector- level taxation data from Sweden is used to study if a tax system that is characterized by very few limitations with respect to the deductibility of interest costs leads to systematic differences in the taxes paid by different sectors. This paper finds that there are differences between different sectors’ tax payments and these differences can be explained by the sectors’ use of debt capital.

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Abstract

This paper examines the development of taxation in Sweden from 1862 to 2010. The examination includes six key aspects of the Swedish tax system, namely the taxation of labor income, capital income, wealth, inheritances and gifts, consumption and real estate. The importance of these taxes varied greatly over time and Sweden increasingly relied on broad-based taxes (such as income taxes and general consumption taxes) and taxes that were less visible to the public (such as payroll taxes and social security contributions). The tax-to-GDP ratio was initially low and relatively stable, but from the 1930s, the ratio increased sharply for nearly 50 years. Towards the end of the period, the tax-to-GDP ratio declined significantly.

Abstract

Dansk skatteret har i årtier anerkendt, at skatteyderne - under nærmere angivne betingelser - har mulighed for såkaldt “omgørelse”. Herved har skatteyderne mulighed for at undgå en uforudset og uventet beskatning, som kunne være undgået ved at skatteyderne havde disponeret anderledes eller måske helt havde undladt at disponere. Den vigtigste form for omgørelse består af “dispositionsomgørelse”, hvorved skattemyndighederne anerkender, at parternes efterfølgende ændring af økonomiske vilkår og retligt indhold gives tilsvarende skatteretlige konsekvenser. Som eksempel kan nævnes, at skattemyndighederne med hjemmel i aktieavancebeskatningsloven tilsidesætter overdragelsessummen ved en aktiehandel mellem nært forbundne, idet afståelsessummen anses for kunstigt nedbragt. Dette indebærer en forhøjelse af overdragerens skattepligtige afståelsessum og en gavebeskatning hos erhververen af den modtagne fordel. Denne gavebeskatning kan undgås ved omgørelse, således at aktieoverdragelsen med tilbagevirkende kraft foretages til markedsværdien af aktierne. Et andet eksempel er, at en skatteyder, som efterfølgende ønsker at anvende de særlige regler for “skattefri virksomhedsomdannelse” ved omdannelse af en personligt ejet virksomhed til et selskab kan få tilladelse hertil ved en omgørelse. Virksomhedsejeren undgår herved eller får sin kapitalgevinstbeskatning reduceret.

Omgørelse er nu lovfæstet i skatteforvaltningslovens § 29, der omhandler de nærmere betingelser og fremgangsmåde.

Bogen: “Omgørelse - skatteforvaltningslovens § 29” indeholder en monografiom bestemmelsen, der indeholder en håndbog og en lærebog om omgørelse. Advokat Kaspar Bastian, som er skatteadvokat hos et af Danmarks førende advokatfirmaer, Bech-Bruun, har forfattet en monografiom såkaldt omgørelse, som den er hjemlet i skatteforvaltningslovens § 29. Omgørelse indebærer, at skattemyndighederne giver tilladelse til, at en efterfølgende ændring af eller ophævelse af en civilretlig disposition gives tilsvarende skatteretlige virkninger. Der udløses således en skattemæssig ændring med tilbagevirkende kraft. Omgørelse aktualiseres navnlig, når det konstateres, at en given aftale, disposition m.v. udløser en uventet og uforudset beskatning, som kunne have været undgået enten ved, at dispositionen fra begyndelsen af var givet et andet retligt indhold eller ved, at dispositionen slet ikke havde været gennemført.

Omgørelse indeholder således en skatteretlig “fortrydelsesregel” og sikrer navnlig mod urimelige konsekvenser af en kompleks og hastigt ændret skattelovgivning.

Kaspar Bastians bog, der både kan anvendes som håndbog for praktikeren og som lærebog på højeste akademiske niveau, omfatter 130 sider inkl. registre.

Bogen er disponeret i 6 kapitler :

Kapitel 1. Indledning, introduktion til skatteforvaltningslovens § 29, historie.

Kapitel 2. Området for omgørelse.

Kapitel 3. Betingelser for omgørelse.

Kapitel 4. Omgørelsens konsekvenser.

Kapitel 5. Formelle regler (ansøgningsprocedure, kompetenceforhold, klage m.v.).

Abstract

Society expects companies to take into account the economic, environmental, and social effects of their operations and activities. The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the operations or actions of companies that are above or independent of the limits or minimum requirements set by legislation.

The economic purpose of a company and its responsibilities towards shareholders and debtors, first and foremost, is a natural starting point in reviewing the responsibilities. Also other stakeholders such as employers or public entities as tax collectors have economic requirements and expectations. Responsibility in the context of tax issues has become the topic of greater attention, with a number of stakeholder groups actively reviewing the approaches that companies take to their tax strategies and tax planning activities.

In this article CSR is reviewed especially in the context of taxation. Does CSR have any significance and importance in the context of tax law and especially income taxation? Does CSR set limits on the tax planning of companies, or is there an obligation to pay any more taxes than what has to be paid according to the law and the tax treaties? While the concept of CSR is not a legal one, neither is the approach for these questions in this article only a legal one.

Attitudes towards taxes are often contradictory. On the one hand, taxes are like any other costs for a company, but on the other hand, they are an economic contribution to the society in which the business is conducted.

The phrase “aggressive tax planning”, as opposed to regular or “acceptable” tax planning, has been used on several occasions recently. Taking a purely technical approach to tax planning is unlikely to protect companies from charges of irresponsibility and associated reputational damage. Aggressive tax planning can be characterized, for instance, by an intensive use of legal and financial tools, establishments in foreign tax havens, unbalanced capital structures and transfer prices, or a disingenuous use of tax treaties.

Still, aggressive tax planning is not a legal concept so there is no legal definition for it. Instead, the question is more or less about where to draw the line of moral acceptability, which runs on the inside of the tax planning area. From the CSR point of view, aggressive tax planning can be defined as actions taken by taxpayers which are in the line of requirements of tax law, but which do not meet the reasonable and justified expectations and requirements of the stakeholders.